Late start today – finally! Unfortunately though today is our last day in Malta as we have a plane to catch later tonight. Decided to take Miriam & Roly out for lunch to say thank you. Though to make it more special we travelled out to one of their favourite restaurants in Marsaxlokk – a little fishing village in the south of the island.
Miriam had kindly put some washing on for us and once hung out to dry we were off on the 225 bus to Valletta (to the interchange). Powering ahead and reminding me of my own Nan she then led the way to switch to the 81. We travelled through several villages/towns along the way getting more of a glimpse of Maltese life. In one such village we saw men constructing a display for their upcoming Festa – a celebration of their village’s patron saint which is accompanied by a parade, fireworks (in competition with other local villages!) and associated parties to mark the feast.
On arrival in Marsaxlokk I immediately noticed the brightly coloured fishing boats that were scattered in the bay. Each had its own individual character and yet there was a commonality as though it were customary to be decorated in such a way. Eyes were painted on the fronts of many of the boats – the reason being that it was supposed to ward off evil spirits to protect the fishermen. Seemed a little superstitious to me but there you have it.
We wondered through a small market and I clocked a gift I thought Mom would like if we had any euros left after lunch. We ate at Miriam and Roly’s favourite restaurant called Carrubia and had an excellent table right at the front looking out on to the boats. We watched as fishermen worked together to remove their boats from the water – a tiring task in the early afternoon heat which saw at least seven men having to get involved.
They brought us Bruschetta to start which was covered in tomatoes, cucumber and onion. This was followed by our mains with everyone ordering fish – Miriam had a whole fish called Awarata (Sea Bream) while the rest of us had swordfish. Yes that’s right – me ordering swordfish and I ate it all!! They brought salad, chips, vegetables (including marrow) and these really delicious herb covered part boiled/part roasted potatoes.
Didn’t take long to pack – and with no dirty clothes thanks to the kindness of Miriam. Saying farewell we were then in a taxi returning to Malta International Airport for our RyanAir flight. I shall be sad to leave Malta as I have really enjoyed my time here – time with Anthony, time to get to know his family more and time to explore a beautiful country. Luckily with the family connection I now have I know that I will get to return again.
Claire & Anthony