Another thunderstorm tumbled at about 5am, the breakfast room (which is mostly a conservatory & is probably the pool room in the summer) leaked a bit and it was kind of raining, right up until I went outside.
I successfully found the bus stop for the fast bus to Valletta, we manoeuvred around a prang between a Mercedes and a bus and then the hop-on-hop-off bus man said the words “harbour cruise”. So I did. As I walked away with a handwritten paper ticket for a boat leaving in an hour and a half from a different peninsula, it occurred to me that maybe it was a fake ticket. Well, if it was, never mind. I’ve never been caught out before and once in 10+ years isn’t bad. I didn’t opt for the quick Sliema ferry. I had time to kill and a card full of bus journeys to use up. I took the bus to the headland at the bottom of St Julian and walked back to Sliema.
The boat was real and the ticket was real. And it was the pretty boat, not the functional one, the one in the style and paint job of a traditional Maltese luzzi. Boarding it as soon as it got in from its previous trip saved me sitting on the seafront in the boiling sun but if I was going to be first on a boat, I was going to take my choice of seat, not shelter under the deck, so I sat in the full glare of the boiling sun on a seat that bobbed gently up & down. I could see my left arm getting sunburnt so I hid it inside my t-shirt and draped my jacket over my head. Yes, I looked ludicrous. But I was avoiding the worst of the sun
It got cold once we were out on the water. Once we were moving, I decided to sit along the side of the boat in the shade instead of at the front and that worked quite well until we were sailing up the creeks between the Three Cities, when it got very cold indeed. I moved back to my seat at the front for the return journey, right in the sun.
Now what? I had two or three hours. That’s not time to do anything. I returned to Valletta and used the bus wifi to look up airport bus timetables. Ah ha! The X4 would take me to a place called Pretty Bay, 15 or 20 minutes beyond the airport. I could look at the view and catch the earlier bus back to the airport on its return loop.
Pretty Bay is pretty but it does have a big container porr at the south end. But the water is proper blue, there are rock pools and a stretch of yellow sand and if you want a quiet bit of beach,this probably isn’t a bad choice. Then I got the bus back to the airport where I sit right now, finishing up orange juice and eating the first meal-like thing since breakfast.