We arrived back in the UK from Malta on Thursday, having spent 12 gorgeous sun-filled days there. As someone who is super-glued to their computer (in this case my iPad) I did my regular weekly blog while away, occasionally checked emails, and kept up-to-date with the UK weather. As we all know, being in business means our address is all over the Internet, so I tend to not mention online that I am away until I am back home. Better to be safe than sorry.
We had a lovely time, the weather was really great and every night we had to have the windows open as it was so warm. To the Maltese people this is their winter, to us it felt like early summer and as you can imagine the prospect of coming back to snow was a little daunting. The Maltese people are lovely, very friendly and helpful, but once behind the wheel of a car...............
As we took off from Malta to come home the pilot advised that the temperate was -5 at Gatwick and on arrival it had risen to the heady heat of -2! As we drove home it got foggier, colder and generally more gloomy looking. Getting up on Friday morning to a considerable amount of snow was a bit of a shock and it didn't stop snowing all day long (in fact it has been snowing all day today as well). Such a shock as we were getting acclimatised to warm weather and in fact it was very mild when we left the UK. It was lovely to get back to our furry gang-of-three though.
Here are the before and after photographs (well not quite, but I am sure you get the idea):
Mdina is home to famous glass-makers in Malta and as we arrived just before the end of the Christmas decoration period, we were lucky to see this glass-bauble Christmas tree in Valletta. All of the baubles were handmade and the tree was over 12 ft high. It was beautiful and the photograph doesn't do it justice.
I love fish and shellfish so being on an island meant my habit could be fed with an amazing variety of tastes. In fact I was able to enjoy a different fish-dish every day. Fishing seems to be a very popular activity in Malta, not always just as a hobby - we were convinced that restaurant owners were out every day catching their day's 'dish of the day'. One day we went to Marsascala and sat watching the fishermen preparing their boats. The man in the photograph above rowed out to his fishing boat, prepared his nets and got everything ready for a fishing trip later in the day and then rowed back to have his lunch.
The hotel we stayed in was next door to a restaurant that we first visited over 30 years ago - it is called the Gillieru Restaurant and we were so pleased to find that it was just as good this time around as all those years ago. It is renowned for its fish dishes so for me it was the place to dine at. Lucky for us they had a resident cat - I can't do without my cat fix and (sorry Milly) it was a tabby cat and we named him George. We didn't find out his real name, he was often referred to as 'the cat', but we felt George suited him:
The last time we went to Malta we didn't make it to Gozo, and promised ourselves that this time we would. We did and were so surprised at how different it is. Gozo is very different to Malta and to quote a tour guide's leaflet that we read after our visit it 'is very picturesque and has its own unique identify'. It is a beautiful island, very quiet and peaceful, lovely houses and gardens, with well cared for properties and stunning views from many of the bays. This photograph is taken from a bay looking out to the island of Comino - another island in the group.
However, it wasn't all sunshine. On Tuesday of our second week we had a massive thunder storm, hailstones, the lot! Incredible. As it didn't look like being over quickly, we decided to go to the cinema and chose The Hobbit in 3D - what was really great was that we were the only ones in the cinema. A picture show just for us - how wonderful. We did get the chance to take a photograph of this impressive rainbow from our hotel room window though - I think you can just about see on the right hand side its reflection.