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Monday, 28 May 2012

Tuesday 8th May - getting there!

This was our first time flying to Malta and it was also our first time flying with Ryanair, so it was all fairly new to us!!  Ryanair had already changed our flight times from morning to afternoon, but did tell us with plenty of time to spare.  With Ryanair you need to check-in on line - if you turn up to check-in without your boarding passes, you will be charged £60.00 each.  So, after having booked the flights and paid all the extras for more hold luggage (15kg is no good to me!!) and priority boarding, I duly checked-in on line 15 days prior to travel and found that I could book extra leg room seats at a cost of £10 per person each way (for both outward and return journeys), so I decided just to do that.  It was all effortless to do and I made sure I printed off the boarding cards for us and our friends, so that we had extra copies 'just in case'!!  The day prior to travelling, I made sure too that I checked-in on line again for our return journey and again printed off extra copies just to be on the safe side.

On getting to the airport, check-in was a breeze and I was delighted to see that the cases were under the 20kg each!!  However, Ryanair are VERY strict on luggage, in particular the cabin baggage - one piece per person only (up to 10kg) , and there's no bending the rules here at all.  Ladies are required to carry any handbag inside the cabin baggage and duty free must also be inside the cabin baggage - no extra carrier bags allowed at all.  In fact, to jump ahead a little to the return journey, staff went round the queues with the size guide for cabin bags and if people had bags that were too large they either had to jiggle stuff around to make them fit, pay for the extra luggage or arrange for it to go into the hold.

Our flight was unremarkable and staff on board were pleasant and helpful.  Some people took their own food on board - we sampled what was on offer and found it all to be OK.  The sandwiches were very fresh and tasty.

On our arrival at the airport in Malta, a representative from Williams Garage was waiting for us and he drove us quickly to the hotel - Grand Excelsior Hotel in Valletta.  The journey didn't take long at all and we were quickly settled into the hotel after a very speedy and efficient check-in at reception.

So this was it, the start of 14 days of exploration and adventures in a country that we had never visited before!!  My husband and I had planned on having our honeymoon in Malta 32 years prior to this, but the hotel we chose was fully booked and we ended up in Spain!!  We had intended visiting Malta at some point after our honeymoon, so now, here we were, just about to celebrate our 32nd anniversary in Malta!!  Oh well, better late than never I suppose!!

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