Sliema, Valletta and a harbour cruise

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September 22nd 2018
Published: September 23rd 2018
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This morning I met up with my cousin Rosie and second cousin Lucas at Giorgio's for breakfast. It was also an exciting morning because the Eagles were playing the Demons in the prelim final and the match was well underway when I woke up! Daniel was in Amsterdam so we were 'chatting' throughout. i could safely leave the apartment to meet up with Rosie & Lucas by three quarter time lol. It was so lovely to see them! Lucas had only arrived at about 1:30 this morning (from London) as his flight had been delayed. We enjoyed a nice breakfast and especially enjoyed the coffee this cafe served! We chatted about what we all wanted to do while we are here and decided we would jump in a ferry and explore some of Valletta and then maybe get a ferry to the 3 cities.

The Ferry left very close to where we were so we jumped on the 11am one. It only takes about 8 minutes to get to Valletta so before we knew it we had arrived. We walked up the streets into the main part of the town - wow, it is so beautiful but also so big! There are many, many streets to explore. We walked and chatted and eventually all agreed to stop for a coffee. Lucas knew a good cafe to go to so we walke to that one. It was worth it! The coffee was fantastic! After that little recharge we kept on walking until we came to the other side of the town, overlooking the harbour on the southern side which also has the three cities along it. We then discussed perhaps researching for a harbour cruise that would take us into the five creeks (as they are called) so turned around and walked back through Valletta along a few different streets. We got the ferry back to Sliema and then walked along the waterfront, checking out the different cruise companies. We found one we liked the look of and the guy discounted the tickets from €15 each to €10 each so we booked the cruise for 4pm today. It was about 1ish now so we agreed to head off and meet back at 3:45 for our harbour cruise. I walked back to my hotel and grabbed a kebab along the way for lunch. My phone was playing up and had died when we were in Valletta so I wanted to get back to my apartment and sort that out. It was also nice to get a bit of respite from the sun!

After recharging my phone - and me - I headed back out into the heat and walked to the ferry spot. I was able to just walk onto the boat and grab some seats up top in the front row for us and pretty soon after Rosie and Lucas joined me. We nearly cooked in the sun as we waited for the departure time but once we were underway there was a nice cool breeze so it was much more pleasant. The cruise started off by going around the island that I look out of my hotel balcony at - Manoel Island - which also has an amazing big fort on it but it isn't really utilised anymore. We then travelled into the Marsamxett Harbour, which borders the city of Valletta and suburb of Floriana. We then travelled alongside the Valletta city wall and past Fort Elmo, going under the Breakwater Bridge and into the Grand Harbour. What a wonderful way of seeing this beautiful city! Lucas went downstairs and got us a beer to sip along the journey. Across the way from the city of Valletta is a series of "creeks" although they are more like inlets and each one contains marina's and one contains a dry dock for repairing ships. We ventured into three of these and our guide/captain told us a little bit about each one, including the history of the area. The entire tour took about 90 minutes and it was truely a wonderful way to experience this part of Malta. As we were starting to head back towards Breakwater Bridge, the captain mentioned we had a new captain and introduced us to a random passenger they had selected to drive the boat! That's when he started playing the theme song from the Titanic! Very funny indeed. We made it safely under the bridge and back into the harbour and then he played Louise Armstrongs, What a Wonderfull World. We arrived back in Sliema around 5:40pm and agreed to go back to our respective apartments and change for dinner and to meet back at a certain spot at 6:30. I said I would send a message as I was leaving my hotel as I knew it then takes me 10 minutes to get to their spot. I got back to my apartment and went to put my phone back on the charger, only to not be able to locate it in my bag. I searched every single section of the bag and completely emptied it but still couldn't find my phone. Then I was starting to panic as I didn't know how to contact Lucas or Rosie and let them know. Then I remembered I could try calling Lucas on Messenger on my iPad. I tried a couple of times but he didn't answer. By now I was thinking the only place my phone could be was on the boat - if I fell out of my bag somehow in the way home, I would probably never see it or my credit cards again. I was hoping I would be able to contact Lucas as their apartment was closer to where the boat was moored but wasn't having any luck so grabbed my bag and headed back to the Marina. I went straight to the boat but there was no one on it and I couldn't get on it either. I then asked at one of the nearby booths and asked where I could speak to someone from that boat (pointing at it). The lady suggested I try another couple of booths down so I headed there. I asked the young girl about speaking to someone from that boat and she looked at me with a quizzical look. I tried to explain that I might have left my phone on board and that was when I saw the penny drop - she reached behind the counter and bought out my phone! I could have kissed her! I was so, so relieved and thanked her profusely. She said the captain had found it - lucky I tipped him when I got off the boat haha! Once I had my phone back i could see that Lucas had tried to contact me back. I was about to send him a message with the good news when I looked up and saw Rosie and he coming toward me. We were all so very relieved! It was now 6:30 and of course I hadn't had a chance to freshen up and change, so we agreed to push our booking back to 7:30 and I went back to my apartment for a quick freshen up and I was back down there at ten past seven.

The three of us then jumped into a cab and headed to Spinola Bay to a restaurant that Lucas recommended - Gululu's. He had managed to book us a table on the balcony and we had a sensational view out over the water towards St. Julian's. We chose some starters to share - all the dishes were very Maltese. We had Maltese cheese with pepper, Maltese sausages, white beans in garlic and herbs and some marinated olives. Then for our main Lucas and I had a pasta dish which had little pasta beads cooked with minced pork, finely chopped onions, parsley and a generous dose of butter and grated cheese. Rosie had the ricotta ravioli with tomato, garlic and basil sauce. It was all very delicious and we had a lovely evening chatting and reminiscing about family events from years ago. By the time we finished our meal and wandered down onto the street, the area was really pumping with all the 'young people' out to party! It was proving difficult to get a cab but just when we were wondering what to do, a bus came along that would get us back to Sliema. The bus took the scenic route back so it was nice to see this area at night time. A lovely evening with lovely people!


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