(travel diary) DAY 1: Malta… welcome to the left side!

In Andalucia, Europe, Fotografia, Malta, Photography, Sevilla, Seville, Travel, Viajar on October 25, 2012 by "Our traveling without moving!..." Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Flying over the Mediterranean Sea could be the perfect beginning of our story… well… it could be… but, what are the most annoying behaviours to have in an airplane? What can REALLY ruin a flight?
…a bad sit? Not that much…
    …a baby crying? Well, it’s just a baby, it’s more than understandable…
        …turbulence? anxiety raises… but, what can be really terrible is a bad and noisy neighbour, trust me!

Imagine this middle aged woman, imbued by the flamenco’s flavour (we were boarding in Seville), excited by the time spent under the hot andalusian sun and yelling at her elderly father, asking him to “GET LOSTTTT!!”… and, in these moments, when you figure out something like this, you immediately remember Murphy’s Law… and… it never fails! …with so many empty sits… why us? WHY US? oh, please… can anyone open the door so the lady could refresh the ideas? Oh, we’re already flying?! Perfect: so, please, can you REALLY open the door and put the lady outside?!

…then, suddenly… a calm arrived: we were approaching Malta! As we were descending, we could appreciate how ocher spots, only glimpsed from the plane, were gaining shapes and contours…

…suddenly… we could observe “the white rock” in all its splendor, in a spectacular contrast with the turquoise of the Mediterranean waters, flying over palazzos and their magnificent gardens, guessing silhouettes of monuments and churches, small towns and villages, small fishing ports and monumental ravines and, finally, landed, as the doors open, a (literally!) warm reception.

…how a small island can be so big…

From now on… the rest we would say it would be easy… or not! Renting a car to discover an island with autonomy seems always a wise option… the problem is to be able “to deal” with the traffic lane direction: welcome to the left side, baby! Driving on the left side, theoretically, wouldn’t have no trouble… but, how do these brains (in vacation mode: ON) would lose the automatic skills acquired years ago?! Easy: you just… can not! The moment we low our guard and concentration decreases… yep, here we go through the wrong way!

(now, far from the situation, we find this hilarious… but, at the time, it was such a nightmare!)

Among unfamiliar roads and roundabouts (shamefully) circumvented, we reached the spectacular Valetta… but, wait… Weren’t we going to Sliema?

Ups… I guess I’m a terrible GPS! Reversing and now, more relaxed, heading in direction to Sliema!


Sobrevoar o Mar Mediterrâneo podia ser o início perfeito da nossa história… pois, podia ser…
mas, quais são os comportamentos mais irritantes de se podem ter a bordo de um avião? O que pode chegar mesmo a arruinar um voo?

…um mau lugar? Nem tanto…

    …um bebé a chorar? Bem, é apenas um bebé, é perfeitamente compreensível…

        …turbulências…? sim, a ansiedade aumenta… mas, o que pode ser realmente terrível num voo é um mau vizinho, sim, acreditem!

Imaginem uma senhora de meia idade, imbuída pela alma flamenca (estávamos embarcando em Sevilha), animada pelo tempo gasto sob o quente sol andaluz e gritando com seu pai idoso, pedindo-lhe para “FICARRR LONGEEE”… e, claro, quando nos apercebemos de uma situação destas, lembramo-nos logo da Lei de Murphy… e nunca falha! … com tanto lugar livre…  porquê a nós? Oh, por favor… alguém pode abrir a porta para que a senhora refresque as ideias? Oh, já estamos no ar?! Então, perfeito! Alguém pode MESMO abrir a porta à senhora?!

…de súbito… chegou a calma: aproximamo-nos a Malta! Conforme descendemos, apreciamos como as manchas ocres apenas vislumbradas desde o avião, ganham formas e contornos.

…de súbito… observamos “a rocha” branca em todo o seu esplendor, num contraste espectacular com as águas turquesa do mediterrâneo, sobrevoando palazzos e seus ostentosos jardins, adivinhando silhuetas de monumentos e igrejas, pequenas cidades e vilas que ganham nome, pequenos portos de pescadores, monumentais ravinas e, finalmente em terra, ao abrir as portas, um caloroso (literalmente!) recebimento.

…como o pequeno pode ser tão grande…

Chegados aqui… o resto seria, digamos que, fácil… ou talvez não! Alugar um carro para descobrir uma ilha com maior autonomia parece sempre uma opção acertada… o problema é acertar, igualmente, com a faixa em que devemos conduzir: welcome to the left side, baby! Conduzir pelo lado esquerdo, teoricamente, não apresenta dificuldade… mas como fazer estes cérebros (em modo de férias: ON) perder o automatismo adquirido há anos?! Fácil: simplesmente não dá! No momento em que baixamos a guarda e a concentração diminui… lá vamos nós de volta para o lado errado! (agora, longe da situação, achamos hilariante… mas, no momento, foi um verdadeiro pesadelo!)

Entre estradas desconhecidas e rotundas (vergonhosamente) contornadas, chegamos à espectacular La Valleta… Espera… Não íamos para Sliema? Ups… Acho que sou um terrível GPS. Inversão de marcha e, agora sim, já mais descontraídos, direcção Sliema!


16 Responses to “(travel diary) DAY 1: Malta… welcome to the left side!”

  1. Super job of covering Malta. Don’t forget to track down those Knights of St. John, the keepers of Bogart’s Maltese Falcon!

  2. Always thoroughly enjoy your postings!

  3. Glad you have discovered Malta! Make sure you sample the octopus and visit the Hypogeum (reservation required).

  4. Much more to see in Valletta – so much history. Looking forward to reading more 🙂

  5. Thanks for your tip, Palladian Travel! We’ll follow the steps of those Knights!

  6. Thank you, cp! We always enjoy your comments! Keep them coming!

  7. We are already in love with the island, Story Artisan! But, we are so sad we couldn’t find any tickets left to visit the Hypogeum… We’ll keep trying!….

  8. Oh, Martin, Valletta is impressive! We’re working on writing our experience (but is not easy to find the right words to describe such a special place)!

  9. I can relate to that brain off relaxing mode, when “oh no!” on the wrong side of the road:) I’m looking forward to reading more about your travels and adventures, very amusing.

  10. Oh, Alley, you know that feeling like “we’re on vacation, let’s relax”… This was totally the opposite: being more than attentive to keep focused on the road, the other cars, the traffic signs, the map and… finally, to observe the beauty surrounding us!

  11. I’ve been to Malta!!! I found it very beautiful and inspiring. The building and churches made such great photos. Me and my family had great adventures driving around the island and I got some great photos 🙂 must admit though they are nothing compared to yours, they are gorgeous!!!

  12. I wouldn’t worry too much about being on the left, the Maltese drivers don’t take much notice of left, right or anything else really!! 🙂 Just go with the flow and expect the unexpected!

  13. Beautiful pics! How do you make those compositions?

  14. Thank you so much, Martin, Katrina and Sainzja! Malta is an amazing place… and, it’s true, it looks so good in photographs! Martin, we’re taking your advice: go with the flow (that is, literally, what we do!) and expect the unexpected!

  15. So, I just read several of your posts and I’m pretty much completely obsessed with your blog now, and so jealous of your travels! How do you do it??

  16. Thanks, Chloe! Hey, we aren’t traveling all the time: how I wish that was true! We, simply, try to ‘escape’ once in a while, it’s our addiction!… Keep reading us

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