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Old 01-29-2013, 05:15 PM   #46
maryr1oz
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Amazing , just amazing!


Beautiful pictures. Pity that they didn't allow pictures in the underground temple. And I noticed the cat....I used to have a calico cat just like that one.
That cat was sitting there on that perch 3 days in a row, first time i felt terrible for him, but by day 3 when i saw how much food people were giving him i felt much better

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Wow you had such an amazing holiday . Great to see some photos of Malta. It's our wedding anniversary while we are in Malta and I think I would like to visit Valletta for the day, thanks for a great report
Valletta would be a gorgeous place to spend an anniversary!
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #47
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Malta - Day 3

This was another day of family, and reinforcements of how small a world we live in...

Saturday morning my Aunty got called to work, it was a shame since this was to be the first full day we could spend with her in Malta, but nevermind, it wasn't to be. We had other family to visit - this time DH's. His grandparents migrated to Australia in the 50's, and he still has relatives on both sides of their families in Malta.

First up was his Mum's first cousin and her husband. We met them in Valletta, and within 2 minutes of meeting we felt completely at ease. She asked me why my Aunt was in Malta, and when i mentioned the job, her jaw dropped. She had been working with my Aunt occasionally for 3 years! She had even been to her house for an event - we couldn't believe it. They had never realised the connection previously, because DH's last name is his fathers, and not Maltese at all. We went and had a coffee and chatted for a couple of hours. It was so fantastic to meet them, and really amazing that she and my Aunt were technically related - through our marriage



They had some things they had to do, being Saturday, so we headed back to Naxxar. When we got off the bus, we stopped for some fresh pastizzi... wow, YUM!! We walked home and spent some time out on the balcony reading.





We relaxed until evening, when another of DH's mothers cousins came to pick us up - different side of the family than this morning. They as well were very friendly, and they took us to the house their family had owned for 80 years. They house DH's grandmother had grown up in. It was untouched during the war, which was very lucky. They now have possesion of the house, and are restoring it beautifully.









After a tour of the house, they took us to a Maltese restaurant where they ordered us a feast of local foods. I didn't feel comfortable taking the camera out when we'd just met, but we had thinks like snails, bean dip, goat cheese and fish. It was another great night!

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Old 01-29-2013, 05:50 PM   #48
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Malta - Day 4

Sunday in Malta, and we would finally spend the day with my Aunt! She took us over to Gozo for the day, it was fantastic!

We drove to the port where the car ferry crosses. It goes at least once an hour, and i think there are 2 or 3 ferries operating on the crossing. We waited a little while, then drove up onto the boat and parked.





We went upstairs to the lounge area and had a coffee while crossing. I think it only took about 30 minutes.







Once on the other side, we drove through several little villages, but ultimately we were heading to the west side of the island, to visit the Azure Window. Wow. Spectacular!!!









From there we headed south, to the village of Xlendi. It's really tucked away on a little bay amid high cliffs. It was super busy, but very pretty. We had lunch at a restaurant right down on the water.













We headed back into Victoria. There was a small street market that was just about finished, but we had a small browse. Then took a walk through another amazing church.



We went back over to Malta on the ferry, and had dinner at home.





That night we did a big loop night drive around St Julien's, Sliema and Ta' Xbiex. It was really busy and looked like alot of fun to be out walking by the water at night, unfortuntely we didn't stop, and i didn't get any photos from the car. We had to get home to get packed up and last laundry done, as the next day we were headed to Brussels!
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #49
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I'm really enjoying your report. Malta looks really beautiful, I'd love to visit someday.

Looking forward to more!
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:10 AM   #50
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I'm so enjoying this vicarious view of Malta. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:57 PM   #51
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I'm really enjoying your report. Malta looks really beautiful, I'd love to visit someday.

Looking forward to more!
I would certainly recommend a visit... i would love to go back someday!

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I'm so enjoying this vicarious view of Malta. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:19 PM   #52
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Malta to Brussels

This day was a bit of a loss, mostly filled with travel. In the morning we took one last walk up into the village and had a coffee.



We returned to the house, and got all our last things packed up. We took one last walk around the grounds of her beautiful house.







We got a cab to my Aunt's workplace. She was able to show us around there, and then took us to a nice cafe right on the waterside for an early lunch. I finally had rabbit tortellini here - it was good! Sorry, no pics


After lunch, she organsied for her driver to take us to the airport. It was sad saying goodbye, because i realised it would be awhile until we would get back to Malta, and next time we'd be doing it on our own. (My Aunt has since retired and returned to Australia).



The Malta airport was quite impressive for it's small size. The check in for Air Malta was quick and painless, as was the security checks. The duty free store was huge, and had a good selection of products. Out into the gates area and there were plenty more shops, cafe and a restaurant. It was here i had my last taste of my favorite Maltese snacks - Kinnie and the original Twistees!!





My husband surprised me with a Swarovski ring i had admired, i'm wearing it today and i love that it reminds me of Malta.



We boarded our plane mid afternoon, and the flight up to Brussels was about 3.5 hours. Air Malta were great to fly with, it was a comfortable plane, and the food we got was tasty.











We landed in Brussels about 7pm i think, and wow that is an impressive airport! For some reason i was on a mission to get our bags, get a cab and get out of there. I wish i had of slowed down and had a look in some of the shops...





We were staying for 2 nights in Brussels, and we chose the Conrad Brussels. We had Hilton points, so it was the big splurge on our trip. It was a beautiful hotel, on Avenue Louise. This isn't the number one tourist area, but it's on a long Avenue of designer shops, and we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go from there anyway. The room was comfortable, very luxe. By the time we finally got into the room, we were done, and decided to just order room service for dinner.









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Old 01-30-2013, 05:41 PM   #53
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Beautiful ring!
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:46 PM   #54
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Brussels Day, Part 1

I'm going to split this day into 2 posts, i feel like we really did so much in this day that it would be hard to limit it to 25 photos

Our early turn in the night before had us ready to explore first thing! We were up and outside with all the workers heading to work. It was a little dreary on this day, but the hotel lent us a big umbrella to take with us. We didn't end up needing it, but we were glad to have it just in case.

We started from our hotel walking down Avenue Louise to Pl. Poelaert, which was several blocks for us. It was an amazing view over the city.





We turned right, and wound our way down through many cute little streets and squares towards the Mannekin Pis.







On the way, we struck our first waffle stand - of course we tried!





The Mannekin Pis was right nearby, and we were a little underwhelmed in his size, although it was pretty nice to know we'd seen him.





This area was very touristy, lot's of chocolate shops. We stopped to get a couple to share Chocolate for breakfast? Well we were in Brussels!



We then made our way over to the Grand Place. Supposed to be Europe's most pituresque square. Well, it certainly was memorable! Very, very ornate.







We decided the best way to see alot, and get around would be on a hop-on hop-off bus, so this is what we did next. We got on the loop heading out of the city, our destination would be the Royal Gardens, and the Atomium!









The Atomium was built for Expo 58, and lay dormant for many years. They have restored it now, and filled it with interesting displays about it's history, as well as inventions and science in Belgium. I'll leave off here for now.









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Old 01-30-2013, 05:52 PM   #55
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Beautiful ring!
Thanks!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:44 AM   #56
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Oh my, those chocolates.. oh my... I need to go to Brussels.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #57
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Brussels Day - Part 2

We left off visiting the Atomium. First we caught an elevator to the very top to the observation level, what a great view!





When we got back to the ground, we then took a combination of stairs and escalators, and wound our way through about 5 of the spheres, looking at all the exhibitions.



It was then back onto the bus to finish the loop, which ended up back near the Grand Place. We had another look around, there was definitely more life around there now it was early afternoon.













We snacked on some Belgian fries - which were ok, but i'm sure the place we bought from wasn't the best. We also walked to see one of the many TinTin murals that adorn the city walls.





We joined the other bus loop, which took us south through the city. We saw the European Parliament buildings, as well as other official EU offices.



















When we got off the bus, we made the trek back towards the hotel. We stopped at Pierre Marcolini, which was recommended by the hotel front desk as the best chocolates. The store was set up like a boutique. It was amazing. The chocolates were quite pricey, but we thought this was a good place to get some gifts to bring home, so we did spend a bit of money here.



The weather was turning again at this stage, so we decided we'd head inside for the night. We stopped by a small supermarket and picked up some food to make a picnic with for dinner at the hotel. It was good to have some 'fresh' food.



Another reasonably early night, and tomorrow we will be heading to Disney!
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #58
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Nice whistle stop in Brussels. Seems like a pretty enough city with great chocolates.

Looking forward to the Disney posts.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #59
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I so have to go to Belgium just to have the waffles and chocolate
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #60
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Oh my, those chocolates.. oh my... I need to go to Brussels.
More chocolates coming right up!

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Nice whistle stop in Brussels. Seems like a pretty enough city with great chocolates.

Looking forward to the Disney posts.
Definitely a good whistle stop, but glad we didn't have any more time there. It was just perfect having about 48 hours.

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I so have to go to Belgium just to have the waffles and chocolate
Great food in Brussels, that's for sure
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