An extra day off work for my birthday seemed like a good excuse for a long weekend away. In fact, I insisted on it! After some debate, we settled on Malta for a mix of history, culture and sunshine. I've been to Malta before, in 2013, but Jon hadn't.
Six thirty am flight. Nnnggghhh... We landed at about 11, dropped our bags off at the hotel in Sliema, and hopped on a bus to Mdina. Wandered around the walled city (which doesn't take long!) and shared a very tasty Maltese platter for lunch. Fresh bread, crackers, sheep's cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, etc, with a glass of wine each. Yum.
Mdina gate, with bricked up medieval gate also visible. No idea why I didn't move slightly to the right to get a better photo, hmm. I blame the heat.
Suitably refreshed, we visited the dungeons then left the walled city to see St Paul's catacombs in Rabat. I have to admit I got a bit bored of catacombs fairly quickly - there's a lot of them, and they're all very similar...
Started the day bright and early with a 2hr segway tour of Valletta. Including holding up the traffic on some of the very narrow and steep streets. Near the end of our tour I discovered that it is possible to fall off a Segway while travelling along a flat pavement. Oops. No harm done though - just a grazed elbow, assorted bruises on both sides of both legs (??) and a bit of damaged pride.
Continuing the occasional series of "Katy and Abi go for walking with the dogs". Plan A was a weekend in Pembrokeshire, camping and walking some bits of coast path. But then we remembered that Pembrokeshire is quite a distance away and the weather forecast looked a bit crap, so time for Plan B. This involved flicking through several local guidebooks and maps and eventually settling on the Malverns.
Starting at Hollybush, we headed for British Camp via Millennium hill, then down to the Malvern Hills Hotel. As it wasn't quite midday we debated if it was too early to stop for lunch, but decided against walking further as the rain seemed to be getting heavier. Turns out this was a very good decision as it absolutely chucked it down the whole time we were eating.
As we left the pub after finishing our roast dinners, we noticed a sign on the door saying "sorry no dogs today". Fairly sure that wasn't there when we arrived, as it's a very dog friendly pub - Tilly and Cai weren't the only ones in there by a long shot! Maybe they were actually just running out of space to fit all the dogs in...
Our route back took us past the reservoir and skirted the edge of the woods before rejoining the track back to the car park.
About 10km in total I think, though as I didn't pause my watch while we were in the pub it went a bit squiggly mad and added on some extra imaginary distance.
Winter dog walks this year have tended to get quite repetitive, and not involved venturing too far from home. February seems like a good time to change that, so we picked a walk from the AA '50 Walks in Gloucestershire' book - Turbulent Tewkesbury. This is one of the few walks in the book that doesn't have a map, so I had a quick look online and found that someone had already roughly plotted the route on OS maps. Very convenient.
We started in the Vineyards, and (mostly) followed the signposted Battle Trail, with an addition to walk through Margaret's Camp. I know basically nothing about battles of the civil war, despite a couple of visits to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival. At least I recognised some of the fields, and there are plenty of information boards to read along the way.
After a bit of pavement walking, we crossed over onto the Severn Ham and wandered along the river, crossing back at Healing's Mill. From here, it was just a case of wandering down the high street and back to the car park - with a sneaky pub stop that coincided with a brief rain shower!