Friday, 1 September 2017

A v Malta 1.9.2017

The last time I visited Malta was way back in 2000, yes 17 years ago.  My blog from that trip can be found HERE

Thursday 31st August

Fiona picked me up about 2.30pm and we headed up to Heathrow.  Kevin was flying back in from Vienna on a work trip, so we met at the short stay car park before heading into Terminal 4.  We had soon dumped our bags and it was time for some food and drink before the flight.  Fiona and I found ways to pass some of the time.  It was good sensible adult behaviour!

We went up to the viewing gallery, you can just about see Concorde!  We also saw our aircraft land and ages later the little thing had to dart across the take off runway before parking up at our terminal.

We landed pretty close to midnight but Fiona had arranged with the apartment owner for a taxi to pick us up.  Our mate Sara had headed our earlier in the day so was ready to let us in when we arived.  A quick hello and it was then time for some ZzzZzzz as it was about 1am by now.

Friday 1st September

Match Day!  Fiona had managed to arrange for some coach tickets from a bar to the game, so we headed out early to pay for them and pick them up.  It was very warm so as we were at the bar decided on a cold beer......and a second......oh go on then another.  The other two decided to join us as we were now nicely setled in.  We had to walk into St Julians to collect our match tickets.  We met up with some mates at the collection point and I had a few more beers with them before heading back to teh bar our coach would be leaving from.  The others were on cocktails so it would have been rude not to join them!   

It was then the short drive to the ground, the coaches left just after 6pm but it took ages and ages (about an hour from memory which is hazy as spent most of the trip looking at a good hedge for a wee stop!  The coach did let of a few lads who couldnt wait,  somehow managed to survive until we were dropped off not far from the ground.

The Match

I image most saw it, it was dreadful.  We finally managed to score one, the biggest cheer was when Malta nearly equalised.  We popped 3 more in in the final  minutes to give a very unfair scoreline of Malta 0 England 4.  I can honstly say it was one of the most dire performances I have seen.  No flair, no excitement, not very much entertainment!  We were glad it was over and we could head back to Selima.

Saturday 2nd September

Today was a lazy day. I got up quite late, my head hurt a little. We met up with a mate of Kevin and Fiona from there home town who was out visiting her M&D who had recently moved to Malta.  We decided to jump on a boat and do a harbour tour that took a couple of hours.

We headed back towards St Julians and ended up in our favourite bar and waited for the happy hour which started at 3pm and lasted until 6pm.  2 cocktails for the price of one, what could go wrong!

Some were a little worse for ware after the cocktails (No names mrs Jones, who ws delighted when we met the Airbnb owner whilst suffering from hiccups!) so we finished the night with a Kebab from the local take away!

Sunday 3rd September

Fiona is in the middle of a 12 week marathon training programme for Amserdam and Kevin getting prepared for his first half marathin on the same day. We had agreed in advance Sunday morning would be a day to have a little jog.  The forecast was good and at 6.30am as Fiona and I set off it was slightly (mind only slightly!) cooler, but there was a nice breeze.  Stick to the waters edge I said and it will be flat , as we crawled up a big Big BIg BIG hill as the path meandered inland!  Somehow we survived.  We bumped into Kevin towards the end and I joined him on some of his run, I managed to clock up just over 14 miles!  After a while recovering we headed out for Brunch, no breakfast as still quite early!  

The rest of the day was spent chillin, before we caught ferry over to Valletta for the afternoon. 

This is the pub were Olly Reed famously drank himself to death. The landlord claimed the final round that he bought was eight beers, 12 double rums and half a bottle of whisky.

We found a religious shop by the basilica selling what I can only describe as complete TAT.  I was however horrified and taken back to see an angel that looked remarkably like Maggie Thatcher!  Creepy!

Monday 4th September

Today we had booked a boat trip to Comino and the Blue Lagoon.  We arrived at the boat at 9.30am ready for a 10am departure, it was already quite crowded.  By 10am only seating below deck was left and we eventually set of.  The sea was quite choppy and one poor young lad spent the first hour or so being very ill into a paper bag. Poor lad!  We dropped off a few passangers in Gozo before heading back to the Blue Lagoon.

I have to say that it was a ver beautiful if slightly crowded lagoon.  The sea was an amazing colour.  We took ourselves of to a slightly less crowded beach, before we did swim in with the hoards in the actual lagoon itself.  It was nice to have a few hours there but any longer and it would have been a nightmare as way too many tourists!!

The sea was so clear, it looks like the boat is in mid air!

We got back into Selima about 5.30pm.  We headed back to the apartment to remove sand from most places.  It was then time to head out and find somewhere for food and also showing the England v Slovakia match.  Most places looked to be showing Scotland v Malta, but we finally found somewhere with 3 screens and they promised us the one we could see would be showing England. 

We went all local, between us we had rabbit, octupus and I a had a local meat speciality dish.  All very tasty, and eventually England also finally got going v Slovakia and came back from 1 down to win 2-1 and all but secure qualification for Russia.  Oh joy!
We finish the evening off with the National dish of the country - Maltesers of Course!

Tuesday 5th September

An early early EARLY start to the day.  With a 7.20am flight back to Gatwick we had a taxi booked for 5am. So it was 3 sleepy heads crawling into the taxi to the airport.  We pretty much too off on time.  Passport control at Heathrow Terminal 4 was painless, just a slight delay waiting for the bags to arrive.  I was dropped back home before midday, another superb trip over.  Anyway not long to wait until the final away qualifier in Lithuania in early October.  

The compulsory pictures out of the plane window. Yawn.......followed by a stunning picture of Brentfords ground! 

Mark R  oh and Cheers ALL

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