Monday, February 28, 2011

The Adventures in Malta Begin

So the day we have all been looking forward to finally came. We arrived at the San Luis Obispo, CA airport around 4:30am PST Saturday morning. Our plane left around 6am and flew to San Francisco, CA. Next, we flew to Chicago and then immediately hopped on a plane to Frankfurt, Germany. The flight to Frankfurt was the longest, which lasted 8hrs and 10min. I found this flight to be very culturally diverse due to the Frankfurt airport being a connecting spot for many other international flights. Specifically, I found it interesting how all the announcements were proclaimed first in German and then in English. (German because the airline was Lufthansa, which is a German airline). We had about an 1hr 30min layover in Frankfurt, which was spent wandering in the terminal trying to find our gate for the last flight and then eating breakfast. The last flight from Germany to Malta lasted about 2hrs and 30min. When flying in, we first saw the island of Gozo. This island is located north west of Malta and is much smaller. Finally, when Malta was in sight, it was interesting to see how large the island actually is. I always imagined Malta as a small island with not as much open-space, but found myself shocked when I saw much open-space and multiple distinguishing cities on the island. Once we landed, we gathered up all our luggage and located our driver.

Driving from the airport to the apartments was a great cultural experience in that most of us expressed spurts of shock/fear due to driving on the left side of the road. It became a quick realization that Malta's roads are very narrow and dangerous. Most of the cars are extremely small, which is necessary in order to fit down most of the roads in the city. Once we got to the apartments, the manager of the apartments assigned us our rooms, gave us our keys, and then informed us about stores and the cities nearby. We are staying at the am Learning Studio where many travellers come to Malta to learn English. We have two apartments where each one has three bedrooms and two bathrooms along with a kitchen and living room.

After we settled in, Andy, Jeff, Brig, and I headed to the hardware store to pick up an extension cord and also power converters from 220V EU style to 110V American style. This was a great time to see the architecture of Malta and learn the streets we will explore in the next month. In the meantime, Joe and Tyler went with Timmy to calibrate the robot's depth sensor, and Jane, Christina, and Jennifer went shopping for food and some necessities. This all led to resting and dinner. We're all pretty tired and heading to bed to catch up on all the lost sleep due to the time change and travelling.

For pictures refer to the previous post by Brig.

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