Trip to Malta

Certainly interesting…

Day 1

Our trip to Malta began at three a.m. We needed to get a taxi to get to the airport which is about thirty minutes away. The taxi arrived shortly before three and we were shortly on our way to the airport.

Taxi

Unfortunately, two of the routes the taxi driver wanted to take were closed and the light indicating he required more petrol had been on since the begining of our trip. His car was shanking quite a lot and I was thankful that we had left nearly three hours before our flight because I was not sure we would make it to the airport.

When we arrived at the airport the driver apologised for his car issues and explained to us how he had taken it to multiple mechanics who did not fix it. I was ready to get on the plane and away from my daily worries.

Airport

Bag Drop

The line for us to drop off our bag was not particularly long, but it also did not yet have any staff due to it being so early in the morning. After a short way we were in the front of the queue. We spoke to the woman at the desk and asked her if crochet needles were alright to take through security and on the plane. She said it was alright and that if I wanted I could take it out of my checked luggage before she sent my bags away. This made me quite happy but it was short-lived as we realised we had actually put the crochet needle in my partners bag which had already been sent away.

Security

There was a massive line at security. It went so far it nearly went to the front door of the airport. I have honestly never seen one so long. (I have seen many long lines at larger airports which have more space for the actual queue but here the line for security went from one end of the building all the way past nearly the departure queues.

We were lucky though because we had some sort of fast track meaning we got past hundreds of people in a few seconds. I was starting to feel more positive about our trip, especially after, for the first time, I did not get stopped going through the body scanner / metal detector at this airport. (My partner was not as lucky)

Starbucks

After security we went to Starbucks and I ordered a Halloumi & Avocado Muffin and a Pumpkin Spice Coffee Frappuccino®. I had to explain a few times that I did not want a non blended iced one (I thought it was pretty clear when I said frappuccino ) and shortly after I received my delicious beverage.

Sitting there in the airport in England I noticed that my partner had taken his lid off of his hot coffee. I found it rather strange personally and asked him why he didn’t just leave the lid on. He told me it was because it was too hot. I started looking around and noticed out of over twenty people, not a single on had left their lid on. Apparently it must be a British thing or the Starbucks I frequented in the the United States were full of people who didn’t know it was cool to take the lid off.

Motion Sickness Medication

After we finished our drinks and breakfast at Starbucks we figured we would just pop in the W.H. Smith and get some kwells, a travel sickness medication like dramamine that I wanted for the plane / car ride when we landed. Regrettably, I forgot this is England and they don’t sell these on the shelves or just in any store, I needed to speak to a pharmacist. (There was no pharmacist) At any rate, we were getting closer to getting on our plane and I was getting evermore ready.

Go To Gate

Our flight was due to leave around 6:30 a.m. and eventually the board told us to go to our gate. We spent quite a while waiting to board, and it started raining heavily so I thought that we were going to either be delayed, or soaking wet from having to walk in the rain. They started boarding once the rain had stopped and we walked quite a ways so I am glad that they waited for the rain to stop.

Arriving in Malta

Passport Control

Once on the plane, nothing unusual happened, it took just over three hours to get to Malta, and we had landed by 10:45 a.m. After we got off the plane we had to go to passport control which I figured would be fairly quick. I was wrong.

We waited in line for quite some time, and had to go up individually as opposed to as a family or travel group. I went up to the desk first and handed the woman my passport. She said nothing but continued to look at it for a few minutes. Then she made a phone call, and another phone call, and another phone call. I could see in the reflection of the glass behind me people looking annoyed wondering what was taking so long but I had no idea myself. My partner walked up to me and asked me and I told him I had no idea as the woman said nothing to me. She asked me if I had any additional forms of ID and I handed her my Identity Card which is valid for travel in-lieu of a passport in the EU, and I handed her my driving license and she asked me if I had ever traveled on the passport before and where did I go. She looked at all of these and then eventually a man came up and took all of my documents and took me away into another room.

By this point I was completely anxious and on the verge of a panic attack. Nobody had told me what was wrong with my passport, and I was being separated from who I was traveling with. Luckily, he was able to go up to the counter next and they allowed him to follow us into the room.

The man was very kind, and looked over my documents before making some calls. I could hear him saying in their native language that everything was real, nothing looked fake numerous times. After a short time, maybe 5 minutes, he said thanks enjoy your stay. But I wanted to know what was actually the problem. He said essentially they verify passports through a system, and my country was not in their system. SERIOUSLY? I have a passport from a country in the European Union, and another country in the European Union doesn’t have my country in their system?! Surely I am not the first person from my country to try and enter Malta from a country outside the Schengen area. I quickly got over my anxiety and we went off to get our luggage.

Luggage

We were quickly on our way to getting luggage, so we could then stop at an ATM and get out cash for our ride to our AirBnb. On our way the luggage however, the man called us asking where we were, as it had been quite some time since we landed. We told him we would be route out and completely forgot about going to the ATM.

Malta

Drive to AirBnB

It took us a few minutes and a phone call but we did eventually find where the man was parked who had come to pick us up. He was very friendly and talkative. As we were driving he told us that basically, people drive crazy.

I really enjoyed looking around seeing all of the architecture and after a short 15 or so minutes we were at our AirBnB.

Image of city in Malta from a high vantage point

Parking

Parking was very difficult in Malta. The man who drove us to our AirBnB ended up parking on a sidewalk/ pavement instead of in a designated parking space as there were none near the AirBnB. He wasn’t going to be long though, he just needed to open the door for us and hand us the keys.

About ten seconds after we got out of the car though, some man was irately yelling at us from above telling us to move the vehicle and implying he might damage it by throwing things down. He told the man it wouldn’t be very long and left his car there anyway.

AirBnB

One of the first things I noticed in the AirBnB was that the interior wall was the same as the exterior wall. I thought it was actually quite neat and made me feel like I was outside even when I was inside. The tile floor was also the same in the patio, as in the entirety of the AirBnB.

It was fairly small, a studio, and the shower was in the bedroom area with no curtain so I guess you could say it was pretty cosy. It had a “damp” smell, but the air conditioner fixed that for the most part. The walls also seemed to be shedding their dust onto the floor everywhere. At one point I wondered if the whole thing wasn’t going to collapse, but the rocks were pretty thick so we were safe right? Wearing shoes inside was essentially a must, or all the dust and pieces of the walls and ceiling would be on your feet or socks. I had thought perhaps they did a poor job cleaning, but how could you keep a place like that clean anyway if hundreds and thousands of tiny pieces of it is always falling off.

There isn’t much else to say about the particular AirBnB we stayed in, it had three plates, a few pieces of cutlery etc and was not a place I planned to spend much time. We were staying in Sliema and only about a five minute walk from a ton of places for tourists to eat.

The Black Sheep

It was about 1:00 p.m. by the time we had settled in the AirBnB and we decided we would go grab some food as we were both quite hungry. It was really interesting to walk to the restaurants because we had to sort of walk through them all. The indoor section was on our left, while the outdoor section of all of these restaurants was on our right. All of them were connected as well so it was like walking for 5 seconds and completely different decor and ambiance.

We stopped at The Black Sheep and spent about 90 minutes there. For appetizers, we got Grilled Calamari with Lemon and Garlic which was very delicious and larger than we had expected. I was nearly full after the appetizer alone.

For our entrées I got an Egg in Hole Burger (285g of Angus Beef Burger with Egg, Cheddar Cheese, Onion Rings, and Salad Served with Sauces and Fries) and my partner got Penne Primavera (Chili Flakes, Cheese, Garlic, Black Pepper, Rucola, Pumpkin Seeds & Walnuts).

Our Appetizer cost €12.95, and our entrées cost €15.95 & €7.45. I did not realise how large my burger was, because I have no idea what 285g looks like, but it was massive. I had a very difficult time even eating just half of it.

Walking around Sliema

After we finished eating, we walked down Triq Ix – Xatt and looked at all of the shops and all of the boat tours. We didn’t venture too far along the coast line and a few other roads like Triq Manwel Dimech. There were a lot of small shops and plenty of tourist souvenir shops on Triq Ix -Xatt but less on Triq Manwel Dimech. We had found a Marks & Spencer’s thinking it would be a great place for food but it had only a small section for food, and was mostly just for clothing. We found a decent sized grocery store though close to Tower Road called Tower Supermarket. We bought some food and went back to our AirBnB.

The Brew Bar & Grill

For Dinner we went to The Brew Bar & Grill, located at 74, The Strand, Tas-Sliema, Malta. They seem to make their own craft beers and while I am sure they are delicious if you enjoy beer, I did not enjoy what I ordered. I like beer, but it had somewhat of a different taste than the Lagers I am used to drinking, as did the other beers available on the island like Cisk. We had a snack before we went out to dinner so we only ordered a starter of Tres Tacos for €16 but they were very delicious.

Triq Ix – Xatt & Tigné Seafront

After dinner we walked along Triq Ix – Xatt to the Tigné Seafront. It was very nice, all of the tourist boat trip stands were closed, and there was not a lot of people out. There are a ton of benches so we were able to stop and sit in various places. As it was dark, I didn’t take many photos, and the ones I did turned out pretty bad but I’ve gone ahead and included them anyway. 🙂

After we were done hanging out by the seafront, we decided it was time to call it a night. We needed to get up early the next morning because we had arranged a tour across Gozo.

Categories: Travel

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