by Mary A. Smith
(Vancouver BC Canada)
Landing in Malta from Dubai
Our plans were, leave Canada on March 12th, 2010, fly directly to Australia for 3 weeks, then to Dubai to visit our son for 10 days, on to Manchester England for 5 days and then back to Canada.
The first two places, Australia and Dubai worked out as planned but all flights to England were booked solid for the next few days. Our son works for Emirates Airlines and we had “Staff” tickets which meant that we were on standby.
On Tuesday 13th April, our son had a flight to Malta and suggested that we go to Malta and take a flight to Manchester out of there.
It did not take much to convince me to go to Malta.
One text message to my oldest brother to pick us up and it was all settled. We had a total of 22 hours there before we were to leave for England.
In those 22 hours, I wanted to catch up with my siblings and their families, visit my parents’ grave, visit my one remaining Aunt, go see our old house and have coffee and pastizzi somewhere on the island.
That evening, I caught up with the family and we had supper together at the hotel. The next morning we woke up early and we managed to do all of the things we planned in that short amount of time. We finally got to my Aunt’s around 11am.
While visiting with my Aunt, I received a text message from my youngest brother that some volcano erupted in Iceland. I could not figure out why he would send me such a message as we don’t know anyone in Iceland.
Then a phone call on my cell phone came through, it was from my cousin who works at Air Malta to say that all the airports in England had been closed due to the volcanic ash cloud.
It meant that we could not leave Malta.
Thank you God, I did not pray for this but if we were going to be stuck anywhere on this planet ... Then Malta would have been my first and only choice!
We left my Aunt’s house and two phone calls later we had rented a car and a hotel room in my favourite town of Qawra.
I was born and raised in Zurrieq and I love my home village, but for a holiday, I love to stay in Qawra.
Later in the evening we called my husband’s boss in Canada to inform him that we were ‘stuck’ in Malta ... poor us!! lol.
We also contacted family members and other people that needed to know our whereabouts.
For more than two weeks, we enjoyed the island, the sun and walks around the coastline.
As it was April, it was not that extreme heat and it was a pleasure to be there. Just about every night we went to different hotels to hear and see different Maltese singers do their show.
When the ash cloud finally cleared, I kept postponing our flight to England. I thought that all the people that had a job to go to or perhaps ran out of holiday money should get their flights first.
I was in no rush to leave. After all, I was home.
However, as they say all good things must come to an end. Seventeen days after the volcano erupted, it was our turn to leave. What a sad day it was!
I have always hated to say goodbye. I did not want to leave and cried for most of the trip to Manchester.
I have loads of photos from our unexpected trip to Malta and on days when it is grey and gloomy here in British Columbia, I just open my Malta Folder and look at the pictures. It is my own personal ray of sunshine that does my heart and soul good.
On November 18th of this year, I will turn 60 years old and I plan on celebrating my birthday in Malta.
I am hoping to make some more memories. This is one birthday that I am really looking forward to!
I love Malta.