Bombardier impressions, woolly mammoth theories and cactus clapping in Malta


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June 2nd 2017
Published: June 3rd 2017
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Today I discovered something that I didn't realise was missing from my life. Or rather Claire did. I mean, have you ever been asked to do a bombardier impression? Well I have, now anyway. And Claire has pictures of it. The impression, not her asking me to do it. My life is getting towards complete.



More of that anon as the day actually started quite badly. With a cold shower as we had no hot water. And then some chaos when we set off to pick up our hire car. Due to confusion with the airport transfer and the car hire company going bust we were picking the car up from the airport. As we were heading for the bus stop Claire realised her paper bit of her drving licence was in our apartment so she ran back. And we missed the bus.



During the hour wait for the next one I had some revolting coffee and an okay cup of fruit. Then Claire found out she needed her credit card....which was in our apartment....so we ran back....but caught the bus this time! And sat in some really low seats that were very uncomfortable. On a journey that lasted about 80 minutes. At least it only cost €1.50.



At the airport we had the pleasure of buying some insurance but given how people drive here, it's probably for the best. I remember being at a car desk in Portugal and a guy actually asking if they had more insurance and wanting as much as they had. He would probably have been better off buying a car or hiring a driver it would have been that expensive.



Anyway, we now have a Peugeot 107 which is okay apart from the bite point of the clutch is so high my knee goes through the roof every time I have to use it. It doesn't have much power but far more than the Toyota Nogo we had in Spain last year. We were warned and we'd read about the drivers here and how they ignore road instructions but you just have to join them....without breaking any laws of course.



And so we set off to the Blue Grotto where we parked at the top of a hill and were guided into a spot by a 'car park man' who accepts donations. Very good of him. At the bottom of said hill were a number of motor boats that cost €8 to go on a trip in (on?). So we did. Our captain (if you can have such a thing in a tiny boat...) took us into various caves, told us something about each and said it was okay for us to stand up 137 times. Even after we did. The caves were great, the water was indeed blue and it was a good trip. Short, but good.



No other way to get there really as, if you swam, you'd probably get Kirsty Macolled by a boat. And it would be a long way. Claire exclaimed that she knew she was on holiday now as we were on a boat trip. We do like our boat trips.



After a Maltese tuna roll in a crumbly cafe we were soon on our way again and even sooner arriving at some temples. Hagar Qim and Mnajdra have been around a helluva long time and how they built them in that era is subject to people having theories. How they managed to do some arranging of things to let light into certain places during solistices is also subject to someone theorising.



Later we will be getting someone else's theory on something else which I shall dismiss out of hand and come up with a far more rational theory because I am going to become one of those people that sit around theorising about things for a living. They do get paid don't they?



So, the temples. They're both covered in permanent canopies to protect them and both are fantastic examples of building work from aeons ago. Well marked with signage, which followed a 4D film and an informative museum section, this place is well worth a visit. There were even some tourists here who had managed to drag themselves away from their sunbeds round the pool although I bet they left their towels out.



And are now putting them out ready for the morning....



Not that they wind me up of course....



Whilst walking between the temples I invented three new games. If they become a success remember that you read about them here first. So, Cactus Clapping. You get a sharp, spikey bit of a cactus and clap with it in the middle of your hands. The winner is the one who bleeds the most.



Next, Blind Wall Walking. A simple game which can result in serious injury or even death as you have to blindfold yourself and walk along a wall. Fun for all the family! I told Claire that some people play a version of this where they 'cheat' and have someone shouting out unstructions and she was quite curious as to how people could already be playing a simpler version of a game I had invented less than a minute ago. The power of the internet eh!



Last and, to be honest, least: Thistle Throating. Take the spikey bit of the thistle and you have to get it down into your throat without swallowing it. If you swallow it you really do lose, especially when it needs to come out again. To win you probably need to be a complete idiot so good luck to you.



Next stop Clapham Junction. No, seriously. I have no idea how to describe this in a clear way but I'll have a go. Many moons ago before even Bruce Forsyth was alive (in prehistoric times apparently) some carts made some ruts in some rocks and it looks like it was so busy that the area is now called Clapham Junction. Sounds good huh?



We arrived to find the gates shut to the road that lead to them so we parked up at the side of the road and walked in. Faced by a quarry and no more signage we were stuck in a rut.....did you see what I did there? But then Claire said those immortal words 'hang on' as she espied some ruts...in the rocks....wow....it was totally underwhelming....until I came up with a theory. Rather than cart ruts I have a theory that the ruts were created by a two-trunked woolly mammoth whose trunks were so big and heavy he had to drag them along. You want more visitors? Use my theories. Reasonable (high) fees. Apply within.



I had to drag Claire away from all the excitement. Only the pull of a real life movie set could do that so off we set to Anchor Bay where Popeye village lies. The village was built for the 1980 Robin Williams film, Popeye and has since been turned into a mini theme park. The park was just closing so we took pictures of it from atop a cliff. Amazing to see how much work had gone into making one movie. Guess I'll have to watch it again now!



Bugger, I've mixed up the order of things. When you do so much in a day it's hard to remember everything. From Clapham Junction we'd actually gone to Golden Bay to get annoyed by holidaymakers. Noisy gits. How anyone can make so much noise on a beach is beyond me but the guy next to us helped us last not too long. We'd had a swim in the sea, only a short one as it was damned cold, and were drying out lying on the beach....get us!....when gobby gabbled one too many times and we were on our merry way.



Oh and we both tried some local delicacies. Claire had a pea pastizzi which she said was okay and is basically a puff pastry parcel but she'd probably try the ricotta type next time. I had an arancini (but it's probably spelt differently) which looks like a giant Scotch egg but is full of lightly spiced rice, chicken, mozzarella and onions. Lovely! At least there were no capers in like I had in my Maltese tuna roll earlier. I mean what is that all about? Flavour Claire says. Pointless I say. At least they aren't as bad as olives...or...gulp.....mushrooms.... But then not much is.



There were sharp intakes of breath next as we headed to what my guidebook calls 'the wild north.' I've see wilder rides outside supermarkets to be honest. But it was interesting none the less. The Red Tower lives up to its name but not to the dizzying views my book suggests. The views are okay but I didn't even feel slightly light-headed. Until Claire asked me to do a bombardier impression....



The tower, also known as St Agatha's Tower had previously been guarded by a bombardier and so Claire uttered those immortal words that have now rendered the rest of the day not worth mentioning. Bombardier Glyn at your service!



We did some other things like photographing a crap sunset, saw some jumping fish, drove up a one way street the wrong way (screw you Google maps!), nearly ended up on a ferry by accident and Claire oggled and photographed some cats....but do they really matter now I've been asked to do a bombardier impersonation? Probably not.

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