Posted by: glenswatman | March 5, 2015

20151221-28 MALTA A couple of last outings and back to ENGLAND

SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY – The dull windy day does not invite us outside at all. Play cards, watch TV and chill. Pay an extra Euro 5 (£4) pppn to upgrade to the buffet breakfast starting from tomorrow which should work well as we run out food supplies down.

SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY – We make the most of the buffet breakfast to fill up for the day. Manage to make a walk out along the front and to the casino between downpours. Using up our groceries I oven bake rice pudding which turns out rather well. Steve’s lucky that they are showing the Liverpool match in the hotel bar.

MONDAY 23 FEBRUARY – At the Dolmen Hotel we rendezvous first with Nigel and Ingrid and then David arrives. We leave about an hour later than planned so shelve the idea of going to Vittoriosa and head straight to the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Arriving early afternoon it’s amazing how many tourist coaches are there with people eating in the fish restaurants. We settle in to Cafe du Paris just before it starts to rain. From the Euro 10 (£7.50) special menu I have fish soup whilst Steve has bruschetta than sea bream, wine and limoncello liqueur. Other than the down pour, which leaves David’s feet in a river, it is lovely. Hang around until the rain calms then end up connecting buses all the way back as the rain kills our ideas for other things. Can’t resist reliving the casino of a few Euros’ before going back to our hotel.

TUESDAY 24 FEBRUARY – There’s a brief sunny spell in the morning but after our waterfront walk we reach the casino just before a downpour. It’s windy as well so lots of people scurry into the entrance behind us to escape the weather. Enjoy the Euro 5 (£4) lunch and it’s one of the days when the lunch price also gives you Euro 2 betting money. Added to our vouchers we manage to leave Euro 19 in credit. It’s still blustery and we notice the free pick up shuttle arriving so cheekily ask the driver if there is any chance of a lift back to our hotel (the shuttle is really only to get you to the casino and you have to make your own way back). He agrees and tells us this is the worst February on record and that in December just before Christmas they actually had a few flakes of snow which is unheard of. No matter other than the rain being a bit miserable we have made the best of everything and had a wonderful time.

WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY – Our last day, fortunately a dry one to start with as we head on the buses to Vittoriosa/Birgu. This is one of the “three cities” on the headlands opposite Valletta. Its quirky place with narrow twisted hilly streets mainly lined with attractive plants. There are many old “auberges” and historic buildings. At one side is the modern marina harbouring the super yachts. Close up they are like mini cruise ships. Chatting to crew on “Plan B” (goodness knows what Plan A was) he tells us they normally winter in the Caribbean but as the Russian owners were not coming out this winter the yacht has stayed in Malta and will cruise the Med in summer. On the way back we alight at St Julians with the intention of having a coffee at the top of Portomaso Business Tower. Unfortunately it is closed for renovation and as it starts to rain we quickly get back to the bus. Final visit to the casino where they get their revenge and leave us Euro 11.50 short on the day (but still well up overall).

THURSDAY 26 FEBRUARY – We’re quite happy to be leaving on this wild wet and windy morning. The Resort Hoppa mini bus arrives on time and after 3 more pickups we are off to the airport. It’s very quiet and quick to get through – speeded up by the fact they don’t ask you take liquids or anything out of your bag. In fact security is so lax we accidentally pass through with a 200ml bottle of medicine in a pocket which is a bit of a worry. Our Ryanair flight is a little late taking off and most passengers are soaked by the time they get on board. We have great views of the snow capped French Alps en route. We land in Leeds/Bradford airport ENGLAND at 2.35pm. Catch the “Flying Tiger” bus into Leeds (£3.60) then after a short wait another out to where Claire works (£2.10). Arrive just as she is finishing which is perfect. Hop into our car and following her back to Northowram. Daniel & Natasha are in so we get chance to see them before they head to their Dad’s. We eat with Claire before Richard arrives home and eats with his kids – it’s quite a balancing act they have going on with people coming and going doing different activities.

FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY – Visit Mom and Dad in Keighley and also pop into town to pick a few things up. Manage to get Steve a real bargain on a dinner suit for our next cruise, at £5 we can even afford to abandon it at the end of the voyage. Sort out coach details for Mom to come and visit us in a couple of weeks time whilst Dad is in respite. Return to Claire’s for the evening.

SATURDAY 28 FEBRUARY – Claire goes out early and manages a run of over 16 miles. Lisa & Mick are coming over for the evening so I do a shop and spend the afternoon preparing lamb dopiaza, chicken biryana, dal and other Indian food. I muddle through modifying recipes but it all goes down well. Lisa & Mick have just booked to go to Thailand for their 25th anniversary in December so we have a good chat about that. Play Canasta with Daniel and stay up late having a great time with everyone.


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