Category Archives: Malta

A toast good bye.

IMG_1642And this was only a medium!

Sunday found us on many modes of transportation:

1) An early bus (6:40) to the airport allowed us time for a coffee (!) and snack.      2) A full, and uneventful flight to Madrid on Ryanair.       3) An airport bus from terminal 1 to terminal 4,       4) where we caught a train to the main train station downtown Madrid.      5)A reserved seat on the high speed train to Malaga, on Spain’s southern coast.  Dave’s eyes widened when we topped out at 199 MPH!!! (not a typo). The most comfortable ride ever,  NO roads crossed these tracks.     6) Finally, a 43 minute ride on a commuter train from Malaga found us in our destination – Fuengirola!  Two blocks from the train station we found our apartment (at 7:30 p.m.) minus internet:-(  Our host seems slow to fix it. Otherwise, a delightful home.

More of Valletta

IMG_1637What are the odds we would be there when the art came to life…Appropriately made out of limestone, as is most every building on the islands.

IMG_1633Seems the skies are so dramatic here.  Near sunset they cast some beautiful light.

IMG_1632Never far from sweets!

The Maltese are all about the ‘love locks’, where sweethearts fasten a lock on a bridge symbolizing their love .

IMG_1640More happy dogs!  till next time. – Laura

Valletta visit


IMG_1586A gap between two buildings had been made into a stairwell.  It ended at the marina where some humungous yatchs were moored – see below.   And this wasn´t even shot from the top of the stairs.

IMG_1593<A travel day Sunday and a broken internet at our new ´home¨ is the reason for lack of postings. I´m making this post from the Tourist Information office in Fuengirola, Spain.>

IMG_1617Did they build the bus to just fit through these archways?  As noted before, these ancient fortress walls remain all over the island.  The narrow streets always find vehicles giving way to busses and trucks that could otherwise not manage a corner or intersection.

IMG_1616Golden girl.

IMG_1620We will miss Malta’s Carnival by a week.  It´s the same as our  Mardi Gras,  the free-wheeling festival before the beginning of the Lent in the Catholic tradition, and a very big deal here.   Above:  We´re guessing this fella was doing his sound check in preparation for the festival.  The venue was an ancient ruin where modern seating was being set up.

IMG_1608Flying buttress in the Naval Museum, which is housed in the former Navy bakery building next to the harbor.  We estimated this fella was 13´tall.  Malta of course has a very long naval history.

Almost caught up! – Laura

Clear skies persist

IMG_1560Our wanderings Tuesday brought us to the Dingli Cliffs on the SW edge of Malta.  Perfect spot for a radar installation.IMG_1574Here’s where those giant squash came from!IMG_1568 Young ladies from France, waiting for a bus and having Dave (and me!) take their picture.IMG_1566The edge of a cliff – odd place to put a church.IMG_1565Again we’re racing the sun, and wander into Rabat to catch a bus very near dark.  – Laura

Continuing the coastal walk

IMG_1513After leaving Marsaskala, we hiked south along these beautiful  cliffs.

IMG_1521Malta truly is a happy place.

IMG_1512Looking back at St. Thomas Bay.   We still haven’t figured out what the blocks attached to the posts/rods are for.  We asked on our last visit (10 years ago) and were told they are bird traps.  We’ve never seen anything on top of the blocks, so maybe (hopefully) they’re not used anymore.  Either way, we couldn’t figure them out.

IMG_1543Old and new.  Looking at the port across Ramla Ta’ Birzebugga, which translates to “Pretty Bay”.

IMG_1541Dave found a would-be souvenir, but I reminded him our storage units were full. – Laura


As in Italy, there is a bit of a stray cat population.  Just this morning we ran into a gentleman who was setting out a dinner plate full of cat food – “Breakfast time!”.  They all look healthy and well fed.

IMG_1583Some  locals even spend time creating and maintaining kitty condos, though I’ve never seen one occupied.

IMG_1582And if you’re a real cat lover, you take the time to level out their water dish.  🙂 – Laura

Beautiful bay

IMG_1533Tuesday found us in the colorful fishing town of Marsaxlokk on the SE edge of the island.  These beautiful wooden boats, locally called  luzzos, are still used by fishermen.

IMG_1308Note they all have “eyes” in the front –  here in the white band.  A Phoenician tradition, these represent the eye of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld, and are said to protect against evil spirits of the deep.

IMG_1534Dave’s query as to the type of wood the boats are built of  was answered with “iroko”.   We’ve since found this is a hardwood tree from the west coast of tropical Africa, and, though it is not in the teak family, is sometimes referred to as African Teak.

IMG_1504The waterfront and street are  lined with cafes and street vendors.  We had a nice squid spaghetti, and a not so good burger.

It doesn’t get better than this.

IMG_1540Well, maybe it does.  Taking a break. – Laura

Back on the trail.


IMG_1458Got out for a hike Sunday.  Lots of commercial greenhouses and farms,  so we tried to identify some of the  fruits & vegetables that grow on the island.

IMG_1434Artichokes. Who knew.

IMG_1446We peeked but didn’t pick – strawberries.

IMG_1437Vineyards – of course.  The local wine takes up a lot of shelf space in the stores, and is on every restaurant wine list.  Also in stores are wines from Italian, South America (mostly Chile), and Australia.  Not too many American.

IMG_1478Cherry tomatoes.  Also saw a greenhouse where Roma tomato plants were supported/wired up,  and about  8+ feet tall.

IMG_1500Seen next to one of the produce trucks that regularly set up on given street corners.  They will slice out as big or small a wedge as you want.

IMG_1477Guessing zucchini, which we see a lot of in the market. Light green skin.

OK – enough of the boring plants!

IMG_1445We were being watched.

IMG_1444Dave – trying to blend in 🙂 Since I had the camera, and have shorter legs, I’d often round a corner to find him patiently waiting for me to catch up.  The plaque above his head is the name of the home.  Even in town, every house has a name, usually religious in nature. This one was an exception –  “Wild Thyme”.  Also, looks can be deceiving.  This may look like a pretty boring house from the outside, but we’ve seen enough real estate fliers to know that they can be very elegant and modern inside.

IMG_1463Squeezing by.  For whatever reason, motorcycles & scooters are not as popular here as they are in Spain.  Also, would not recommend Malta as a biking destination, as shoulders are non-existent.

IMG_1472She was so proud of her horse!

IMG_1473Even small towns have large, beautiful churches.

IMG_1486Not positive who “Me” is – my guess is a hedgehog.  Have  only seen one squashed and it was much too small for a porcupine.

IMG_1482At the end of a delightful scramble up the hill!  It was a relief to find this short cut and get off the road, in addition to saving  the steps.  Note the long shadows.  We ended up catching a bus  for the last few miles home, as dusk caught up with us.  All in all, a very nice day. – Laura

You know..

It’s a slow day in Bugibba (boo-gee-ba) when Laura’s doing a food posting.  Cool and blustery weather persists.  When it does break, we’re going to bolt toward the cliffs on the s.w. edge of the island for some awesome hikes.  Meanwhile…

IMG_1425Fast food, Malta style.  These hot cases contain take-away food that includes pizza, lasagna, and other pasta and savory pastry dishes.  Have only tried the pizza (OK) and the pea pastry.


IMG_1431You know you’re getting close to one of these shops when you meet people walking and eating from white bakery bags… 🙂 comparable to U.S. drivers eating burgers & fries while driving.

IMG_1428A dish unique to Malta (I think) is their pea pastry.  All are not created equal – purchased from different shops (35¢ each), the near one had some nice spice added to the peas, and was crispier.  Nothing from these shops is healthy (duh!)- very greasy, and all carbs!

 Vegetarians, look away.


IMG_1418A delightful surprise at the grocery are the smoked pork products .  Way reasonably priced (at 2.2 lbs to the kilo, around $3 a pound) and tasty, and perfect for breakfast.

IMG_1419I can’t give the monkey-face “ham” (bologna?) a review, but it could be a fun to go at with a mustard bottle.

IMG_1417Yes!! Some real syrup from Canada.

IMG_1420Lots of olive choices in the deli –  pepper flakes, garlic, or ‘seafood” – tuna and anchovies mixed in.

Well – that’s all for now.  Dave’s taking me out to a nice Italian restaurant.  A break in the weather would be good for my diet 🙂 – Laura