Day two: Valletta, St John’s Cathedral, state rooms, Mdina, Kinnie

9 06 2011

We got up early at around 8:30 which Ali and Zahra were not happy about as they like there lie ins. We had some breakfast and we were on our way.  We went to Valletta the capital city where we went to a park and got ice lollies that dripped everywhere. It was cloudy but sunny. Bernard couldn’t come with us because he was working [Boohoo 😦 ]. We were waiting for some gunfire reenactment at 12 but it turns out we were waiting in the wrong place and missed the shot [Oops]. Oh well!

At the Upper Barrakka

At the Upper Barrakka

We then walked around Valletta for a bit and went to visit the palace at Valletta where we saw the state rooms and armoury which we did have to pay for but Ali got in as a student as no one asked for student I.D [That’s Malta for you]. You gotta love the laid back Maltese! The armoury was what you’d expect, a lot of guns, canons and full armoury sets. I liked the state rooms more especially the tapestries. They were so well preserved and so detailed. We then went to St. John’s cathedral for free.  Zahra said the queue for the entrance was long so Cec being her patient self decided we would go in a different entrance which turned out to be the exit but it was amazing inside with all the lavish gold decorations and it was free.  Zahra was getting hungry so we went to get some lunch at Mdina.

Walking Through Valletta

Walking Through Valletta

We had lunch at a pizza pasta place which apparently Bernard does not approve of. It was good though. I had pasta with salmon and the others had various pizzas. Cec was the nicest pizza as it had Maltese sausage and my favourite cheese gbejna! Zahra tried out the famous maltese drink that cec is always talking about, Kinnie. It’s made from bitter oranges. Zahra and I liked it but Ali didn’t seem so sure. I tried a local beer called Cisk. We then went for a quick swing in the playground because we are kids at heart. Then went to walk around Mdina by day and got a got value tour of the archbishop’s house/cathedral museum and cathedral. It was only 1.75 for students and again they didn’t check our cards. Ali decided to sit this one out and went for a walk. The rest of us wandered around the museum looking at gold and silver and lots of coins and some disturbing pictures and sculptures. We then headed over to the cathedral with Ali. As expected it was very ornate with lots of red curtains and marble tiles but definitely worth a look.

Kinnie Happy

Kinnie Happy

View from Mdina

View from Mdina

[Ross has forgotten this :P…or he tried to forget this cos he wants to think that the Cliffs of Moher are the best: We then went to Dingli Cliffs to see the Maltese cliffs and enjoy a bit of the country air and coastal air.]

At Dingli Cliffs

At Dingli Cliffs

At Dingli Cliffs 2

At Dingli Cliffs 2

We stopped off at a supermarket on the way back to the Fenech’s to get some food for Zahra as she wanted to cook some Iranian dishes for us the next day. Cec bumped into an old friend. Ali, Zahra and I were fascinated at the frozen octopus and octopus salad. The smell was not attractive but it’s the same smell you get in all continental supermarkets. We then headed back to the Fenech’s  for a night on the town.

Bernard met up with us and we went to Paceville which is the party place in Malta for all the young people. It’s what I’d imagine Ibiza is like except to a smaller scale. On our way to dinner Cec bumped into her softball coach in a bowling alley of all places [Well, he is a bowling coach too]. We then made our way to a shopping centre that was pumping out music. We went to the top where there were a couple of restaurants. They all served similar foods so we went into one and got some food. The portions were huge compared to Irish restaurants but I was hungry so there was no problem. I had a double chicken burger which was delish. Zahra and Ali shared as they were not too hungry. We then headed to the clubbing district. The music was pumping hard out of every bar and the place was full of people handing out drink offers.  We walked around for a bit and settled on a club. Zahra soon felt tired but that didn’t stop the rest of us. Bernard got the drinking going with his buy one get one free vouchers on drink. We ended up dancing in front of the DJs booth. Bernard and Cec met some of their friends in the club and they stayed with us for a bit. We danced the night away and walked back to the car around one. Ali kept saying the place was for me and that I should go off and find a girl but that ain’t my style! [So what is your style? Enlighten us please :)] We headed to bed straight away once we got home to the Fenech’s.

By Ross O’Dwyer

Advertisements




Malta Day one: Beginnings

9 06 2011

After our lab meeting where Cec was told that apparently she’s a cheap skate we left DCU. When we left at around  one it was really sunny and warm we had to take off our jumpers on our walk to the bus. I had my sexy new hand luggage and Zahra had a monster of a suitcase. I don’t know what was in it but it was heavy. We met Ali at the airport and he was carrying two more bags.  We had slight delays getting the Iranians through check-in and security with over loaded bags and misplaced passports but we got there. We waited at the gate for Zahra to buy perfume so Cec and I took our place in the queue and let Zahra and Ali skip in front of us. I was paranoid that they would check my bag size and say it was too big but luckily they didn’t. Cec the cunning maltese  girl got us great seats up front in the plane so I could fit my lanky legs. We slept and played hang man on the plane for a while and Zahra had her four sugar coffee.

We landed 10 mins early but had to wait 10 mins for Z and A to fill out some immigration paperwork. Cec and I went straight out to the arrivals to be greeted by Bernard and Cec’s mum while Zahra and Ali got their luggage. I was expecting more of a romantic embrace with Cec and Bernard but that didn’t happen.  Zahra Ali and I went here mums car and cec went with Bernard for some alone time. We arrived at the Fenech household ten minutes later. The house was really big and nicely decorated. We were shown to our rooms. I was to be put in Stephen Fenech’s room in Cec’s bed (Side note from Cecilia: I was not sleeping in my bed, hence Ross could sleep in it). It was complicated! The room was really nice and spacious though. We then went down to the kitchen for some home cooked grub which consisted of vegetable broth which Cec complained was too hot and some nice stuffed marrow which I had never had before.  It was lovely but according to Cec I say everything is lovely so u can’t go by me.

Then Cecilia and Bernard gave us a tour of Mdina (the original fortified city) by night which was great. I preferred it at night as it was nice and cool, everything was floodlit and there was no sun to burn me! The views were great from the top of the fortifications. We then got a driving tour of the coasts, forts and ports of Malta.  Bernard pointed out all the work he was supervising on the roads and let me tell you they needed work. I thought Irish roads were bad but Malta is in a different league altogether. It was really nice and our tour guides were very informative and helpful. We were quite tired so we went home and went to bed.

Mdina by Night

Mdina by Night

By Ross O’Dwyer





Cousin Meeting!

20 08 2010

Back home after around 35 hours away…Feeling tired…but soon off again haha… Yesterday, the doctor gave me some antibiotics, and allowed me to go to work. After work, I met up with my Cousin Rachel and her bf Fraser. They live in the UK, but they came over for around 10 days so that Rachel can show Fraser the beauty of Malta 😀

I had asked them to come to the Valletta Bus Terminus at about 5:15pm. So after work I left to Valletta and I immediately spotted them…WEEEE…Rachel looks really good (Really loved her hairstyle haha). We then left immediately (I was parked in a taxi stand :S) and collected Bernard from his house. We then went to Birgu and walked along the marina. Did not really enjoy this part. Probably cos it was hot hihi…but enjoyed chatting along with them (although not Bernard I think cos he could not understand their accent :D).

Birgu Waterfront

Birgu Waterfront

We then took Bernard back home cos he had a meeting for the summer camp he is helping to organise next week, and I took them to Mosta. Whilst chatting I had gotten to know that they tried to go to the Mosta Church to see the bomb, but found it closed :S. At around 6:30pm, I figured it would be open cos of evening mass. It was in fact open, but we could not go to the bomb cos it is in the back part of the church. Oh Well…no probs.

Mosta Church Bomb: This is a bomb which fell on the church during World War II in the middle of mass celebration. But it did not explode, and therefore no one died :D

Mosta Church Bomb: This is a bomb which fell on the church during World War II in the middle of mass celebration. But it did not explode, and therefore no one died 😀

We left Mosta and made our way to Mdina. But first things first…we stopped at Il-Veduta to eat. I really liked this place (have been there I think twice before…the restaurant is overlooking Half of Malta, and we stayed outside looking at the view). We ordered our food…yummy yum…I had farfelle with spinach and blue cheese, Rachel had Penne with Sun dried tomatoes etc and Fraser had Pizza Margherita. The food was really good (but we had too much of it…It always happens to me that I plan to take a starter portion, but then order a full portion and it is too much :S). Really enjoyed this part…we chatted and gossiped…WEEEEEEEEE.

 By the time we ate, chatted enough and paid etc, the sun was setting, and we walked into Mdina. I LOOOVE Mdina…if I am ever rich and can buy a house there I think that is what I would do :D…We walked through the narrow roads and felt as if we were back in time (and got lost once or twice hihi). We then went to see the view from the Mdina Bastions, and the proceeded to make our way back to the car.

Mdina aerial View

Mdina aerial View

I drove them to their place at Mellieha. It was by now 9:30pm, and I did not feel like driving all the way to Zurrieq (around 45mins away). I had thought of this before, and had called my aunt who lives in Mellieha to ask whether I could sleep over (I have been there before…read all about it here)…she obviously said yes, so I had everything prepared to stay there. So after dropping them off, I went to aunts house, had a shower and settled down to read a bit and sleep. Then this morning I left Mellieha, took my aunt to work (she usually goes buy bus) and then went on to my work…WEEEEEEE…Hopefully I get to meet my cousin again soon 😀