Part III - Malta to Frankfurt
After a whole day of meetings on the 15th, it was time for me to return home to Switzerland on the 16th. My driver came to pick me up at the hotel at 10:30. Throughout my stay in Malta, it had rained constantly, and on the 16th it was quite heavy. In Malta rain usually causes a whole series of road accidents. Malta is a very windy and thus also dusty place. When it rains, the dust turn into a very slippery muck. Add to that the fact that the Maltese are not exactly good drivers at the best of times…
The Maltese are funny, sometimes I forget just how important religion still is to them. I guess I’ve been gone from the island for too long. I had three meetings on 15 April, which is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, or Id-Duluri, in Malta. In every meeting I attended, my hosts apologised for the bad weather, usually adding “…but after all, it is id-Duluri today…” in a matter of fact tone of voice, as though the blessed virgin’s sorrows were some kind of explanation for the shitty weather.
Check in for Lufthansa at Malta airport is conducted by Air Malta at dedicated counters. There is a separate row for Business Class and Senator passengers. When I got to the counter, my invitation to the La Valette lounge had already been prepared with my name on the invitation. There were two Easyjet flights, two Ryanair flights and one Jettime (never heard of them) to Billund and something Bulgarian (my Cyrillic is non-existent) leaving around the same time as my flight to Frankfurt. There was also an RAF Hercules on the ground, presumably in connection with the NATO fiasco…I mean mission…in Libya.
The lounge was busy but not full. By the looks of it there were a few passengers on the Frankfurt flight who had arrived in Malta on a cruise ship and were returning home. The lounge has wifi, which is much better and faster than using the computers they have available in the lounge. They’re really slow.
Date: 16. April 2011
Aircraft: A 321
I'm trying to be creative here...
The lounge is for premium passengers and fish
Typically Maltese offerings in the lounge. The bread is know as a Ftira. the plate in the middle with the veg has a Maltese speciality on it called Bigilla. It's like Hummus but with Broad Beans. Alas I am allergic to them, so I can't tell you if it's any good.
Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce the lovely, the delectable, the most refreshing Kinnie.
A few shots from inside the terminal.
Boarding started on time. We were bussed to the aircraft. I didn’t take any pictures though because it was raining and I did not want to get wet. The appearance of the cabin of the Lufthansa A321 was rather striking I though. The first four rows were Business Class. Then came rows 5 to 8. Behind that there is the emergency Exit with a toilet on the left side of the aircraft, and a closet to hang coats on the other side. I was seated in 7A. I rather liked this configuration, it gave the small Economy Class section a nice cosy feel. I got chatting with the flight attendant as she hung up my jacket and she told me to enjoy it while it lasted. Apparently Lufthansa will be doing away with the loo and the closet to make way for more seats on the A321.
The service, if you can call it that, started pretty soon after take-off once the fasten seatbelt sign had been turned of. I honestly have to that say this meal was a huge disappointment. What we got was allegedly a Quiche Lorraine with bacon, onions and cheese. I’ll grant them this, the thing was warm but first of all it was really very small, secondly it was very greasy and thirdly, it tasted like…well…not Quiche Lorraine for sure. I only tried a small bit and then decided to just leave it. Also, they didn’t come round with the drinks trolley until they had distributed all the quiches, which took quite a while. The A321 is a long plane. The guy next to me waited to eat until he got a drink, by which time I’m sure the thing was cold. Apart from that, there was only the only drink service. You had to order your coffee/tea with your cold drink. No second rounds at all. All in all, I have to say the experience on Lufthansa was a bit disappointing. I wasn’t expecting the red carpet, but I was expecting at least something! But the crew were really very nice, I’ll hand them that.
You see, it really was raining, honest!
This is the little church Ryanair wanted the Maltese authorities to demolish to make way for a taxiway all the way to the beginning of runway 31. As it is aircraft have to backtrack.
The marshaller getting soaked. Poor guy.
Making our way to the active runway.
This is the first runway built at the airport. It is still used today, but only very rarely. The B. 720 is not likely to fly again I guess.
The Lufthansa Technik facility.
A lime stone quarry just after departure.
A few enroute shots.
More enroute shots, including some spectacular vistas of the Austrian alps. This first shot show Rome Fiumicino in the distance.
Finally landed in Frankfurt.
We were taken to the Schengen Arrivals by bus.