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Monday, 4 June 2012

Friday 18th May

This was it then, up early for a second time and downstairs to wait for an 8 a.m. pick-up!!  However, this time I checked with reception first and was delighted to learn that the trip was on!!  The wind had certainly dropped significantly and the sun was shining, so I just had to now hope that I wasn't going to be sea-sick!!

Our driver was a little late in picking us up, but on reaching Sliema where the boat was to leave from, other coaches were just arriving with other passengers, so there wasn't a problem.  Once the captain gave the say-so, we all boarded and my husband and I were lucky to get seats in the front section of the boat.  The captain went through some safety procedures and made sure we all knew where the lifejackets were, and off we went.  The music was playing (not too loudly), the sun was shining and the sea was calm, but then we entered open water and it did get a little rocky, so it wasn't too long before I began to feel a bit queasy!!  However, I was determined not to let that spoil my trip so just had to grin and bear it and I kept my eye on the horizon, which always helps to make me feel a little better.

As an extra to the cruise (10EU per person) a power boat trip was offered for the time spent at the Blue Lagoon in Comino to visit some of the caves, so we paid for that as it sounded quite exciting.  Not far into the cruise, the crew came round with sandwiches, but I wasn't too keen on them as there were olives and capers on them, two things which I just do not like, plus I was still feeling queasy, so I didn't eat much of them.  My husband enjoyed them and so did most of the other passengers.

On arrival at the Blue Lagoon, we stopped for lunch and some people took the opportunity of swimming and snorkeling in the clear blue water.  Then the power boat arrived, complete with its two 300hp engines!!  Wow, it looked superb and, although I was a bit wary of how I would feel on board, I was really looking forward to the experience.

There was quite a large queue waiting to board and we were at the back, so no chance of being on the first trip out.  However, it was probably better because by the time we boarded, there were only about ten of us on board, and we had a ball!!  The driver (can you call him a driver??) was totally and utterly mad and, after taking us round the caves, he took us for some short but very fast runs over the water, buzzing around other boats and then skipping across the waves and crashing down like stones!  I had no idea how hard water can feel when landing on it at such speed!!  It was totally awesome though and well worth the money spent.

Turkish Gulet that we sailed on

We were back on board in time for lunch which was a fantastic buffet which I couldn't do justice to because of feeling a bit ill!!  The crew were very attentive and made sure everyone had enough to eat and drink.  You could buy drinks on board from the bar, but during lunch soft drinks and wine were included in the price of the cruise.  We left Comino around 1.30 p.m. for the sail back to Valletta and the crew handed round some very welcome and refreshing melon slices.

Some views on board the boat:

 Some photos taken from the boat:

Gozo ferries

Dingli Cliffs

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples

Cruise boats in the Grand Harbour
The cruise also incorporated a quick tour of the Grand Harbour then back to dock in Sliema.  We got back to the hotel around 6 p.m. just in time for a quick shower and change and out for dinner after a long but very enjoyable day.  After dinner, we could hear multiple loud bangs and discovered that a Festa must have been taking place away in the distance as we could see the fireworks.  I tried to take some photos of the night views, so here they are, but they may be a little sloping as I had to make do with an uneven wall for support!!

We walked back to the hotel for drinks on the balcony and then I think I was sleeping before my head hit the pillow!!

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