Tag Archive: Valletta


Got back to Manchester from Malta on 11.01.17 after another “stupid o’clock” flight. Picked up a hire car and got over to Rossendale for a doctor’s appointment. Picked up some clothes and then over to the Wirral to see some friends. Having spent four days back in “Blighty” the Sunday 15.01.17 at Manchester airport again for a sleep on their very comfortable, though uncompromising steal seating for an 06:10 “check in” for a trip to Budapest for some dental work, and as it turned out some whooping cough vaccines. Budapest was freezing! Five days later we’re on for a quick hop to Berlin and transfer going to Abu Dhabi.img_3596 A two day layover there, and finally out to Brisbane and a transfer to Sydney.

Bondi Beach, the proverbial stomping ground of the "Beautiful People", Surfers & Sharks

Bondi Beach, the proverbial stomping ground of the “Beautiful People”, Surfers & Sharks

The whole point of the trip was that on the 15.01.17our first grand daughter Amelie was born into the world. Two weeks earlier than the anticipated 31.01.17 forecast date. Babies do have a habit of generating frenetic activity don’t they?

Unfortunately, we appear to have picked up a chest infection which precludes us seeing our grand daughter until it clears up and we can make it back up to Brisbane to see her.

Tuesday 24.01.17 after a stonkingly good nights sleep, lazy start, and a coffee, ambled down Bondi road to the beach and Bondi Surf Sea Food store to pick up some salmon, Bondi Fruitologist for spinach & tomatoes and a few tinnies from Kemnies. Crickey! it’s pricey though (AUD49.47 or £30). Our prospective son in law, being something of a “gourmand” employing his skills as a chef provided an exquisite salmon dinner presented in his own inimitable way. It was delicious.

Looking down on the eponymous Bridge.

Looking down on the eponymous Bridge.

Last time we were here the bridge was “alive” with fire works, colours and smoke bringing in the new year 2014.

As an aside, it seems that the new U.S. president “The Donald” has made a whirlwind start with a whole swathe of new legislation plus ridding the State Department of many Obama acolytes.

I hope that our incapacity does not make our planned trip north too protracted.

11.12.16 Sunday 
How strange,….from the time the aircraft tyres hit the tarmac at Hal Luca international airport to arriving at our domicile, elements of a short British occupation are still in evidence. The fairly pervasive use of english, to grocery store items to driving on the left, bear witness to historic osmosis. However, Malta appears to be much, much more than that.

Down in the old town Valletta.

Down in the old town Valletta.

Valletta has three harbours. This one is dedicated to pleasure craft & Ferry Shuttles over to the citadel and the Old Town Commercial Centre.

Valletta has three harbours. This one is dedicated to pleasure craft & Ferry Shuttles over to the citadel and the Old Town Commercial Centre.

Her history bears witness to over 4000 years of changing hegemonies. Walking down the old commercial centre within the citadel, one elicits a vicarious sense of a time when Valletta was in her “Hay day”, supporting frenetic commercial activity with the Mediterranean Basin.

It would also seem a popular stopping off point for some international super yachts, as there were three or four mega-examples on display.

View from the Citadel over to one of the old harbours.

View from the Citadel over to one of the old harbours.

26.12.16 Had Christmas lunch with the family of the young lady (Sarah) that provided our accommodation here in Valletta. They were wonderfully welcoming and treated us to a traditional Maltese Christmas lunch of mushroom soup, assorted meats & vegetables followed by traditional handmade desserts.img_3425

Following the New Year the plan is to move over to Gozo a small adjacent island on the 03.12.17

Dropped the car back at Manchester airport and caught the 16:40 out to Valencia arriving at 20:25. Makes me chuckle every time Ryan Air hits the tarmac and trundles to the pier, those trumpets sound over the tannoy, announcing another early or on time arrival; so kitsch. It’s good to be back in Valencia. I do so enjoy this city. It has everything. Beautiful architecture, both traditional and modern, a medieval old centre, art galleries, theatres, a beach and wonderful bijou restaurants in abundance.img_3294

The weather is still clear blue skies and sunny. However, it is noticeably cooler now, (C21) making the wearing of a light sweater “de rigeur.”

The family that we are staying with are an absolute delight. Edu, Tania, Eduardo (junior) and Maria are originally from Nicaragua but have now made their home and life here in Valencia. I’m sure that we shall remain firm friends.

Time now draws closer to when we “de-camp” and head out to Malta, where we hope to winter (35’9376 degrees N), which lands us about the same latitude as Algiers in N.Africa, without actually being in Africa!

My only real knowledge about Malta stems from a triptych of an aeroplane called the Gloster Gladiator that I became aware of in my youth. The three aeroplanes that defended Valletta in Malta during 1940 were called “Faith,Hope, and Charity.” “Faith” is the last surviving airframe that is now in a museum on the island.

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