1st – 2nd September – Just preparing for my new couchsurfer and working
3rd September – Another day off, waiting for my couchsurfer Barbara I was cleaning my flat, shopping food and waiting for the evening. In good time I was going to the airport by bus. Because it was not the last one I could take to go to Bombi and change there to X-bus to the airport. Barbara already did inform me, that her flight was starting late in Berlin and it will not be in time in Malta of course. So I had to wait around half an hour longer. Also it took time before Barbara had got her luggage. While waiting I bought a 7-day-ticket for Barbara, because it is less than 1 Euro a day to go by bus all around the island by such a ticket. I had some problems to see where I have to put in the 10-Euro-note. At least I found it and was happy. When Barbara finally came to the meeting point I felt at once, that she is a nice fellow and we will have a good time together.
4th September – My other day off of two and I had an appointment at a hairdresser at 9:30 (it was my first time at a hairdresser in Malta), after that I went to Valletta together with Barbara. First we were looking for the National Library. We found it easily because it is very central and I have been outside more than once. I was surprised, that it actually only is one room, open for public. Half of the room is only for researchers, the first part is like a museum. The Library is situated in a beautiful house and like in all of the Nationals Library, there are a lot of very old books to see. When I was thinking about the size of the Library, I was remembering that the whole country of Malta only has the size of Vienna, Austria or rather Bremen in Germany. Malta has only around 420 000 inhabitants like Bristol in the UK or half of the inhabitants of Marseille, France.
The next building, we visit was the Presidents Palace, where we bought a combined ticket for The State Rooms of the Palace and the Armoury at the same building. It was also for The National War Museum, The National Museum of Archaelogy and the National Museum of Fine Arts. We got each a ticket for 60+ people for 15 Euros. Barbara was not very interested in the Armory, but we started with it, because it was only open on Thursday and it was Thursday. We both became surprised, because we did not remember, that we had learned, that there was fashion in Armouries, too.
When we had finished there, Barbara and I were eating out in Valletta. We found a little restaurant in a little lane close to the St. John’s Co-Cathedral. We ordered a Maltese plate for two and Barbara a beer and I the Maltese soft drink Kinnie, because I have to try it once. It’s bittersweet taste is alright as well as it is low carbonated.
We were leaving for visiting the Museum of Fine Arts. We had to look for it and use the google map on my tablet, because it was really hard to find it, situated between houses one never would expect such a building. We did not give up even it was hot and no shadow in the streets. We were very lucky when we have been there and we also appreciated that it was blended art in this museum, not only painting. It was really nice arranged.
Afterwards we were going to the Upper and Lower Baccara Gardens and I showed Barbara my “smultronställe” as we say in Sweden. That means a place I love to be. It is at the coast, where I can see the entrance to the harbour of Valletta. For me it is so nice there, that I could cry of luck. The first time I saw it, I felt in love with Malta. Meanwhile I have seen more nice places, which makes my love to Malta even greater. We rounded off the day by a pint in a corner pub close to the bus stop called Lermu.
It got even better, because on the way back to the bus we were walking a street, where the Valletta Police Station is. There were a new restaurant, which had it’s opening day. It was a cooperation of a photographer and the restaurant with free food and drinks. The photographer Barbara is, she connected with the Maltese photographer.
5th September – In the morning a friend of Barbara where coming up to my flat. It took a while before she found us, because we told her that she had to leave the bus at the bus stop called Msida, but she left on the other side of the close bridge at Kullegg. That is of course a little hard to know that there is a bus stop with that name Msida in Msida, especially, when one never have been there, but when someone tell you about it, one should be able to ask the driver to call at that bus stop.
Barbara was going out to meet her, but did not find her, because the friend of Barbara could not really explain, where she was. She told us, that she is at a Pharmacy, but there are three or four quite close to my flat. Finally Barbara’s friend were ringing the door bell. We welcomed her, of course. After a while we where leaving and going to St. Anton Gardens in Attard. I have been there close with David before, but we were never in – and I like that garden really much. It is lovely and offers benches in the sun as well as the shade. It is the biggest one of the Maltese Public Gardens. I have had the wish to go there before, but that day I tried, I did not find it. Therefore this trip made my day ;-). Meanwhile I had to leave for going to work when Barbara and her friend were staying in the garden.
6th September – it is Saturday and I had to do my shopping for the weekend, Barbara were following me to the supermarket; afterwards she were going to Rabat and Mdina and I to work.
7th September – Marsaxlokk one more time, this time with Barbara and I did make pictures this time. I also made off with some money. I bought just some small items. Because I had to got to work this time, too, we left around noon and were going by bus in the direction of Malta airport, because Barbara would go one more time to Rabat and for me it was also a good place for changing bus to Msida. We changed bus after some few stops and were entering an X-7 bus for the airport. It was an unusual journey. The bus had some problems with the engine and we were very happy that we arrived at the airport at all. Barbara was lucky to catch a 201 at the airport to the Hagar Qim Temples just in time. She thought to go off the bus in Rabat, but was then continuing all the way. After have been to the temples she was going to a feast in Zurrieq. She did tell me about it, when I came home from work.
8th September – It is a Public holiday: Feast of Our Lady of Victories and Joe was coming up for a walk – he told us a lot about the festivities that day in Valletta, so Barbara tried later to see something of them. Before she was leaving us for Valletta the three of us took a walk to find a street (Triq Dun Kalcidon Schembri) in Msida. We left Barbara at the bus stop Kullegg. Afterwards Joe showed me the “Lifelong Learning School”, where I will start learning Maltese at 1st October. To round that walk off, Joe and me were going home to me for a glass of water and for talking a short while more. He left around 12:30. I was writing a little in my blog for remembering what I have done the whole week 😉 and after lunch I was going to work. Barbara started at the National Museum of Archaelogy because there are all the findings from the Hagar Qim Templets and more of that period.
9th September – Barbara was going to Gozo. She will stay there for three or four days. I have to shop food again, make some washing and go to work. I tried to buy Swedish meat balls at the Swedish shop because our team will gather for dinner this evening and I only had a few left. All of us will have some special meal with us and share. Finally, the meat balls I still had have been enough this evening, I am so happy about that – and it was very nice to eat dinner together during our rest. By the way we also had to take our own plates etc. with us ;-).
10th September – I met David again. We were to Qawra for a swim. We were there until noon or maybe one more hour. The beach at Qawra is a rocky one, nice to look at and the natural shape is good for nearly all kinds of swimmers. Also the community helped a little so there are two kinds of basins and ladders to go in there. The ground is stoney and slippry but David care about me and tell me, where I can go and where I have to look up. I am happy about that. It is nice to feel the sun on my body after the swim. It does not matter that there is no sand to be on.
I took my camera with me, but unfortunately the sun is shining from the “wrong side” so I cannot take any good pictures and decide, not to take any pictures at all in the early hours. Later on, there are so many people at the beach that I am not longer interested in to take pictures either. I think I will come back here anyway.
When we left the place David asked me where I will go and I asked him if there is any forest on Malta. He drove the car in an area close to Mtarfa. There is a dry river and there are a lot of trees and bushes around. Also a lot of cacti are growing there. Unfortunately their fruits are not really ripe, otherwise I should have taken some. In the afternoon he brought me home.
11th September – In the morning I went to the police station and try to get my life-certificate for Sweden signed. I took with me both my Swedish pass, my German ID-card as well as my Maltese ID-card. Although the form is in English as well as in Swedish, they will not sign, because they do not know me! So I write to the Swedish consulate in Valletta, if they can do it.
In the evening I went to Mdina by bus for an organ concert. It is for free at the St Paul’s Mdina Cathedral. David met me there. It is a nice concert, but I am wondering about the very high tones of the organ. After the concert, the organ player is talking about that the higher pipes of the organ are not really good and have to be fixed. He asked for donations. Because the concert was for free I give them a donation, so did David and a lot of more people. I hope it will be enough for repairing the organ.
After the organ concert I have asked David out for dinner. I cannot always take of him. I get bad feelings of that. I was looking for a friend, not for someone who pays for me. We found a nice restaurant in Rabat, just on the border to Mdina. He chose a steak. I take a Maltese beef olive. It is filled with minced meat and egg. They are big, both of them, I have got on my plate. Also there are a lot of fried potatoes (not French fries) and vegetables, too. I could only eat half of it and asked for a doggy bag. There were no problems about that. (I had this half portion the day after for lunch and became satisfied again.) We finished the evening at my home by a good cup of coffee.
12th September – I had to make an appointment at a doctor – a specialist. It was easy to do. I asked David the evening before, if he knows a good one and he recommended me Dr. Alberto Vella. I will meet him in October.
13th September – Barbara is back from Gozo. We are tired – she because the trip and me from cleaning my flat in the morning and my late shift at work, so we were not talking much when I came home from work. Also I did not have so much sleep during the night before.
14th September – I went with Barbara to Mosta for showing Barbara the Rotunda. When we came there, they have a festival – the Mostativa. It is a kind of sports festival. People can try some sports and also line dancers are showing what they can, but they call it something with walking ;-). When I have to go to work, Barbara is going to Rabat and Mdina one more time, because she did not finish the day before and are very interested in to see more. I had to go to work in the afternoon.
15th September – Barbara and I are going to Valletta again. I have to go to the Swedish Consulate for my life-certificate. I have to send it before I am going on my vacation. Barbara is going to another museum. After getting my life-certificate signed and stamped I am looking for a little suitcase on wheels for my vacation. I will not have a need of my big one and have not taken any small to Malta. I bought one on the market. I chose a lilac – though I easy can find it on the transport band at the airport. Moreover I was looking for an Italian phrase book, but did not find any. Also this day I had to go to work.
16th September – Barbara and me where to the “National War Museum” in Valletta. We have the whole day to spend. I was only interested in the part of Malta in the wars and I was surprised, that they were so involved. It was hard to read about all the fights and misery. When I talked about it with David, he told me, that he has been as a soldier in the Gulf War in Kuwait and lost a friend in front of his eyes. That did not make my mood any better, of course.
At work I were asking if I can take my hours off the upcoming day, I have to get two hours off, because the meetings and a day I was working without any rest. I am interested in to meet David one more time before I am leaving Malta for vacation and that would not be possible if I will be working until midnight the following night, too. I am happy because I have got that allowance and send an email to David about that after coming home that night.
17th September – Barbara was leaving that day, going back to Berlin, Germany. She invited me for a bit of tart at the “Busy bee” in Msida. It was really a little to early for me and to close to breakfast, but she had to catch her flight and I had to go to the German Embassy in Sliema to get my German life-certificate signed. There was no problem with that, but I also saw, that I might get a complement on my German ID-Card, because I still have my last German Address on it. I did not know, that I have to get my Maltese address on it, but I will go to the Embassy again after I will be back from vacation.
I had to go to work half an hour earlier, because we had our monthly team meeting, but I was already packing up at 9pm. David was meeting me close to my home and we were walking at the sea-side from the Msida Marina towards Sliema. It was a lovely night. We took the short way back, but not the one I have been walking with Barbara, when we saw the hookers, because David told me, that it is not good for men using that street during night-time together with a woman. Anyway, there are lots of possibilities to reach my home, so it did not bother me.
18th September – 30th September
I was leaving Malta at the 18th by flight for vacation to Switzerland and was coming back to Malta 30th. About this part of my “trip around the world” you can read here soon: https://dorotheeinternational.wordpress.com/my-travels/switzerland/ticino-2014/
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