Thursday, 1 September 2011

Day 7-8 (Grimaldi Lines)

Sunday 26th to Monday 27th June 2011

Civitavecchia - Catania - Valletta

Nights sleep was quite nice even on the hard foam mattress.  Woke up at 7am with the annoying hissing of the aircon.  We get a shower in the surprising good ensuite, water pressure is great and the temperature good.

We head to the canteen, well actually that apart from the outside deck is the only place you can go!  The breakfast ticket allowed us to choose a pastry, fruit and a drink.  Anything else and you are what seems to be charged at double the VAT.

We see Mark and sit with him, eat, chat and yawn alot while commenting about the amount of passengers or lack thereof.  We finish up and head outside for a stroll.

Shiny Italian Speedo guy
There is an upper deck where the bathers are.  Including a genuine shiny Italian with Speedos!  Lol, I thought they were a myth.  We stand in the corner looking out to the Italian coastline with a kind of awkwardness with the disillusioned bathers all around us – folks, really...lay off the bread!.  After 10 minutes of taking pictures we go back to the lower deck and I engage in a bit of wind biting.  Similar to what a Dog would do with their head out of the window, except me being a type of human...I do it on a boat.

We head back to the cabin, read a little, watched a movie on the laptop.  The lunch call is announced, we head to the canteen again for the ritual.  We both selected what seems to alot of food, making full use of our token.  The food on this ferry is not too bad actually!
The magical shop of mirrors

After another stroll and little exploration we head to the cabin.  Aimee reads and goes for a nap.  I watch 2 movies and go for a wander.  I kept saying to Aimee that there ‘must’ be a shop onboard this ship.  I passed a room what looks like it should be a shop with mirrors and 5 magazines on the side.  All the mirrors were placed to fill the entire room with magazines.  I asked the reception who pointed to the room, which only had 5 magazines.  I had to ask her 3 times “What? There?”  “ci”, “There? That is the shop?” “ci”.  That was a laugh!  Definitely the Mediterranean’s most boring ship, ever.  I felt sorry for the workers who were assigned here. Maybe the staff were not fit for anywhere else within Grimaldi Lines?  Maybe they were company liabilities so like the English being sent to Australia, they were being sent to the dreaded Civitavecchia to Malta line?

Mt Etna and Catania
I buy some soft drinks and head to the cabin again.  Wake Aimee up and we are travelling in2between Sicily and Italy.  We take the opportunity to take more pictures, looks very nice out there.  We could see the mighty Etna there blowing smoke from its peak.  A couple of hours pass then we dock with Catania.  You are given the opportunity to disembark for a look around Catania.  But since we have been there before and didn’t want to go through the check out and check in procedures we decided to sit in the empty canteen watching Uno1 on the tv.  At sunset we headed to deck for some good pictures of Catania from the ship.

Around 9.30pm not alot of people embarked the ship.  This was going to be a very lonely trip to Malta as we sat waiting for 10:30pm for the canteen to open.  We were quite hungry! 

Once finished, we headed to the cabin for sleep.  We were to land in Malta at 8am so wake up should be 6.30am.  As we lay in the hissing aircon, I had a sudden realisation!  That metal rod was an allan key of sorts and deciding to poke and prod the aircon managed to turn it down to minimal hiss.

Malta! - The End
Sleep was a dreamy affair, waking up every 2 hours unsettled.  We headed to the empty canteen at 7.30am and waited with our gear.  The call was made and so was our way to the bike.  Starter her up, she sounded sweet... She was about to caress the rough yet beautiful land that is Malta.  She did so with grace, and still does today!  Although I think the roads in Malta are affecting the head race bearings already.

The Madonna travelling at 30mph

We headed to the exit of the terminal where we were abruptly stopped by the three most disorganised rebellious looking individuals I have ever seen, who also looked as if they did not have a clue what was happening.  

We manage to survive Marsa and the skidpans and motocross viable roads together with dodgy Maltese drivers into St Pauls.  Park up and this is it, the adventure through Europe was over.  I pat the bike for being a soldier and we share an intimate moment together as Aimee headed to greet the dog.

Ghadira from Mellieha

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