So, one day left - had to be a trip to Mdina, the old capital of the islands.
Checked out the buses and found the quickest way there was to go to Bugibba (major tourist centre) and grab the airport bus from there.
The bus was packed with people and suitcases heading for the airport - then we were joined by a load more people wanting to go to Mdina. Sardines anyone?
The trip around the tourist hot spot reinforced the great choice in hotels we had made. We passed a whole row of places with a view across a bay to the island's huge landfill site...
Fighting our way off the bus, we could see the massive battlements of Mdina.
Mdina is a small place, where only residents are allowed to drive vehicles. Others can take an over priced carriage ride if they want to.
The drivers offer a 30 minute tour of the city.
Mrs RC timed the stroll from the gate to the far battlements.
It took 4 minutes. What do they do for the other 26 minutes, I wonder?
It was now mid morning, so we decided to stop for a snack and a drink, choosing a cafe that is right on the battlements.
The view into the city, with its Cathedral.
The view out towards the coast.
We sat, chatted, drank and ate. I had a splendid strawberry meringue, which I forgot to take a photo of. Refreshed, we wandered the city a bit more and then headed out to Rabat, the suburbs outside.
This mobile Post Office caught our attention. The cab only has 3 wheels, making it a trike. Does that mean you could drive this thing on a motorbike license?
Mrs RC noticed the rather nasty tilt of this facia.
Wonder how long it has been like that? How much longer?
What a great name for a bar!
After a lot of strolling in back streets, we caught the buses back to our base, not feeling up to extended periods of walking, especially if we were uncertain where the nearest toilet was.
Back near "home", we saw this.
Health and Safety seems to be taken as a mere suggestion by many Maltese. This truck was jacked up amazingly to level it on this hill. Looked extrremely unsafe to us, but the locals seemed unconcerned. Maybe gravity works differently in Malta?
One thing about Malta is the prolific statues of saints etc. Mrs RC spotted this one across a valley., seeming to just sit on a ledge below someone's garden.
Another thing that I love is the small scale of Matese agriculture. Most Maltese farm fields are about the size of a British vegitable allotment and tend to be dug with little rotorvators, but occasionally you see a farmer who has invested in a tractor...
I can imagine you all wondering why they bother to farm on this scale, how can they make a living? Well they do, supplying just about all of the fruit and vegitables that the locals need. Some is sold on shops, some on trucks that are driven around the towns and/or parked on the major roads. Can't get fresher than that! Watching all this go on was one of our main (if slightly sad) entertainments while sitting on our balcony sipping drinks.
For our final meal in Malta, we retuned to Badass Burgers.
I had The Daddy...
Mrs RC had The Obama...
Both were extremely good. Against Mrs RC's advice, I also had some fries - a vast portion which I tried to deal with but lost the fight. It was a bit of a Man Vs Food meal...
And that was it, really, except for a fairly uneventful return trip. The most exciting part of the return trip was when we were right at the front of the check-in line and someone decided they would try to push in, forming a new line next to us. After a week of learning how the Maltese queue (they don't), Mrs RC was taking no prisoners, prepared to sack the quarterback if necessary. People behind started murmering things like "Ooh there might be a luggage war in a minute", but it did not become physical...
Now we are wondering about doing it all again next year - we still have the southern half of the island to see....
I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures!
Next week we are going camping with the kids - watch out for stories from that soon!