The weather is bright and sunny and quite warm but the sea is pretty vicious at the moment and none of the boat trips are happening. No matter, we just adopted plan B and yesterday took the bus to St Julians which is not very far away and just around Spinola Bay from where we are in Gzira. St Julians has a modern Augustinian church which is only open for masses, it looked very interesting though in a Paddy's Wigwam sort of way. There is also a yacht harbour full of rich men's playthings. There are two separate harbours, one for motor boats and the other for sailing boats and a happy hour was spent wandering around in the sunshine looking at them. We came across a delightful bronze statue of a fisherman mending his net, trying to extricate a small fish from the net and being extremely closely observed by a little bronze cat a few feet away. Charming.
We thought we would have lunch out and Onslow spotted McDonalds so we went there. It was a rather odd McDonalds, at the front overlooking the harbour is what is called "McCaff" and this has people serving coffee and cakes, quite a decent selection of both. Behind that is the traditional McDonalds and upstairs there is a party room - it sounded as though a few hundred small people were celebrating the end of Carnival up there.
We came back to the flat and I went for a lovely long swim, I was in the pool for a good hour and never saw another soul. The sun was shining in through the glass walls, I could see the skyline of Valletta every other length and it was one of the best swims I have ever had.
We got up this morning intending to do the other harbour cruise we have a voucher for but it is still pretty windy out there so no boats were working. We instead took the bus to Marsaxlokk and spent a pleasant hour just sitting by the sea and watching the fishermen. The water there was very calm and the sun was beating down and it is only about six miles away. We opted to have lunch in Marsaxlokk and found a table by the quayside outside Cafe de Paris and ordered a set lunch. Onslow had fish soup and I had garlic bread as a starter, his soup was broth like in consistency but very strong on flavour, my garlic bread was simply a slice of bread spread with garlic butter and then sprinkled with cheese before baking for a few minutes - both were fabulous. We both then opted for the mussels and chips, a very large plate with about twenty five mussels in a garlicky buttery sauce, a heap of chips and a generous portion of salad. A basket of bread and butter on the side completed the food. Three glasses of wine, a large diet Coke and a coffee brought the total cost to just under seventeen Euros. How do they do it?
We were early for our return bus, which is just as well because the bus left five minutes before it was even due to arrive! Bus timetables are regarded as a challenge by the drivers I think because they seldom work as per the schedule I have.