Alexander and I had worked out a route for me to get to the Blue Grotto on Saturday which involved the bus to the airport and then a bus to the Blue Grotto. Well I knew the times for the airport bus for weekdays but different on the weekend - as a "bus person" I should have known this. Now I had to wait nearly an hour! So I asked at the kiosk and I was told to take the 202 to Rabat and change...the bus is sitting there with the same grumpy aggressive driver sitting in I had had the previous day. "I can't do this again" I thought. I walked over to one of the hustlers trying to sell cruises and tours and asked about going to the Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon/Gozo trips are popular but I had already seen Gozo and the only option was going over to the Blue Lagoon for most of the day. Not really my cup of tea but I knew that leaving Malta and not seeing the much touted Blue Lagoon would not sit well with me. He assured me I could go back to sit on the boat if need be. So I paid my 20 euros for the cruise and lunch and unlimited drinks. Pretty cheap price I thought...well folks you get what you pay for.
So a bit after 10 we headed off up the coast and then headed out to sea. I was seated with a bunch of students from all over the world who are learning English in Malta so that was interesting. Off they went to get drinks while mom...er should I say "grandma" watched their bags. Oh well I had my water and wasn't really interested in getting a watered down drink and I certainly wasn't going to be drinking booze at 10:30 in the morning....not anymore anyway....
We dropped people off at Gozo who were doing the tour there and then back to Comino where the Blue Lagoon is situated. This whole process took about two hours.
Once we made our way into the Blue Lagoon and moored there everyone was agog as the water was beautiful. However we were told we had to have lunch first which consisted of watery pasta salad, a lettuce salad, some cold luncheon meat, bread and an apple. It was okay don't get me wrong and for 20 euros you can't expect much so I didn't. The boat was crammed to the rafters as well. Relaxing it was not.
Sadly there are speed boats, sea-doos and vendors galore allowed in this bit of paradise. Let's just say the place was chock a block with tourists with boats speeding and music blaring. They've really sold out.
I didn't even test the water so can't say if it was warm or not. I decided to have an ice cream and yay they had a 99 which is soft ice cream with a Cadbury flake bar in it. Well let's just say the ice cream was definitely not up to snuff...it was even worse than Dairy Queen...definitely ice 1% milk! Okay now I was getting crabby.
I wandered around a bit and found a road going to the diving school so off I went....I finally calmed down. It was going to be a "rest your legs" kind of day but I can't resist open space to walk and I didn't walk too far.
When I came back from the walk the boat was gone! I had a moment of panic and then realized they had to go and pick up the passengers from Gozo and let them have their time at the Blue Lagoon...whew..and then I saw it sailing back. Double whew!
Once the boat was back I got onboard and worked on my travel journal - I do it when I can!
One by one people got back on board and just after 4 we headed back to Sliema via Bugibba. Leaving the boat I had to laugh as lots of people, esp. the young ones were quite drunk. Ha..been there, done that. Back in Sliema I immediately tried to find somewhere to eat as I was hungry. I ended up at Ta'Kris restaurant which is a place that specializes in local food. I had never heard of it but stumbled across on it in a side alley. They were packed and no space available until 9:30 p.m. however they did have a table outside so I said I would take that. I ordered pasta....pasta with rabbit sauce...yes rabbit. Bugs Bunny, the Easter Bunny...yes yes yes...I know. But I had to try it and thought if it was in a sauce it wouldn't be as bad and actually it was quite tasty. They did add red wine, onions and spices to it as well - I must admit when I was done there was still a bit of meat at the bottom. Ah well...I won't do it again but am glad I tried it. Hey if I can eat a cricket I can eat a rabbit and these are specially bred hares. I tried not to think of my childhood gray bunny rabbit...sorry Wiggles! I had a nice glass of wine and ordered a platter of Maltese sweets to follow...they were nice even though I didn't have a clue what they were. The food was good at this restaurant but I have had better service that's for sure.
The next day I embraced my inner tourist and decided to do the hop on/hop off bus as I just couldn't face trying to get to the Blue Lagoon and the fishing village of Marsaxlokk via local bus.
As I was sitting on the top of the bus I was able to snap a few photos along the way...
I only managed to grab this shot but there were a ton of these girls - I assume some kind of girl guides? It was a huge get together of some sort.
Independence Monument - downtown Valletta by the bus depot - I wish I had gone back to this area as it looked interesting but sadly ran out of time.
How the other half lives.
Alexander had told me to go on Sunday to Marsaxlokk as they have a huge fish market. Unknown to me (and others I am sure) good old St Joseph day was that day and no markets. Ah well it was still a pleasant place to visit.
I wandered around taking loads of photos. The seaside fish restaurants tempted me - oh how they tempted me but I decided against it.
Then I spent far too long watching this chubby dog jump in the water retrieving water bottles while his skinnier friend jumped in a fishing boat (every time) egging him on (as in non stop barking). It was hilarious. Yay for us chubbs everywhere! There was a third dog who obviously (and rightly) thought the other two were nuts and just sat with the owner and watched.
Loved this statue of fisherman and child with dog - impossible to get a shot without people though. People everywhere! Sunday is a very popular day to visit!
Time to "hop on" again and on to the Blue Grotto.
I headed down to the cove where I got onto a small boat with about 9 others. Put on my life jacket and duh....my camera was under my life jacket....luckily I had a second camera with me. (as I always do) so used it.
For the cat lovers: a giant cat watching over Sliema...
This promenade went on forever but unfortunately I could only do a short distance and then caught a bus back.
And that was my last day in Malta!