On The Rock!

Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
Trip End Jul 11, 2006

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Flag of Malta  ,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

We are in Malta!! Almost didn't make it here because we thought we were running out of time but the flights lined up and we made it!! Called Nicky from Rome, said 'we are coming tomorrow okay?!' and she said um then Yeeaahhhh so we arrived on Friday night and have been having a superfantastico time!

We met Nicky and Matt and Nicky-B in Sumatra in 2002 and then later, when they came and stayed at our house at Marcus Beach, Nicky and I worked out we are born on exactly the same day! Kind of makes us astral twins or something we reckon! Anyway we always intended to pay them all a visit here on the rock in the Mediterranean and so glad we didn't slack off and not come. Malta is only tiny (just reached 400,000 people) but it is a groovin nation. Lots going on as we have found out and lots of fantastic food too! Friday night was a bit of a party in the loungeroom as Nicky and David's friends dropped around, Saturday was a tour of the island - to the beach, to a beautiful old fortified city and along the cliffs for sunset, Saturday night was out to il-forn an incredible restaurant/art gallery in old stone bakery owned by the crazy and amazing Austrian artist/chef/builder Clemens (www.birgu.com). Yesterday was a necessary sleep-in followed by lunch with Matt and Vanessa at the polo club and a drive around some pretty fishing villages. Last night we caught the coolest old bus to Matt's bar/restaurant - GiGi's. Last time we met Matt he was a skinny traveller of no fixed address, now he is a local celebrity and entrepreneur! Ha! GiGi's is gorgeous, right on the waterfront at St Julians, stone cliff walls, great food, great music, great artwork! Well done dude! Out with Matt for a few drinks after he shut-up-shop to discover that the Maltese know how to party. Sunday night was pumping, lots of fun and shenanigans going on! Today slept in and once David (aka ForestBoy) and Nicky finished at work off to the Blue Grotto for a swim (and I got stung by a sea urchin!) followed by a visit to the oldest temple in the world!....the 5000 year old Mnajdra! Whoah! Later we caught the bus into Valletta for a wander around the capital before coming home for an incredible home cooked feast! Up at five tomorrow morning (aarggh - it's already after midnight) to fly back to Rome in time to get a train and a ferry to Croatia. The other Nicky is living in Edinburgh but will be in Berlin for the World Cup and we plan to catch up with her then.

Rewind now.....to Nice. We left Nice on the night train to Rome last Tuesday night and our visions of a romantic evening in a big comfy sleeper disintegrated when we met the other four people crammed into our triple bunk sardine can cattle truck affair! It was fun anyway and a very multinational carriage, in with us were: Trevor (Canadian), Yun Hyun (Korean), Natalia (Argentinian) and Dustin (American). We all talked for ages but did manage some sleep so we weren't zombies when we arrived in Rome.

We spent 2 nights in Rome and discovered it is much better to explore in the middle of the night when all the tourists have gone to bed, also much cooler and very pretty because everything is lit up! We were hanging to get out of the city by Friday though, it was cool to see all the sights but 2 days was enough! Oh yeah, the 25th May was 10 years of Andy and Nat togetherness so it was pretty cool to celebrate that in Rome.

Anyhoo, best be off... Hugest thanks so my beautiful sister Nicky and her delightful Forest! We are so glad we made it here and you have spoilt us rotten!! We look forward to returning the favour when you get to Australia. Yippeee!
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