And, it’s now Friday and day six of our little Malta adventure…..
We have the moderate luxury (ie, don’t have to carry any bags) of staying two nights in the same accommodation for our final part of our visit to Malta, which is at Slimiza Suites Sliema. This proved to be better than I expected, both in terms of the accommodation and also the breakfast which was included in the room rate. After a lovely breakfast of yoghurts, cold meats, olives and gherkins (which reminded me of the month I’ve just spent in Poland) I was ready for the day.
So, on our last full day in Malta we thought we’d make the most of the decent weather (by decent, I mean too bloody hot) and go for a walk on the southern coast of the island.
A quick and moderately plain photo of Ħad-Dingli, which is where our walk of the Dingli Cliffs to the Blue Grotto began.
A little sculpture just outside of Ħad-Dingli. The walk that we were following was on a leaflet that we had picked up from our accommodation, which saved us planning our own effort and also made sure that we saw some highlights. We also picked up a windmills walk that we were going to complete in the late afternoon, but we didn’t bother. It was too hot.
I have a lot of photos of this walk on my camera, but I haven’t downloaded them yet to my phone. So, here are a couple of the walk that I took with my phone (that’s poor English, I mean that I took the photos on my phone, rather than I went on a walk with my phone), which rather set the scene of the walk. It was a moderately long walk, at just under ten miles, which encompassed some beautiful scenery and some busy and soulless roads. It was worth it to walk along the cliffs though, and I can forget the bit traipsing along tarmac whilst lorries for the quarry trundled by. And they trundled by regularly.
The cafes at the Blue Grotto seemed to be of a mixed quality, some looked quite appalling to be honest and they had reviews to match, whilst others weren’t open when we visited. There was though an ice cream kiosk open and this proved to be sufficient refreshment for us. Due to circumstances beyond our control, namely the sun, we had become a little sun burnt, so this also helped cool us down. The last thing I want is to go through an airport all hot and bothered with the temperature checks that are going on for the coronavirus.
Liam is much more decadent than I am, he wanted a waffle cone, whereas I was content with my ice cream being dumped into a tub. There was just one more part of our walk left after this stop, the short walk to see the Blue Grotto.
Again, I have a lot more photos of this on my camera, I’ll excite my huge readership of three people with these in a separate blog post when I’m back in the UK. Or indeed before then if I get a little surge of excitement and creativity. But, I will say, these views were tremendous and it was a peaceful environment. Liam was able to get his selfies and I pondered what was happening to the ant that I flicked to a slightly lower rock in case it bit me. I had a slight panic that I had separated him from his other flock of ants (I don’t know what the collective term for ants is) but I was pleased to check on Google that he’d make his way back as he hadn’t gone far. I was pleased by this, as otherwise I would have had to find him and put him back where he was.
Just before we caught the bus back to Valletta, and then Sliema, we realised that there was another viewpoint to see the Blue Grotto. We rushed down there before the hourly bus came and were pleased that we did, as the views were even more spectacular, but they’re on my camera, so they won’t appear for a day or two. We got a seat on the bus, but it was a busy service and it was standing room only by the next stop and then positively full for the next section. We’ve done well with the buses this week, but I dread to think how busy they must get in the summer months.
Back in Sliema, Friday night means fish and chips (well any night actually means fish and chips to me, but that’s a different matter) so we decided to be moderately thrifty and get a takeaway from the well reviewed Sea Salt fish & chips shop. Above are the raw fish ingredients in the shop, some of which were taken out for cooking when we were there. This is a takeaway only outlet (other than for two little seats which are I think are designed for waiting customers rather than dining) and it was busy when we collected the food. The service did seem disorganised, and they forgot one of our sauces, but it was always friendly and although it wasn’t very cheap, it was cheaper than eating the same meal in some of the restaurants in the area.
Back to the main event, the food itself was excellent, the batter was full of flavour and had herbs sprinkled throughout it, the fish had a rich and deep taste, with the skin-on chips being crispy on the exterior and sufficiently fluffy on the interior. There was sea salt sprinkled over it, so we were entirely delighted with our choice.
This is our last night in Malta, so boarding passes downloaded for tomorrow’s flight and the trip back to the UK…. It’s all been very lovely as someone keeps saying on Facebook. But, it’s been too hot today, although I’m sure I won’t mention that again.