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Published: September 18th 2018
After a leisurely start to the day, which began with breakfast being delivered at 9am while watching an episode of Modern Family, I was finally packed and ready to leave my apartment at 10:10am. Chiara gave me a nice farewell gift of a ceramic bell and I then walked to the main train/bus terminal. The bus to the Napoli International airport was due to depart at 10:30 and as it was only a 5 minute walk, I made it there in plenty of time.
The bus arrived at the airport just after 12pm and I must say, paying for the "speedy bag drop" with EasyJet was well worth it! There was a huge queue lined up to drop off bags and when I saw the sign for the speedy drop off, I asked the lady if this was ok and she sent me straight to the next person free to serve. Then I was fast tracked through security too - and now had two hours to kill before my flight!
I walked around the airport although it wasn't very big, and was happy browsing duty free shops. I ended up finding a little Japanese restaurant and ordered a ramen
with chicken and veggies for lunch. Something a bit different, which was nice. Then it was time to go to my gate - and go straight to the front as I had priority boarding too. Flight departed Naples on time at 2:40 and I was on my way to Malta. We flew over Sicily on the way but I only realised that it was Sicily after we had flown right over it. Made me realise how big it is!
Landed in Malta at 3:50 which was right on time. Didn't take long for the bags to come off and I headed out to the front of the airport to find that the bus I needed was due any minute! I needed to get the X1 bus to Cirkewwa ( or as I like to call it - chicka-wow-wow) where I would then get a ferry to Gozo Island. I had thought I wouldn't get the bus until 5pm so I was happy I made it to the 4:18. It only cost me €2 for the bus trip. The ride took about an hour and a half but wow, it was certainly a scenic ride. Malta is not what I
expected - for some reason I thought it would be like Italy but it reminded me more of Morocco. The buildings are all sandstone in colour and flat top and not too high. The bus went through quite a few towns on its way to the port, and drove along the coast most of the way, which made it even more beautiful to look at. We arrived in Cirkewwa at 5:50 and I followed the crowd onto the ship. Along the way, I asked a man where I could buy a ticket and he said "on the way back". What the? Oh well, I just kept following the crowd and before I knew it I was on the boat. I decided I needed a water...... and a beer and the man that served me was really nice when I asked him about the beer choices. He recommended one and said "better than Fosters" haha. I said no one in Australia drinks Fosters. Turns out he was born in Australia! I took my drinks and my bags out on deck and enjoyed the view. The ferry ride was only 30 minutes but it was so lovely as the sun was just
setting in the sky.
We arrived in Mgarr port about 6:30 and my choices were a local bus to Rabat and then another to Xlendi where I am staying or a taxi. I saw how any people were waiting for the local bus and didn't feel like fighting them with my bags so opted for the cab. I had a lovely driver who proceeded to be my tour guide all the way to Xlendi. He even taught me how to say Xlendi- the x is like 'sch' so it sounds like schlendi. That's one thing I have noticed about Maltese words - they stick the letter x in weird places! And they put letters together that do my head in - like an x next to a j.
Anyhooooo... I now know the sights I need to visit on my stay! I arrived at my hotel, San Andreas, and thanked my new friend for all his advice! I checked in and when I was speaking to the man at reception, I mentioned I was debating over the room type when I booked and had gone for the cheaper option but if the room with the balcony overlooking the
sea was still available, could I check it out and pay for the upgrade. He was happy to show me both rooms and when I saw the Seaview room, which was also bigger in size, he offered it to me at a discounted rate so I decided to grab it. I have included a photo from my balcony and you will see why!
After settling in, I decided to head out and explore both sides of the bay. It was dark now (no more late summer nights although it was still 28 degrees and humid!) but I was able to walk on the paths that were lit up and take in the view. Can't wait to enjoy this place more in the daylight tomorrow. There are numerous restaurants lining the bay and in the end I picked one to get a bite to eat. I had a nice local half bottle of rosé and a starter sized serve of spaghetti marinara. It was so lovely sitting beside the water, enjoying a drink and a meal. What a beautiful relaxing part of the world - my home for the next three days.
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