There were several days in Malta, including Tuesday, the 25th, when the temperature was around 25 C, about 75 F. We're home now, in Western Pennsylvania, USA, and the temperature this morning was 4 F, about -16 C. Quite a contrast but I'm still glad to be home. The month in Malta was very enjoyable, but a month away from home is a long time.
Here at home it was cold with a lot of snow while we were gone. But I didn't escape it all. We have a target on our backs for the new winter storm coming on Sunday and Monday. Our anticipated accumulation is about 12 inches by midmorning on Monday. Oh well, I got to use my snow thrower only once before we left on January 28. Looks like I'll get a second chance.
As they used to say in Vaudeville, "But seriously, folks..." Malta has a lot to recommend it as a wintering spot for those of us from the frosty climes. A lot of British, a lot of Germans, and quite a few Scandinavians, already know that, but it seems to be a big secret to North Americans. The Seabank Hotel, where we stayed, is just one of many all-inclusive resorts that are very reasonably priced during the winter. Seabank has about 500 rooms and fills up on weekends. The number of residents from Sunday night through Thursday night was about 200, or a little less. On Friday and Saturday nights it was 1,000. They were mostly young Maltese families just getting out of the house for a couple of days. The facilities were great and the kids were catered to as much as the adults. That was a bit of a drawback at meal times for us senior citizens, but it was very tolerable. There were a lot of three-generation and even some four-generation families in attendance.
For the time we were there the four of us were the only Americans resident at the hotel. We asked the reception manager how many Americans came regularily, and the answer was none. The most Americans he could remember at the hotel at one time was 10, and that was in the Summer. The British guests knew immediately from our accents that we were Americans, but the Germans and most of the Maltese just assumed that we were English. We met one American in Valletta. He was a retired professor from Boston who has been for several years spending the entire winter in an apartment in Valletta. At the airport as we were leaving we saw two other Americans, but they had been in Malta on business.
It's still too fresh in my memory to say if I will do the same type of trip again. I need to settle back into the routine before I can begin thinking about next winter. But of all the winter vacations I have taken, I am most inclined to look at Malta for a repeat.