This is a blog about our holiday to Europe in 2014. We started off our travels in Venice, where we began a cruise of the Adriatic and Aegean seas, ending in Rome. We then travelled from Rome to the Netherlands by rail, stopping in various places along the way. We are: Me - Gill, my husband - Grant, my daughter - Paula; my father - Neil and his partner - Astrid. We are South Africans, from the lovely province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Our friends Lisa and Trevor joined us from the UK for the cruise portion of our holiday.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Valletta, Malta

This morning we had room service breakfast and then went off to meet Amy, our tour-guide for the day. Once our group had gathered we set off in the bus.  We drove through various areas of Malta en-route to the Blue Grotto.  

Unfortunately the boats were not working due to heavy swells - this was so disappointing as we were very much looking forward to seeing the Blue Grotto from a small boat.  

In any event, we saw it from above and had a wander around before heading off for the Ta 'Qali Craft Market.  There was beautiful glassware and filigree jewellery on display in the various little shops, but I thought it was quite expensively priced, so only bought a fridge magnet.

We continued our tour, passing through a town that was preparing for a festa.  It was really interesting to see how they celebrate the "name day" of their various churches.

Next stop was Mdina.  It was so beautiful.  I would love to have more time there.  The buildings were amazing and the place has such an interesting history.  Unfortunately our tour was quite rushed.  I think we tried to cram too much into a short space of time.  

You clearly can't do Valletta, Mdina and all the other bits and pieces in one day at a leisurely pace.  Lesson learned.

We then drove through some nice residential areas with lovely views, before arriving back at the port.

By the time we got back to port we were hungry, so we found a restaurant nearby and it ended up being the Hard Rock cafe - not exactly local cuisine!  Oh well.....  Paula bought a top and I got one for Impi too.  

After lunch we walked to the lift that goes up to the Upper Barrakka Gardens.  There is an amazing view from up there.  

We walked to the main shopping streets which were really lovely.  

We got back to the Gardens in time for the 4pm gun salute.  Fun to watch.  

Then we headed back to the lift and the short walk back to the ship.  We went and sat at the Sunset Bar and listened to Martin Andales - he's brilliant.  

Was nice to watch sail-away from there.  We had supper in the main dining-room and then decided to have a jacuzzi.  It was lovely and quiet in the solarium, thoroughly enjoyed that.

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