Malta, Day 1: A misty arrival
If Marsaxlokk was a human body, I wouldn't quite call it dead, but I would consider it to be "circling the drain."
I arrived in the small fishing village on a cloudy late Friday afternoon, one of the rare days when clouds actually cover the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. As a country that sees fewer than 20 inches of rain per year, I had traded in Barcelona's bright sun for an introductory night of mist in Malta.
The one-way main thoroughfare (Xatt is-Sajjieda) featured a placid parade of restaurants, all touting fish fresher than "that place next door." As pictured in postcards, multicolored fishing boats scattered throughout the harbor, which rose right up to meet the promenade of eateries. Some boats had crawled onto the sea-level land, creating their own parking spots just steps from where they would deliver their catches of the day.
The damp air smelled of saltwater, and I instantly added "try the fish" to my mental list of things to do. Apart from that, it didn't seem like there was much else going on in sleepy Marsaxlokk. A Google search of supermarkets brought up nothing, but an early evening scouting stroll led me to one "confectionery," a corner convenience mart where I assume the residents purchase their non–fish-related necessities.
I'm not sure what else I had expected. I booked a room here because I sought such an environ, away from the presumably tourist-heavy Valletta (Malta's capital) and maybe subconsciously a place where I would have no excuse but to rest and write. And if the 30-minute bus ride from the airport to this town was any indication of future bus rides, I hesitate to even embark on any pre-conceived day trips for fear of losing my fish dinner.
Fortunately I eyed a pharmacy on the other end of the main drag, no thanks to a fruitless Google search. I stocked up on motion-sickness tablets, settled into my B&B, and looked forward to sunnier days ahead.