1980.To be honest it was a disaster! September is not the time to go, much too humid. The Hotel (which made Fawlty Towers seem like The Ritz) had noisy, dirty fans in the rooms. Switch them on and you couldn't sleep because of the noise, switch them off and you couldn't sleep because of the humidity. To cap it all they had trouble with their water supply and we kept getting back to the Hotel covered in sun tan lotion, no water! Not enough cutlery to go round, believe it or not if too many people went to breakfast at the same time there was queueing until spoons etc. had been washed. One good result, Sliema Wanderers were playing Barcelona in the EUFA Cup. At 50p. a ticket we decided to take a chance! During the match Edna said something and I turned to answer her and missed a goal. Result, you've guessed it, 1-0 to Barcelona (she's never been allowed to forget it)! Anyway the island seemed nice and the people seemed friendly so we vowed to go back and give it another chance. We're booked for 2005 (not September). NB: We've recently checked Edna's Journal and the score was 2-0 (for 20 odd years 1-0 made a more interesting story!).
April/May 2005. Five weeks in Malta! The holiday was CHEAP. When we got there we found that the Hotel was cheap and so were our fellow holidaymakers! Maltabargains.com were cheap but their service was extremely good and although the hotel (Palm Beach in Qawra) was very, very basic (for a 3*) it was relatively clean and the food was adequate. OK we changed rooms after a few nights and OK we changed hotels after 3 weeks but, to be honest, for what we paid we had a great deal and, IF YOUR BUDGET IS VERY LIMITED, I'd recommend Maltabargains.com. We moved on to the San Pawl for the last 2 weeks. Slightly more up-market with, however, less choice of food, but the pool area was a great improvement and the bar was a lot more spacey. There was "entertainment" each evening and this seemed to consist of different people with some backing and almost the same repertoire. Wherever you were in the Hotel you couldn't get away from the sound of this high class karaoke. A minus point (although I'm sure some enjoyed it). Still, let's talk about Malta. The weather was awful to start, cold and windy. April is also obviously not the time to go. We had a great time travelling around on the buses and going on excursions. Five weeks didn't seem too long (we thought it was going to be when the weather was bad). The history of Malta is incredible and Valletta is a City that needs a LOT of time to explore. Gozo is beautiful, cleaner than the main island but, obviously, with not so much to see and do. We now want to go again but to stay in Sliema (nearer to Valletta) and in a better class Hotel. Still, let's be honest, we couldn't afford 5 weeks in a better class Hotel! Excellent holiday.
October 2008. Visited Valletta on the Black Sea Melodies cruise. Although we'd had a boat trip around the harbour in 2005 I'd forgotten just how fabulous the cruise into Valletta was, a highlight of the Cruise. Just wandered and had lunch in the City, by the Main Square. Still want to go back to explore the History more.
April 2009. Back again on the Saga Ruby. Not enough time to do anything other than catch a bus into town (we walked last time, this is nicer), wander around and (of course) have a nice lunch.
May 2012. Mediterranean Secrets cruise. Got on an open top bus and did a tour of the island, nothing we hadn't seen before but excellent just the same.
2014 Easter in the Adriatic cruise. A wander into town and lunch. Much as we love Malta there isn't enough time on a cruise to do much that we haven't done before.
2014 Black Sea Odyssey cruise. Another wander around the Town but we decided to get back to the ship before lunch (we usually like to eat in town when we're there) as the weather looked decidedly iffy. Good call! The first spots started as we got back to the ship and there was a horrendous thunder storm to follow. Didn't eat lunch on deck!
2015 Gallipoli Centenery cruise. Took the lift up into Town, had never used it before. Very smooth with some great views. Had another little wander around town, looked in M & S for some sandals for Edna, bought a few bits and pieces here and there and so back to the ship.
2016 Mediterannean Christmas cruise. Docked New Year's Eve for an overnight stay because there is a New Year Fireworks display. To be honest it was disappointing. Not a patch on Madeira's, Still, we do love the trip into Valletta Harbour and Valletta itself so no real complaints. Got to bed about 01.30, won't be up too early!
New Year's Day and took the lift again. As it was not windy we decided to give the open top bus another go. Went on top and, to be honest, it was cold! After a while the people at the front of the bus got off so we moved and had a bit of cover from what wind there was but it was still chilly. Didn't remember that the trip was 3 hours so, in the cold, it seemed to go on and on. Towards the end we sat downstairs (we had seen it all before after all).
Mosta Church from the open top bus 2017 - sunny but cold!