A Taste of Malta. 10/2/21

Since we were able to move into our new cabin on Friday we are free to join a special excursion for people who are doing what is called a “butterfly cruise,” or two back to back cruises. The excursion is called “Taste of Malta.”

The first thing we do is take a short ride to Hagar Qim, a site with pre-historic megalithic structures that date back 6000 years. These stone temples are among the most ancient religious sites on earth and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a large stone structure dedicated to  the Goddess of Fertility dated from 3200 B.C.  Nearby are other temples. We walk through the site and our guide fills us in on what we are seeing.

The entrance to Hagar Qim (Sacred Stones) is a trilithon, two posts and a lintel
A surviving side wall which shows that the stones formed a corbelled arch to support the structure’s roof
In the interior there are small apses
View of one of the five islands of Malta, Filfal, through an opening in the stones
Altar area
Twenty ton stone
Rocky countryside

Next we go to Birzebbuga, a typical summer village.  We stop for lunch at a restaurant, Ferretti, in an old Knight of Malta fortress. We are really not expecting anything great but the food turns out to be really good. John and I want to eat all the flat breads but the other women at the table are moaning about how it is so much to eat and how they never eat anything, blah, blah, blah. So I feel like I have to keep my eating to a minimum. One woman is especially annoying and just talks a blue streak about herself. She and the third woman at our table are doing what I like to call the travel sweepstakes. She’s been here and they’ve been there and oh they have gone on so many cruises. John and I mostly keep quiet. I want to tell her to shut up but I control myself.

John having a beer at the restaurant. I have a beer also. The other women at our table have diet sodas.
Delicious flat breads
In a nod to our diets we both order the fish which is nicely cooked
Sides of vegetables. The Philistines at our table eat the French fries. No picture of the dessert because I was not interested in eating it.

Then we proceed to Marsaxlokk which is pronounced Marsa-schlock, an apt name. Marsa means harbor and I can only guess that schlock means useless souvenir trinkets. We walk along the harborfront and look at an array of small boats and run the gauntlet of souvenir booths selling their schlock. No doubt most of the stuff is made in China.

Small boats in the Marsa (harbor)
Mary avoiding the schlock

We get back to the ship around 3:30 PM and unwind for a bit before taking showers and heading down for Negroni sbagliato time. I think the word is out that we tip in addition to the standard tip that you have to pay up front. All the staff is bending over backward to help us out and make sure we are happy. Even the guitarist comes over and asks us to make a list of songs we would like him to play and how he is going to take the note that John wrote him about our appreciating his playing home to his wife to read. It is all a bit embarrassing.

We eat at Chef’s Table and have a repeat of Asian Panorama. I am not going to post any pictures with the exception of the superb dessert which I forgot to take a picture of last time. John asks our waiter if we can have the duck a little less well done and the answer is that it is pre-made. Then the manager comes over and the chef and the waitstaff to see how they can make us happier.  So now we are going back on Monday when the chef will make us a special duck.  I think everyone on the staff will feel happier once we have completed our two cruises.

Really delicious dessert – left to right green tea cheesecake, yuzu creme brulee, and chocolate banana spring roll

One thought on “A Taste of Malta. 10/2/21”

  1. I think the staff on these ships watch many wealthy people spending lots of money all around them, but not giving to them (the staff). Sometimes the wealthiest people are the stingiest in terms of tipping and gratuities. Finding people who not only share their money but also praise and appreciation must be a welcome surprise for them, and they will sorely miss you! (I sorely miss you!!)

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