Adventure on Malta
Loyal readers probably know that I was given a trip to Malta for my 50th birthday. That was a great surprise! On Sunday 27 March, Bine and I flew from Trieste, Italy to the small island.
Neither of us had been there before, and so we were really looking forward to it. We actually had no idea what to expect. Of course, we had looked at some pictures on the internet and those looked good. We love the sea, so being on an island should be alright ;).
We arrived in the evening at about a quarter past seven and went looking for the bus to our hotel. The bus stop was soon found, but it was not really clear what time the bus came. After some inquiries, we learned that he was supposed to come at 8 pm, but that became 20 minutes past 8. While we were waiting, we saw a few cars driving by here and there with the Maltese flag out the window and people cheering. Our first idea was that Malta had won some important football match. Bine searched the internet, but couldn’t find anything along those lines.
After an hour of waiting, we finally got on the bus and went on our way. Our hotel was only a 10-minute drive from the airport, but of course, the bus took a long route, so the ride would take 40 minutes. On the way it got dark and when we arrived in the capital of Valletta we suddenly saw crowds of people partying, honking cars and trucks with trailers on which people were dancing and whooping next to large speakers with loud music blasting. Before we knew it, we came to a standstill in the crowds and four police cars with sirens blaring and flashing lights were approaching us. Cars had to get out of the way and move to the side, so they could drive past our bus. It was really total chaos, and it made me feel very uncomfortable. I asked the bus driver what was going on, and it turned out that there had been elections that day. Later, a waiter from a bar where we had a drink told us that the election had been won by the incumbent party, which was now entering a third term. Apparently, the Maltese like to party and take every opportunity to go crazy, hahaha. It even continued the next day. Incredible.
Fortunately, our hotel was great and the next day we rented a scooter with which we cruised the whole island for three days and saw a lot. We had planned in advance that we would rent two scooters, as we had done on Corfu a few years earlier. Those were 50CC scooters, for which you did not need a driver’s license. But in the hotel on Malt they only rented out 125CC scooters and for that, you need a motorcycle license. Bine doesn’t have that, but luckily I do. Only……I hadn’t thought of taking my driver’s license with me at all. I left it at home. Luckily, they also accepted a photo of my license, so I called our daughter who took a photo and sent it to me. So we took one scooter and Bine had to ride on the back :). In retrospect, that was actually a great solution because finding your way in Malta was not easy. There are many large and busy roads, and they also drive on the left. This way, Bine could hold his phone in his hand and look at Google Maps while driving to tell me where to go. That worked perfectly! But of course, he also drove for a little while a few times ;).
Downside was that at the end of day two, an old man in a bobcat backed up against our parked scooter, causing it to fall over and sustain damage. Then we had to call the police because they had to come to make a report for the insurance company :(. But we didn’t let that spoil the fun ;).
As said, we have seen a lot. I had already read in advance that a lot of scenes from the Games of Thrones series were shot in Malta. Lexi in particular was a huge fan of that series, so I found a list of the different locations on the internet, and we went through almost all of it. That way, we always had a goal, and we saw beautiful places/buildings. Malta turns out to be too busy for us and because it also has very little nature/green, we will not go there again. But despite that, we really enjoyed our time there, everything we’ve seen and done and especially each other :).