Backpacking Diaries #5: Malta

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Ciao!! A new day, once again running on 2-3 hours of sleep.

Yesterday we arrived at Rome Termini station around 11:00PM, checked into our hostel & immediately got ready for bed. I couldn’t sleep though. Had a lot of thoughts running through my mind. I had to figure out my class schedule for next semester because I’m planning on taking a few classes to get ready for PA school applications (yikes). I also had to figure out where I wanted to travel to next once my friend flies back home. I wanted to venture outside of Italy but I wasn’t too sure where, so I spent quite some time figuring that out.

I was thinking maybe Paris but I know Paris can get a bit pricey. Also, I wanted to travel to places that most people don’t typically go to. So I decided on budapest! Alexa, play Budapest by George Ezra!! ; )

I rarely hear of anyone talking about traveling to Budapest so I’m stoked! The couple that we met yesterday night in Venice actually said they went to Budapest and loved it. They said it was also very safe which is perfect since I’ll be going by myself. So after I got all of that figured it, it was already 1:30AM. And I had to get up at 4AM to catch our shuttle bus to the airport.

When 4am rolled around & the alarm on my phone went off, I was completely exhausted. I woke up, got ready real quick, woke my friend up, then walked to Rome Termini train station. Rome is pretty chilly early in the morning, but good thing I got my 9€ coat that I bought from Venice to keep me warm ; ) In all honesty though, I’ve worn this coat every day since I’ve purchased it hahaha.

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Finding the bus stop was a bit challenging but we managed to get there just in time. 

The bus took us directly to Rome Ciampino airport for 5 euros which was nice. Initially we were going to take an Uber which I’m sure would have been 5 times as much. 

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We got to the airport pretty early so we had time to grab a sandwich and some water to share. 

When it came time for us to board, we walked through the gate onto a bus, which took us to our plane. 

We were flying with Ryanair which I was a bit worried about to be honest. I was worried because I’ve read a bunch of bad reviews online about this airline. My experience with them was the complete opposite. I found nothing wrong with this airline and had quite a pleasant experience!

I really liked how they had two separate doors for boarding. One in the front and one in the back. My friend and I didn’t have seats next to each other because she didn’t get to pick her seat so she sat in row 3 and I sat in row 24, which meant we were boarding at different doors. The flight was only about one and a half hours anyway so I didn’t experience too much separation anxiety hahaha. 

I ended up passing out on the plane. I told myself I would wake up before we landed so I could see the island from above, but nope, I woke up after we landed.

The weather in Malta was not at all what we had expected. We had anticipated some nice sunny weather but instead it was very gloomy. 

We bought a bus pass to explore the city because I read online that taking the bus was a great way to explore Malta. We got the 12 ride one because the person at the booth told us that should be enough for the two of us to share.

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It’s a bit scary but so fun to be in an entirely new country trying to figure everything out. I guess I’m just scared of the unknown but it really isn’t that scary. From my experience, people are always willing to help you out and you’ll eventually figure things out. Patience & kindness will get you pretty far!

We took a look at the map near the bus station outside of the airport and determined that we needed to get on the number 2 bus to get to where we needed to be, which was st. Julian’s. 

We hopped on the bus, took a seat, and enjoyed the ride. Thankfully our hostel had directions on how to get there so we knew to get off at Ross street. But we ended up missing our stop hahaha. We got off at the next stop and walked about 5 minutes to get to our hostel. Not too bad.

 Check out the super gloomy weather though:

We got to our hostel around 10AM but the issue was, our room wouldn’t be ready until 2PM. They were kind enough to let us check-in and hang out in their rooftop terrace as we waited though. We ended up playing billiards, well, learning to play. I don’t know why but I never got the concept of playing pool. It’s so difficult for me to even hit the ball hahaha but it was fun! 

After killing some time with pool, we asked the people at the hostel for restaurant recommendations. We were looking for authentic Maltese cuisine so he recommended Gululu. 

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The restaurant was a little hidden. It was down an alleyway and then down about three flights of stairs haha.

I think the restaurant uses the second floor as well but since it just opened for the day when we arrived, they were only using the bottom floor. The ambiance of Gululu felt very homey & cozy with all of the pictures of the Maltese locals displayed on the walls.

We read that eating rabbit was common in Malta. I wanted to be a little adventurous and try it but on the menu it specifically stated rabbit liver & stomach which scared me a little bit. My friend on the other hand, was quite brave. She ordered the platter of rabbit & Maltese sausage. I decided on a pasta with pumpkin & Maltese sausage. It was delicious! 

The bread they gave us was incredibly soft and super good as well. So much so that we got two rounds of the bread! We dipped the bread in a mixture of olive oil, salt, & pepper. Yum!

After finishing up lunch, we had to get dessert obviously… can you guess what I got? Gelato! My friend got a small donut from the donut factory. 

At this point, after eating a delicious meal & dessert, we were really sleepy.

I stopped a few times to snap some photos because the view was just out of this world.

Fortunately our room was ready when we got back to the hostel. I did a bit of blogging then passed out for a good 6 hours. It was the deepest sleep I’ve ever had and it was amazing. We got ready because our hostel was having a BBQ at 8:30PM. 

The BBQ was held on the rooftop terrace and the theme was Venezuelan. They had empenadas and drinks. We hung out there for a little bit then decided to go out to the club around 10PM. I didn’t really want to go out at all during my Europe trip but I really had this urge to dance hahaha. 

When we walked out of the hostel we were surprised to see that people were partying in the streets literally right outside of the door. It was packed. I’m talking packed like a canned of sardines, packed. We had a hard time walking through, it was pretty neat to experience.

The clubs & bars were also just a 5 minute walk from our hostel so that was nice. I guess 10PM was a bit early because we walked into several different bars and they were all pretty much empty. So we headed back to our hostel rooftop to hang there for a little while longer.

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Around 11PM we went back over to the street full of clubs & bars. We ended up at Havana’s.

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They played great music that we could sing & dance to. After a long night of dancing we ordered some food to go. Best part of the night ;)

Actually the best part of the night was when we got back to our hostel and jumped into bed. Once again, I slept like a baby. This island has a special place in my heart. It still blows my mind that it wasn’t until August of this year that I had first heard about Malta, and now here I was, spending my days on the island. Unbelievable.

Cindy

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