Saturday, July 14, 2012

Week one in Malta.

My view of St. Julian's Bay

Quick week in San Salvador. Rainy season is starting of course and managed to get a few rounds of golf in. The golf course was even emptier than normal but still in pretty good shape except for the five billion gazillion mosquitoes. I put a thick spray of Off on but the mosquitoes bit through that. Read on-line that Off wears off after about 3 hours so next time, have to do another application.

Little Spinola Bay from my terrace.

Went to Faisco do Brasil at the Intercontinental. The usual great food and great service. Ate too much but hard not to with all the seviche, carpaccio (fish and beef), okay sushi and course after course of meat. We brought a jar of horseradish to go with the picanha and it was delicious. Also made it to the Korean restaurant and the food was great.

Then up to Toronto for a week to take care of some business before fl ying over to Malta. Booked again with Luftansa for their fast stopovers and there was a seat sale on so flew business class. The last trip was brutal as I had an economy aisle seat and was seated beside someone with an unfortunate BO problem. This time, much nicer. The Maple Leaf Lounge had self serve Guinness on tap and I was barely able to restrict myself to two pints. Flight was operated by Air Canada and the seats were the herringbone pods with the lie-flat beds and they were kind of funky but not bad. Weird to accelerate at takeoff sitting at an angle. Food and drink were fine – decent champagne, shrimps and scallops, salmon, nice red wine, cheese plate and port. Then was able to get 4 hours of sleep and that was very nice.

Then landed in Munich where I had to pull my bags as apparently , Luftansa code shares with both Air Canada and Air Malta but those two carriers have not learned how to play nicely. Luckily the recheck-in in Munich was through Luftansa so the let my three bags on without asking for my first born (lucky for  

Living room number one with the open concept kitchen

Landing in Malta, wow, hot. 40 degrees? I was worried for a bit until someone told me that there was a heat wave here and that kind of temperature is not normal. A friend drove me to the realtor’s and we headed over to the apartment.  Wow, big place. Three bedrooms, three baths, two living rooms and four terraces. Washer/dryer, dish washer, parking, and a fantastic view. Even my underground garage has an amazing view.

Living room number two with the dining room.

I overlook little Spinola Bay which is full of pleasure boats and small fishing vessels. The bay is circled by the coastal road and around 30 bars and restaurants.  Some great steak houses, seafood places, sushi and Asian fusion, a great fish and chips shop called Gove’s Place, and Dublners, an Irish pub with Kilkenny and Guinness on tap ... heaven!

St. Julian's at sunset.

Mike from Mike and Jess in Malta dropped by for a beer and he gave me a lot of useful advice on moving and setting up in Malta. Then went to the Dubliner for some chow and had the bangers and mash. Enjoying all things Bri-ish here.

Then off on the much vaunted Malta bus service to Valleta. EUR2.60 for the day and the buses are large with tinted windows and good AC. Dropped off at the main station and walked over to a nice park beside some really old building to a wine festival to meet Jess and her Mum and little Sis. Great place and great festival, nice live music and lots of Maltese wine – some good, some less than good. Had about 6 to 8 glasses and, on the plus side, managed to get home on the bus without getting lost. Not that hard I guess when the bus follows the coastal road and you live on the coast.

Quiet Saturday for me with lots of time to catch up on some work. Then headed to Arkadia Food Store at the base of the Tower about 5 minutes from the apartment. Very happy to find decently priced  fresh vegetables and really cheap wines. Found a Valpolicella Superiore for EUR 10 and noticed that all this great European shit is actually really cheap in Europe. Like pasta, tomato sauce, salumi, olives, and anchovies. I think that I am going to like Malta.