Malta so far- very nice. Solana Hotel Mellieha- Nice room.
No free or reasonable priced internet in rooms. 2 euro 50 per half hour aint cutting it. I would pay more for a hotel that has good internet in the room!
Security. They will look after my laptop but otherwise I might be lucky to have a room with a big enough safe. Mine isn’t and that makes me annoyed as I have to pay 10 euros for it not to be able to secure my 13 inch laptop that has so much work on it it can't be replaced easily.
It’s a 20 minute walk to the beach but there is a bus.
Out of season the Terrace Bar is not open – please ask and they can get drinks up to you.
They left my room open – and they hoped that it wouldn’t happen again if it did could I please let them know again. Sure Fawlty Towers..
Tour bus: Old map, planning stops impossible – I should have told him to stop (they don't always stop) on a hop on hop off bus, more like wait ages then get on– not very hoppy with that either.
A quick Malta lowdown
Because it is a destination that lends itself to a quick trip too.
It’s very easy and seemingly economical to get and stay and play in Malta. Compared to other EU member states of which Malta is one of the more recent [2004 European Member State] it represents a throwback to older more sensible European prices. A pint of beer is from around 3-3.5 euros in even nice joints and taxis are plentiful and cheap enough. It's nice to see that a weekly bus ticket can be had for 6.5 euros- now that is great value to mix in with your tours and taxis.
BA offered me this good deal well I thought it was a 4* in areas but really the food and jaquzzi and spa let it down a bit. I mean it can make you decide to book a place and so often the Jaquzzi just isn’t working the week you happen to be there ;) Never book on that or check and get them to agree a discount should you arrive and it's not working. (I already said enough about this above) this is about Malta now- too often accomodations can taint a stay.
I spent just 3 nights which was like 2 plus half full days of time to do something there. The first half day upon arrival I planned on enjoying the hotel but couldn’t really so got out in Mellieha, which is a decent hike down to the beach from this hotel and the others too. Meliha sits on the side of a grand hill or some would say mini mountain and is dominated by the beautiful double breasted church and dome just down the main street that has a few shops of interest and the odd bar. Really this isn’t a top nightspot but I imagine in full summer the bar gets busy from the few hotels. There are a couple of places to eat and I regret going half board since the food was quite disappointing. Moving downhill the road curves around and you can follow it or take a route to the right, we are always heading down and towards the blue sea. You might take the bus down especially if you are with small children. In fact the beach is feeling a bit away away and at this time of year and in summer heat maybe more so. This was something you must check if booking a hotel in Mellieha but I didn’t see any well places nice looking hotel on the beach apart from the very far side and I didn’t get to go and check that out. I make mention of a run I had in the same vane a couple of days later in the same place, it’s a tough climb back up. I ran along the beach and it happened a film crew were filming something I couldn’t work out what of course. There was the usual big hatted main man and the lights and the black equipment. I was by this time digging out each step in the rather nice sand, no Nice pebbles here. I think the beach lacks some size and entertainments like amusement arcades for example or even eateries to merit this as a decent area to spend a whole holiday. This first evening’s walk down to the beach saw me find this Mexican place and I wanted and ordered a burger. It was so clearly frozen and tasted rather poor mentioned it on being asked how it was and got what I will from now on call the Malta boilerplate. They are a very polite people but are not worried that you are not so happy and solve the problem with a boilerplate response. ‘The burger was hand made then frozen..’ something else as he was disappearing kind of thing…at least it wasn’t so expensive I think around 5 euros. There was a chilly wind to accompany the sun but there were few people around there were some boats and activity going on in the small harbour which I watched and contemplated the trip so far started that day at 4am.
Travelling to Gatwick again this time to get an extra night and a cheaper flight with BA – that’s right Ryaniar had neither the availability nor best prices but they fly from Standsted which is an hour less drive. I can’t remember the last time I flew from there in fact. I walked back to the hotel and thought about drinking in a foreign bar one of my favourite travel pastimes. I did try and organise some scuba diving even passing by a dive shop there were some people inside but they were closed and it looked like there was little diving activity going on full stop. Already from the Airport I could see that there was much to see in Malta and so Scuba was down the list my time was very short. I decided to perhaps do a bus tour the first day to accelerate things.
First Full day
I did see some stuff but it was such a mess of old tour map and bus driver not bothering to stop that I missed the Roman thing in Rabat but did do the Mdina medieval city and learnt about a massive battle with turks.
Valleta is a visually stunning city of history and culture, vibrant and shame a bit far from Mellieha otherwise I would have spent longer there. Next time.