Trip Report! ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Part 2 - IMAGE INTENSIVE!

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by sayhello, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Day 3 - Valletta, Malta and Gozo

    So, I'm not a morning person. Never have been. I knew we had an early meeting time for Malta, so I decided to set my "wake up" for fairly early. My preferred wake up on a cruise port day is the wonder that is room service for breakfast! It couldn't be easier to set up. They have a little tag that you put out on the outside of your door listing a time range for delivery, and selecting what you want for breakfast. A nice pot of coffee, cereal (oatmeal! I so rarely have time to make oatmeal!), plain yogurt and some scrambled eggs. Since the times were in 1/2 hour ranges, I picked a half hour before I wanted to get up, in case I was one of the last ones delivered to. This turned out to be unnecessary; they always delivered at the early end of the time range. They would call first to make sure you were awake (and/or not engaged in something you might not want to have interrupted!) Very efficient!

    So this first morning, breakfast was delivered over half an hour before I really needed to be up. I took my coffee out onto my veranda, and actually experienced something rare for me... Sunrise! I've seen tons and tons of very beautiful sunsets, but sunrise is a pretty novel experience for me! ;-)

    [​IMG]

    Malta is a very pretty, ancient looking place. Here we are, gliding into port...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Our meet-up spot was at Animator's Palate, which was just above the debarkation area. Tina & Robyn checked that we had our ID and Key to the World (KTTW), and put a Donald sticker on those they checked. Most people kept the stickers on all day. I'm sure we didn't need to, but it was kind of fun.

    We disembarked (no lines for those on an ABD! Whoohoo!) and got on our motorcoach for the drive to the far side of Malta, where we were to catch a ferry to the island of Gozo. As I said, Malta is very pretty. We didn't stop, however, as our destination was Gozo, not Malta... But I did like what I saw from the motorcoach!

    It was really, really windy, which meant the water was really, really choppy. It was *beautiful*, but I was a bit worried that the ferry would make me sick. Fortunately, it was low & wide, and for the most part, very stable. I spent most of the ride up on the top deck, with LOTS of fresh air, talking to the father of the family on the last family vacation.

    [​IMG]

    Except for the wind, it was a GORGEOUS day. Brilliant sunshine, blue, blue skies (and water!), just a touch of a nip to the air. When we arrived on Gozo, we were herded to a group of jeeps for our jeep tour of Gozo. Gozo looked very similar to Malta, only much more sparsely populated. For such a little, bitty island, they sure had a *TON* of churches! Many of them were very ornate!

    [​IMG]

    We stopped at an area by the coast where they had salt pans. Shallow pits were dug, and sea water poured in, and left to evaporate, leaving the sea salt behind, which they sell. Normally, the tide never goes near the salt pans, but with the wind we had, well, the tide was all over them! Did I say it was REALLY windy?

    [​IMG]

    Our jeep driver was a native Gozoan. I had commented how lovely one area was we were driving through, and she smiled & said "This is *my* village!"

    [​IMG]

    Our next stop was in a Crafts Village area where we were *supposed* to see them hand-blowing glass. Unfortunately, they had some sort of issue that day, and had had to shut the ovens down. So no glass-blowing for us! :-( Our tour guide Fio showed us the sand they used, and we saw some of the finished products. It was very lovely glass... For instance, I'd never seen black & white glass before.

    [​IMG]

    But I had really been looking forward to the glass-blowing. Oh, well. Stuff happens...

    They gave us a free glass paperweight as a souvenir. I was drawn to a deep blue one with white & clear accents. We then were given some time to wander the other shops in the area & use the bathroom (always important to utilize those opportunities in the Med!) I ended up buying a very pretty small hand-made doily in a lace shop next door.

    We then got back in our jeeps, and headed off to an area called the Azure Window. They let us off in the parking lot, and we walked down some steps into a protected area. We all bunched up against the wall as Fio explained the geography of the area. She pointed out to us that the wall behind us was filled with fossils of sea life. The whole area had been under water, but techtonic movement had caused it to raise up out of the water! It was very cool.

    [​IMG]

    Then we walked out into the rocks, and saw that the Azure Window is a very dramatic, beautiful natural arch! The area is very rocky, so it was a bit precarious trying to get good pictures, especially with the wind. But that didn't stop me! :-D I grew up near the ocean, so it didn't intimidate me (much).

    [​IMG]

    Of course, even though I was no where near the water... THIS is what I got next! (Did I say it was really, REALLY windy?) I got a little spray on my camera, but other than that, I was fine. But I backed off at that point!

    [​IMG]

    After our orgy of picture taking & hiking around the Azure Window, we got back in our jeeps, and headed for lunch! We ate in a lovely little restaurant right on the coast, Il Terazzo (Restaurant, Wine Bar & Pizzeria). If you look at the picture below, we were *supposed* to eat where you can see the closed-up umbrellas. Yep. It was WAY too windy for us to eat out there, so we ate in the enclosed patio area of the restaurant, which still had a lovely view.

    [​IMG]

    This was my first encounter with a restaurant that totally didn't know what to do with me. Because the food they had was in a lemon sauce, and I try to minimize citrus because of my stomach (no tomatoes, citrus, cabbage or green peppers). It took them forever to come up with something else they could serve me. Oh, well. :-) Better a late lunch than heartburn!

    And, of course, dessert was magnificent profiteroles. I *had* to eat them! I really did! Yumm!

    After lunch, we got back in our jeeps, and headed off to an area called Xlendi (no idea how it's pronounced!) There was a beautiful little protected area where we were *supposed* to go swimming in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, even though it was protected, the wind had the water so whipped up that it was not safe to go swimming.

    [​IMG]

    Some folks ended up wading in, but I decided to take a hike up these very interesting-looking stairs. They just called to me. There were some really nice views from the stairs, and they came down into a little cave-like area where the waves were really hitting!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It took a lot of running around to get a picture of this guy. Gecko? I'm not sure...

    [​IMG]

    After some free time to wander Xlendi, (the shopping was really pretty non-existent) we headed off back to catch the ferry back to Malta. I took this picture on the way back. That's the island of Comino in front, with the "Blue Lagoon" area with the turquoise water, and Malta beyond.

    [​IMG]

    On the ferry back to Malta

    [​IMG]

    Fio, our tour guide in Malta.

    [​IMG]

    The Magic (and Goofy!) in the Grand Harbour near Valetta, Malta.

    [​IMG]

    Sailing out of the Grand Harbour.

    [​IMG]

    Tonight's towel animal

    [​IMG]

    Before I knew to be paranoid about the weight of my luggage, I had really wanted to buy the large Captain Mickey plush that they had on the DCL website (you could pre-purchase it, and take your voucher to the shops to trade for a plush.) But it had disappeared off the website several weeks before the cruise. I went to the shops, and they did not have the large plush at all; all they had was a very few smaller plushes of Captain Mickey. The salespeople said they might just not be unpacked yet, so I should check back later in the cruise. But I decided I was probably better off just buying the smaller one, anyways. Turned out it was a good thing I did, because they did *not* have any more onboard, and the small ones sold out pretty quickly.

    [​IMG]

    Before dinner, I made the circuit of Character pictures. Some of them actually turned out!

    Me and Mickey!

    [​IMG]

    Me and Dopey. People seemed to really like these poses!

    [​IMG]

    There's just something about Dopey!

    Continued in Part 3.
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. Diskidatheart

    Diskidatheart DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    500
    Great report! So was it windy there? :rotfl2: Your pictures are fantastic! I almost feel like I am on the trip, but unfortunately I'm not getting the great "cruise" food they serve.
     
  4. Tri-Delta4Life

    Tri-Delta4Life Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    181
    Love the black and white glass, how pretty!
     
  5. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    :tongue:

    Thanks, Diskidatheart! :) :lovestruc Yep, and there's no one making up my bed & cleaning the bathroom, either... ;)

    Sayhello
     
  6. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Thanks, Tri-Delta4Life. I thought it was pretty unique.

    Sayhello
     
  7. EyeDisneyCruise

    EyeDisneyCruise Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    Messages:
    105
    Your report just keeps us wanting more!! Lots of work to do the report but look at the great end result -- Thanks!

    Love the photos of you and the characters!
     
  8. Pluto 2

    Pluto 2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    2,469
    love your trip reports. your pictures are very beautiful. what kind of camera do you have?
     
  9. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Well, that's good, because there is a LOT MORE to come! ;) I've said it before, but it's a labor of love! I really enjoy doing these reports, I just wish I had more time so I could pump them out faster!

    Thanks! I usually hate pictures of myself, but a couple of the ship photos actually came out alright!

    Sayhello
     
  10. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Thanks! I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5. It's a step up from a point-and-shoot, Leica lens, 10x optical zoom. I love the pictures it takes!

    Sayhello
     
  11. brewcrew

    brewcrew Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    384
    Looks like you had alot of fun! Can't wait to read the rest of it!
     
  12. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    It *was* a good time! More soon!

    Sayhello
     
  13. wdwsos

    wdwsos DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2001
    Messages:
    504
    That's my friend Len in one of your dining photos. :) He just came back from Knights and Lights with me. He and Amy and Mary have been good friends since Viva Italia in 2006!

    Dotti
     
  14. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Ah, yes, I had a very pleasant lunch with them on Gozo! I didn't realize they were friends of yours. Cool!

    So how was Knights & Lights? Wonderful, I'm sure!

    Sayhello
     
  15. HappyGrumpy

    HappyGrumpy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    676
    Your pics are awesome! I love your pics with Mickey and Dopey!!

    If you don't mind me asking...have you always been a Disney Fan or was it not until ABD? I love to hear peoples Disney Stories if they have one!
     
  16. 2GirlsMama

    2GirlsMama Happy Wife and Mom

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    The pictures look like you stepped into a James Bond movie...well except Mickey & Dopey! Thanks for sharing!
     
  17. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    Thanks, HG! I'm glad you like my pictures! I'm always so pleased with how they turn out. :goodvibes

    I grew up less than 15 miles from Disneyland. My Dad's company gave him a membership to the Magic Kingdom Club, which gave us discounted access to Disneyland, so we went relatively frequently. Disney has been a part of my life all along. Disneyland while I lived in California, Disney World now that I'm in Ohio. As a kid, we'd go at *least* a couple of times a year. I went to Disneyland the night I graduated from High School. In college, I went even more often (I could afford to buy my own tickets). Later on, as a reward for losing 60 pounds, I bought myself an annual pass the first year they were available (they were INFINITELY less expensive when they first came out. I don't think they really believed a lot of people would be interested in them!) When I moved to Ohio, I went to Disney World for the first time. I've gone almost every year since.

    So Disney is just a part of my life. I do love Disney. I always loved how clean Disneyland was. In the early days, you had to be careful. If you dropped something, it was *gone*... they swept up trash almost as fast as it hit the ground. I feel safe there. Same for WDW. I know I'll have a good time there, that there's always something interesting there. It's a comfort thing; a place to escape to that's familiar and relatively easy for me to get to. Disney Parks just make me happy.

    So when I read about ABD, it just seemed a logical extension of my love of the Disney parks. And so far, I haven't been disappointed.

    Oh, and talking about the Magic Kingdom Club... Back when Disneyland still had the A, B, C, D & E tickets, Magic Kingdom Club allowed you to buy a book of tickets that could be used for *any* ride. Essentially, it was a book full of E tickets. The only downside was, you didn't do the A & B ticket rides as much, because that same ticket could get you on an E ticket ride! Then, later, they offered a ticket that was, basically, a combination of park entry and entry to any & all rides. You pinned the ticket on, and it allowed you onto any ride without a ticket. It was the pre-curser to Disneyland going to just paying for entrance, with no more tickets. It was great, because you just didn't have to think about it; you could go on any ride, as many times as you liked. Eventually, the whole park went to paying for entrance only & no tickets (a lot of people lost jobs when they no longer needed ticket-takers!) At that point, Magic Kingdom Club became just a discount. Later, I got Magic Kingdom Club memberships at the places I worked. I had a Magic Kingdom Club card every year until they did away with it. I was SO SAD when they did away with it. I kept my last expired card for a long time... A part of my childhood gone.. :confused3 Now I have a Disney Visa Card, but it's not quite the same. I tried joining D23 this year, but it was a total waste of money since I don't live in LA any more, and everything is focused around events out there.

    Heheheheheh! You asked!

    Sayhello
     
  18. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    A James Bond movie... I like that! :thumbsup2

    Glad you're enjoying!

    Sayhello
     
  19. HappyGrumpy

    HappyGrumpy DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    676
    Awesome! I knew you would have great story! I cant wait to take an ABD with you one day!! I really really really want to do Backstage and South Africa!

    But that wont be at least till 2012/13.. ho hum!
     
  20. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    10,988
    I really, really want to do Backstage Magic, too. Hmmmm.... could be fun! AlthoughI have to figure out how to justify that much money to stay in hotels when I can normally stay at my sister's house, though... ;) But it does sound like a great tour!

    Sayhello
     
  21. kristilew

    kristilew DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,928
    SayHello, fabulous report, as always!

    I love the picture of you with Mickey. And weren't the salt pans cool? We saw those in Peru as well, and found the process fascinating. I guess it never occurred to me to wonder before where salt came from. :confused3

    Looking forward to the rest of your report, and more great pictures. Thanks for taking the time!
     

Share This Page