Malta and Gozo

Trip Start Aug 16, 2005
Trip End May 02, 2006

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Flag of Malta  ,
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Amazing is the fact that I spent three weeks in Morocco eating questionable food in questionable places and not once did I have stomach problems. Less than 8 hours in the so-called civilized world, or Europe anyway, and I am vomiting violently.

A nice flight into Valetta from Casablanca on Air Malta. The islands were beautiful from the air and the flight was pleasant. Arrived and went through our usual rituals of customs and immigration, picking up our baggage and proceeding to find some local currency and a way to get to our hotel. Took a cab to our hotel for 6 Maltese Lira thinking, "Wow, that was cheap," to discover later that it was about $18. Backpackers don't "do" $18 cab rides. Anyway, our first indication Malta was not going to be too cheap.

Our room in the British Hotel, a strange, 70s style, seven story building, was lovely. Felt like a 12 year old girl's bedroom, a beautiful terrace overlooking the harbor which we read described as the "world's most desirable harbor" in terms of geographical make-up and accessibility. I don't know about all that but it was indeed very beautiful. The room also had its own bathroom, a real blessing as it turns out...

We treated ourselves to what we considered a pretty nice meal at an Italian restaurant and then walked back home. I went to bed that night not feeling very good. Awoke at about 1a.m. and began vomiting pretty violently. Needless to say, the rest of the night wasn't much better. Nor was the following day as we were rung by the front desk at 11 to inform us that we needed to vacate the room as we had only booked one night and the hotel had since booked our room. We packed up and walked 20 feet to the hotel next door, much the same kind of place, and I lay there in bed ALL day, ate nothing but 2 crackers and half a bottle of Imitation Gatorade while Bonnie walked around the city and took pictures to later show me what "we" had done that day. Luckily I had a heater in the room and mostly read a lot a rested which was what I needed. The spaghetti had vacated my body entirely by the following day and though very weak, I managed to get up, pack the backpacks and head out toward the bus station.

I guess I was a little weaker than I thought because this walk was a bit of a challenge. I told Bonnie, "I think I should eat something soon," because the weight of the backpack seemed to triple on my back that morning. So we strolled along making our way to the station and while crossing a street at a pretty busy intersection my foot did not quite make it up the 5 inch sidewalk, and I went crashing down in what seemed like slow motion to me at the time, onto it, my small backpack on my front, the big one on my back. I lay there on the sidewalk with all this crap on top of me and slowly looked up at Bonnie for a total of about 5 seconds before a smile stretched across my lips, her cue that I was alright and it was now O.K to break out in uncontrollable, eye watering laughter. Traffic stopped, people stopped, a policeman walked over to make sure I was alright. I must have laid there a good 5 minutes because I was laughing so hard and still, was too weak to get back up. A few bruises still from that little spill but otherwise fully recovered.

A couple of hours later we arrived on the island of Gozo, one of three islands of Malta, and where we spent the remainder of our time. Gozo reminded me a lot of Isle of Capri in southern Italy. We had beautiful weather, sunshine and 60s and did a lot of walking/hiking from our apartment that we rented for 2 nights from a funny and nice lady named Karmen who picked us up from the ferry station. Really enjoyed having our own place and ate all our meals in which not only saved us money but also anymore questionable food from restaurants and further belly ache.

Our flight out of Malta on our last day was not until midnight so when our return ferry from Gozo landed back in Malta around 6p.m. we had to kill some time. We walked to the movie theater, stood in line with our backpacks, bought 2 tickets to Memoirs of a Geisha (I have now added Japan to my countries-to-visit list), bought popcorn, handed the men selling the snacks our backpacks and proceeded into the theater. When the movie was over we walked back out, reclaimed our luggage under the puzzled stares of other movie-goers, and I said to Bonnie,

"Feel like flying to Egypt tonight?"

"Sure. Why not? I don't have to work tomorrow."

And so we did...
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