Monday, November 15, 2010

A hectic but memorable holiday.

Hi. Well this time last week I was sitting in a bar in Malta.
The daytime temperature averaged 24 celsius.
A far cry to the hailstones, floods, thunder and lightening we had today.
The week in Malta was good. Ernie paid for most of it which was wonderful.
We made the most of sightseeing using the hop on, hop off tour buses.
We sat in a beach bar in the West in the sunshine on a golden beach drinking beer.
We ate a Maltese fish lunch in a cafe in a fishing harbour.
The luzzi fishing boats were brightly coloured with an eye of Osiris to protect them.
We saw Maltese glass blowing at close quaters - beautiful glass.
We visited the ancient walled city of Mdina and watched a vivid film of its history.
History is something Malta specialises in - Bronze Age, Romans, Knights of Malta, Ottoman Turks, pirates, Napoleon, Nelson and the British. Finally the Germans tried to get hold of the island. They bombed the island to ruins with the Maltese using 3 Gloucester planes; Faith, Hope and Charity, trying to defend it. The people starved as convoy ships were sunk. Eventually a convoy ship got through, supported by 2 tugs, and the people survived. Many British and Maltese Navy and RAF forces held the island. The British awarded the island with the George Cross, now in the war museum in the capital, Valetta, for their courage. In 1964 the island became independent after having re-built the place, and in 1974 it became a Republic. In 2004 they joined the EU and in 2007 they got the Euro.
Valleta is the capital - almost a fortress with walls and steep narrow roads. There are lots of museums and St John's Co-Cathedral is amazing inside. The Carmelite Church is very pretty too. The Malta Experience is an interesting film experience about the history of Malta.
We stayed in downtown Sliema in a 2 bed apartment with a balcony and kitchen. The hotel food was nice and the 2 attached restaurants - one Indian and on Chinese - were outstanding.
Maltese people are very friendly and speak English as their second language.
The Maltese buses are amazing - they are anything between 10 and 40 years old.
They are yellow and are numbered for their routes. They are cheap and we took one to a beach in the north for some sunbathing. However clouds arrived and I sat painting the view from a cafe on the beach.
I swam in the hotel pool on level 7. The indoor pool was cool but I had it to myself.
I plucked up the courage to swim in the outdoor pool on the roof. It was freezing but the views over the harbour 7 floors up were fantastic. Back in the indoor pool it felt like a warm bath.
Thanks Malta to a varied and interesting holiday.
Thanks Ernie for the holiday - slightly too hectic at times but it brought us closer.
An 8 mile run along the Promenade topped the week off.
Now we are home and cold. my birthday feels months away and the only presents in the house are souvenirs for my family.
My mental health is good - sleeping is not brilliant.
In Malta a local clock tower chimed every 15 minutes from 5am to 9pm. Yes, the Maltese get up at 5am!
I have had a busy day today - washing, tidying, shopping, ironing, cooking etc.
tomorrow I need to think about the Malta Holiday Scrapbook and the wedding invitation lists.
Photos of Malta in tomorrows blog.
I am exhausted now. Bye!

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