Friday, 1st September 2017
I arrived on Malta at 7:45pm instead of 8pm. The first I did was looking for a vending machine for the bus ticket, but I could not find one. Fortunately the counter was still manned and I bought a seven-day tal-linja card. Directly afterwards I went to the bus stop and felt happy, because there should be a bus in the right direction in a couple of minutes, but I had been happy to early. That bus never came. Eventually there came a bus around 9pm and at 10pm I had found the hostel. I found out the right bus stop – that was not a problem. Anyway I did not understand in which direction I should walk from that bus stop. Though I asked for the street on a taxi shop nearby and got a kind answer, but I had to ask one more time – at another taxi stop, because I did understand the first directions somewhat wrong. I was close to the place, but had been faster if I had taken another route, just the one the first taxi shop told me.
The check-in assistant at the hostel was not very friendly and I did get an upper bed. I had no possibility to tell them in advance, that I prefer lower beds. I could have taken the lower one, there were nobody in, but it did look grubby. I made it! I climbed up and down several times during my stay, but was always planning, that I needed to climb as rarely as possible. I also asked by the check-in if there were some breakfast to get and did get the answer “no, this is a hostel”, therefore I told them, that it is very different what hostels offer and that there are lots, which offer breakfast. I did not get any other comment.
The hostel was directly in the party scene, what I had not understand, when I booked. It was noisy outside, but fortunately not so very noisy inside. I walked the streets nearby looking for an evening meal and found a pizzeria after a while. I was not looking for one, but it seemed to be one of the nicer places without being too expensive, even it was not cheap at all. I had a good sleep that night.
Saturday, 2nd September 2017
I took my medicine with tap water, which was salty as usual and I was unhappy, that I had forgotten the evening before to by a bottle of water for the hostel. In the kitchen was a shelf with free food and fortunately there were instant coffee and tea as well.
I should have met a former colleague on Malta – she is still working at that company, unfortunately she got a fever and could not meet me.
There were a few dishes and also the kitchen had only space for six people sitting around the table. You may know, that the six chairs were never all occupied at the same time. I bought a pastry for breakfast on the street and was going by bus to Valletta. I spend a half day here with some window seeing and visiting the Upper and the Lower Barrakka Gardens. I was thinking about to take a “carozzi” (horse and waggon), but decided against it. I had to safe my money for my trip to Mexico. I did not have lunch in Valletta even I was thinking about to eat a rabbit stew, because I never tried it before, but I did not find a restaurant selling it. Anyway I bought a cheap hat in Valletta because the sun was still very hot.
In the afternoon I continued by bus to Bugibba. A place I also like on Malta. There I was strolling around at the seaside and passed a fish lounge. Since I have seen a fish lounge for the first time I was interested in to try it, but never did. I thought, I have to do something new on the island and attended the fish lounge. The shop assistant was very kind and good to talk for the product. There were basins with different sizes of fishes. First I chose bigger once, but it felt horrible to have that fishes eating my skin, therefore I changed to the smallest ones. By the way, before I was allowed to have my feet in the basins, the shop assistant did wash them. When I had my feet in the basin I had to look somewhere else and think, there were only bubbles working in the basin. Even I made it for half an hour and my feet were much better afterwards, I think I will not do that again.
I also had a meal there. It was hard to find a restaurant, which do not serve seafood only. Later I was going back to the hostel by bus and bought some groceries on the way from the bus stop to the hostel. Actually I had a little problem at the hostel. I had to charge my tablet and was not thinking about the English contacts on Malta. I had no English adapter with me. Asking the female assistant at the desk, if they have adapters available, she told me, that they have not, but she showed my how to put a key in the upper hole and put in my own adapter into the electrical contact. When the adapter was attached, I could take the key out off the contact again. She also told me, that it is not dangerous. I tried it back in the room and it was working.
This evening four Italian guys were sharing the room with me, they were noisy and macho. When I came in I put the AC on and the guys were happy about it. You have to know that the switch for the AC was close to the AC itself and could only be reached from my bed.
Sunday, 3rd September 2017
The guys had their alarm clocks on in the morning. When one of them finished, another one started. I became somewhat angry about them, because the alarm clocks were ringing quite early and for a long time. I tried to get some more sleep and did have breakfast as late as 10am. Around 11am I left the hostel, bought 2 small pastries and a bottle of water as well. One of the pastries I left in the room, because I was not so hungry as I thought.
I took the bus to Melieha, walked around there and had a snack at a restaurant with a nice view on the beach. Back to the centre of the island I was going by another bus to the other side of it, to Birzebugga and the Pretty Bay. It looked very nice and I would have taken a dip, but I had not taken my takini with me. I actually regret it. I was sitting on a bench watching families and looking at the waterfront as well as the harbour. You have this view at the same time, you cannot chose! When the sun was going down and it became chilly I was to a restaurant having a chicken burger even I ordered a hamburger. While I was going back by bus it had become really cold and windy.
Back at the hostel the Italian guys did scare me a little. They were drunk and screaming Dorothee like we had been friends for ever and they would be happy to see me again after years. Worse was, that almost two of them also were sniffing coke. I was thinking about to inform the check-in desk of the hostel, but the guys were going out again soon. I was falling asleep before they were back and slept well that night, too.
Monday, 4th September 2017
I had an appointment at HSBC, where I have my EUR-account, for my name change. I did have all my documents requested with me and was very early, though I was window seeing in the area before I was entering the Sliema branch. The bank assistant was very formal, but did accept the name change without questions. By asking for a new Visa debit card, she filled in a form and was than collecting my actual card. I asked her if I have to leave the Malta debit card as well and she confirmed. I told her, that I do not need a new one. In addition to that, she was asking me, why I still have the account on Malta, because I put in my Swedish address a while ago in my online banking account. When I explained to her, that I get pension from the social security department of Malta and that I therefore also have it for my pension, I get from other countries in EUR, she was OK with it. Last but not least she told me, that my new card will be sent to my Swedish address.
Afterwards I walked the seaside of Sliema, had an ice cream and was in the shopping centre Tigne point trying to find a special dress or something like that, because there were still sale. I did not find anything and that was good and cheap ;-). At the café “French Affair” I had a pie and mango juice and continued than to Msida, waiting outside Besedo (my former employer) at the time for the change of the shifts with the hope to meet someone I know. Actually my former manager and her husband were coming outside and they did recognise me. We had a chat and she was also calling my former team leader, who were coming out for a chat as well. Even a former colleague left and had a very short chat with me. The most important thing from this meeting was, that I was welcomed back, whenever I want. because of my reliability, I have shown, when I was working there. They also told me, that I look ten years younger than before by my new hair dress.
I was happy about that, of course even I thought, when I will go to Mexico now, I will be nearly 70 years old, when I will come back and I am not sure, they will employ people at that age. Anyway I continued to be happy and was going to Mdina by bus, walking around and thinking to have a meal there, but decided at the end to have the meal in Rabat. Though I did and even would have liked to have a rabbit stew, what I could not get here either, I had the most delicious Spaghetti Carbonara I ever have eaten. It was at the La Piazza, bar and restaurant. I told the chef, and she was very happy about it, of course.
Back at the hostel I had other room mates. The Italians were not there anymore, but a younger man and a woman, who seemed to be older as him. He had paid expenses for her and was no awaiting some love, but she told him, to take it easy. Both were from the Netherlands.
Tuesday, 5th September 2017
Also this a very sunny day as the days before. I had breakfast at the hostel – actually I was invited of the dutch guy. He had made a lot and his girlfriend was not enjoying breakfast. I still hade rice cakes – the package was not opened yet, and I left them on the shelf for free food. I bought them in case of, but there was no emergency.
This day I spent the time until early afternoon at the Dingli cliffs. I actually found a view-point I could not remember. I also had a meal at Bobbyland. I avoided that place for the price, when I lived on Malta, but found out now, that it is not so very expensive. Depending on, what one choose. I had a special Hamburger. Unfortunately it seemed, that the speciality was, that it was burned, but the stuff was very friendly. I also asked about the history for the strange name and got a paper with the story. This story is about a little boy, who had to care about sheep and goats and a men, who had to care about Dingli cliffs. The man had a hut at the place, where the restaurant is now. The boy was visiting him often and learned of him. The name of the man was Bobby and when he was gone the boy, when he was grown up, decided to open a restaurant at that place. The hut has been for many years, but is no more.
From the restaurant I walked all the way to the village of Dingli
and took the bus 118 to Mater Dei. It was the first one, I could take and it was fitting well. I had to go to made a print out of a boarding card and remembered the stationary, where I always had bought my print outs, when I was living on Malta. There was the same owner and he was the same way, he has been before. I think, he did not remember me, but he was very helpful this time as well. I did not have a USB stick with me, though he told me to send the file to him by email and printed it from that file. Later I found, that the hostel also offers print outs of boarding cards, but they were much more expensive and I do not know if they had been so helpful.
The day was still young and I decided to make my last trip on the island for this time to Marsaskala, exactly to S:t Thomas Bay. I did not remember, before I was there, that I have been in that area before. Even I had been in Marsakala, what I did know. I had a walk with the Australian David from Marsaxlokk to Marsaskala that time, but we did not walk the S:t Thomas Bay all the way. This time I found that there is a nice beach and if I will go back to Malta the Pretty Bay in Birzebuga and this one will be my favorite beaches. I enjoyed the sea view for a while and had a meal there as well, before I was going back by bus to the hostel.
At the hostel I packed for the upcoming day, because my flight will leave early. By the way the couple from the Netherlands had been moved to another room and had to pay more and in the room, where I had my bed another guy had arrived and two Asian girls were coming late. When I had finished to prepare my things, I watched a movie, but was early asleep.
Wednesday, 6th September 2017
I was up 5:45am, dressed and packed the rest outside the room. I tried to be very quiet and not to disturb anyone. I think I did well. I left already at 6:20am, even I was prepared to leave 6:30am, though it was a long wait for the bus to the airport. The ride took a whole hour, but I was directly through the security, because I had checked in online and had only hand luggage. I also had left my tal-linja card to another traveller for there were still two days to use. In the waiting area I had a breakfast at Costa’s. I chose a medium coffee, which is large, a sandwich and also took a bottle of water for the flight.
I had to go to Amsterdam and change to another plane there. The transfer was smooth and even the little child with her mother great and not loudly. I had booked this flight, because there are no direct flights at all between Malta and Portugal. This was the cheapest one I could get, even it was for around 180 EUR. I searched by skyscanner and booked by Kiwi.com. It was the first time I booked by Kiwi. They promise to handle flight issues and they checked me in and were sending me the boarding cards digital as well. I did not have a reason to prove them about flight issues, but I think I can recommend the company.
I arrived in Lisbon as planned, there were no strike anymore and I was going by the Metro and the bus 750 to the place I live here for now. I was welcomed by a dirty fridge and an Emilia (the Swedish girl), who did not find the reason for it, even it looked like she had dropped pancakes paste. I cleaned the fridge and went shopping.
More about my time in Portugal you can read on: dorotheeineurope.blog/Portugal/September2017.