The plane landed. The masses disembarked and, after a bit of queue hopping, I negotiated passport control and customs with ease.

Time to collect the hire car. The man on the Avis desk was in crisis. Systems down. I eventually got the keys to a decent enough Ford Fiesta and avoided their efforts to charge me €42 for three days excess insurance. I’ve paid £50 for a full year thanks. The car hire only cost £16!

I plugged in my sat nav and headed out onto the open roads. To discover that much of Malta is like the M60 at 8am on a Monday morning. The short drive to my hotel took well over an hour.

What I’ve seen so far isn’t particularly stunning. There’s definitely interest in the old British barracks. And I saw a hilltop fortress of some sort overlooking the national sports stadium.

My location near St Pauls Bay seems nice enough. But it is out of season and Sunday. So there’s not too much open. My first meal of the day was chicken and chips with a can of Bulmers in a local bar. Decent value. Not exactly going native.

My hotel welcome was pretty brusque. Ordered to fill a form in. Told the wifi costs nearly as much as the nightly rate I’ve paid for the room (failure to distinguish between wifi and free wifi in the hotel description a learning point). No smile. The other receptionist later on was a lot more pleasant.

I had intended to get in the car and explore this afternoon. Tiredness convinced me to walk around the area near the hotel instead. Quiet. A couple of eateries. Some pretty ugly low rise architecture. But the sun is out and the temperature his 20 degrees Celsius. And there are cars everywhere.

I’m off to the jacuzzi after I upload this. A few minor aches and pains need a little tlc.

I’ve just discovered the tea and coffee making facilities in my room amount to two mugs, a teaspoon and a kettle that won’t fit under the tap. No tea, coffee, sugar or milk. I’m rather glad I pack a few teabags of my own! I’ll wander down to the hotel’s Irish bar later and sample the local culture. Oh!