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 Malta and Gozo

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delboy
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PostSubject: Malta and Gozo   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:10 pm

Malta and Goza

Malta is an Island with only a few beaches but the temperature remains reasonable in the winter at around 60 degrees and it makes it comfortable to travel around at that time. Malta has a big harbour and Liners tie up at the port on their Mediterranean cruises. The Island is strategically placed and as such, has been ruled by many countries over a time.


Just a bit of history, in the 16th century the Knights of St John (Often associated with guarding the Holy Grail and mentioned in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code) took over and fortified the Capital Valletta, successfully defending it for nearly 300 years. In 1798 Napoleon’s fleet on its way to battles in the Middle East asked Malta if they could have safe haven in the harbour and once inside Napoleon turned his guns on Malta.

Eventually Britain took it back from the French and made it a British Dominion until 1964 when it was returned to the people of Malta. It was bombed heavily in the Second World War and under siege.

As such today Malta is still popular with the British and its people are very friendly. During our visit in 2000, Malta’s still had its famous British Leyland bus fleet kept from the 1950’s and they were still running around the Island and looking in good condition but I have read recently that these buses are now being slowly replaced.


One other strange fact that is little known is that Malta is said to be the breeding ground of the Great White Shark (portrayed in the film Jaws) but I did not see any but one of 23 ft was caught there in 1987.

Valletta is a city sitting on a peninsular that guards the two entrances to its harbour and can be accessed by bus over the land or water taxis which cross the harbour to the opposite town of Sliema. Valletta is densely populated and apartments seemed to have been built historically high behind the fortifications.


Tourists can take a horse and carriage trip around the city there are many historic buildings and churches to see and sometimes the narrow roads open up into squares with restaurants similar to Palma. Inside there is also a shopping centre and modern day life goes on in the narrow streets. Once a week there is a large market held near the bus terminal.




We stayed in the town of Sliema where there were various restaurants/hotels overlooking the harbour. Often we would hop on a bus to the next town of St Julian’s where a number of restaurants had good views around an inner harbour.




We also caught a bus to the far end of the Island and saw one of the few beaches.


The highlights of the holiday was a bus trip to see the ancient Capital known as the Silent City of Mdina which again is fortified; Only residents are allowed to take their cars in and one can walk on the city walls. Behind these walls the city remains unchanged for centuries and one can walk or take a horse and carriage ride around the streets, looking at the original church of Mdina and even its dungeons with displays.





Apparently the building in my photo below, there is a famous foreign football team (I never did find out who they were).


Also we had a trip to the Island of Goza and had coffee and beers in Xlendi


On the way back we passed the church Mosta Dome (Ir Rotunda) which one of the largest dome churches ever built. During the Second World War the church had a full congregation inside and a bomb came through the middle of the dome and failed to explode.

We also when to a Horse and Trap meeting that was advertised and betting was done on the Tote and I think we had about as much success as Mick did with Perfect Cruise


All in all the place is steeped in history giving a nice tour around but the lack of beaches for me makes it a onetime visit unless one is interested in old buildings etc








Last edited by delboy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mick
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:20 pm

Delboy, a fantastic review with stunning photo's, absolutely brilliant. Well done mate. cheers

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Hayzer
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:01 am


Once again delboy your review has made me want to spend some time there, keep em coming.

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Mark
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:00 pm

Nice one Delboy! You're gonna hate me... I 've also been there!
Fortunately/unfortunately I was only 22 when i went there (Oct 1982) and didn't take many pictures, I think I used one film on one of those old 110 format cameras Laughing
I liked some aspects of it (english speaking for instance) but didn't like others, like no beaches. I also found it dirty and underdeveloped, but that was just me at age 22 not having travelled around Europe at that time.

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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:43 pm

The long pictures are from a cheap camera so quality is not great just cobbled them together from stuff in the loft. I couldn't imagine sitting on rocks without beach in the summer but the buses were so good that touring the island made it a great bit of winter fun.
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Daryn
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:56 pm

Fantastic review love tge fact that they still have the old buses running after all them years. Well done mate another delightful read cheers

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HappyH

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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:36 pm

Cheers for this delboy, rep added clap
Still looking for ideas for 2015 holiday after Mark put me off Egypt ( ner-ner ) & Malta on the shortlist.
HH.
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delboy
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:50 pm

Thanks H, it's ok for a one off visit with a difference, have you thought about Mexico, it seems to be reasonable priced at the mo
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HappyH

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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:35 am

delboy wrote:
Thanks H, it's ok for a one off visit with a difference, have you thought about Mexico, it seems to be reasonable priced at the mo

Mexico was after Egypt & before Malta in our thoughts but since we're tied to the middle of July the prices look very prohibitive, certainly beyond our budget. The basic research I've done makes Malta pretty favourable, possibly Bugibba. Still lots more to look at before we make a final decision though Shocked
Thanks again,
HH.
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DadsBarmy

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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:35 am

There are 5 spare bedrooms in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso if you are interested
This is a website elder abuser the younger is working on

http://www.biodiversebraziltours.com/

and one for delboy to watch

http://www.pousadaitaicy.com.br/
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Mark
Majorca Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:21 pm

Forget Mexico in July HH, miles too hot to do anything mate, and there's LOTS to do in Mexico out of the hotel/resort, and all perfectly safe as well.

I've been to Malta as previously mentioned, but my youngest D has just come back from there, - Qawra - which is pretty much Buggiba - and has pics of the hotel she stayed in - which she recommends - if you like?
Seashells resort she stayed at.

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HappyH

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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:05 am

Mark wrote:
Forget Mexico in July HH, miles too hot to do anything mate, and there's LOTS to do in Mexico out of the hotel/resort, and all perfectly safe as well.

I've been to Malta as previously mentioned, but my youngest D has just come back from there, - Qawra - which is pretty much Buggiba - and has pics of the hotel she stayed in - which she recommends - if you like?
Seashells resort she stayed at.

Appreciate the offer mate, Thank You rep added. I'd prefer her impressions of the area rather than the hotel if possible please, we're looking at a couple of hotels a stones throw from Seashells. St Pauls/Bugibba/Qawra seem to have merged together, not looking for much hoping the walk from Qawra following the coast thru Bugibba to St Pauls is nice & there's some shops/cafes/restaurants on the way (Google streetview ain't the best for that area but what little there is seems to fit our 'wants'
Thanks again mate clap
HH.
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Mark
Majorca Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Malta and Gozo   Sat Aug 30, 2014 3:57 pm

She enjoyed herself and said it's different to Spain, feels a bit 'British' what with a lot of the street signs and things in English, but you still feel like your abroad.
The other thing is that the island is small enough to travel around the whole of it and see it all, seems that there's plenty of other stuff to see, a lot seems to be war related though if that ticks your boxes.

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