I ran out of time to do everything I would have liked in Malta, for such a small country it has many more places to visit and things to see than I imagined. A great tourism website for the country is the official ‘Tourism Malta’ site, which has heaps of information on where to go and what to see.
I left the hostel three hours before my flight, thinking that would be heaps of time to get to the airport. What I hadn’t counted on however, was that there would be many other people heading for the same flight and therefore the buses to the airport would be full. Thankfully I only have my main backpack and a small carry on bag, however, with the Maltese buses as they are you don’t have much room for luggage. Luckily a backpack is easier to sit on your lap than a suitcase.
The buses were passing my stop one by one without stopping – they were so full the drivers didn’t even stop. I ended up walking two stops backwards from my destination in an effort to reach a stop without many other people and hope the driver would stop for just a few of us. I eventually got on a bus to Valletta and then got the airport bus (#8) just as the engine began to rev for departure. I arrived at the airport ten minutes before check in closed, phew! The ride to the airport was another entertaining journey, with traffic jams and road works galore. The bus was packed and thankfully I was committed until the last stop, for watching others getting off earlier it seemed to be a feat of courage and strength to make their way down the aisle and onto solid ground.
There was a near altercation between our bus and a truck, with both large vehicles vying for space in the merging traffic. The truck driver turned his side mirror in at the last minute to avoid it getting smashed and all the passengers on the bus added insult to injury by contributing their own expletives to the tense atmosphere. Further on we came upon a street that was closed to traffic for road works. The bus driver had obviously decided enough was enough and was determined to enter the road regardless of the barriers. A heated argument with the workman ensued, with contributions from the passengers shouted through the open windows. It was chaos, and everyone was quickly losing their temper in the hot and crowded conditions. Eventually the workman gave in and opened the barriers so we could pass through and a roaring cheer erupted from the bus. Victory had been achieved and everyone laughed and clapped with glee at the workman’s expense. The rest of the ride was fast and bumpy with smiles all around – and many thanks that we arrived just in time.