Fun, food and friendship

30 Sep 16

We have had a very busy couple of days here in sunny (and sometimes not so sunny!) Malta, but it has involved one key ingredient – food! Yes, like any good Trefoil Guild trip, the last few days have involved a lot of eating and drinking. However, we have done other things in between.

Yesterday (Thursday), we started our day at the Dingli Cliffs. This is a beautiful view from the north east coast of Malta, and is one of the highest points on the island. We took the opportunity to take in the views, as well as trying some local treats which were on sale from a van next to the cliffs. Can anyone guess what the fruit is?!

Surrey South West on tour

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Let’s go to Gozo!

28 Sep 16

Day 2 of our tour of Malta – although technically we have not been in Malta today, but on the neighbouring island of Gozo!

Our day started with a short journey of 25 mins on the ferry to Gozo. The weather was fine, and the sea was calm, so it was a pleasant journey and we were able to view the small island of Comino. Soon Gozo loomed into view and we disembarked at Mgarr, which means welcome.

Planes, Pastizzi and Presidents

27 Sep 16

Hello from Malta! In celebration of World Tourism Day (today) our hotel has laid on a feast of Maltese goodies, so I am writing this with a cup of Maltese coffee (black, with cloves and aniseed) and a traditional almond biscuit (with pink icing) to hand.

The members of the Trefoil Guild have enjoyed their first couple of days in Malta. Yesterday was mostly spent travelling, having met at Heathrow early in the morning. One of the South African ladies was on the flight with us, so it was nice to get to know her before we arrived. After our short flight, we had our first taste of the Maltese heat as well as a Costa coffee – not our last taste of home! We headed onto the hotel, where we quickly settled into our rooms and had a well-earned rest and evening meal after our long day of travelling.

Today, we were up bright and early to visit the first stop on our tour of Malta – the capital city of Valletta. We began with a short visit to the Upper Barrakka Gardens. This is home to the Saluting Battery, which is fired at noon everyday. We also had time to admire the beauty of the gardens, even if they were slightly overshadowed by the massive cruise ships which had pulled into the harbour!

Photo opportunity

Photo opportunity

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Malta – Trefoil Guild in the sunshine!

23 Sep 16

After many months of planning, 13 members of the Trefoil Guild and myself are off on the search for some late summer sun – yes, we’re off to Malta! Our merry group is comprised of members from all over the UK, from LASER to Scotland and we are even joined by 2 members who will have come all the way from South Africa. We are truly an international group!

Our home for the week is the bustiling town of Bugibba, which has a lot to offer us in the way of entertainment. Not that we will be there very long, as there is a packed itinerary of excursions and visits planned for us. We will visit the capital, Valetta, and will have the opportunity to learn about the long and varied history of Malta.

The next day will be spent on the neighbouring island of Gozo, where we will visit the main city, Victoria, as well as the Azure Window and the ancient Ggantija Temples. Of course, this is a Trefoil Guild trip, so much time will be spent eating and drinking in the sunshine, including local delicacies such as ‘pastizzi’ (a Maltese pastry, filled with ricotta or peas), ‘Hobz tal-Malti’ (the Maltese loaf – fresh from the bakery!) and ‘Hobz biz-zejt’ (bread dipped in olive oil and tomatoes).

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Bye bye Sangam, hello rest of India!

19 Oct 13

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of days, even on the standards of the past few days! Here’s just a quick recap.

Thursday was spent exploring the shops of Pune, and worrying about the weight of our luggage! It was a very chilled day, allowing us to rest before the remainder of our tour. It ended with us enjoying a delicious feast of food from Maharashtra, the state Pune is in.

Friday was mostly spent reflecting on our time at Sangam and how we can use what we have discovered here back at home. This was concluded by a lovely closing ceremony, where we all got our Sangam pins. That evening, we caught a flight to Delhi, and checked into a slightly more luxurious hotel!

This morning we enjoyed learning about the history of Delhi and its sites, as well as about the concepts of the caste system and arranged marriages. Our tour guide even hosts a cooking show in Australia! We saw all the major sites,  including Red Fort, India Gate and Raj Ghat, where Gandhi is buried. One of the highlights was a bike rickshaw ride through the back streets of Old Delhi, which is like another world. We have now driven to Agra. A few hours sleep and then off to see one of the wonders of the world!

Happy Birthday Sangam!

17 Oct 13

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We’ve had a busy couple of days here, but a lot of fun!

Tuesday was started with a typical Indian experience of a Bollywood movie, except for some of us who did the money exchange challenge Part 2. The film is ‘Guru’, a drama based on a true story, but with all your normal Bollywood elements. It’s also very long- despite a break, we still haven’t seen the end! Tuesday afternoon was a little more sedate – we learnt about two different forms of Indian art. One was very intricate embroidery with mirrors, the other was a native art form known as Wali art. The results for both were very impressive.  In the evening, we had a very special treat, in that we were able to visit the home of an Indian family. All the families had children who had come to visit us on Saturday for the Sangam Cup. We were all welcomed in different ways, and they showed us all about their lives. Some of us even got the chance to do something a little different, such as visit a light and water show, visit a temple or even the shops! We shared a meal with them, and it was very interesting to compare what we got. My family, for example, served chicken, but most were vegetarian. However, it was all excellent, and very different to the Indian food you get back home. More »