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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Monday 14th May

After breakfast we trudged up those 88 steps of the hotel, which were still not getting any easier, and made our way to catch the HOHO bus that would take the north/blue tour.  We planned to stop at the Mdina Glass Factory, Mosta to see the Mosta Dome then Mdina itself to have a look around there.

Here is a copy of the HOHO bus route for the north/blue tour courtesy of the Malta Sightseeing brochure:

The Mdina glass factory was quite fascinating as you get to see the glass blowers at work, and of course the chance to buy the many various pieces of glass that are made here.  It's a great chance to stock up on souvenirs and presents for taking home.

This is a very hot place to work!!

Beautiful lamps

Just some of the many wonderful things for sale
Our next stop was Mosta.  Unfortunately, when we got there around noon, we found that the Mosta Dome had closed at 11.45 a.m.  However, we still had plenty of time left for exploring and decided to re-visit Mosta by local bus at a later date.

We hopped back onto the HOHO bus ready for our next visit to Mdina.  We were not disappointed this time!  Mdina was just beautiful with its narrow winding streets and olde world charm. We had lunch here and a good old wander about until it was time to hop on the bus again to go back to Valletta.

Some photos of the narrow winding streets:

You need to pay for a ticket (5EU I think it was) to visit the church and the museum (one ticket does both).  I visited the church only, which was just stunning.  Wonderful stained glass windows and paintings, plus the most beautiful marble floors consisting of memorials - some photos:

After our visit here, it was time to hop on the bus again and then hop back off in Valletta.

This photo was taken from the bus as we were leaving Mdina - the horizon was sloping badly, so I have tried to fix it so that it looks a little better!!

As we we generally quite pleased with the service from Malta Sightseeing, we booked a trip to Gozo for the next day rather than taking the local bus.  This would consist of a coach to take us to the ferry at Cirkewwa and the services of the HOHO bus in Gozo (ferry was extra which was paid at the time of travel) then we would have the services of a coach back to Valletta.  There were three times given for the ferry that visitors had to take back from Gozo to Cirkewwa (15.45, 16.30 or 17.15).  The cost of this trip was 23EU per person, and we were given two pick-up times to choose from - we chose the later one of 9 a.m. but, with hindsight, we should have perhaps chosen the earlier one.  More on this trip in the next post.

We arrived back in Valletta in time to have coffee and cake in the Cafe Royale, which was very nice indeed.  After dinner that night it was back to the hotel and an earlier night to make sure we had an earlier breakfast to be ready for pick-up at 9 a.m.

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