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Valleta Vacation

MALTA | Thursday, 24 January 2008 | Views [1073] | Comments [7]

Hi again folks :). I had a mishap with my last post from Malta due to the journal session timing out just before I saved it, so I was slightly peeved to say the least ´cos it was a ripping yarn, haha. I´ll try and recap for you now though.

I spent a couple of days vactioning in Valetta by getting around on the classic old maltese buses. They have a fleet of old Leylands and Bedfords left over from the Brits 50 years ago and they take great pride in keeping the old beasts in tip tip shape. So it took me back to my school days as the buses would crunch, grind and squeak they´re way round the windy Maltese streets, and you have to pull the rope to ding the ´dinger´ hehe. I also have to upgrade my previous description of where I´m staying as its more like a Mediterranean Gold Coast with its high rise apartments, hotels, casinos, bars and restauarants!

I went to Valetta and strolled leisurely for a while enjoying the nice warm day, past Fort St Elmo watching the fishermen down below, and later on I strolled leisurely to St Juliens Bay which is another beautiful place full of al fresco diners. It was a picture perfect afternoon with people walking along the seaside promenade so I joined in and took in the atmosphere - my kind of thing :).

The next morning I went to the Maltese Classic Car Collection which is a privately owned display of some magnificent machines including old jaguars, ferrari, aston martin, morris, MG, fiats, as well as some old fords and some great old BSA motorbikes. Yes dad I took pics :).

That afternoon I took part of a walking tour of Valetta where I met a nice Australian-Maltese girl (but still no romance :(, I´m going to have to change the title of this journal I think, hehe). The tour took us to Barracca gardens with outstanding views over the three cities (the other two being Vittoriosa and Senglea) and the fortifications around the Grand harbour. We mosied on down to St Johns Co-Cathedral (as its shared with 4 other nations) which was resplendent in gilt gold and marble stone work. It also included a couple of famous paintings by Caravaggio, some Flemish tapestries, and some big old books of latin hymns with the musical notation which the priests sing out during their jam sessions :). I´d love to hear the big pipe organs going off but I´d have to come back on a Sunday for that little treat.

We had some time off to get refreshed so I headed for the cafe and drank Maltese beer and watched the passers-by from my al fresco table - ahh this is the life, hehe. The group reformed and the tour guide picked me as a Maltese so we chatted about the other 250000 Maltese that have emigrated to Australia (names such as Fenech, Farrugia, Camilleri, Zammit, Magro and Borg might sound familiar). We went past the Grand Palace of the Knights, and finished the afternoon watching a film called ´The Maltese Experience´ which outlined the turbulent 7000 year history of the islands. I actually thought that would have been more useful at the start of the tour, but oh well. This place has been occupied by every man and his dog! The arabs, phonecians, turks, italians, french and english to name the main ones. Its in such a strategic location that its been the brunt of every war held in the Mediterranean.

So after a great day cruising the streets I had my last supper with some more Maltese cuisine - rabbit in white wine, washed down with more white wine, so it was no wonder I ended up on my hotel balcony singing ´When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie´ to the blazing full moon, lol.

But it was with a tear in my eye that I had to say farewell the next morning to my second island home. I´d love to come back in the summer when it goes off!

I´m actually in Munich now after more planes and trains, and a marathon walk to my hotel in Frankfurt with all my gear! Left, left, left right left - was the only way I made it but what a great sense of achievement when I arrived, hehe .. yes I can do anything I put my mind to .. yaaarrr! lol.

Ok I´ll try get some pics up later but for now I´m preparing for Neuschwanstein and Lindehof castles!! wooohooooo ;)

Auf wiedersehn!

Tags: Sightseeing

Comments

1

Malta sounds like a very cool place to go and check out. I like your idea of trying to go back during the summer when the place is buzzing. Bummer about the 'no romance' bit mate. I hope something changes for you in that regard at some point on your trip. if not, then all those women missed out on a slice of Matty pie :)

All the best mate.

s.

  steve Watson Jan 24, 2008 10:41 AM

2

heya matt...Malta sounds like the place to be....and I'm glad you got to appreciate a Caravaggio...Dali once said of him that he is one of the only true painters to have lived...so for you to experience his art is one of the many highlights of your journey.
I hope all goes well in Germany...home of beer and sauerkraut..lol...take care mon..look forward to seeing your next batch of pics.

  Chris Jan 24, 2008 11:18 AM

3

Loved all the stories from Malta, it's soooo ancient. would love to go there one day. Did you find out from which part your nono came from? Enjoy Bavaria and mad Ludwigs castle [or one of them anyway] Obviously the weather is a bit more tolerable. Love A/Barb

  A/barb Jan 24, 2008 4:46 PM

4

Matt had a giggle at left left left right left in Frankfurt, sounds to me like you were goosestepping,enjoy Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, think we like Linderhof better , Love all the tales Trudixxxx

  trudi Jan 24, 2008 5:59 PM

5

Hi Matt,
I just finally clicked after all this time remembering that you sent me a link to this weblog, I didnt realise you were doing the world trip dude, sheez, Excellent.

Hey are you going to Scotland or Canada at all can give you some details if you are.

Great writings you have done so far matt, its kept me busy, keeping up reading it about your trip and seeing all the pics.

Hey, let us know if you will drop in on the gold coast on the flip side. I have moved from dudley but have the same phone numbers and am in mermaid waters now.

Keep up the good writings and enjoy all~!

Andy.

ps: lol hostel
pps: doesnt your camera have a timer dude? :)

  Andy Snowden Jan 24, 2008 10:43 PM

6

Heya Matt,
Really enjoying reading your stories and checking out the photos. Must be nice to be in the Med to thaw out!! We've got a roll of about 10 days above 35 degrees.
Australia Day tomorrow - multitudes of flags flying from cars and houses.

  Annie Greig Jan 25, 2008 1:21 PM

7

Hi Matt

Wow, been checking in regularly, and living your fantastic trip vicariously. Way to go Matto!

Now if you find true love overseas we won't get you back here and we can't do without you mate. Just kidding!

Keep safe

  Karen Shaddock Jan 25, 2008 2:59 PM

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