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.
Malta in 2004 joined the European Union, has 410 thousand inhabitant and its surface is occupied by less than 2% of Slovenia. And we say that our Slovenia is small?? Against Malta, we are like real giants… but if we were measured by the envy, we would definitely exceed many others 🙂
Well, to go back to the happening… Local transport in Malta is very well organized and probably one of the few things for which we can say that they are extremely cheap. Weekly unlimited ticket per person cost barely € 6,5. Buses are although older, but sill good enough and preserved for driving on narrow and winding roads through the towns on the island. Our hotel is located in Bugibba on the peninsula Quawra, 16 kilometres of air distance from the airport, but by a ride with a local bus, we need an hour and a half.
We find Bugibba Hotel without any problems. But the biggest problem was to find the entrance in the reception of hotel because we came from the back side. Fortunately, we met friendly Englishman, who immediately show us the right direction. Since speaking of an Englishman, we have to say that in Malta is virtually all in English style. The locals speak English with an excellent accent, they drive on the left side and on every corner you can find a typical English pub in which, of course, everyone is watching matches of the English premier league. Well, let’s continue with hotel and their rooms – our room… They are very modest equipped and small, the view into the neighbour’s house wall, no air conditioning, the temperature in is about 10°C higher that outside (outside we have 31°C).
After we unload our stuff, we made a short walk and eat a nice typical Maltese dish – pizza 🙂 Prices here compared to Slovenia are quite high, for 1 classic pizza and two glasses of Pepsi we payed € 13. Natural half-litre bottle of water in market is for example around € 0,6 to € 1 and for small ice cream they charged you € 2,3.
The first night was disastrous, the room was some degrees warmer that on arrival, continuous strange sounds, stench… Due to this, we immediately in the morning took action and required replacement. They probably thought that, if we are young, they could push us even in the last free hole, which is found in the hotel. After wrangling at the reception, we now finally have new room, which is certainly at least two stars better that previous 🙂 at least we have air conditioning.
The first full day we visit the capital city, Valletta. The city is 600 x 1.000 meters large, laying on small cape and have two ports on each side. It falls under UNESCO protection and is one of the most concentrated areas of the world. On 21st September 2014, they celebrate the 50th anniversary of independence and for that day, they announced the visit of the English royal family. Although we had wide-open eyes, unfortunately Prince William was not in sight.
We walked through the main city gate, past Parliament, the opera house and the Church of St. Paul’s Shipwreck. St. John’s Co-Cathedral is just under renovation, but otherwise is one of the most popular in Malta. In church is buried the founder of Valletta under which city got its name. Visitors must wear decent dresses and shoes with high heels were banned in order to protect the marble floor. After that we took some time so attractions such as the Fortress of St. Elma, Siege Bel Memorial and Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens.
Our visit we completed with Maltese specialty named Pastizza. It is a dish made from dough that is shaped in the form of a closed flower, on the inside has the stuffing as ricotta, wrinkled peas or spinach and it is always served warm – they sell them in bakeries, kiosks and bars. However, the price ranges somewhere around 80 cents.
S & B