Saturday, 17 August 2013

Day 1

We woke to a splendid sunrise, and sat on the balcony, admiring the view until breakfast was ready.

Breakfast was a buffet of bacon, eggs, beans, toast, bread rolls, cheese, ham, cereals and fruit.  We stoked up, fed the cat and then waited for our meeting with the holiday rep.

I had been uncertain about meeting the rep, but as part of the meeting was to confirm pick up times for the trip home we thought it best to hang around.  He arrived a bit late and then got to business - largely to recommend guided tours and cruises that we had no intention of going on.  After making our escape, we headed into town to start our day....

This is a fairly typical side street in the town we were in - quaint, clean and steep!  I love them and Mrs RC fell in love with them too.

We had planned to take the ferry to Gozo (a smaller island to the north of Malta, but still part of the Maltese nation), but with the meeting with the rep we were later than expected, and now the buses were totally over loaded and refusing to take on more passengers.  Not wanting to wait, we decided to spend the day strolling in the local area to see what we could see.

We were soon on the prom that ran around part of the bay that we could see from our hotel.

This was an area of intense tourism, and we cringed at the massed sun beds and parasols, our idea of  holiday hell.  From here you could also do banana boat rides, parascending and jet skiing.  These all provided part of the entertainment when we watched from our balcony.

Suddenly, Mrs RC said that she wanted to get away from the beach, down a small lane.  She had seen a red house from the hotel, and wanted a closer look.  Mrs RC likes red things....

This is the best pic I could get of the red house - it was rather nice.

Continuing along the lane, Mrs RC was able to develop her appreciation of Maltese walls...

Rural walls are dry stone walls, not a speck of cement in site.  I have a strange feeling that our garden might suddenly develop some new walls in the near future....

 Our lane took us on a long loop, past the sewage works (definitely not part of any of the guided tours on offer), almost to the opposite coast of the island and half way back, before coming to a sudden end.   Not wanting to retrace our steps, we cut across country, finding a well trodden path.

This path led us to the back of a sprawling hotel/apartment complex, so we pretended to be guests and made our way back to the prom through the complex.

By now we were getting hungry, so we caught a bus (which was now not totally jammed with passengers) to the north coast.  After a short walk, we were at a favourite pizza place of mine.

We shared a pizza and some goats cheese ravioli. 

The pizza was slightly over done, but it was all utterly delicious, and washed down with a few local beers.

After this we strolled back to catch the bus back, taking time for a paddle in the sea.

I have never experienced such a warm sea - normally, when the water reaches "certain parts", I have a "oooh" moment.  Not here!

Back at the hotel, we had a rest and drink on our balcony, then headed out for our evening meal.  After much checking of menus and asking of "what do you want to eat?", we settled on a Chinese restaurant.  It was amazing, the best we have ever had.  Promising ourselves that we would return before the week was over, we headed back to he hotel and a well earned sleep.


terri said...

An awesome first day! I would vacation just as you did... no guided tours, just explore on my own. Malta looks like a beautiful place. I love the narrow streets and walls. We have NOTHING like that in these parts. The beach, though... makes me feel claustrophobic! Yikes!

The ravioli and pizza look delicious. That pizza is done just the way I like them. Mmmm!

Can't wait to see what the rest of your vacation held.

Abby said...

Lovely day 1! I agree with Mrs. RC about looking at that beach and deciding to go in the other direction. And I'm curious about those stone walls, what holds them together??

Hello to the cats!

ShadowRun300 said...

Yep. You made a good choice to avoid the crowds on the bus and to avoid the crowds on the beach. Hard to relax in those situations.
I love that we got to see a picture of the two of you together! You look so happy! Looking forward to hearing about day 2!

Riot Kitty said...

You guys look so happy! Was that because the water was warm? ;)

Rock Chef said...

Terri - Needless to say, we spent a lot of time exploring narrow streets in different places - you never quite knew what was around the next corner.

Abby - the walls seemed to be kept up by small wedges of stone and gravity. If neglected they tend to start falling down...

ShadowRun300 - Yes, thought a pic of the 2 of us was long overdue!

Riot Kitty - What on earth are you suggesting? ;-)
Mrs RC said "Yes".

agg79 said...

I love the landscape. Malta reminds me of some of the areas around central Texas - arid and dry - lots of cacti, scrub trees, rock walls. I can just imagine a rock wall finding its way into your garden.

Warm water is definitely an improvement over those chilly temps you normally see. Something about swimming in the warm ocean really makes you relax.

Great picture of the both of you guys! A well deserved holiday.