Tuesday March 7th –
We packed up and left our penthouse around 9:00 am that morning, having finished our exploring of Gozo and heading back over to Malta.
Breakfast on the ferry was a beef pie and it was one of those things that was kind of gross but yet still weirdly satisfying 😜
The wind had picked up immensely and the swells were much bigger than our first ferry ride, making one think about how awful it would have been to be on a smaller ship, for all your travel/work/pirating back in the day 🌊😬
We made it across and Mike drove us to the area of Valletta , the capital of Malta.
Our drive was scattered with heavy rain, sun, more rain and a constant strong wind, making walking through the streets sound pretty unappealing, yet necessary, since it was our one and only time to see things there.
Thankfully the rain stopped but the brutal winds followed us down most streets, forcing enough dirt and grime into our eyes, that it felt like they’d tried to go swimming in a sandbox👀
Which would be real dumb😏
The balconies were pretty unique to see and it was a much different style of building then I’ve seen other places.
Lovely doors were seen on every turn, some new and shiny, some old and even charred but almost all interesting.
‘Amorino’, a gelato place, caught Mikes eye and it’s a good thing too because it was some of the most flavourful gelato I’ve tasted.
Offering flavours mixed with milk for a creamier taste or just water for a more saturated, potent flavour.
I went with the stronger flavours, getting a mixture of nutty pistachio, ground up almond and creamy coconut 👌🏻🍦
Mom tried a crêpe with caramel and a few little ice cream filled macaroons and Mike got a mixture of ice cream flavours as well.
We walked up and down streets, taking in the sights, sounds and smells, (not all pleasant 😋) and eventually searching for somewhere to grab a bite to eat.
That’s always a longer task then expected, not knowing who wants what and which serves good food or just passable tourist meals.
Mike found one with a good review but once we walked there, it was closed, so then it was just a matter of picking a decent priced menu and crossing fingers.
Michiel was craving calamari and Mom and I weren’t all that hungry so some potato wedges were shared between us and then we walked back to the car garage, struggling against the wind and keeping an eye out that nothing blew over/or into us.
To the hotel.
None of us were expecting the quality or impressiveness of our previous place, but I don’t think any of us were expecting it to be that bad either 😝
We were told we got a free upgrade and to take the elevator to the sixth floor and then the stairs up to the seventh and that the wifi would work in the lounge.
‘The lounge’ consisted of mismatched, old chairs and a dust-covered tv and dead plant.
The room had grime on the floor, hair in the bathroom and an overall unpleasant feeling 😜
The view was nice though?🙈
Mike went back down to ask for our money back, which they would not do unless the cleaning supervisor said the room was bad.
She said that it had no problems 🙄
They offered to re-book us at their other hotel which was a bit newer so we went there to check it out.
It didn’t impress either but at least it was a stand up shower and not a tub with rust colored tape inside the drain hole and there was no apparent hair/dust clumps.
We went back out to peek at another hotel (that one smelling of puke and smoke) and then checked out a few stores, walked around the area, reluctant to go back to our second hotel, but also cold and tired, the three of us having to puzzle piece together to fit into the elevator and then in the room we sat.
Wanting to rest but not feeling like it was a good place to do so 😜
Mike looked up some restaurants and as we headed through the lobby we could see the winds had only gotten stronger, making a walk to the restaurant sound awful, but the car was also parked a ways away.
Mike got the GPS out and paused, looked up, looked down, looked up again and yep… the restaurant RIGHT across the street was where we were headed 😄
At least one thing went our way that afternoon😜
After a frigid and sorrowful road crossing (sarcasm) we entered the nice little ‘Fresco’s‘.
We were seated at a table with a view of the rough but beautiful ocean and our server even turned on an electric heater and brought it over to us👌🏻🔥🌊
Meals were contemplated and ordered and the warm and clean place to sit and relax was enjoyed.
Prawns, steak and duck pasta were served and we got down to the business of eating.
Everyone liked their meals and every bite was eaten with happiness in our mouths and bellies😎🍽
(Sad side note, while we dined in warmth and had a table with a view, our family in Sask was sending videos of a blizzard… making us feel bad for them, but also kind of making us enjoy our spot all the more🙈)
(Side note number two, it was my second time eating duck.
I’ve enjoyed it prepared homemade once, but never felt confident to order it at a restaurant.
The meal I first asked for at Fresco’s wasn’t available, so the duck was second pick and it WAS enjoyed.
Why do I feel bad eating it though?! I don’t think about a poor little chicken but there’s a small part of me that just feels bad the whole time I eat duck? 😔😋)
We wanted to prolong our stay there as long as possible 😋
So an assortment of little desserts and coffee were brought out.
Finally we had to go back to the hotel, asking the receptionist for a plug-in adaptor before heading to our room and having him tell us he’d just given the last one out so we had to walk to the nearby mini mart if we wanted one🙄
To the room, suitcases were semi sorted out and time for sleep came.
The springs in the mattress poked and prodded our sides and Moms, who was in a little wee bed beside ours 😜
She asked Mike if he didn’t think it was ‘so cozy’ teasing him about the way the Dutch say EVERYTHING is ‘cozy’ 😋
A few different things were said through the darkened room and tired laughter followed, helping to lighten the glum situation 😜
Wednesday March 8th –
Minus the snoring, mumbling, people in rooms or hallways beside, outside street noises and extremely loud claps of thunder, we all slept 😏
5:45 am was our wake up time and though early, we didn’t really regret saying a quick goodbye to our second relocation of the trip 😋
There were a few road detours because of accidents/one way streets that didn’t say they were one way on the GPS etc. so by the time we got to the airport and Mike did the car return it was time for us to head through security and up to our boarding gate.
Stopping pretty much only for a quick coffee pre boarding ☕️
Our three-hour flight was one of those unlucky seating placement ones.
With a man right across from us with a little girl who pretty much screamed with rage or high volume obnoxious laughter (within moments of each other) for most of the flights duration 😬
We tried to have sympathy… having little ones in our families too and knowing they don’t always act accordingly… but after the first hour and a half, the sympathy only continued to fade😋
We landed in the foggy, rainy Netherlands and once again were thankful for the days of sunshine we had just experienced.
But upon landing and getting internet, Mike exclaimed in shock over some breaking news back in Malta 😮
The very ‘Azure Window’ which we had just been standing by and taking pictures of, had collapsed!
Lost to the waters and people of Malta forever more, a landmark and tourist attraction for people around the world.
While we had been there taking pictures, Mike said how people could walk across the top of the window but for the last year now it hadn’t been allowed because of its weakening state.
We said with the water/weather etc. it would probably only be there for a few more years.
We weren’t expecting to be some of the last people to ever see it!
Mom read later that the winds had been Force 9 level that night… on a scale from 1-12, so it’s not so surprising that that was the cause of the windows forever closure 💔
We processed that as we waited for our luggage and shuttle to the car.
Sleeping off and on during the drive back to Velp, we became more sore and ready to be back at the house as the time ticked slowly by.
The smooth roads were a nice improvement though 😉
We had to stop shortly so Mike could get food for us and so we could buy some flowers for Mother to arrange, as that was one of her trip wishes☺️
Nasi balls and flowers were picked and finally we made it back to the apartment and we could stretch out, eat, shower and relax.
I was unsure if mom would be okay with the food but she didn’t mind the nasi balls 👌🏻
From then on, it was sitting, showering, laundry etc.
All done in a slightly slower than normal pace.
We munched on a cheese, cracker and deer meat platter and a pomelo beside before sitting down to watch a movie about the war, while eating chips and popcorn.
I’d had a premonition about reaching high into the cupboard I can’t see into, and having popcorn rain down on me if the bag hadn’t been shut correctly, and guess what, it happened 😏