Malta Part 1

After one of our usual Friday evening dives, we were sitting in the bar chatting about diving and diving related things. Darren had recently got back from Malta and Neil really liked the idea of going. A few others had expressed an interest in going too, I was interested but had already a lot of weekends booked away and would go if it didn’t clash. A few weeks later I saw a post on a diving forum with a list of names, after checking my diary I added mine. We all met up after another dive and paid for the flights and accommodation, the diving would be paid directly to the dive centre.

There were going to be four of us travelling up from Cornwall and then all flying out of Gatwick. The rest of the group worked at Gatwick, so they had a lot less distance to travel than us. There was a really mixed group of people going, two were going to be doing their Open Water course and two of us were Trimix qualified, with a range of divers between. We travelled up on the Wednesday evening and stayed at Darren’s house, the flight wasn’t early but travelling from Cornwall to London is a pain any time of day. We all met up in a restaurant in Gatwick and were introduced to the rest of the group. A little confusion at the check-in as most of us had our own diving kit with us and it weighed a bit over the limit, we explained we were divers and we were carrying dive kit. After seeing our certification cards they agreed to the extra weight and let us go.

The flight was uneventful and we soon landed at Valetta, the sun was out and it was hot, marvellous. A coach took the 9 of us to Qawra and our hotel, the Palm Court, Darren had stayed at the same hotel before and said it was acceptable, not luxurious but cheap. When we arrived we decided it definitely was luxurious, no wonder it was cheap, it would be condemned in the U.K.. Our room ,we all shared rooms, had gaps around the door frame you could see through, a couple of sheets of plasterboard were badly fixed over what? I have no idea. The patio doors didn’t lock, or even shut properly. The air conditioning didn’t work, even though we told them everyday and they said it would be fixed. They did offer a room with a double bed, I said I know we’re mates but we’re not a couple. The shower rail was held up with a bit of fishing line!! The food was OK, some was good and there was plenty of it with a wide selection, The dining room was in the basement lit with hundreds of energy saving bulbs!! The milk was all sterilised and the corn flakes were worse I have ever tasted. While we were there someone fell through a plastic roof and landed on their head!! The place has to be described as a fire trap, the maze like corridors would be impossible to navigate in smoke, several service ducts which stank of sewage, would also be great for transmitting fire.