Thursday, 19 April 2012

Living the high life in Malta

So we are now in Malta. We left Rome yesterday and my seasoned travellers made the most of their time in the airport waiting for the plane

Trolley climbing

Making a phone call

Ballet practice

Making new friends
Rob's boss Anton met us at the airport and organised a cab to take us to our very posh hotel. We have a suite with a proper sitting room and dining table. Our bed is enormous and so comfortable.

We went for lunch with Anton and his three children, Alfie, Eddie and Georgia and then for a walk in the park opposite the hotel where we spotted these cute ducklings.

We hung out in the hotel in the afternoon and then went for an early evening walk around the local village. Our hotel is quite a way out of the main town areas and feels very local and Maltese. We bought two enormous bottles of water (75 cents) and a litre of milk (79 cents) - we thought they had made a mistake with the prices!

I will take some photos of all the beautiful houses with their square balconies over the next few days - there is lots of atmosphere to soak up, which I hadn't expected.

We had room service dinner and an early night with a great night's sleep had by all.

This morning Anton, Georgia and Eddie came to meet us and took us on a brief site-seeing tour. First stop was a brilliant playground on the sea front where Georgia and Flossie had fun on the roundabout. Georgia is eleven - Floss is very excited to be hanging out with such a big girl. Georgia is in turns very sweet and indulgent of Floss and then, understandably, gets a bit bored and wanders off!

We just missed the 12 noon canon that they fire every day over the harbour in Valetta, Malta's capital, but stopped for a drink and pastizzi (flaky pastry filled with ricotta - yum!) while Anton and Rob were parking the cars.

We had a quick wander through the main streets of Valetta. Anton says much of it was rebuilt after intense bombing during WWII, but it still seems very ancient to me.

Then we stopped for lunch - rabbit ravioli for me and Rob, another margarita pizza for Flossie and whatever he could get his hands on for our resident dustbin.

Eddie, Anton, Laura, Freddie, Rob and Floss. Georgia took the photo.
We have just got back from having tea at Anton's sister's. She lives in a beautifully restored traditional Maltese house, runs two pre-schools and teaches piano - a very inspiring and warm lady. She has offered to help us find a laundrette and a GPS tomorrow. We definitely need the latter to get around Malta - there are very few signs and the only map we have is at a ridiculous scale for navigating.

There are lots of things to do in Malta - so far on the list are: the beach; the fish market; the Playmobil factory; trying to find Jo's mother's house; Popeye village; and something called Blue Grotto. We are also planning to spend lots of time in the posh hotel spa.

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