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WEB LOG of my visit to Malta
Don Ravey - February/March 2004

FIRST WEEK

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Western Mediterranean map Map Flag of Malta

Tuesday, 3 February - Departed San Francisco on Virgin Atlantic nonstop to London Heathrow. 11 hours to reach London, then 11 more hours until my connecting flight on Air Malta, arriving in Malta around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, then on through Customs and to a waiting taxi driver with the key to my rented flat in St. Paul's Bay, a town northwest of Valletta, the capital.

A map of the western Mediterranean shows the Maltese islands between Sicily and Tunisia; the second map will give you an idea of where St. Paul's Bay is, in relation to the rest of the island; the Maltese flag features George's Cross, awarded to the Maltese people by Great Britain for their valiant defense of the island in World War II.


St. Paul's Bay St. Paul's Islands Living room Dining room Kitchen Bedroom

Thursday, 5 February - What a treat to wake up and see this view from the balcony of my 3rd floor flat! Days are mostly sunny, nights are still damp and chilly. Just recovering from jet lag and beginning to learn how things work over here. First day was consumed in shopping for necessities and getting this Internet connection working. The telephone in the flat is a prepaid card "Easyline" system that required special setup to work with my modem.

Pictured above are scenes from my balcony of St. Paul's Bay, looking across to Xemxija (just ask me how to pronounce it!) and St. Paul's Islands (the Mediterranean Sea and Sicily are to the upper right) and the living room, dining room, kitchen and main bedroom of the flat.


Seabreeze Fishing boat promenade Sunset in St. Paul's Bay

Saturday, 7 February - I score Malta this way, so far: Old charm: 9, Food: 6, Convenience: 4, Weather: 3. Now I think the weather is likely to improve and once I've learned more about getting around, that will probably get better, too. Despite the cold, windy day, I determined to get outside today. Sure glad I brought fur-lined gloves! I discovered one (count 'em, ONE) restaurant quite near, and one "Self Service" (tiny grocery) only a block away, neither of which were open, but I returned after 4 p.m. and was able to buy groceries. But with three customers at the same time, it was hard to maneuver around inside!   [Later: actually, there's another very nice restaurant equally close that I failed to notice at first.]

The first photo above is the outside of Seabreeze (the pink building)--I'm the middle of the 3 balconies. The next photo is on my street (Triq Ghajna Rasul), where a neighbor keeps his fishing boats. Notice the eye painted on the bow of the boat--every Maltese fishing boat has this for luck. If you can't spot the eye, look in the light tan triangle right at the bow. Also note the cat perched on the wall--I don't know what a cat breeder might call it, but since it lives here, I can state assertively that it's a Maltese cat! The next photo is the promenade immediately down the hill from me one block. Finally, a sunset as seen right out my balcony window!


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