Anyway, we decided to head to Gozo (next to Malta) for a spot of sunshine for a week to try and get me back on my feet again. This was an excellent plan apart from two minor flaws - firstly I don't really like hot weather and secondly I am absolutely terrified of flying. (Yeah, yeah I know it's the safest form of travel, but logic doesn't enter into it when you're terrified. Let's say you have a fear of big fat hairy spiders but you have to hold a tarantula in your hand for 3 hours 15 mins - there's very little chance it will bite you and, even if it does, you're most likely to survive. Does that wee spot of logic make you less scared? Thought not. That's how it is with me and flying - 3 hours and 15 mins of pure, unadulterated, terror.)
Because our flight was so early in the morning (a cunning ruse to spring it on me before I was awake enough to realise what was happening - like that was ever going to work), we headed to the airport the day before and booked into a nice hotel as a treat. I'll be honest, I normally have a very sunny disposition, but this part of the holiday was one disappointment after another.
I'll skip over the 2 hour train delay, lack of any decent places to eat near the airport and confusing/ non-existent signage and reserve my wrath for Thomas Cook who, without a shadow of a doubt went out of their way to be the most difficult, money grabbing and disinterested in the customer company it has been my displeasure to encounter.
For a non seasoned air traveller it was a wake up call to read the small print and not expect any logic, common sense or decency. We opted for the sundown bag drop to save time knowing that there was a £5 charge, but it turns out it's a charge per person not per bag, so despite the fact we'd checked in online and were only dropping off one bag we were charged £10 because the bag "belonged" to 2 people. I could rant for hours about the number of other ways they disappointed us but, at least they got us there in one piece.
|Somewhere over Monaco - we were surprised to find there was no additional|
charge for looking out the window...
|Embracing the local food - basically beer, crisps and Parma ham|
|Ramla Bay - deep red sands and the occasional jellyfish|
|The harbour & hotel in Gozo - with strategically placed motorboat|
|Temples at Ggantija - the oldest freestanding manmade stricture in the world|
|Centuries old graffiti from the Old Prison in the Citadel|
|The Citadel in Rabat|
|The Blue Lagoon Comino - beautiful but OH so very crowded|
|Escaping the crowds on Comino with a short walk around the island|
|Coastal walk at Xatt I-Ahmar|
|Ancient salt pans|
|Swim in the sea at Mgarr ix-Xini - location for the Brangelina film By the Sea|
|Festa in the local town for St Anthony, the|
patron saint of lost & stolen articles - perhaps
he knows where Thomas Cook put their
customer service policy?
|Qolla I-Bajda near Marsalforn|
|Tower at Dwerja - loads of towers on the island and TONS of|
fascinating history - well worth a visit
|Dwerja Bay, Fungus Rock & the Azure Window (far right|
|Nope - no idea|
|Church at Xewkija - so many beautiful churches|
|2 hour "not too serious according to them" flight delay - perfect for the terrified|
passenger to dream up 1001 doomsday scenarios!
|Xlendi Bay - our favourite spot|