– take a picture of English flag
– make a selfie with the queen
– take a ride with Double-Decker
– have a lunch at one of the markets
– drink beer in the English pub
– see the changing of the guard
– totally calm go past all the coolest shops in Oxford Street
– buy at least snow globe for our collection…
Oh, we are going to London. And you? Fortunately, there is no red alert and enormous amounts of snow like here in Slovenia. The forecast seems excellent. From 0°C to 6°C, sometimes sunny and probably from time to time, also cloudy weather. We will not complain… but hat, scarf and gloves are the thing, which will definitely go with us in a suitcase.
Given that Malta didn’t charm us with its diversity of attractions, it is no wonder that it is on top our list divine Maltese Pastizza with ricotta cheese. Served hot cake you can get in almost every bakery for a mere 80 cents. Dish is from place to place slightly different, but mostly it is a batter in the shape of a flower, filled with ricotta, spinach or wrinkled peas.
It is more poorer area of Malta, with smaller settlements, which are not too densely populated or tourist developed. For a change, you only meet tourist at two main attractions in this area, the Blue Grotto and Hagar Qim with Mnajdra Temples. They are connected with at times very well and in some sections disastrous rough roads. From Bugibba to another of the many well-know rock in Malta, Blue Grotto it’s 2 hour drive with a bus.
Time spent on these local buses, can be sometimes very joyful. Unbelievably crowd, air conditioning in full swing, amazing skills of drivers, which a lot of times ends up with a sudden breaking, which cause flying drop any of grandmother or weightless condition of many passengers 🙂 Given that we are already taking about local transport, we can tell you that drivers don’t care too much for the tickets, but there are some officials who unannounced enter the bus and check the tickets. Passenger without a ticket must pay € 10 fine.
Mdina and Rabat were sometimes a unitary city, and then were separate by Arabs, which raised walls around Mdina. Mdina is the former capital city of Malta and is located in the centre of the island. It is also known as the “silent city” with narrow streets, which with great architecture takes you a few centuries back. The main attractions are Palazzo Falzon, where the royal family lived, the Mdina cathedral on the main square which was many years ago destroyed in a severe earthquake and the Cathedral Museum, where should be located Mdina treasuries. Admission for the museum is € 5 per person, but we are not really museum lovers, so we admired the building only from the outside.
Since we already received countless offers for boat ride to the islands of Comino and Gozo from various tourist companies, today we finally choose the best one. We have paid € 20 per person, that’s € 5 more, we would spend, if took a local bus to port of Cirkewwa, then a ferry to Comino and another ferry to Gozo. Therefore, we rather choose the first variant, which to us seemed a lot more interesting. You see everything, which itself due to some hard to reach locations, we probably wouldn’t.
We boarded on a boat far away from our hotel in the city port. The first destination with some intermediate tours of some caves – Smugglers Cave, Coral Cave – was island of Comino, which has only four or five permanent residents. You need just a few hours to walk through whole island, and admire the mighty cliffs and rocky coves. The most famous natural landmark is »sparkly« Blue Lagoon. Beach should be one of the most beautiful, but in our eyes was very far from it.
Today we went back in the time of our childhood. We visited Popeye Village in Anchor bay. Anchor bay was named after anchors from Roman times that were once washed up on the shore. It is an artificial village, which was built in the eighties for the purpose of Hollywood movie about the Popeye. A few years ago, you had to walk all the way to here for about 2 kilometres from the city centre, but today the local bus drives you right to the door on the newly opened road. Admission fee for adults is € 14, included swimming, a children’s pool with a playground, a glass of punch and a shorter 15-minute “trip” with the boat.
Our passports could be today without any problems left at home. Officials in Venice and then also here in Malta, checked us in such a hurry like in the middle of the night when you go across the border with Croatia at the checkpoint Dragonja, where usually sits one sleepy guard who normally without any interest let you go through. Yes, night jobs are really pain in the ass 🙂
Landing at the airport gave us know, that Malta is not actually a country which we imagined by online photos. Not modern airport, many unfinished houses without roof, full of dust, garbage… Our first impression of Malta was – European Morocco, because quite similar or otherwise even worse picture, waited for us almost 5 months ago in this small country of Africa. We hope, however, that this first impression will soon left us.
We are already waiting for the third destination of this year, Malta – a small and densely populated island country located in Southern Europe, in the central Mediterranean Sea. Her charms we will discover for a week, from 19th to 26th September. We are flying from Venice Marco Polo Airport with AirMalta airline. Our 7 days accommodation in Malta will be budget hotel Bugibba, which is located on the Qawra peninsula. All together, we booked through the Slovenian Agency EuroGo, because we would in the case of personal booking for the same hotel and airline tickets, pay € 80 more per person.
After 8 hours train ride, in late afternoon we finally come back to Marrakech, where we had spent the first two days of traveling through Morocco. As we mentioned in an earlier post, for a trip across the desert we would not have enough time, because on 7th May early in the morning we already have a flight back to Italy – Milano. As we saw in Marrakech practically everything, instead of slacking and sitting in bars, we made a decision, that last day of our trip we will spent in one-day excursion to Ouzoud waterfalls. We reserved our excursion through our hostel (Amour de Riad) because prices are virtually in all local “agencies” the same. For two persons, we paid 500 mad, which still isn’t exactly a little, but okay.
At eight in the morning, our tour guide is already waiting for us. He escorted us to the outgoing location, and from there we started our tour to the waterfalls. The road to get there takes about 3 hours (about 250 kilometres) and for a ride, we have a new and quite comfortable minibus (without air conditioning). Ouzoud waterfalls and the village was named after the olives – why this is so, it is clear from the outset. In the Berber language Ouzoud means olive, around the neighbourhood grow plenty of them – each olive tree has its owner, which is marked with a specific colour.
As we are used to in Morocco, we again travel by train. ONCF has very good connections between certain major cities (even smaller), but if you are one of the road transport supporters, you may take a ride also with one of the private bus companies, Supratours. They offer better conditions, while local services in Morocco are not just so recognized.
Railway Station in the city of Fes was not long ago renovated and its design is identical to the station in Marrakech. To walk to the main road, you need to cross the beautifully landscaped park in front of which is bunch of cars – and those are not ordinary, of course we talk about famous taxis, to which you could in Morocco face every second. Let us therefore briefly given a few words about those… first about colours. Almost every city in Morocco have the taxis painted in his colour. In Marrakech are beige, blue in Rabat, in Casablanca and Fes are red. Drivers are required to pay a licence, while the car get from the state or it’s purchased by themselves.