February 17, 21 – Balzan, Malta

Bob, Caroline and Tarja arrived in Malta yesterday afternoon to a sunny but very windy day which made it feel very cool. Our cab driver had a bit of a challenge finding the house based on the address. Bob finally got out to look, good thing as the entrance is around the corner in a lovely little square, not on the street itself. The house is just as advertised on ‘homeaway’. There is a little convenience store with wonderful looking baked goods just a short block away so after choosing our bedrooms we picked up a few basics plus wine, which of course is a basic!

Our landlady had left us a starter kit of white wine, – yea, a lovely Italian Gavi, – a large loaf of bread, there was milk, cheese, ham and butter in the fridge. On the counter was a large basket of oranges and lemons from her garden and one of kitchen cabinets had basics like, oil, vinegar, salt & pepper, rice, pasta, instant coffee, teabags, and tomato sauce which I’m sure was left over from previous tenants. There are also lots of cleaning supplies and toilet paper. We found the same in the Air B&B we stayed at in Amsterdam. However, the houses we’ve rented in Florida had no food whatso ever. I think that is because of the paranoia in the US about being sued.

It was quite cool in the house but one of the things we made sure about the place we rented was that it has heat. We figured there would be some cool days. Each room in the house has a large wall unit that provides both heat & cool air. After a bit of trial and error we figured it out how to use the units but also are making sure we keep the room doors closed to the cool hallway. The house is on three levels linked by an attractive but challenging circular stairway.

Stairwell with very shiny steps.

The restaurant we scoped out for dinner was closed to the public due to a private function so we asked for recommendation on where to eat neaby. We were tired and hungry having been up for 25 hours at this point, none of us took naps once we got here. The fellow said the “clubs” do a good pizza and pasta and pointed to one right near them. And yes, the place had excellent pizza, along with a bottle of Gavi for about $18. We’ve had a similar Gavi at a restaurant in Kingston costing in the mid $40s. We have no idea what kind of club this was but the room we were in had lots of large shields. We were the only people there at first, it was around 6:40pm but lots of people arrived about an hour later. We saw people going into the church near the restaurant, Saturday mass, and we’re pretty sure the people that arrived after us came from church. I’ll have to find out what these clubs are all about. We all went to bed as soon as we got back from dinner.

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