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Getting to Malta

This covers the usual first day stuff, with the difference that this day doesn’t end with embarkation but with arrival at our hotel on Malta for the first of our two nights there.

First, though, we had a night at a hotel at Manchester Airport before the flight. This was OK but would have been expensive but for the fact that we were able to get the room itself – that is, the night’s stay – for free, thanks to my wife’s IHG loyalty club points. But that still left us paying for dinner, breakfast, drinks, and even overnight parking, and altogether that was not cheap. One thing – we were departing from T2 at Manchester and we spent half-an-hour working out the best way to T2 from the hotel. We did this because in fact there is no signage from the area by the Clayton & Crowne Plaza hotels to T2. We worked out that if we followed signs to The Station we would then pick up signs to T2, and at eight o’clock this mornings we were pleased we’d done the exploration yesterday.

We’d booked parking with T2 Meet and Greet and this worked very well – once we reached the signs to T2 we quickly found the directions to the meet & greet, and had no problems. Then we queued for at least 45 minutes to drop our bag at the Air Malta check in desk, which seemed slow. Then we were quickly through security and into the airside area where we had coffee and a rest.

Boarding was quite prompt, but we then sat in a full plane for a further 45 minutes after scheduled take off time with apparently nothing happening. But eventually we got airborne and from then on the flight passed without incident, and indeed we made up some time, landing in Malta about just 30 minutes behind schedule. We were quickly through immigration and baggage reclaim, and then found our P&O transport to the hotel. There were just four of us to be transferred, and the journey took maybe 20 minutes or so with a chatty driver who gave us some hints of places to go.

When we arrived at the hotel we faced the issue of the delayed check-in because of the government function. We were deep in negotiations to try and get the complimentary early dinner we’d been promised exchanged for a drink in the bar, when it was discovered that in fact our room was ready for us. So we just checked in, showered, relaxed with a cup of tea, and then went in search of alcohol and food. Readers, we found them both, in both quantity and quality, and a good evening was had. This seems like a very, very nice hotel – I’ll do a separate post about it later if I can.

Tomorrow we’re going to explore Valletta.

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