Posted by on 1, Mar 2023 in Uncategorized


Oh it’s hilly in Malta!!! We left the port of Valetta in darkness and of course on the right side of the road which is the left … Choosing to stick to the back roads rather than the main ones to get to our apartment for the week.

Hilly doesn’t cut the mustard! I’d not like to take a car up some of the roads and we both had to push Tilly up quite a few too. No way could I move her on my own!

But, Tilly settled into her underground parking for a long rest and to nurse her now very slipping rear sprocket whilst we hauled our bags up 3 flights of stairs as the lift was broken.

Our apartment was worth the effort, very modern, well equiped and handy for the sea front too. Our hosts had been very helpful over Tilly as we had to check we could have our spare part sent to them and they proved to probably be the best hosts we’ve ever had on an airbnb.

We didn’t plan doing too much as we were both a bit worn out so after a wander around the rocky bays on our first day, the next we headed into Valletta to be greeted by the carnival – a fabulous party of floats, very loud music and people everywhere. Really enjoyable and fun but meant we had to postpone our city sight seeing for another day.

On our second attempt at sight seeing we visited the cathedral which is quite plain on the outside but amazing on the inside and spent ages marvelling at it and of course next on the list was the National War museum to read about Maltas many wars.

The old capital M’dina up on the hills is again extraordinary, even if I did have to stand on the bus for an hour and half to get there! It’s streets were almost deserted, narrow and wiggly with more than a hint of Arabic influence. It looked almost unchanged and could easily have been the same for hundreds of years.

We had planned to visit Gozo but decided after a hectic few rest days to really have a day off and leave that until our next visit to Malta but we did manage to catch up with one of my old school friends for lunch which lasted until tea and would have probably turned into an all nighter, if the staff had put the chairs on the tables around us and ask us to leave as they wanted to close!

Malta still is semi British, they drive on the left, there’s red phone boxes and letter boxes, full English all over the place, the signs are in English and they speak English too. Plus there’s a Marks and Sparks with no cheddar, but thankfully the supermarkets all had loads of cheddar for us to stock up on.. I’ve never been so long without it !!

The difference between Sicily and Malta is considerable. The driving is sooo much better, the parking is ‘normal’ and there’s no litter. The buildings look in general well maintained and there’s lots of construction and improvements going on all over the place.

There’s also a lot to see and do, which we will definitely have to go back for and the weather was fab, sunny and warm, so we had a great week which flew by far too quickly.

But back to our continuing Tilly problems. Our sprocket was loaded on to a plane at Frankfurt on the Sunday in good time to arrive while we were waiting for it, and either decided it liked the runway more than Malta or it got lost as apparently it’s still there. ????

So, we were in bit of a fix. The part comes from Germany and we do need to replace the sprocket urgently. We aren’t going to be able to go up many inclines with it in its current state so we have to get another shipped out.

Annoyingly the sprocket is reversible – but flipping it only makes the issue less apparent. It seems it’s worn on both sides and we’ve learnt it’s another spare to carry next time.

So, with our ferry and accommodation booked for our return to Sicily, minus our new part, we cycled the flattest route back to the ferry and found that unlike coming from Sicily, there’s no X rays or security checks and we got escorted on board with the knife that caused all our problems on the way over, secretly strapped to Tillys frame with absolutely no need…..!

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