Visit MALTA

I did plan my first visit of Malta to the end of February 2014 and I have been there. I did plan for four days but it became a whole week. So I know already a lot about Malta though I have not seen much of all the tourist objects. I put aside these things for the time when I am living on Malta. My first goal was, to sign my new employment contract and it was also the first thing I did on the island in addition to meeting my host for these days and enjoying their company. My second goal was to find an apartment, a long letting. There the problem began, because on Malta they are not used to sign letting contracts with a start later than the day there is. So I have to try to find an apartment when I start working. In that case I hope I can find a bed at the Hibernia hostel in Sliema or maybe Msida for my first night(s) on Malta.

10th April: Starting my trip by going to Wuppertal

When I write this, I am still in Germany. I am with my second cousin and her husband. I was coming here by train. I did not book a seat and was happy because I’ve got a whole train compartment for my own. It was a nice journey and a very welcoming by my relatives. They were caring for my body and my soul. We were also visiting the mother of my second cousin, that means my 92-year-old cousin. She was very happy to see me, too and she has a nice view about my new change in live. I hope, I will have the possibility to see her again, but not only her. Unfortunately I did not make a picture of the “Schwebebahn” in Wuppertal. Maybe I can take one tomorrow, but I am not sure, if I will cross Wuppertal on my way from Schwelm to Wetter (Ruhr).

11th April: From Wuppertal to Wetter

Today is Tomorrow ;-): We were going to Wuppertal one more time. We took pictures of the “Schwebebahn” (see below), were walking in the very nice Botanic Garden, ate a superb dinner (I was invited 😊) and after that my second cousin and her husband drove me to my friend in Wetter.

Schwebebahn in Wuppertal

By the way the “Schwebebahn” is unique, almost for Germany. There is only one of its kind. I would like such trains over all the channels of Hamburg!

It was very nice to meet my friend in Wetter, of course. We were chatting a lot and until midnight. We were also doing it for a few hours while walking at the side of the lake “Wetter”. It is a nice place with an old railway bridge, sailing boats and also we have seen a black swan.

railway bridge lake Wetter

Black swan at lake Wetter

12th April: From Wetter to Dresden

We had a good breakfast at my friend’s home. She drove me to the station in Wetter and there we took good-bye for a long while, sure to meet again if nothing unforeseen will happen. By an S-Train I arrived in Dortmund, where I changed to the train to Dresden. I have a very heavy suitcase and a lot more luggage, therefore I was happy that the entrance to the S-Train was plane. In Dortmund it was not so easy, because the escalator were for maintenance. A young and strong man carried my suitcase over his head up to the platform for the right trail. I was very happy about it. To enter the train was not the easiest either, I had to do it by my own and I did!

I am going by an Intercity-Train to Dresden. There is no change, but I did not know that the train will stop at nearly every station. Now I understand why the trip is for six hours. I could have been looking out of the window all the time, but I preferred to up-date my blog. Anyway I have seen the “Raps” in blossoms. This day also some grandmas were going by train with their grandchildren. Arriving in Dresden around 7pm I made my way to my host by my own, but my host called me while I was on the S-Train and picked me up in Dobritz, so I did not need to carry my heavy luggage to her home. I was very welcomed of her, her kids and her boyfriend.

Rape in Blossom

13th April: Walking Dresden!

My host had to work today. She is an artist (painter) and self employed. In Dresden was a “Steam Locomotive-Festival” since yesterday and only for this weekend. She did face paintings during the festival. We left her home at 8am and she took me to the place for her work. From there I was walking to the City Centre and continuing from one amazing building to the other. There were so many, therefore I missed to go to the Semper Oper, but the Zwinger I have seen from the upper side and downstairs. Unfortunately I did not have the time to go inside and see all the wonderful things to view like paintings, the china and more. I walked the old part of the town (Altstadt) and the new one, too (Neustadt). At the Neustadt there were flea-market, but the most important thing for me in this part of Dresden was a statue to honour Emil Kästner, a famous writer.

Statue Erich Kästner

14th April: From Dresden to Prague

It was really a wonderful day and started very well with splendid of time for breakfast and a life-giving warm bath after a cold night. When I left my luggage at the Central station I walk one more time to the City centre continuing to the Semper Oper. I just could not miss that building and I like it, too. I was rounding the whole building – with some difficulties, because there also is a new part of the opera, between both it is not really allowed to walk. On my way back to the train station, there were a group of three Russian singers with wonderful voices in the pedestrians area. Fortunately I had time left to listen to them. It was like a concert and I enjoyed it very much. I was leaving them for buying a “Melitta” coffee filter. I thought that it will be hard to find, but they had lots to choose of in the store I was, but it was a little expensive.

On the train to Prague I have had very good company. It was not difficult to get a seat either. A young woman close to me was very unhappy because an unknown person had stolen all her money and her papers, but her ticket. Because she had an Internet ticket, she needed her credit card to show she is the owner of the ticket. She could only manage to get a new passport at her embassy. Nobody told her either that she should go to the police and claim the theft. So she got a fine about 40 € of the German conductor and had to pay a new ticket of the Czech one. We other passengers (all Germans) scrambled the money for the Czech ticket, but unfortunately, we could not help her with the fine. Nobody of us could understand the conductors way to meet the girl. Wasn’t it bad enough, that she has been robbed?

Nonetheless it was an amazing trip from Dresden to Prague. The railway is going at the side of the rivers Elbe and Moldau. Most of the time, there are highlands around with stoney views. At the place where the rivers meet, there were beautiful houses build at the edge of the basis of the stoney hills. It was a view like in fairy tales, especially at this place. Unfortunately I could not take pictures because the train was running.

Prag - Old Railway StationThe Old Railway Station in Prague

In Prague I had to be some time at the railway station waiting for my host and I can tell you, I have seen nicer railway stations. I had to change euros into Czech crowns and they “robbed” me, my host told me later that day. The weather was crying about that ;-). At least waiting for my host at a tram station, I have seen how busy the City is – it was to little space in the trams for all people and the waggons are very old with three stairs to go into them, but my host told me, when we were talking about this, that the government is buying new ones now with low floors. My host took me home by car and cooked a nice dinner for us with asparagus, a nice kind of green noodles and calf meat. After the meal we took a walk to and up on a hill close to his place. From the top of the hill we had a nice view of Prague by night.

Prague - first view

15th April: Beautiful Prague

It was 7:30 and I am already awoken. Around 8:15 I brew my coffee. There were no really breakfast, so I ate a pretzel I bought the day before. Around 9:30 my host and me were leaving his home. He gave me a key because he might come home late. He dropped me in the city and I was walking around between all the wonderful and amazing buildings of the city including some churches. I took lots of pictures, but could not make of all buildings, because there are to many in the old part of the town. There are also Easter markets on one or two places and on one or two streets.

Easter Market in PragueThis picture I took on an Easter market – in the background you see the Town hall of Prague.

I was continuing walking and tried to find the area with the castle. I came quite close but not close enough. Anyway I have seen it at the horizon! It was so cold and I had to buy some bread for tomorrow, therefore I decided to go to my hosts home. Because I was so far away from his place I took the tram. First I had to find where to buy a ticket, sen I had to find the right tram in the right direction. I managed it all (neither are there ticket machines at the most of the stops of the tram nor in the trams) and I had to ask a pedestrian for the right tram. I was just some minutes before my host at his place – though it was a perfect timing. Tonight we were trying to meet some other CS, but none was at the meeting point, therefore we decided to go to a genuine Czech restaurant – we went to the “Café Slavia” (see Wikipedia), which is situated close to the river Moldau at one side of the National Theatre.

I was seated in front of the window and could all the time look at the theatre. It was amazing. I ate Czech Gulasch with “Semmelknödel” (not the Bavarian kind of). After a while I also took a dessert, some “Rakvičky se šlehačkou a karamelovou polevou” what means sweet caskets with whipped cream and sauce caramel. My host just told me before about a kind of original Czech cake, baked of egg and sugar (something like the Baisers in German). He told me, that the cake is hard to eat because it is very stiff. We laughed a lot when the dessert were served and it was that cake, but it was easier to eat as he told me. Coming home from that adventure I checked my CS-site and became happy, because there was a host in Bratislava, who accepted my request. I decided to go by train 9:39 from Prague to Bratislava. My host told me, that he will drive me by car and help me to go onto the train with my luggage. Nobody can find a better host than him!

Details of the National Theater PragueThe Theatre in Prague

The National Theater of PragueAnother View of the Theatre in Prague

16th April: From Prague to Bratislava

My host is very nice! He did not only bring me to the Central Station, but helped me with my luggage to get seated on the train. I had to make a reservation for the seat for 84 Czech Crowns (around 3,50 Euro), but the compartment were only occupied for three seats and there were no space for the luggage but upon the seats, to high for me to manage to get my suitcase down again, though I placed it on two seats. That were quite comfortable. The journey went well because there were no need for changing trains.

Bus in BratislavaElectro-Bus in Bratislava

In Bratislava I had to wait for my host for several hours, because she was working all day. Meanwhile I was going down town, continuing to the “Old Town” of Bratislava and made some sightseeing there. It is a little town, not as nice as Prague, but there are some beautiful buildings, too. The fountains were not working yet, that was not a nice view. I found my way back to the station by asking people, because I did not find the same road, I was coming down, but the direction was the right one.

Bratislava_Sightseeing-BusBratislava Sightseeing Bus

When my host and I met she cared very well about me. In her apartment, which she shares with another girl, there were really a couch for sleeping – and a nice one, but first we went out to a pub/restaurant, where she invited me for an original Slovak meal. It was something with cheese. I enjoyed it! Coming back to her home, her flatmate and a friend of her were waiting for us. We had a great chat that night!

17th April: From Bratislava to Vienna

Sometimes I’ve got my necessary coffee of my host, that day I did again. She also cared for, that I came to the bus stop with my heavy luggage. The bus trip went well, but the problem began minutes later. On the way to the Twin Liner to Vienna there were maintenance on the road/way to the moorings. I missed the 10:30-boat! I had to wait for four hours for the next one. Furthermore there were many stairs for the ticket office at the terminal. I managed it, but were disappointed that younger men were meeting me on the stairs without offering their help. Maybe all of them were tourists? I bought a senior ticket (half price) and the clerk did offer me, that I could have my luggage at their place. So I did.

I went back to the city, looking for and finding the theatre and I did. After the pictures I took, I was wondering by my own, if I will go to the castle or eat something. I decided me for the second possibility or, maybe I should better say, my stomach did.

Bratislava Opera and TheaterThe Theatre (Opera) in Bratislava

While eating I used the Internet. Time was going by very fast and I could not make it in time for the castle, therefore I was very punctual for the boat. We started at 14:30 and arrived in the heart of Vienna (at “Schwedenplatz”) around 4pm. During the trip on the Donau and Donau channel I took some pictures and enjoyed the nature around me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABratislava Castle – Seen from Twin Liner

In Vienna I was continuing by underground to my host. This host has been my first host ever, we became friends and I am anytime welcome at her home – also for a whole week, if I want. You see, couchsurfing is not only for one or two nights, but for a life time! My friend and I started the evening with an extensive chat also planing the following days.

18th April: A special day in Vienna

The first thing I learned that day was, that Good Friday is not a holiday in Vienna. Now I have to tell you something, what only a few of my friends and relatives know: I am a fan of Freddy Quinn, a former artist (singer, actor and entertainer). He is still alive, but does not work anymore. If I remember right, he did it until he was 75 years old. I missed a lot of his work while I was living in Sweden. So did I during my stay in Ireland (Republic of), but in the last named country I had no longer to care about my children, therefore I often were watching “you tube” and listening to the songs of Freddy Quinn. Back in Germany, the country of my birth, I googled Freddy Quinn and find out a lot, so also, that there is a “Freddy-Quinn-Archiv” (http://www.freddy-quinn-archiv.at/) in Vienna.

Since I found the archives on the Internet my wish was to go there and try to find out more about his work. I tried it in October 2013 for the first time, but I did not have spare time enough to do it. My wish was still there, when I was in Vienna around Christmas that year, but I did not ask for visiting because it is not an official museum, but a private collection and Christmas time is not that time I usually visit unknown people. This time was different and I made an appointment in advance, when I was planning my trip.

My host and friend told me, she likes Freddy Quinn, too. So she took the car and we were going to see the archives. That was the start of this crazy day! The address were hard to find, but after a while, we did find the house, but not the apartment. Though we called the owners of the archives, one of them met us in the shopping mall and took us with her. The archives are in a separate room in the basement of the house where the owners live. When we were coming in there, we first have seen all and nothing, because it is really to much in a little space. The owner of the archives started to show us some things and explained a lot. My host and friend soon got bored about it, but not me. She left and after that the whole situation changed! I have not had the possibility to see really much before we were leaving for lunch, but the owner took some DVD’s for showing later in the apartment – I paid my own lunch of course, because it was in a restaurant.

After we had eaten the lunch we were going to the apartment, starting with a special DVD, produced by the owners of the archives with cuts of some stations in the work of Freddy Quinn. Hereafter there came a more special record from an interview of the Swedish television. There were talks in Swedish and English and help was needed to translate the Swedish parts. So I did!

I have got a cake and a coffee before the translation and later on also an evening meal (a kind of sandwiches). I have been shown some of the robes Freddy Quinn was wearing in films and on stage and I also was allowed to touch them. At least that evening we watched a record of the theatre play of “Charlies Tante”, Freddy Quinn playing the aunt – and he did it really good!

Around 11pm I was leaving, going home to my friend by underground. It was a wonderful day only possible by all the time and money these fans are investing in the archives. I think, nobody can imagine how much time, work and money they already have invested in it. I am so greatful to Brigitta and Eduard for their work!

19th April: Overcoming my fear!

This day I owned the green Vienna, starting with the green Prater. I also planned to take a trip with the old Ferris Wheel or better, I hoped I will do it, because I am afraid of high and all times I tried Ferries Wheels before I did not feel well because my fear. I started with a ride by the Lilliput train,

Wien_Prater_LilliputbahnOne of the Lilliput Trains – Wiener Prater

because my friend recommended me to do and it was really cheap. One ride was for 4 Euro, a combined ticket with the Ferris Wheel was for 10,70 Euro, a ticket for the Ferris Wheel alone (I checked before) was for 9 Euro. Of this reason I took a combined ticket and also because there were a long queue at the ticket office for the Ferris Wheel, but not here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe cars of the Ferry Wheel seen out of one of them!

After a little more than half a round with the Lilliput train I left and continued by walking the green Prater, buying an ice cream, taking pictures of flowers, trees etc. and a squirrel. I went back to the Lilliput train just at the right time. OK, I have been waiting for it around fifteen minutes, but the one, which was coming, had a steam engine! That is the only one of this kind in the Prater, the others were driven by diesel engines.

Afterwards I did it! I took the old Ferris Wheel. Because I already have had a ticket, I did not need to queue. For the car, there were only a very short queue, so I made it in the second car, which was coming. I took a seat because I was afraid, I could not stand it otherwise, but after a short while I took place in front of a window for taking pictures and I took a lot. I also switched to the other side of the car, when the wheel were moving down again, standing in front of an open window. This kind of Ferris Wheel make me feel save during the whole trip and it is the only kind of Ferries Wheel I ever will use.

Some times later I took the underground for “Stadtpark” because I have to see this park also in green and with flowers. The small river “Wien” was a little bigger now as last time I have seen it – in January. I did also see a wedding in the park. A photographer was with the pair and their guests and took pictures in front of the lake. I walked the whole area, actually it is quite small. The weather was still nice even some dark clouds came up on the sky.

Wien_Stadtpark_BlumenuhrThe Flower-Clock – Wiener Stadtpark

Afterwards I walked in the direction after my feelings and they were right, because I came to the Urania and the Donaukanal. I continued at the side of the channel all the way until “Spittelau”, where I had to take the road up to my friend. A little tired, but happy as usual, I shared the evening with my friend.

20th April: Knowing “Grinzing” and the “Buschenschank”

I did not plan a lot for this day, but my friend invited me for a trip with her car. We were going to the church “Kirche am Steinhof” in Art Noveau av an Austrian called Otto Wagner, a well known architect for the period the church was build. The church belongs to a hospital. It is situated on the top of a hill, so you can see the city of Vienna from here, but the church is beautiful, too – inside as well as outside.

Wien_St-Leopold-Kirche_InteriorInterior of the St. Leopold Church, also called Otto-Wagner-Church

Vi continued to the other side of the town to “Stift Klosterneuburg” (Klosterneuburg Monastery). We tried to visit the church, but there was a gate, so we could only look through it. It was a nice one two, but I thought “less would be more”.

Wien_StiftKlosterNeuburgStiftKlosterNeuburg

The trip by car ended close to the “Wiener Hofburg”, where we looked at the violin key out of orange flowers in front of the statue of W. A. Mozart. We were going home to my friend after that for a while.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the Park of the Wiener Hofburg in front of the Mozartstatue

Around 7pm we took the tram 38 to the stop “Grinzing”. The line was ending there. We walked a little around, choosing a restaurant. At the first place, we looked, there was a whole bus group of tourists, though we left. I do not mind about that, but a Wiener does.

Wien Grinzing

The “Buschenschank” we chose, was waiting a group from somewhere, but they had not arrived at this time. So we hoped they will not come for a while and got seated. We have had a nice evening with usual musicians in the room beside, so we could here the music in the background. By the way a “Buschenschank” is a kind of a restaurant, in which the owner of a vineyard is only allowed to sell his own wine. However the owner is also allowed to sell something to eat to the wine. In former times, it was only allowed to sell cold dishes, but today it has changed. If you are German, you maybe know the term “Straußwirtschaft”. A “Buschenschank” is the same kind of restaurant. We were lucky, that the group was not coming before we have had eaten our meals. We left, when they came and were going home by tram again.

21th April: From Vienna via Graz to Ljubljana

There are so many lovely people in the world, my Viennese friend is absolutely one of them. I chose a direct train from Vienna to Graz, because I want to see a bit more of Austria before I leave the country. Unfortunately, I have just a few hours time to do so, but it is certainly not the last time that I have visited Austria.

My friend followed me to the station Vienna-Meidlingen, where the chosen train departs, helping me with my luggage. This was of course a big relief for me. To get the suitcase in the train, she asked a man on the platform to help me and give me an example for doing so in the future, because there is not always a “strong” man standing close to me when entering a train.

I enjoyed the trip. In Austria there is free WiFi on-board the trains and it is working! Sometimes I was using my tablet, but there were so amazing views, so I did it not frequently. In Graz I took a locker for the most of my luggage and entered the city of Graz. I was walking all the way from the train station, because I think I can see more that way and also see such things tourists usually do not see. I arrived at noon and I was hungry. My first think-thank was about a meal. So I looked around and tried to find a special restaurant for this area, called Steiermark. There is, but the prices were not in my budget.

After a while I found a Kebab-restaurant. Only two men were in there, but I did not care about that. I ordered a pide with spinach. The cook asked me if I am a Moslem, but I negated and told him, that I neither am a Moslem nor vegatarian. Anyway he was kind to me as before.

Where a hill is, is a castle! So also in Graz, but there is another castle in the middle of the town. Graz also is an old town and you can see many of the old houses refurbished, still looking as in former times. There are different styles, e. g. houses in Art Nouveau. I have seen the first “Stiegenkirche” (stairway church) in my life. That is a church in a usual building (without a church tower) on the second or third floor.

I was surprised seeing an advertisement about the free “Altstadtbim”, that means free tram through the old town (city center) of Graz. Unfortunately I had to go longer for coming back to the railway station. I used the tram because I already had seen a lot, my feet were a little tired and it is always interesting to use the public transport.

Graz_CastleGraz – Castle

AltstadtbimFree Rides in the City

15:25 a train took me to Ljubljana. During the trip I shared the compartment with a girl from Poland – we had a very nice chat. When I was arriving in Ljubljana it was raining cats and dogs. My host met me at the train station after I messaged him asking for his help meeting me on the platform. He did and I was very happy about that, because that train station is not an easy one. Fortunately he has a car and we were going to his home quite fast. In his apartment lives, except him, his girl friend and her dog. The dog is a Schaefer mix, but very kind and very big. After something to eat and a chat we were going to bed because the next day will start pretty early. I have got a couch in the living room, the dog was beside me, laying on the floor. The dog was watching and I was safe. 😉

22th April: From Ljubljana to Meloni

Next morning and after breakfast – my host cooked the coffee like I have seen at a Kosova-Albanien home before (luckily I have not got any coffee mire) – when we were ready to go, we first crossed the car park and my host told me that we will go by bus. I asked him how and where to buy a ticket. He explained, that he has a card. Entering the bus I saw how it is working: It is electronically and takes every time you put it at the machine for one ride. He did it twice and so we both could go by bus not afraid of a fine. By the way, this is nearly the same way as it works in Sweden for lots of years already, but in Hamburg (Germany) they started with electronic tickets only some month ago and only in one disctrict for checking if it works :-(.

My host helped me to the train station and showed me the lockers. There were big ones so I could put in nearly all my stuff. The fee was only 3 Euros for 24 hours! That was the cheapest storage during my trip. My host took good bye and I to the city center. He was very nice to me. He even helped me with the contract for my new apartment on Malta. He printed it out and when I had signed it, he scanned it, so I could send it as PDF to my new landlord. However I can not call him talk active at all. He was listening to me, but for the most he only answered “aha”. On the other hand he answered well my questions about the life in Slovenia, especially in Ljubljana.

I was walking again, because Ljubljana is not so big either. It is a nice town, unfortunately with lots of tourists. Anyway in the morning hours there were only a few. Outside Ljubljana there is a hill, too. Therefore there is also a castle. I tried to come there and saw that the best way to go there is by a kind of elevator. It has glass walls and the scarp is very steep. I was not sure I will make it, but after watching the machine for a while, I decided to try. When I was in there with all the other people, it was not scaring at all.

Ljubljana_Elevator-to-CastleThe Elevator for the Castle of Ljubljana

Admittedly we came only to the ground of the castle, but another elevator took us higher up. The last part to the balustrade could only be done by stairs – and there were solely a metal spiral staircase, where you can look through. Nothing for me to enter! I tried to find another way for a good view and I found it, but I hade to pay for it. The castle has a tower, the tower is up for sightseeing. It is possible to use stone stairs up to a platform, where you have to pay the entrance. After that there is one more stoney platform. To get to the roof you have to use a lot of metal spiral stairs, where you can look through again. I made it only to the other platform – anyway I had to pay the full price. The view from here were already a good one. Later on I took a look in the surroundings and I was going by a “tractor train” down to the city. I could have taken a walk, but sometimes I feel a have to do little wired things. The ticket was cheap and I did what I could not leave behind me.

Ljubljana_City-HouseOne of the More Unusual Houses

Back in the city of Ljubljana I bought some strawberries at the market place, continued and bought an ice cream at the Colonades. I made some more sightseeing and also was going to a post office sending away my contract for the apartment as a paper. I did not have an envelop when entering the post office, but it was possible to buy one there. Furthermore I had the toy voyager from my friend in Vienna in an envelop with me, hoping that it will not be so expensive to send it from Slovenia as it would be to send it from Austria – and we were right, it was a difference from 10 €! Now I was walking back to the central station and arriving there in good time. So I fetched my luggage and was looking for a train, because they told me before at the station that it will be a rail-bus from the central station to Divaca (Divače). At the notice screen there were no platform named during all the time I was watching it. So I looked around and saw a bus. It was close to the time the rail bus should leave and for to be sure, that I will not miss the bus, I looked at the front of the bus and asked the bus driver, if that bus will be the rail-bus to Divaca (Divače) and it was. I was very happy about my decision to ask, otherwise I would have been located to Ljubljana one more night. The good thing with going by bus is, that you do not need to lift up your luggage, only put it in the luggage space at the side of the bus. The bad thing is, that it takes time to go by bus. They have more stops an the trains and also there can be traffic jams.

The bus were late to Divače, but the rail-bus (a real one this time) was waiting for us. A maintenance were ongoing and it was a little hard to come to the rail-bus, but I made it and also I got help to lift the luggage upon the train because I had to do with me to make the stairs – it was like entering an upright ladder. My Belgian couchsurfing-friend will meet me at Buzet and I was sure all will be ok. Going from Divače to Buzet you are going between two countries. They are both in the EU, but still they check the passengers passport – twice! The first check they made at the rail-bus close to the Slovenian-Croatian border. The second time they checked when I arrived at Buzet. It looked like we still were in the time of the “cold war”.

Croatia_Istria_BuzetNext Station: Buzet, Istria, Croatia

I was waiting for my friend for a while, because he drove to the wrong railway station, but we have had good contact before and he knew, I will come to Buzet. Here I made my first experience with this kind of toilets, which I only have heard talking about and have seen on pictures:

Croatian_Toilet

Rusty Details

The Croatian Toilet – It was not only strange, but also dirty and rusty, without a working light bulb.

Around one and a half hour after I arrived my Belgian friend came and took me to his home in Meloni (near Motovun). It was still a trip for more than an hour. The village Meloni is situated on the top of a hill, Motovun is also on a top of a hill, but of another one. He lives with his wife and three children in a part of a house he bought some years ago. Originally he was working with homepages. That was a good income in his home country, but – also the Internet is international and everyone can work from there home – his customers dropped of after a while and in Croatia you have not a big chance to get new ones, because Croatian people prefer Croatian people and also you have to make presents for customers in advance, so you will get them. For this reason he and his wife try to open a shop in Motovun and sell homemade, and in that part of the country, unusual souvenirs. They were still working on the shop when I visited them.

They are refurbishing the old house and giving it a new touch, e.g. making it more comfortable. They are a happy family with nice and happy children. The view from the house is amazing. It was also the reason why the parents decided to live there. Sometimes, when the clouds are low, you have a wonderful fairytale sight of the surroundings.

23th April: From Meloni to Venice

After a restless night because I felt cold and had for that reason to go to the toilet several times, there was a wonderful morning. First I only saw the clouds, but when my Belgian friend called me out and I was looking to the other side, that means to the next mountain including Motovun I was happily surprised. I never have seen such an amazing view! The castle of Motovun was just over the clouds. I took an unforgettable picture.

Croatia_Istria_Motovun-at-a-Cloudy-MorningMotovun with the Lower Mountains in Clouds.

After breakfast my friends wife was taking me and her youngest child to Motovun. We were walking around and she had to greet all the local people because the place is so small that everyone knows everybody. In one of the very small places called shops she and her husband will open their own shop, selling nice handmade plates, designed by her. The were still working on the place, finishing the interior. A short stay for lunch in Meloni means the end of this meeting. It is the first time I understood I was looking for making to much of my trip. It would have been wonderful to stay for one more day with them.

Croatia_Istria_MotovunA Typical Street in Motovun, Istria, Croatia

Due to the bad connections of the public transport my friend drove me to Koper in Slovenia. From here it is easier to go to Trieste, from where I have god connections to Venice. When we were crossing the Croatian/Slovenian border we were a little afraid that we will be an issue for the police officers, because we have different citizenships and the car was registered in Croatia, but all went well and we were not asked for anything. I think it was also because we both own a similar looking document, in German called “Personalausweis”. Also my Belgian friend was following me to the bus. Therefore I had no problems at all with my luggage this time either. Maybe I should name it here. All the buses and the ferries were not part of the Interrail-Ticket. This was one reason why my trip became more expensive than planned.

Trieste_Stazione-deRailway Station Triest, Italy

Changing to train in Trieste has not given me some existing memories, therefore I think it happened nothing special at that place. However I remember I was a little surprised, that the tracks at the beginning were close to the sea though I know that Trieste is at the seaside. The views changed on that trip. After leaving the seaside I saw mountains again and later on just the plain land. Coming close to Venice I was aware it because the water, call it seaside or what you want. I was awaiting the city earlier than I could actually could see it. I left the train the first time in Venice-Mestre instead for Venice SL, what means San Lucia and is the main station. I was walking around, looking for a cheap restaurant. There were no many restaurants open and it was not possible to buy tickets for the public transport either. Furthermore I did not find a tourist information center – and there was none. Coming from the train station with my suitcase an Indian looking man was asking helping me with my luggage, but I denied. I was afraid he will steal it.

Venice_First-ImpressionFirst Impression from Venice, Italy

Arrived in Venice SL I was looking for the tourist information center. It was very little and we could only come close one and one. I was happy the center was open. I have got information about the public transportation system and bought a 72-hour card, because I thought I would stay in Venice for this period. Because I was looking for the Generator hostel for the night, I asked also for the way to go there. Outside I found the public transport boats and also the right line to the hostel. Entering the boat was not so easy with my luggage, there was no much space left, but I did it. When arriving at the hostel they were no vacancies but on their homepage. The told us, that they unfortunately not had updated their homepage for a few hours. There were to more girls asking for a bed at the same time like me. We did not find any other cheap hostel close there and I was leaving that island again – because the hostel is at Zitelle.

I was back at the station Venice SL and asking me, what do to. I send an email to a hostel in Bologna if there is a bed left and got a positive answer. Looking at the notice board for the trains I hurried to get the next one, but when I was on the train I took attention to, that the train only was for Padova (Padua). Meanwhile we were moving, I checked by the Internet if there also is a cheap hostel in Padua and the opening hours. Fortunately there was and it was still open. To go to Padua was one thing, but to go to the hostel was another. I made it in time, asking people for the bus stop, the right bus etc. I was happy for my Interrail-Ticket because there was no need to pay for the train from Venice to Padua, but the bus in Padua I had to pay for as usual. The hostel has a quite good description on the Internet, how to go there. Anyway I had to ask and when I was close a man told me: It is not the first door, but the next one, because the first door is for homeless people. During a moment I was thinking – maybe that is the right address for me, because I felt homeless when I could not get a bed in Venice. The night went well anyway because the hostels door was still open and I have got a bed with a whole room around – just for my own, for a price of only 18 Euros, breakfast (an Italian one) included, but it was only for one night. I could not stay longer, because the hostel were awaiting other guest for the upcoming night. I slept well that night, but the night was to short!

Padua_HostelThe Dorm at Padua Hostel – Clean and Nice – I Really can Recommend it!

24th April: From Padua to Venice continuing to Bologna

I found the breakfast room that morning, but it was a little complicated because I had to find the way to the other side of a yard. It was the first time a saw an Italian breakfast. It remembered a lot of the French one, because they serve croissants with jam and chocolate paste. Here there was also only coffee from an automatic coffee machine where you have to insert a kind of coins. I was very disappointed, but I had to learn.

When I checked out the servant ask me for one more night, because there were other guests who did not stay as long as planed. I had already emailed the hihostel in Bologna and was moving on. I would have been pleased if I had time enough to see a little more from Padua, but I did not have time, because I want to see Venice. Going by bus from the hostel to the train station by daylight therefore was my sightseeing in this city. I liked what I have seen and I am sure I will come back later.

In Venice I had to put my luggage in a box again, but there was none. They have a luggage deposit where you can leave your luggage (1 piece/person) and you pay when you are back to pick it up again. The costs were a lot higher as it would have been for a box and also I had to take with me the heavy backpack and two bags. The sightseeing of Venice was really not comfortable. Of that reason I tried to go by the public transport as much as possible. Also I tried to get out the price I gave for the ticket.

Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

The first place I hopped of the boat was at the stop “Piazza San Marco”. I did not see a sign for the place and was walking into the wrong direction as usual, but I liked what I saw. It was an interesting part of the town I came to. Afterwards I found the Piazza San Marco and looked around. Maybe I have seen to much beautiful buildings during the last two trips, I did not really enjoy what I saw. Furthermore in the coffee houses there were live music and I thought about, that this is all for getting money from tourists. That was also my feeling in a nutshell for the rest of the city.

One of my stops was the “Rialto bridge”. There were lots of tourists and lots of shops trying to sell all kinds of stuff you actually have no need for. When I left a boat at the stop “Lido” I was disappointed for the lack of what I thought the Lido is. If you continue with another boat and more costs you could go to the well known beach.

Venice_BridgesVenice and it’s Bridges

Venice_Gondola-and-Public-TransportVenice Public Transport and Gondola

I gave it a last try and continued to Murano, the island which is famous for its glass art. Admittedly some things they manufacture there is kitsch in my opinion, but the most of the glass ware is beautiful. Anyway if I would have money enough to buy one of these art crafts, I would not do it, because I have no need and it does not cooperated with my life style. I cannot collect things because I am wandering from time to time and loose a lot of my belongings. I cannot move so much and when I will retire I have no need for more than I can carry because I will see the world my way. Therefore I take pictures of the mest beautiful things instead.

Venice_Murano_GlasworkMurano Crafts

In Germany they have a proverb like this: Wenn einer eine Reise tut, kann er was erleben! – that means: If anyone goes on a journey, he can get a nasty surprise. So I did, I made good experiences and less good experiences. Perhaps you also have heard about, that in Italy trains and buses are not always in time or are not working at all? I have heard that, but was never afraid, that it will hit me – it did! When I tried to go by train from Venice to Bologna. I was already in a regional train with many other people. The train was really full! Suddenly there came an information by the speakers, but only in Italian! It was about 20 Minutes delay for problems with the engine. All Italians were running out, so we tourists did. Some of us caught another train, some of us – like me – had to check which train was possible to take. There goes a lot of trains from Venice to Bologna and further. I chose an IC because it arrived only 10 minutes later than the regional train would have done. I was not sure, that I have to buy a supplement ticket because when the IC-train has a lot of stops it is not necessary. So I did not. When the conductor came and checked my ticket he answered that I should have a supplement ticket. I explained the situation for him and he turned a blind eye to the matter. I was very happy about that, of course.

Arriving in Bologna I was looking for the hihostel I chose to stay over night. I had the description from the hostel, how to go there and also my tablet with GPS. It was a bus going out there, but first I have to find from where. That was not the easiest, neither to buy a ticket. All went well because I was lucky and the third person I asked for it could tell me, where to buy the ticket and the next person did know which bus and where the bus stop is. At the bus there were more women for the hostel and also a young man who lives very close to the hostel. It was one of my good experiences, because I found the way to the hihostel easier.

Bologna_Close-to-HostelAn Italian House Close to the Bus Stop for the Hihostel

Hihostels are international hostels in a hosteling organization, that means not all youth hostels are members of that organization, however the one in Bologna was. I prefer to choose hihostels because I am a member and have “a right to stay there if there is space left”. Neither the Generator hostel in Venice nor the youth hostel in Padua were members, but the last one I really can recommend anyway, but the breakfast. The standards vary from country to country. E. g. in Ireland they have a *-system, but I have not seen that in other countries yet. The hihostel in Bologna is in a quiet place at the countryside. They have a lot of clerks who speak several languages. All of them speak English. The hostel has very good opening hours, around one hour after my check-in a group of Italian boys and girls with two adults (a man and a woman) arrived. The kids were already very noisy by entering the hostel and did not stop before 2am! Nobody asked them to be silent, but me. They only looked surprised and continued. Moreover the beds in the room were I was sleeping was no bunk beds, but five in that room and very small. I think they only were 80 cm wide. I fell asleep and waked up by dumping on the floor. My knees hurt also the following day.

25th April: From Bologna via Senigalli to San Marcello on a public holiday

After an Italian breakfast and the check out I went to the bus stop. I did not know that I have to go with the bus from the busstop where I arrived the day before. Therefore I did not care about the bus I saw leaving the bus stop. When I tried to go by the bus in the other direction and ask for Bologna Central Station the bus driver told me, that it is the bus from the opposite bus stop. Nobody at the reception told me either, that this day was a national holiday for Italians (Liberation Day), therefore I had to wait two hours for the bus. There were more and more people coming for the bus stop and waiting, many of them ask me for the right direction – they were all coming from the hostel. Later on a local woman came and she told us about the public holiday and that we have to look for the Sundays scheme. She was very kind and helped us a lot, e. g. where the best stop is to leave for coming to the train station and also where I could change to a bus which goes closer to the train station. I will remember her well for a long time.

After this experience I directly took the next train to Senigalli, where I had to meet my Italian host Mauro. He lives with his parents on a vineyard. When I found him on the couchsurfing site, I thought it would be nice to see something more than only Italian cities. Fortunately he accepted my couch request. We agreed that I will arrive around 5pm at Senigalli.

Waiting for my Host in SenigalliWaiting for my Host

I arrived around 2pm at the station of Senigalli. I did neither find boxes for my luggage nor another possibility to deposit it. I sent my host a message, that I already have arrived, but he was with friends for a lunch and could not come earlier than appointed, therefore I was waiting for him all the three hours on a bench in the sun looking at the castle Senigalli. When Mauro arrived we went for a sightseeing of the castle. I told him, that I have seen people at the top and was asking entering it, too. He never has known before that this was possible. We paid 2 Euro each and looked at the castle and also climbed the stairs to the roof. It was quite interesting.

Senigalli_CastleSenigalli Castle

Locating the parked car again was not the easiest, but technician made it possible (the gps is my host’s best friend). After a nice trip by the countryside we came to San Marcello (Marche) where the family is living. The first meeting with his mother and father were great, later that day also his sister and brother in law was coming. We ate a delicious dinner together. It consisted of chicken, artichokes, salad, wedges and “dolce”. I was thinking, that they really served a very expensive meal, but they told me, that they grow artichokes in the kitchen garden and that they eat them almost every day during the month of May. They also explained to me, that they usually have sweets (dolce) every day after dinner. This time it was a cake baked with yogurt and olive oil, but also a bought cake with chocolate inside. After the dinner we all had a nice chat, but unfortunately Mauro’s parents do not speak any other language than Italian, therefore my host and his brother in law where translating.

26th April: San Marcello (Marche)

It was a sunny day and the mother of my host made a big breakfast just for me. Afterwards my host went hiking with me on the Monte Conero. Naturally I was not used to this kind of mountains and the way thereof as well as my host is around 30 years younger than me, I was walking much slower than him. It was still quite OK down the hill, but when we returned it was worse, of course. He was waiting for me on and off, but there were amazing views beside the way and also from “al ponte de lupo” (see the pictures).

Conero_Marche_The-Pirolo-and-the-Two-SistersConero, Marche, Italy: The Pirolo and the Two Sisters

At the beginning of that trail there is an old church, very unusual at the inside, because the inside roof is covered with wood.

Conero_Marche_ChurchConero, Marche, Italy: Old Church Interior

However this walk did only take some few hours so we also went to Camerone where we met a friend of Mauro. She is a native English speaker learning Italian and therefore living there for around half a year. She also tried to make some money as a school teacher, but she did not enjoy it and was therefore starting her on shop with things made of sea wood. At the end of this meeting we were looking for a good Italian ice cream. At last we found a “gelateria”.

CameroneCamerone: Mountains and the Sea Close to Each Other

At Mauro’s home again his mother served another delicious dinner. This time it was rabbit, spinach, salad and a very god “dolce” made av biscuits in juice with “mascarpone” blended with yogurt (50/50) and chocolate ripples. I think I will try to make this by my own. However you can also use coffee or liqueur for the biscuits. Also this evening we had a nice chat after dinner. We made plans for the following day, too.

27th April: Another day in and around San Marcello

40 km away from San Marcello the Frasassi Caves (Grotte di Frasassi) are situated. After a really good and great breakfast, again served only for me, Mauro drove me to the caves. He already have been there for an adventures tour and was not interested in to follow me in, but he was waiting outside for me. I have been in a cave in Ireland in 2008 and was expecting something like that, but this was so hugh, so much more amazing than the other one! I think, people who has been in the Frasassi Caves will never visit another one, because they will be disappointed of all the others.

Grotte-di-FrasassiNot the Most Amazing view, but Anyway a Picture from Inside the Cave

Back from the caves we visited Jesi, the town where Mauro is working. It is a nice old town with an old wall around it. Famous people was born there, grow up there or still are living there. Not only writers and musicians but also politicians.

JesiView of Jesi – From the Upper Part of the Town

Jesi_P.Statue for Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, a Classical Composer

This day a thunderstorm blow up and we jumped into the car just before it begun raining. It was still raining cats and dogs a long time afterwards, therefore it was not possible to take a walk in the vineyard – I also had only one pair of shoes with me because there were no space for shoes in my luggage. This day we also ate lunch at my host’s place. It was a big lunch with tagliatelli, thin steaks, artischoks, chard (Mangold in German and Swedish), bread and “dolce”. This time the “dolce” was small cream puffs filled with Vanilla cream, topped with melt chocolate. They were also very delicious.

The rain became less crass and we went to the castle of San Marcello and the surroundings by car, because living in this area means you need a car to go somewhere else than to your neighbors. I was surprised that Mauro drive a car with gas instead for gasoline. I did not expect that technology in the small villages and towns in Italy.

The castle is situated in Morro de Alba, a part of the community of San Marcello. By the way Morro de Alba also is the name of the grape for the red wine of the area. At the castle there is a little museum showing the local history. We visited both. The museum was like a Swedish “hembygdsmuseum” or the German very small “Heimatmuseum” but in a castle. Anyway I have gott an idea of the earlier Italian way of living.

SanMarcello_Morro-di-Alba_CastleAt the Castle of Morro de Alba You do not Need an Umbrella While Raining

Also this days dinner consisting of canapes with Philadephia cheese and ham (cut in very small pieces), spinach pie, proscutto, cheese, bread, walnuts and of course “dolce” (the rest of the mascarpone dessert and the cream puffs) as well as the every day selection of own young white and red wine and water to drink were a delicious meal. I was a little surprised at, that my new Italian friends never before have seen the German and Swedish way to drink wine with a glass of water beside. If they take wine and water, they put the water directly into the wine.

28th April: On my way to Naples (Napoli/Neapel)

The 28th April was a Monday. My host had to go to work again and I to continue on my trip to Malta, however I would have liked to stay for some more days. The stay in San Marcello was real vacation for me, but the cities were a kind of work, a must see and disappointment. The nature around San Marcello is so amazing and good for the soul.

SanMarcello_Marche_close-toNature Not Far Away from San Marcello, Marche, Italy

Because Mauro is working in Jesi I decided to go by train from there. We started quite early so Mauro could carry my suitcase to the right platform. The train station in Jesi only has stairs and my train was going from platform three. He could, of course, not wait for the train, so I had to ask someone else to help me with my luggage into the train, but that was no problem at all.

On my way to Naples I had to change train at Roma Termini. Because I have been in Rome before, I did not plan to visit the city. When I was entering the train from Roma Termini to Senigalli there were horrible many people at the platform for this regional train. I asked a traveller to help me with my suitcase and he would, but another man where going between. I was so surprised and also for me it was the most important, that I come onto the train together with my luggage, so I did not forbid him to lift my suitcase up. At the train the helper ask me for money. I gave him some coins and he was counting them. Anyway he left the train and I was sitting there with my luggage. A woman passenger told me, I should not have given money to that man, because they are thieves. I thought, this people become thieves due to people do not give them some money for their helping hands.

In Naples I did not have any host either like in Venice. It was really difficult to get hosts in Italy! Therefore I chose the hihostel in Naples-Mergellina. I have heard so much about Naples, therefore I was wrong for two things: That Naples is a very beautiful town and that it is very much crime there and therefore you will be lucky if you have your belongings left when leaving the city. However already at the Central Station there were so many police- and security men, that it was not possible to take things, which not belong to you. The beauty of Naples is most at the sea side and there are a few great buildings.

Napoli_Stazione-di-N-CentraleJust Arrived in Naples, Italy

The hihostel is situated on the top of a hill close to the train station Mergellina. For coming to the hostel everyone has to go under a bridge, where men are urinating, so it stinks terribly. To pull a suitcase is hard because the shape of the street and also the way up to the hostel is very steep. Anyway I made it up there. Even it is April and also a lot of tourists are in town, the hostel still has some rooms vacant. Therefore I have got a bed in a dorm where I was the only guest. I only had to pay for the bed. Unfortunately the bulb in the bathroom did not work. I already made my bed and when I was talking with the manager he told me I have to switch to another room or use the bathroom in the corridor. He has no possibility to change the bulb. The same way he was answering when I was asking for an elevator, because I had to go to the second floor with my heavy luggage. He told me, that someone did not close the door properly and therefore the elevator was not working. I was lucky, that it did work a short time after that again. He was absolutely not service minded! He was not easy going either when I was asking for the breakfast next day. The way to the breakfast room was not good signed. The hostel really was a shame for being a Hihostel.

Napoli_Mergellina-Close-to-HostelOn my Way to the Hihostel Mergellina (it is on the Top)

For an European breakfast I had to pay two Euro extra. I could only make this during breakfast hours, not in advance. Moreover the European part of the breakfast was two slices of cheese, two slices of breakfast sausage and one slice of bread. Therefore I put all the cheese and the sausage on that slice of bread! The Italian breakfast is included in the price and before I coulf order the European breakfast I have got a Cappuccino and a croissant on the hand. The servants at the breakfast bar were not service minded either and there were no many customers!

They day for arrival I was not leaving the hostel anymore because the shape of the way and also I thought it might be dangerous coming home when it will be dark.

29th April: O mia bella Napoli

This day I have to go further and therefore I checked out directly after breakfast. I was going by train to the Central Station to deposit my luggage there. The train I used the evening before and also for coming back to the train station they call Metro in Naples but it is simply a regional train. The train back was not going to Central Station but the Garibaldi Station. What I did not know that it is the same station, but different levels of it. So I was trying to go from Garibaldi Station to Central Station by train. I was asking conductors and security people and walking around and around before I was asking at the customer desk if that maybe is the same station but different levels. The Garibaldi Station is for regional trains only. The Central Station is for the trains going to all other cities of Italy. There is one more part of the stations, too, where the “round trains” are going for e. g. to Pompeii. When I deposited my luggage this time, I was allowed to leave two pieces – my suitcase and my backpack.

Napoli_Uggly-StreetOne of the Streets with the Old and Uggly Houses

Without my luggage I was going to the city of Naples. It took not a long while to find the right direction, but first I chose wrong. The first area I walked through was a horrible sight but there were shops with luxury articles. I also found some churches and old buildings for remembrance. In the song “O mia bella Napoli” they sing “du Stadt am blauen Meer” (city by the blue sea), so I was looking for the seafront. When I finally found it, the houses here where much brighter and nicer than the others I have seen before. Close to the sea side there are also some interesting buildings and finally I found “old Naples” with a castle etc.

Napoli_Street-with-ChurchviewOne of the Churches in Naples

Napoli_Clock-Tower“The Clock Tower”

Napoli_View-through-Window-Mediterranian-StationView throughout a window (Mediterranean Station)

Napoli_Office-BuildingsThe Modern Naples – Office Buildings

Napoli_Houses-at-the-SeasideNoble Houses at the Seaside of Naples

Napoli_StatueNot a House but a No Named Monument

Napoli_Galeria-Umberto
Galeria Umberto

Napoli_Maschio-AngioinoNapoli_Maschio-Angioino, Building of Art

Napoli_CastleCastle of Naples

I had to be back to Naples Central Station before 8pm to get my luggage back. The price was 19,80 Euro for around 8 hours. When I picked up my luggage the servant dropped my backpack onto the floor, because it was put on my suitcase, which was falling onto the floor. With the backpack on it the suitcase could not stand upright. I hoped that my laptop will be ok after that, but could not try because the situation.

After that I only could be at the station, but my train was not leaving before 11pm. I chose the night train to Siracusa because I had to be in Pozzallo to catch a ferry on the 30th April. There was no ferry in the morning of the 1st May and the evening ferry will be in Valletta to late for getting keys to an apartment. For my heavy luggage I could just look around at the Central station, checking people and their luggage who was leaving or coming. The later the hour the less people of course but the police officers and also security officers were watching and taking the one or other person with them. Therefore it was never a problem with robberies or begging.

Entering the night train to Siracusa is not one of my favorite memories from this trip. In the train compartment there were already two women (a mother and her grown up daughter) with lots of luggage. It seems they felt disturbed when I was coming. When I made place for the mother getting in I was putting my things on my bed. After that I started to put my luggage down again, but she was already explaining how to make the bed. I told her, that I know. I think she did not understand English either, because she first tried to continue explaining. Tired as I was I have got angry and told her again: “I know how to do, I know”. Unfortunately I have not had any plaid, so I was looking for the conductor but did not find him. I did not get much sleep that night, because I was freezing.

30th April Siracusa – Pozzallo – Valletta (Malta)

Last time I was going by a night train it was in Sweden. If I remember right, there was a little breakfast at the train, really not much – but just so you can stand a little while. At this Italian night train there was no breakfast at all, but something to drink. When I arrived in Siracusa I was looking for two things: A coffee shop and somewhere to deposit my luggage, because I had some hours to spend in the town. I could not find anything at the train station, but outside. There was a coffee shop where I also could left all of my luggage, really all of it and all that for a price of only 8 Euro.

Siracusa_BreakfastMy first coffee that Morning – at a Coffee Shop in Siracusa

After becoming really awake (I have had a cappuccino and a kind of filled bread) I was walking to the city center. Also here the worst houses were close to the station, the better ones in the middle of the city and at the sea side. I also found old things for remembrance and new and old churches. The new church looked from the distance to be a very interesting building, but when I came close I saw it was a church. Close to the church I also found a map of Siracusa. I did photograph it so I was not in the need of buying one or to use my gps. The picture helped me later to find the way to the seaside, but first I saw more churches and a little park (as Mauro told me, in Italy there are churches everywhere, each third street has a church ;-))

Siracusa_FirstImpressionClose to the Train Station = One of the First Impressions of Siracusa

Siracusa_SanctuaryThe Church Madonna delle Lacrime

At the seaside were no nice restaurant, but I found an Italian gelateria later and bought an ice cream. I really love Italian ice cream – I did prefer that in Sweden and Germany, too. On my way back to the train station I saw some local departments, one of them on the Via Malta.

Siracusa_ViaMalta_CornerVia Malta – Corner

The name of the street was for me like a greeting from the island. Luckily I was back at the train station in good time, because I did not understand that it is a rail-bus for Pozzallo and where it will leave, but five minutes before leaving. If I had not looked around wondering about what platform 2b means, I had not seen the rail-bus. The conductor helped me to put my luggage onto the train and a young man put it into the upper net. Fortunately he was also going to Pozzallo and helped me there to get it down again.

Arriving in Pozalla a taxi was waiting for me. Because I am always afraid, that taxi will be very expensive for tourists like me, I denied when the driver was asking me if I would go with him and also explained that it is a long way to the harbour. He even showed me his taxi driver license, but I still denied and was going to the supermarket straight over there. I bought something to eat and when I was coming out of the supermarket the taxi driver were there again and told me one more time, that it is very long to go, around 4 km or 4 miles. I still had a lot of time and also thought, that I will see more of the city if I am walking and I did. I was a little surprised that I could not use the pedestrians way, because they were to small if there were some stairs or flowers on the most of them. In the beginning it looked liked the way was only going down, but there were also parts going up again.

Pozzallo_WaterbasinsHere You Can See it Very Well: The Bassins on the Roof – for Warming up the Water

Pozallo at 7:30pm. The clerk at the desk was not service minded either, but he was asking if I wil buy a senior ticket.

Afterwards I went to a little park and was sitting on a bench for a while, when an Italian man tried to make conversation with me. Unfortunately he only spoke Italian, and my Italian is still very poor, but I understand that he would like that I come with him to his home and he will accompany me in time to the ferry. I denied because the language barrier. I was not afraid that he will not well. He was leaving but came back one more time. I still denied.

Because it was becoming cold – the sun was going down and in all countries I have been it becomes cold when there is no sun any more – I was going to a restaurant across the street and eat a kind of sandwich with “seppia” and cheese. I did not know that it was octopus, but it was a very big sandwich and I could only eat half of it, so I put the rest in my breakfast box. After a while I’ve got a very hard itching. I am allergic against seafood, but I did think I can eat octopus, because I only have eaten fried octopus rings before. Now I know I cannot eat octopus either and will never eat it again! The only seafood I still can eat is tuna.

Pozzallo_HarbourLooking at the Harbour of Pozzallo

Pozzallo because of Malta, as they told us. It was hard wind and they ferry was not allowed to enter the harbour. We left Pozzallo around 11pm, maybe it also were half an hour later. The ferry is an high-speed Catamaran and we should have been in Valletta (Malta) less than two hours later, but we were not.

1st May: Arriving on Malta

As I told you, we should have been in Valletta around 1am, but we did not arrive before around 3am. At this time I could not call my host. Therefore I had no chance to go anywhere for a sleep but in a hotel, which was a to expensive alternative for me. A taxi driver tried to drive me somewhere, but I had no idea where to go. I denied and tried to walk to Msida, but I did not really find my way in the dark and also got afraid a little. Thinking about what to do, I was remembering my night at the airport in February. I stopped the next taxi and asked the driver for bringing me there.

When I arrived at the airport I was going to the same coffee shop where I have been in February. I took a big cappuccino – and it was a really big cup. I have never seen such a big one at a coffee shop and I took something to eat, too. Than I was sitting where I could charge my tablet and use the Internet. I also were happy, that I could use the toilet. In the early morning I was taking out money for the rent at an ATM and going by one of the first buses to my further home. I came really early also the bus took a while.

With my tablet and google maps I found the street where my new apartment was situated, but then I had to walk the street because the houses here on Malta usually have no numbers, but names. Also google showed me a much to long way, I was still early. I was lucky, because I was looking in the right direction of the street. In the street I also ask an elderly couple if they know which house the Tagliaferro Mansions is. They did not know but were helping me to find it. Just before I saw an unfinished house at a corner of the street and was thinking maybe it is one of these unfinished apartments I have rent and I have sent the deposit to a dishonest person. Luckyly I found the Tagliaferro Mansions quite fast and waited for a while, than I sent a message to the owner telling him I have arrived. We appointed for 11am, because the 1st of May is a public holiday and he was sleeping until 10am and arrived not earlier, but the weather was nice and it did not matter.

cropped-tagliaferro_mansions.jpgThe Name of My New Home

The owner and his grandson are very nice people. The more than 70-year old owner took my backpack up the four flights of stairs and was later also helping me with my suitcase! The apartment was accurate like it was on the pictures I have seen of it, but the bathroom looks nicer in real. I was very happy, of course, that all went OK. Later that day I was looking around the area for shops and so on and I am really happy, how the apartment is situated – only five minutes from my ny job, two minutes to the Msida Marina, one minute to the next grocery shop, also one minute to a computer shop and two or three minutes to a supermarket. The bus stops are also only a few minutes away, so is a copy shop and sub mail. It could not be better, also I have no balcony and the sight is only to the backyards, but I can use the roof.

View from the Roof at Tagliaferro MansionsView From the Roof at Tagliaferro Mansions – Valletta in the Background

More pictures from my trip you can find here: https://dorotheeinternational.wordpress.com/visit-malta/pictures-hamburg-to-malta

How it is living on Malta you can read about on the page: My Malta

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