Friday, 6 July 2018

Gzira, Malta (33 Triq Carlo Manche’)

I set the alarm for 7:30 a.m. so I’d have time to get ready for my tour with Vanessa that begins at 9:00. I’m ready to see more of the island and have been reading up on this island and the country of Malta’s history. It will be interesting to know more about Vanessa. I only met her when she showed me the flat a few days ago, but she seems fun and speaks English very well.

While waiting outside for Vanessa I watched local women walking and talking as they made their way down the street. A man with a truckload of fruits and vegetables was across the street. Not sure if he is there every morning, but it looked that this was his business, driving his portable market around into the various neighborhoods. Was glad Vanessa was a little bit late so I could soak up the local flavor of where I was staying.

When Vanessa arrived she told me what she had planned and I see okay and off we drove. As we were driving she confirmed that there are a number of towns that are along the shoreline of the island and to someone who isn’t from Malta, it is difficult where one town ends and the next begins. There is quite a bit of construction of either new buildings or refurbishment of existing ones. Malta is becoming very popular and the traffic can be very slow in some areas.

After driving for almost 45 minutes we stopped for some water at St. Paul’s Bay and took in a view of the coastline. It was a bit hazy off towards the horizon so we couldn’t see the other smaller islands very well, but it was a bit cooler than yesterday.

We drove up to an old church at the top of a hill and admired the view from there, then drove down to the coast again and had lunch at a place along the shoreline. When we got to Ghadira we both had tuna salads and talked a lot about our histories and she talked more about growing up on Malta.

By this time it was almost 1:00 and we saw a couple of small towns as we drove along. We headed toward Mdina where there was a fortified city that once served as Malta’s capital until the medieval times. Vanessa went to school for several years at the convent located within the old city walls.

We walked around inside the old city when Vanessa offered to buy a dessert and coffee in Fontanella Tea Garden, which is located in an old house within the ancient city. We continued our discussion and she talked about the fun times she had going to school next door and pranks that she and her friends played.

It was over 5 hours of touring and I was getting tired. Vanessa showed me a few sites along the way back to Gzira. By the time we returned to my flat it was 3:00, so we had been touring for the last six hours. I said I would probably be back in January and look forward to meeting up with her again. I have a new friend!

What a great tour! Just what I enjoy, a chance to see the local surroundings, hear a bit of history and learn what it is like growing up in Malta. A few days ago I didn’t know much about Malta, but now, my head is stuffed with new information.

I had the remainder of the chicken salad for dinner and a bowl of cereal. I wasn’t all that hungry, which is good if I’m going to drop a few more pounds. More Downton Abbey tonight then to bed.

I have no plans for tomorrow except to see about a boat trip to one of the islands and to the Blue Lagoon.

To see pictures: 

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