Dec 02 2017

Our week in Malta – Part 3

Friday, November 10th

The last day has arrived – well, to do something useful, I mean . Tomorrow afternoon we were flying home again.

Shamefully, we had to admit that we never visited the Three Cities (called Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa) plus Kalkara which also lies there, at the Grand Harbour.

So, we decided to take the bus to Birgu/Vittoriosa. There were a few museums (as rain was predicted for the afternoon), restaurants and the marina with the yachts and super yachts! Of course we had to go there and have a look!

Just before lunch we arrived at our destination and before we knew it, we found ourselves inside the little Parish Church Museum. The friendly volunteer was eager to tell us some historical stories and explaining some artefacts shown behind glass. Of course, we donated some Euros, since the entrance was free.

After that we went to the waterfront/marina, hoping to find a cosy restaurant or bar for a drink. We passed the Maritime Museum, which we would visit a bit later and had a look around the marina with its more or less big and even bigger yachts! Unbelievable, what we saw – some of them simply took our breath away!

Then, sure enough, the sky started filling up with dark clouds and the wind was getting a bit rough, so it was time for a glass of wine and a Guinness. 15 minutes later it was pouring, accompanied by thunder and lightning – Thor was sending his greetings, obviously!

Just next door lies the Maritime Museum, so after we finished our drinks, we rushed over, paid the entrance fee and dived down in Malta’s rich history! There was so much to see and read….you couldn’t get enough. The visit took therefore over two hours, instead of the planned one to one-and-a-half hours! Gosh!!

Yeah well, outside again and being back in “our” time, at least it had stopped raining and we took a stroll along the waterfront. There were even more boats to admire, and slowly we went towards to the bus stop – it was already time to head back to Naxxar! So, of the Three Cities, we sadly only visited one.  Hmm…next time we will complete our task and visit Senglea, Cospicua and Kalkara – promised!

However, we decided to spend our last evening at the “Ta Stringi” restaurant. Since we didn’t eat during the day, we were starving and looked forward to a decent meal.

And we weren’t disappointed: We’ve had such an incredible evening and the restaurants boss and his staff (two of them are his sons) treated us like VIP’s! We really couldn’t believe their affection toward us and the generosity. Again we got a refill with the Grappa/Sambuca, then we had to taste their homemade cherry wine (which was yummy!) and before we left, we received a bottle of white wine….just like that! Unbelievable, isn’t it?! We had absolutely no clue, why we were treated like that! Maybe we were confused with some celebrities….?

It must have been close to midnight, when we were back at our B&B. Happy and with a bunch of lovely memories we went to bed! Good night and sleep well everyone!

Saturday, November 11th

Time to day good-bye! After a last breakfast at the Chapel and lovely chats with Malcolm and Alex, it was time to pack our bags and check out…..it wasn’t fun, that’s for sure!

Since our taxi to the airport wouldn’t be there before 12 o’clock lunchtime, we were allowed to leave our suitcases at the B&B. So we took a last stroll around Naxxar – it certainly is a lovely place! We also found a book shop, because we wanted to buy a “English-Maltese” dictionary. We received a first class service and various books were shown, and more or less recommended. Happily, after 45 minutes, we left the shop with two books. Both of us with high expectations and looking forward to learn at least some basics!

Just before 12 o’clock, we were back at the Chapel and said our good-byes to Alex. Malcolm was sleeping, since he had a busy day! Tony – the taxi driver – arrived as promised and off we were, towards Luqa airport.

The check-in went smoothly and soon we sat at the “Hard Rock Cafe”, talking about our interesting/cool/ sunny week in Malta and enjoying a drink! Cheers!!

The flight home was unspectacular and we arrived in Zurich in time. Then the train to Frauenfeld and from there we took a taxi home. Our beloved Odin was waiting (for us) and looked a little bit surprised, when we opened the door.

The Bottom Line

All in all we’ve had an amazing week in Malta – once again!

Most importantly – and that’s my opinion – I’m more than happy to report that Malta has changed a lot when it comes to animal welfare. Thirteen years ago you could see homeless dogs on the streets and even more cats. Although, they didn’t look sick or injured, it still broke your heart.

Then, there were these countless horse-drawn carriages in every big city, especially in Valletta. What a devastating sight that was, seeing these poor animals moving between the busy and noisy bus station, standing in the sun, waiting for customers, without any love or attention from their owners. Luckily, we never saw a summer with 40 deg. C, but I read about horses collapsing in the heat….

Some carriages are still there, but  a lot less than years ago. It looks like that tourists became more sensible and prefer the electro caddies, which are available in Valletta for example. So, hopefully, the horses will be gone soon from the cities, living a happier life!

We also detected many cat-friendly spots in the numerous parks! People apparently do care (more?) about these homeless animals and started to feed them, setting up shelter and even comfy beds for them. For example, we came across a place called “Cat Village” around Spinola Bay. There we saw cats sleeping peacefully and a little box, where you could donate some money. Of course we contributed!

In Naxxar you can also find an animal welfare shop. It’s a second-hand shop – which sells mostly clothes, shoes, handbags etc – and the money they earn goes to the animals. Well, since we didn’t need anything, we simply went there and gave some money, which was very appreciated. The lady there told us, that finally Malta has started to spay/castrate cats instead of killing them, which surely is a huge step for this country! Suddenly, you also find animal sanctuaries, which weren’t present ten/fifteen years ago!

About wild birds….well, I guess that’s still a problem. Although, this time we haven’t seen the nets, capturing migrant birds, they are still there. Possibly better hidden than years ago…. They too will hopefully be gone one day! Maybe the coming generation(s) will think differently and care more about the precious wildlife!

Our hopes are high and we won’t give up – every animal life is worth fighting for!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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