Bus 81 to Marsaxlokk
Shall I rate the four Maltese locations visited by Mrs P and yours truly? Scores out of ten, as is the normal practice. Rabat and Mdina score an easy 9 for its beauty and tranquility. The capital, Valletta, gets a 7.5 for its blend of history and shabby chic aesthetics. The Blue Lagoon on the Island of Comino also scores 7.5. If there'd been a thousand people fewer, I'd have given an extra point. If there'd been no one but Mrs P and I, it'd score a perfect 10.
The final destination on our whirlwind tour of Malta took us to Marsaxlokk, a small fishing village tucked away on the south eastern tip of the mainland. I'd seen pictures of the colourful fishing boats bobbing gently on the mirror like waters in the bay. It looked magical. Up close and personal, in the flesh, it's less so. The brochure doesn't show the cranes, tankers and other items of industry that lie in the background across those tranquil waters. But that's not to say that the place doesn't have its charm. The seafood is good. It's a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Marsaxlokk scores a decent 7.
Marsaxlokk presented us with two difficulties. The first was in the pronunciation of the name. I think I've got it now. Maybe. The second issue was getting there from Valletta. I rely, perhaps too much, on Google Maps. Google swore blind that we needed to walk the final mile, a thirty minute stroll down a road with no pavement. Google lied. There is a bus, no. 81, which runs to and fro between Valletta and Marsaxlokk all day and late into the evening.
We discovered Google's treachery whilst feasting on a fish dinner, and armed with this new information we were spared a long walk back. The fish dinner took an alarming turn. We had several scaley creatures to choose from. Our waitress recommended the n****r. I looked confused. She repeated the word. I felt obliged to walk into the kitchen to inspect this fish. It was a Meagre. Much to my relief. Marsaxlokk retained its decent rating of 7. And my recommendation to pay the place a visit.