Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Trip, Part 1: Getting there and the hotel

My brother collected us at 5.30 am to take us to the airport  This was a couple of hours earlier than was really necessary, but we all agreed that it was better to get there very early than to get stuck on the motorway and miss the flight.

The roads were pretty clear, so we had a while to wait, but this let us do some good people watching and be first in the check-in line.

The flight was pretty good, except for a bit of turbulence which had us all on lock-down in our seats.  However, I did not realize that this made it against the rules to use the toilet, so I had a special announcement just to myself....

After landing, we left the plane down steps on to the tarmac - the afternoon air hit us like a blowtorch.  It was about 40C that day, and hotter for the next couple of days before a breeze/wind got up and cooled things to the high 30s.

We zipped through passport control, grabbed our bags and headed for the exit to find our transport.  We had gone for the standard transfer, so expected a coach or minibus.  However, as we reached the door there was a guy standing there with my name on a piece of card.  We were the only people that he was picking up, so he led us outside to his air conditioned Jaguar!  Woo hoo!  What a way to arrive at the hotel!  The drive was really nice, and he took us by the scenic route, letting Mrs RC get a good feel for what was to come.

I had been to our chosen hotel once before, back in the mid 90s, and it seemed to be pretty much as I remembered it - a friendly, family run place with a great view.

You can also check the panorama pic in the last post.  These fields were active farms, most Maltese farms being on this sort of scale, just producing stuff for local sale.  They form an excellent buffer between where we were and the louder beach-side hotels.

This is the view from the bottom of the hill, the arrow shows our room, right at the top.

The derelict farm building in the middle of the first pic was home to the local cats.  There were about half a dozen of then.

Yeah, they do look good for wild cats, don't they?
At breakfast, we sat next to sliding doors that went out onto the sun deck, and this little guy took to sitting with us.

He was a picky little thing - he liked ham and bacon, but did not like sausage.  Yeah, he clearly has a tough life!

Having settled in at the hotel, we headed out for dinner, finding an amazing Chinese restaurant. OK, not local stuff, but it was great, and we had a week ahead to look at local food.

The route from the hotel to where the town's restaurants were took us past the church.

We love the churches there, they are so ornate.

We also went past these fountains in the pavement.  It became a regular stop for me to splash through these in my Crocs and shorts.  Yes I just turned 50.  Yes I am still a child at heart.  But it was OK, we were on holiday and who is going to know?

Except you, of course  :-)

More soon...


ShadowRun300 said...

This is going to be so fun! I'm glad your splitting your trip up into pieces so we can experience each part of it. It's making me anxious for September to come when I can go on my own mini-vacation with my hubby. Only it won't be Malta. :/
And I know all too well, that when you gotta go, you gotta go, and not even a lockdown would keep me from going. Even if someone called me out on it. :)

Abby said...

*does quick calculation to figure out the temperature in Fahrenheit...* Woo, it's hot in Malta!

I almost forgot about The Pretty Cats of Malta - thanks for the reminder! And the hotel, looks like nice digs.

terri said...

Wow! A ride in a Jaguar! That's riding in style!

You had some amazing views, and I know how much you enjoy any animals, so it looks like you got off to a great start with the cats.

And I'm a firm believer that if you act old, you'll feel old. Keep being a kid at heart. It's what makes you the great guy that you are.

Riot Kitty said...

Holy cow, that's hot! I love the fountain picture. Cute kitties too! Waiting for more installments.

agg79 said...

Glad the flight was uneventful if not a bit bumpy. Yea, they tend to lock down the bathrooms (and drink cart) when things get bumpy.

Nice classy way to have your own personal escort to the hotel (I bet Mrs RC though you did it just for her). Great way to start off the honeymoon.