A long, long, but fairly uneventfull, trip to Denmark - It is good to be home
From the harbour in Bugibba, it is possible to go on an underwater safari. This is a trip where you sail out to a small island near Bugibba and sit in a room with windows in the bottom on the boat.
This is an interesting experience, and if you are not prone to seasickness, I think it is worth the trip. The fish are fed during the trip, so there is a guarantee you will see them. However, we saw neither octopus nor seahorse
After the tour, some time was spent with three of us fighting nausea , before going out to lunch. When lunch was eaten, we split up, and Kristian and I strolled round Bugibba, looking at souvenirs. In this fashion the afternoon went by, before we went out for dinner and then spent the evening packing.
We spent today by the side of (and in) the blue lagoon, located at Comino, a small island by Malta. It was beautiful, the water was turquise, it was insanely hot, sunscreen was worn, and fish were seen while swimming. The pictures will speak for themselves
Today we got up early, and took a bus to Rabat, the suburb of the old capital of Malta, Mdina. Here we had 20 minutes before another bus took us to the southwest of Malta, where we took a boat ride out to a series of coastline caves, the largest of which is the Blue Grotto. We sat in a small motorboat, 10 people, and we sailed in and around the caves. This was amazing, the water was unbelievably blue, in one of the caves your fingers actually seemed blue if you submerged them in the water.
After the boat trip we decide to split up. The others wanted to see nearby temples, while Kristian and I took a bus to Valetta and from there a different bus to Marsaxlokk. Marsaxlokk is a small-ish harbor town on the south coast of Malta, located in the midst of a beautiful natural harbor. It is home to an astonishing number of the traditional maltese fishing boats, the luzzus.
We had lunch at a café with a view of the harbor and the many luzzus, while listening and watching a local festival proceeding by.
After lunch, and a walk along the harbor, we got enough of the sun, and when the others shortly thereafter joined us, it was only a short walk, before we returned to Valetta, then Bugibba, and went out for dinner.
Today began very early, because we had planned to take a trip to Blue Grotto. However, it turned out that our tickets to the Hypogeum were for today, so off we went to Tarxien instead. We began with visiting the Tarxien temple ruins, an outdoor temple site, in the baking sun. Very, very, very hot.
After lunch we had a tour booked at the hypogeum, an underground, impressive templesite. Afterwards we vent to Valetta and visited the Grand Master’s Palace. Very impressive, with mosaic floors, painted ceilings, and rooms with tags like “opposition leader”, “opposition whip” etc. (The palace is used by the government now).
By this time we decided to return to Bugibba by bus, and after a short trip to the beach, we went back to the hotel for a shower before eating crêpes for dinner. Then turning in early, so we can go see the Blue Grotto tomorrow!
Today we woke up to see clouds, something we had not anticipated. After our bus ride to the north of Malta, however, the clouds had disappeared, and left us with beautiful, sunny weather for our ferry ride to Gozo. The ride was smooth with a beautiful view of Gozo and Comino. From the harbor in Mgarr, we took a bus to Victoria, the largest city on Gozo, where we went up to the citadel and saw the Cathedral of the Assumption (not quite as impressive as the Co-Cathedral yesterday) and the view over Gozo (very impressive!)
We then had lunch and decided to spend the afternoon on northern Gozo. Another bus was found, taking us to the north, and after taking the bus a stop to far and walking a bit, we found salt pans.
These salt pans are carved into the rock, filled with sea water and left to evaporate and crystallize salt. Really amazing sight, even if the chemistry of the process is fairly simple
After seeing the salt pans we found a little nook in the coastline a bit further away, where we changed to bathing suits and went in the water. Appreciating my bathing shoes (it was a rocky beach and there was quite a lot of seaweed) I befriended a small, greenish crab, who was very interested in my foot.
When we were done bathing, we took a bus directly-ish to Mgarr harbor, and went on a ferry back to Malta. Another bus drive brought us back to Bugibba and dinnertime. We decided on a maltese restaurant, where the others ate rabbit (I had pasta). The rest of the evening was spent in the hotel bar, playing cards and watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics.
The lunch was grilled Maltese sandwiches, eaten under large parasols while finely diffused water was sprayed over us with regular intervals. Odd, but cooling. The food was fantastic, and the little cafe close to St. Pauls Co-Cathedral is definately a place to visit if in Valetta.
After lunch we went to the Grand Master’s Palace, to find that parts of it are not accesible on thursdays. We decided to see it another day, and went back to explore the Co-Cathedral, an impressive baroque work.
We then visited some gardens, before taking a 2 hour bus ride back to Bugibba, were a quick change of clothes and a third bus took us on a bumpy ride to Melieha Bay, a beautiful, sandy beach. The late afternoon was spend in the water or on the sand, before the same bus, taking a different route, brought us back to Bugibba. After a late, delicious dinner, we were all exhausted and went straight to bed after returning to the hotel.
Today didn’t begin too early, since our flight from Copenhagen wasn’t before 14:50.
At 11-ish we went by train and metro to the airport, where the self-check-in went smoothly, and the baggage drop similarly before we had a short wait for the security check. The 2-hour flight to Zürich was fine except for some turbulence, Swiss served ice cream and drinks, a nice change from the discount airlines. We only had an hour in Zürich, which was nice, because the airport is not particularly interesting, and when we went to Nice two years ago, we had a 7 hour layover in Zürich. Bleh! We landed in Valetta at about eight, in the most beautiful evening light, and after waiting for our luggage we hired a taxi to take us to our hotel in Bugibba. The taxi-ride was fast, efficient and well-aired.
After checking in at the hotel, we went out in search for some food. Walking around in Bugibba by late evening proved nice. Quite a lot of restaurants, pubs and bars and the place has a nice feel to it.
We decided on a crêpe/kebab place for dinner (yes, crêpe-slash-kebab) where I had a very nice crêpe with ham and cheese, the others had wraps and spring rolls. Drinks and whist in the hotel bar, before turning in for the night.
Our last morning in Lubeck, we woke up to a clear day with sunshine! After breakfast at the hotel we packed up our last things, and walked to the station. Here we deposited our suitcase and backpacks, and took a final stroll around the inner city, this time enjoying the sunshine and the opportunities it provided for taking photos. A last supermarket raid was performed, buying copious amounts of chocolate (they have other varieties here than in Denmark) and lunch for the train (we excel in eating baguettes with salami).
The train ride was fairly uneventful, except for uncontrollable, loud children. The ferry ride was fine, and a good deal more pretty than the other way, as the weather was clear and the day quite pretty. At last we arrived home, tired
Our second (and only full) day in Lubeck was apent on foot. The small island that the inner city is located on was walked thoroughly. If you ever go to Lubeck, I would recommend spending a day walking the inner city, once away from the main street, there are lots of small, old, pretty streets, there is an interesting dock area and there is a nice path along the water.
The island contains nothing less that 7 churches, and though we saw them from the outside, touring them from the inside was not a priority. We spent the morning walking, watching, photographing and shopping. Lunch was eaten at a cafe, “Friends”, who made a nice schnitzel (which, for reasons I can’t quite comprehend had parsley all over it?). The afternoon was spend on more walking and shopping, and by dinnertime we felt we had walked the island satisfactoraly. The day before we had settled on a small italian restaurant, Ecco, for dinner friday, and luckily they had a table available. The pizzas were very good (though, again, covered with parsley?), and the staff friendly. The prices and well with the portion sizes indicated that this would be a great place to eat a 2-3 menu course, but after a large lunch, we settled for just the pizzas. After dinner we walked back to our hotel, tired but satisfied with the day.