I'd forgotten how tricky the roads are in Malta - potholed and with very few markings. Road signs usually appear at the last moment, if at all. But we made it to the hotel and checked in. Decent room, on the ground floor with a view of the sea and the pool, but with a broken handle in the bath which will cause a nasty injury if anybody grabs it without thinking. My record in hotel bathrooms being what it is, this is not ideal.
We'd taken the precaution of booking ahead for dinner, since New Year's Eve was bound to be busy. Bianco's turned out to be a good choice, and we enjoyed our meal and the 20 minute walk back (having been charged 15 euros for the taxi there).
We were just getting ready to go down to the bar to see the new year in when Alex spotted the cockroach - quite a large one, actually. We did the courageous thing and called housekeeping to deal with it. By the time the man arrived, it had gone behind the switch panel, my side of the bed. Terrific. The man sprayed the area and suggested we move to another room, found two available and went to check them for uninvited guests. Meanwhile, Simon flushed out the cockroach and stamped on it, then put a glass over it to make sure it didn't make a miraculous recovery and escape. The man returned and took it away; we decided to stay put.
We arrived in the bar just in time to order a bottle of cava and a lemonade for Al, to toast the new year. Happy 2009 everyone!