A week in Malta - Day #0
The dark, grey and wet Dutch winter that followed an unusually warm start to the year had began to get under our skin. We decided to head for a short trip to sunny1 Malta.
Fewer things about modern air travel are more annoying than being stuck in the seat of a plane well past its designated take off time. Our flight to Malta was held up for an hour because of some confusion with the flight’s manifest. A head count was taken but that didn’t resolve the matters to the authorities’ satisfaction. Eventually, the ground crew and the flight crew went from seat to seat checking our boarding pass and seat numbers. The identity of the person who had checked in but not boarded the plane was thus established and we were cleared for take off. Fortunately, their baggage had not been checked in or we would’ve been held up even longer.
We landed in Malta around 4 PM after a flying time of about three hours. A long bus ride took us from the airplane to the airport terminal. The latter was plastered with advertisements for ride sharing apps. Bolt is huge in Malta but we also saw Uber billboards vying for our attention. The sun was still out but it was nippy and also colder than we were expecting. Our baggage arrived within a few minutes but due to a mix of this being our first ever visit to Malta and poor signage, it took us another 30 minutes to locate our Bolt cab to the hotel.
The traffic in Malta reminded me of Athens - not quite as bad as say Delhi or Bangalore but not quite smooth either. The rocky, arid terrain was redolent of Athens too. For an small island-country, Malta definitely felt geologically more diverse than the tedium of flat land and water that is the Netherlands. There were parts during our ride where the cramped roads and construction of houses reminded me of Delhi2.
The weather forecast for our stay was mixed. Showers were expected with a high probability the next day. When our cab pulled in to the hotel’s kerbside parking, the sun had just set. We could see a curtain of rain move in from the sea.