Monday, 19 August 2013

Day 3: Valletta and the Birthday Cake

The wind had started to build up on the previous afternoon, blowing from the NW, bringing clouds with it.
For a lot of the morning there was the threat of rain, but we felt no more than a couple of splatters, and by lunchtime it was clear blue sky.
Valletta is the capital city of Malta, and has everything that you would expect either in or near it - all the major stores that you would expect to find in London, the president's residence, parliament, etc.
Valletta is surrounded by huge harbours, and the views out are wonderful.

Having strolled down the main street, we did a circuit of the sea walls, catching some views that I had not seen before.

There was a Disney cruise ship in town, which allowed us to fully appreciate a new piece of Malta's infrastructure.
You might remember that last time I was here I saw a new lift that went from dock level to city level.  Look at the picture 2 pictures up and you will realise how useful the lift would be to visitors who did not want to take the stairs all the way up!
We took the lift too, just like real tourists.

I don't know how much the lift cost to build, but now it is summer they have started charging - 1 Euro for the round trip.  Now with a Disney ship carrying up to 4000 passengers, I think they will be seeing a good return on their investment...
We stopped for a beer at this place, built in the Second World War as a platform for a 40mm Bofors Anti-Aircraft gun.

The bar inside is full of relics from the war - helmets, uniforms, belts of ammo, etc.  We tried one of the latest local beers, a lager with lemon in it.  Wonderful under the clearing sky.  We could have spent all afternoon there, supping beers, but Mrs RC does not hold her drink very well, so we moved on.
We decided to grab a snack next, so we looked around and went for a posh looking cake shop.
After a good look I decided that I had found my birthday cake.

I thought it looked pretty splendid, but it was rather horrible in reality - the icing was hard enough to break a tooth, the chocolate tasted stale, as did the rather odd cake-like filling.
Ah well, nothing goes to waste in a city, does it?

It was a great way to spend my 50th birthday.
Yes, the badge DID get a few comments, usually a whispered "Did you see that?"  but I also got a "You look really good for 50" from a woman in a shop, so I won't complain.
In the evening we returned to the Chinese restaurant for my Birthday dinner.  It was at this point that we noticed the difference in drink sizes between the UK and Malta.
We ordered orange juice, and were asked if we wanted small or large.  In the UK, small is a small juice glass, large usually a half pint.  We ordered large, and were pleasantly surprised when 2 PINTS of juice arrived!  I guess they don't want customers getting dehydrated!  This was reinforced a couple of days later when a "Large sparkling water" turned out to be a huge bottle of Perrier!
We had a dinner of ribs, pork balls, fried lamb, rice, chicken wings and prawn toast.  No room for the deep fried icecream that I had planned to have for dessert, but we were very happy...
On the way back I wanted to play in the fountains again...
but as I was wearing my suit I had to give it a miss...
Still, there was always tomorrow!
PS - just noticed that this is my 1111th post on this blog!


Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying the honeymoon pictures and story of your trip to Malta. Oh, and happy belated birthday, Mr. Over the Hill now. (I can say that since I'm 61 and older than you!) Yes, I used to blog about my sweet Tootie. Sadly, I had to give her away. It really broke my heart to do that, but I really had no other option. My MIL moved in with us, and she was always complaining about seeing pee spots (never!) and Tootie would get under her feet. It was such a disaster, and there's still so much drama. But Tootie has a little chihuahua brother to play with so it's all good. Thanks for asking!

CiCi said...

My internet was sporadic at best the past several days so I just now read your blog posts and got caught up with your trip.So glad you two enjoyed the honeymoon and that it was scheduled around your 50th birthday. Wow, you two are still youngsters! Nice pictures and interesting sights. I enjoyed reading all the descriptions.

Riot Kitty said...

Well, you do look a lot younger! Sorry about the disappointing cake. That looked good but sounds terrible (although the birds seemed to enjoy it.) Disney goes to Malta?

ShadowRun300 said...

First, congrats on your 1111th post!
I sure hope my cakes don't turn out like yours. Looks like the pigeons enjoyed it though!
You wore a suit to dinner? A suit suit? Like the one you wore on graduation? Where's THAT pic? :) (If you meant your birthday suit, you can keep that pic to yourself.)
The World War II bar looks awesome! And of course the views are incredible! So glad the weather turned in your favor. Seems like it was a great birthday!

agg79 said...

Wow. What a great way to celebrate your birthday! A definite milestone to celebrate. Glad you and Mrs RC were able to enjoy Malta to the fullest. You guys look like you were having a great time (in spite of the big 50 badge). As one of the boat tourists, I would have probably paid the extra Euros to take the lift to s Glad to hear you had a good time on Malta.

Rock Chef said...

Ninny - Aw, it is sad when situations force us to rehome our pets, but it sounds like she still has a good life.

CiCi - Thanks, it is nice to be a youngster!

Riot Kitty - Yes, they have a ship that tours the Mediterranean and makes a stop in Valletta. They even have a shop in the city!

ShadowRun300 - It was the same suit that I wore to my graduation. Not sure we actually took a pick of ourselves that night!

Agg79 - We certainly had a ball - already making plans for a return trip!

Abby said...

Happy 50th! Happy 1111th!
Great sight seeing there, love the portrait format pics. Good thing that pigeons will eat most anything.

Rock Chef said...

Abby - Yes, the pigeons are much less fussy than the cat at the hotel... I assume it is the panoramas that you like? My new camera is great for them!

Abby said...

Erm... "panoramic", that's the word I was looking for...

terri said...

What great pictures! Love tha panoramic views!

Your birthday cake sounds like one of those fake dried out things that bakeries use for the display case, not something that should actually be eaten.

Drink sizes in the U.S. are enormous. I always think a small looks large. A medium looks huge. And a large looks like something that could be shared among a family of six. Of course, this is typically a fast-food kind of thing. In a sit-down restaurant, you're usually not offered a size. One size fits all.