Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Blue Lagoon

Just when I thought my overseas experience couldn't get any better it did. I went to Malta. In the summer. For TWO WHOLE DAYS!

I've been to Malta once before but that was 2 years ago when I was in the midst of fresh heartache and just coming out of a three week non-eating phase. Strange how woes in your personal life can make your appetite disappear huh? Super strange for the girl with an African arse who seems to always be eating something. Anyway, I was just starting to come out of my devestation coma and was delighted to wolf down a pizza at the lovely Cafe Fontanella, which is in the old town of Mdina and has gorgeous views of the Maltese skyline.

Fast forward 2 years and I was delighted when my incredible swapping powers with our roster swap shop proved themselves supreme again - I managed to fob off a Nagoya for TWO-DAY Malta in the summer. Hello Japanese girl, do you realise what you're missing? Making the move to first class has been such a wonderful experience - I've never looked back and it means I'm even further away from the Economy cabin....just how I like it. The only drawback? A great many of our flights only operate as two-class, meaning first class doesn't fly to the following destinations: Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Venice, Vienna, MALTA, Hong Kong and Bangkok (except Bangkok/Sydney) and a few more layovers and a handful of shite-ful local turnarounds. However, the bad news does get better in summer: due to the larger amounts of passengers who want to travel to these destinations, the flights are changed to larger three-class aircrafts to accomodate them all. So I have overbooked passenger loads and the Japanese girl who swapped with me to thank for my latest, greatest adventure.

I landed in Paris the week before the Malta trip, turned my phone on and found....shock horror, a text message! It was from the purser on my upcoming Malta trip (a friend I've flown with a few times before) and he had great news: he was organising a catamaran trip for our second day in Malta, all inclusive of drinks and food and snorkelling fun for only 60 euros. Was I in? WAS I IN??? You bet! I even called to confirm my attendance I was so excited!

Finally it was time for the trip! I barely slept I was so excited and really didn't want to get out of bed when my alarm went off at about 5am. Now, that's not a bad wake up time but let's face it - if I don't wake up when my body wants to wake up I'm just not happy camper in the mornings. Or a pretty sight!

The flight was rather uneventful, with very few passengers - easy peasy! This gave us ample time to sit in the flight deck, drink the fresh juice cocktail and check out our options for the catamaran trip. We finally landed and then it was off to the hotel for a short nap and out for dinner. We managed to wrangle our way into a gorgeous restaurant on the side of a hill with a top-floor open view of the bay. Not bad for a last-minute walk-up group of 14! We wined and dined and munched on delicious food and then it was time for gelato. Yummmmm.....

We walked home past all the local night spots and all of a sudden at the ripe old age of 25 I felt like a fossil! While Malta is a gorgeous place with gorgeous buildings and gorgeous beaches and gorgeous food, it seems that the gorgeous teenagers have nothing to do with their nights ... except get all tarted up and go clubbing when they're 16. There were girls parading around in pants smaller than the knickers I wear to bed! I guess they'll only be young with fabulous legs once so they may as well flaunt them before cellulite and gravity set in.

Up bright and early the next day, we all eagerly convened in the lobby for our bus to take us to our boat. I think there were about 10 or 12 of us and the smell of sunscreen permeated the air. Finally the bus showed up - think year 10 camp style coach, so we were all aboard and off to the sea. The boat was waiting for us at the harbour in Valetta (the capital) and we all climbed on and staked out our seats. Half the crew opted for the upper deck, while myself and the rest thought it wiser to stay downstairs under sun shade on the padded mats. The upper deck might have had higher views and unrelenting sun, but we had shade and the option of sun when we wanted it. No guesses for who got the most roasted.

We set sail and were indulged with a continuous commentary from the captain all about the history of Malta and our surrounding area. A few of us drifted off to sleep in the breeze and it was all just so serene and lovely I forgot for a minute I was there courtesy of work! The crew came around and offered sandwiches and the bar inside was serving drinks. Soon we were all feeling a little buzz from the unlimited spirits and coke and water and then before we knew it we were putting down our anchor at the first beach for a bit of a swim and some lunch. We bravely jumped the 4 metres or so into the cool blue water and swam around and snorkelled and marvelled at how blue the water was. Lunch was buffet style, with local fish, some beef and lots of salad and pastas. We feasted to fantastic views and then had another swim.

Then it was off to the magnificant Blue Lagoon. Let me say here, it's not THE Blue Lagoon where the movie was shot. I'm lead to believe that lagoon is in Iceland and that led me to imagine just how cold it must have been for the poor actors! Anyway, I digress....

Back to the crystal clear waters of Malta's Blue Lagoon. From the moment we entered the little cove we were all mesmerised. Some of us hooted off to catch a speedboat that zipped around to the other side of the island to see the famous caves and even see where a scene from the movie The Count of Monte Christo was shot. Our speedboat driver had a killer tan that I was most envious of. I guess that's what happens when you spend every day shirtless in the Maltese sun. And I guess that's why I look like Casper. Casper with freckles.

Our driver skillfully eased the boat inside one of the caves and it stank of sulphur and wet and dark dank scary bat-cave smell. There was a tiny sandy beach inside which is sometimes used for movies but we could barely see it and tried to light up the area with our camera flashes. We zipped back out of the smelly cave and back around to the lagoon side of the island at what felt like 400km an hour, screaming and squealing with delight as we rocketed over the waves and almost flew out of the boat.

Back to the lagoon and straight into the water, enjoying a splash and a floundering snorkelling experience. I don't know what it is but I'm scared of deep water when I can't see the bottom and while this wasn't the issue because the water was so clear, I get really claustrophobic when I try to snorkel. I'd rather just hold my breath and wear some goggles. The whole breathing underwater thing freaks me out so bad I start to try to breathe through my nose and fog up the glasses and then I gasp in surprise that there's fog and then I suck in the water. Bad bad bad. And funny funny funny for those watching my drowing-rat attempts at having fun!!

We finally clamboured back into the boat and headed back to Valetta. The sun was beautiful and warm and I fell asleep and woke up covered with a towel. The crew were worried that I was starting to roast like a chicken on a spit! I ended up on the upper deck for the cruise back into the harbour in the afternoon sun with splendid views and a chat with the crew. It was fantastic, a really fun day, followed by a lazy stroll around the beach the next day before heading back to the airport.

All in a day's work! I can't wait to go back to Malta again.


Traytable said...

I. Am. SO. Jealous. I'll trade you a puke-print dress for a day in First. Really :P

I just love that little vanity mirror thing, I wish our Business was nearly as cute

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