Tuesday, 22 May 2012

New Buses on Malta

Warning:  this is a bus heavy post!!

Today I am having a relaxing day in the sunshine after a wearying day yesterday.  It wasn't intentional to get worn out and I blame Arriva buses.  They have been on Malta for nearly a year now, replacing those lovely vintage vehicles the island was famous (infamous?) for.  They don't seem to have got things quite straight yet, a proper timetable isn't available and the one that is doesn't list all the buses, show the routes clearly or give times!  We were aiming to go to the south coast, to enjoy Dingli Cliffs in the sunshine after lunch in Mdina.  Firstly we had to get a 41 from outside our hotel.  Now this is a Valletta bus and they all seem to arrive full so we got a bus in the opposite direction first with the intention of getting a seat!  Good plan but of course the bus still filled up and was stifling.  (I'm not sure the buses supplied were new when they got here, they seem to have all sorts of technical problems, like non-functioning air con for a start).  We arrived in Mosta when we knew we had to change to an X3.  What we didn't know, without a proper timetable, was that the X3 goes from the first stop in Mosta, not the "terminus" near the church, the Mosta Dome.  So, we had to retrace our journey, uphill (of course) and in the heat, rushing because the buses only seem to run every hour and we didn't want to miss it when it did come.  We arrived in Mdina, the lovely old capital of Malta, also known as the Silent City
and headed for a much needed drink and lunch at our favourite restaurant.  Aaaagh, the door to the restaurant and the Carmelite Priory (to which it belongs) was firmly shut, no signs, nothing.  We wondered what had happened to the lovely Charlene who used to run it with her brother.  (Admittedly this is probably not Arriva's fault!!)  Okay, find a different place for lunch, one with a great view across the island as it happened:
Next we wandered in the shade of the Silent City for a while and then went to find a 201 to Dingli.  By the time we reached the cliffs I was feeling pretty tired and so we decided to stay on the bus and make notes for another day - where the bus stops are located etc.  The views were lovely and it would have been a spectacular place to stroll or picnic. 
How are you doing, are you enjoying my bus-related rant?
One plus point, the 201 continued to the Blue Lagoon and actually went down the hill to the village and back up again, saving quite a climb after a lovely boat trip another day.  The bus then continue to the airport.  Why oh why in this day and age would it seem a good idea to make the international airport the location of a bus terminus?  Just asking!  Surely you just need buses that serve incoming and outgoing flights, not buses for the hospital, the race course etc etc.  Another scenic journey on the X1 followed, on some fairly good roads and along the north coast of the island until we finally arrived at our hotel over an hour after leaving the airport.
A soak in the hot tub and straight to bed for me, DH brought me a plate of salad from dinner later on.

Today it is 26C and the wind is now a gentle breeze.  We are making the most of it and having a very relaxing day.  Our only exertion has been to stroll about 30m along the street to buy some pastizzi for lunch:
straight from the oven!  Excuse me now, I'm heading back to my lounger for a rest!


  1. That does sound a bit tiring - but I'm glad that you are mostly keeping a sense of humour and giving yourself some rests! Hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday.

  2. onesmallstitch22 May 2012 at 21:52

    dear Lis - how DO you choose your holiday destinations??

  3. The pastizzi look so yummy! At least you have a beautiful sunshine in Malta and you are on holiday yet again! Enjoy!

  4. i'm exhausted just reading about the buses.ha. well, you did get a bus tour out of it. sounds like you will need a vacation when you get back home.

  5. Hi Lis
    Seems like you are having a lovely holiday, as for the buses, they can always prove difficult. Especially in another country. We have just returned home from our 3 month South Island tour. It seems a bit strange to be back after all this time!

  6. I'm wondering if you are getting any of that R&R. The bus system seems rather frustrating! Have fun!

  7. Sounds like it is lovely and warm, but the buses sound very confusing!

  8. Glad to see you are enjoying the scenery. Doesn't sound all that relaxing though but the hot tub sounds grand. Cold and rainy here today, much like the days we spent in Fujino.


I really appreciate your lovely comments, ideas and opinions, they make my day. Thank you for visiting Piece'n'Peace,
hugs, Lis x