Monday, May 2, 2011

..."don't you wanna Malta, Malta!"

MALTA - Best weekend ever.

After a week of class coming back from Spring Break, we realized we needed a vacation. So Blair, Dom, and I decided to take the guys' advice and enjoy the beaches of Malta. To be honest, I had never even heard of Malta until our very handsome friend AJ told us about it. He is half Maltese ("like the dog!" I said). But he doesn't look like a Maltese dog...he actually looks exactly like Chuck Bass...

Anyway, so we headed off to Malta! None of us really knew what to expect, and little did we know what we were in for with our hostel situation. So we arrive in Malta early Friday morning and take a taxi to our hotel. It took us a second to realize that we were driving on the left side of the road. That was weird. But it made sense once we found out that Malta used to be part of the British Empire after the Treaty of Paris. Small history lesson for you there. So naturally, everyone had British accents in Malta. At least they all spoke English! That was a huge plus for the weekend.

So we got to our hostel...which ended up not exactly being a hostel. Blair had found this place off of so we assumed it would be similar to all the other hostels we had stayed at. However, this was a lady's house. Carla was her name. Carla was quite the character, too. She was extremely welcoming! She had a lovely house that was nicely kept and clean. Even though it wasn't what we expected, we had heard of this happening to friends before, so we went with it and thought it would be an experience. And trust me, it was quite the experience.

So Blair and I got our own room and Dom had one for himself. There was a main bathroom that everyone shared right next to Carla's room. (Yeah...flashback to Psycho.) The kitchen was great and stocked with food. After a quick tour of the house, we headed off to find the beach! About an hour and a crazy bus ride later, we found it. And it was beautiful.

Our goal for the weekend was to spend as much time laying out on the beach as possible. So after spending the rest of the day on the beach on Friday, we went home for the evening to freshen up and walk around in St. Julian's where we were staying. It was a pretty relaxing night and the three of us just ended up sitting on the beach for a few hours talking.

Saturday, we got up early, ate a delicious breakfast prepared for us by Carla (which included American cereal that was AWESOME. For those who don't know, I could live off of cereal, and I hadn't had a bowl of cereal in months), and headed to the beach. We got to spend the entire day on the beach and it was AMAZING. The sand was perfect, the water was kind of cold, but you could get used to it after a little while. We ate lunch at this really good place that had burgers. So awesome to taste burgers--something we definitely hadn't had in Italy. After a nice, relaxing day on the beach we went back to get ready to go out that night in Paceville.

While getting ready to go out...Carla decides to single me out and I hear here calling my name in her British accent from down the hallway. "Oh look, dear! There's an American on the tele!" Cool? What do I say to that? Well this is what I said: "Oh yeah! Neat." And there I was stuck for for 45min talking to this lady about her "bloody, hell of a life." Turns out her husband died years ago, she inherited a ton of money, her kids want the money so a few years back they tried to poison her, "she hasn't made love to a man in 8 years" (which for some reason she kept on bringing up), and I basically heard her whole life story. The lady was crazy. Is crazy, actually. However, one thing we did pick up from Carla was how she always used the phrase "the blah, blah." For example: "okay you two girls can take one bedroom and you Damien can take the other room. Unless of course two of you are doing the blah blah." First off, she kept calling Dom, Damien. Secondly, the "blah blah" ranged from a whole sort of things...who knows what she actually ever meant by it. Anyway, after listening to her talk for 45min, I was released and went back into the room with Dom and Blair where they consoled me after being alone with that nut job for so long. Still can't believe they didn't come get me...oh well. Off we went to Paceville!

Paceville is an area in St. Julian's that is the center for night life. I have no idea how many bars and clubs there were on that street, but it was a ton! We probably went in to at least ten different places that night and there were many others we could have gone in. One of the ones we went into was really fun and we saw these guys and girls all break dancing. That place stuck out too because for a while we really could not find the exit. So we formed a chain and the three of us joined hands in order not to get lost and finally found this staircase that led us out. It was a weird staircase with a bunch of gears, like the inside of a clock, on the wall. Kind of cool.

So we headed to the next place which was so nice. Every drink in the place was like 15 euro and it was so obvious that we did not fit in there. But, naturally, we acted like we owned the place and Blair and I ordered our normal round of tequila shots. A few bars and clubs later, we got to one that we knew Dom would enjoy, so Blair and I, being the awesome friends we are, bought him a present for being so good to us on the trip and doing well hanging out with the girls. I can't say what the gift was, but he loved it. It was funny too because right after treating him for hanging out with us girls, we walked outside to go to another club, and there were our guy friends! Five of our close guy friends (Zach and Anthony from UMD and AJ, Wade, and Clint from MSU) studying with us in Rome were in Malta for the weekend, too. We knew that they were there, but it had been really hard to get in touch with them. So that was a lovely little surprise. We spent the rest of the night with them and had a lot of fun. Sadly for them they had an early flight the next morning. Surprised they made it, too. Luckily for us, we decided to save on air fare and come back Monday night. (at least we thought we saved on airfare...)

So on Sunday we took an adventure to the Blue Grotto. That was a very long bus ride. Three bus rides actually. But so worth it. The views were amazing.

We climbed down to the water and got tickets to get a boat ride to the Blue Grotto. Honestly, the clearest water I have ever seen. It looked like you were looking into a deep, crystal clear swimming pool--but prettier. The caves were so cool, too. That was an awesome boat ride.

After that we ate lunch and went to lay out and nap on the side of the cliffs. The view was just breath taking. We jammed out to my iPod for a while, and finally headed back around 5 to catch the last bus. Turns out the last bus left at 4:45. Perfect. So we got to walk all the way into town where we could get a bus that would take us back to St. Julian's. Once we finally arrived at the bus stop in the town (which was so completely deserted it was creepy), we met three Italian guys that were our age. Their names were Matteo, Matteo, and Leonardo. They were so awesome! Leonardo spoke perfect English and the other two Matteo's were pretty good as well. They were on a trip for the weekend like we were, but they came to rock climb on the cliffs. They were very adventurous type dudes. We rode the next couple buses back with them to Paceville which took a couple hours, so we got to talk to them a lot.

On our last day in Malta, we got up early to go to the beach. We stayed for a few hours and then headed to the airport for our evening flight back to Rome. We go to check in and the lady makes me weigh my bags, and it turns out that mine was too heavy to take as a carry-on. Luckily I was allowed one free 20lb bag to check. So I give the lady my passport for her to print out my ticket and sign me in or whatever she has to do, and she tells me that she can't find my name on the passenger list. So I show the lady my printed out itinerary I got from my confirmation e-mail. "Oh, yes see here?" she says. I look at the ticket. "You're return flight is for next Monday." Jaw drops. In my mind I'm thinking, no way can I spend another week with Carla. Get me to ROME! Blair felt really bad for booking the wrong return flight for me, so she ended up paying for a new ticket so I could go back with them. I felt terrible. 108 extra euro just so I could get back home that day.

Despite the mess up with the flight, it was probably one of my favorite trips I've ever taken. (That and Disneyworld in 3rd grade was pretty life changing.)

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