Thursday, 28 May 2009

Malta - Mallieha Bay and Valetta

This year for our 'Summer' holiday, we headed off to Malta. After an uneventful trip, we arrived at our hotel and got ourselves settled in. We spent the afternoon on the beach - Not really any surf, but just what the kids want for swimming and playing!

In the 'European' tradition, the beach is covered with sun lounges. There is no space to sit or lie anywhere else - and as soon as you hop onto a sun lounge (or grab some shade from an umbrella) someone races across and asks for 10 Euros for 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella.

We found a small supermarket for 'supplies' (mainly chips/crisps and bottled water!). The first night we discovered a few things:
The air conditioning was gutless.
The mosquitoes were very attracted to the boys.
The night was more humid than the day.
Leaving the balcony door open was a sure way to get lots of mozzies!

The next morning the boys were scratching, and we had not had the worlds best sleep!

We headed into Valetta, the capital of Malta, using the local bus transportation system. These old yellow buses are famous as a symbol of Malta. They are dirt cheap to use, are covered in religious quotes (which always scares me, as I would like the driver to have a little less faith in God and a little more in his driving ability or his bus!)and run regularly from most places on the island to Valetta.

We had a great walking tour of Valetta,

These horse and buggies are everywhere, asking you to come aboard...the driveres were persistents, following you down the street...even when we said "No thanks, we prefer to walk", they would still follow and drop their prices!

Valetta is a tiny city, measuring only 600 metres by it really is an easy walk!

Our Lonely Planet guide suggested we do the walking tour along the outer forifications which would take 1 1/2 hours and offer "great views"...sadly the gates were closed to get up to the top of the city gates, it would have been a great view, so we wlaked ground level instead!

The views of the harbour were fabulous.

We went to the National War Museum During WW1, Malta was used as a military hospital, provding over 25,000 beds for casulties of Gallipoli.

It really gave an interesting context to Malta's role in WW2, as a harbour for submarines and a base for aircraft activities

The trip back to the hotel was a bit rougher than the one on the way to Valetta, and Alexander was getting a bit 'green around the gills' - he survived, though! On the bus we met a guy from Broadmeadows (another suburb of Melbourne) who was over visiting family. Small world. The bus needed to stop for petrol on the way home, so we had to wait 5 minutes to refuel!

We were back in time for a few hours by the pool, where Nicole read her notes for Uni and Phil read the story of Colditz Castle. The boys - spent all their time in the pool!

Nicole celebrated her birthday whilst we were in Malta, and with a sparkler in her plate of desserts from the buffet, and a bottle of sparklie thrown in by the hotel, she felt like a queen.

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