It felt like home.
Favorite thing: There is a long association between Malta and the United Kingdom, based on the fact that the island was part of the British Empire for 150 years from 1814 to 1964. This association was probably best illustrated during the Second World War when the island withstood appalling aerial attacks from the Axis forces of Germany and Italy but was never forced to capitulate. For the stoicism and heroism af the beleagured populace, the entire island was awarded a collective George Cross medal (an extremely high bravery award in the UK system). This situation was unique until 1999 when the Royal Ulster Constabulary was similarly awarded a collective George Cross for it's heroism in standing against terrorism over a prolonged period of time.
There are many indications on Malta of this long relationship. The most obvious is to be seen on every Maltese flag which shows the George Cross on the upper hoist side. You can see it in the image below. The fact that English is still so widely used also speaks (no pun intended) volumes of the closeness of the countries. There are however many smaller representations, again included as images here. The red British style telephone boxes are still to be seen although as the one in this image they are falling into disuse, which is the same everywhere as mobile (cell 'phones) take over. There are also post boxes in the British style and indeed painted in a colour known as "pillarbox red".
Things are obviously changing and Malta is now an independent sovereign nation with many of the younger people now looking towards Europe rather than the old colonial power. However, in what is a symbiotic relationship I know people living in my part of East London called Borg, Farrugia, Camilleri, Azzopardi, Gauci and so on. All of these are Maltese surnames. Now it appears that British people are visiting, or even emigrating to, Malta in search of a bit of sun and a pleasant lifestyle whereas it was the Maltese coming to British shores in ther aftermath of the Second World War in search of a better future. It is funny how things change, isn't it?
If you keep your eyes open on Malta, you can find so many small reminders of the British influence here which may be diminishing but I think, and hope, will last for many years.
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The wonderful old shopfronts.
Favorite thing: As well as the famous Maltese balconies, I noticed another thing as I wandered the streets of Malta and that was the old-fashioned style shopfronts. They are absolutely enchanting although, like the baclonies, many of them are now in a sad state of repair. I hope they manage to preserve them one way or another. This tip is really designed to showcase a few of them and give you a flavour of what to expect should you visit.
Keep your eyes open as there are plenty of them about.
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Favorite thing: Before visiting Malta I had read a little about what to expect there. Not too much, as I deliberately don't over-research potential travel destinations for fear of having pre-set ideas before I ever get off the 'plane. I like to get the basics like currency, how to get from the airport and a few local customs especially things not to do normally does me. I much prefer to form my own opinions once I arrive.
However, having done a little research, mostly here on VT, I noticed that many travellers mentioned the balconies in Malta. So what, I thought? Balconies, well you get them lots of places round the world. The balconies in Malta are really something else. They are ubiquitous and many of them are extremely attractive. Balconies here fall into two main categories, the enclosed and the open with the former appearing to be much more numerous than the latter and I have fallen quite in love with them.
I inrtend to post this as a general tip and also make one or more travelogues to showcase how attractive these things really are. Regrettably, like so much of the architecture generally, far too many of them have been allowed to fall into disrepair and I shall include some images of these as well to indicate the current problems with these lovely structures.
No doubt this tip will be updated many times as I take more and more images. I seem to spend half my time here looking up to find another new balcony to photograph! If you visit Malta, and you should, you cannote miss them and you will hopefully be as enthralled as I am with this very peculair Maltese architectural feature.
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Favorite thing: One of the first things you'll notice in Malta, especially in Valletta and its environs, are the protruding wooden balconies that the locals paint in a violence of colour. On streets where the houses disappear down racing inclines the closed balconies stagger haphazardly behind, barely able to keep up.
Favorite thing: While I was in Malta I went to quite a few museums:
1. The Malta at War Museum (at Couvre Porte Gate, Birgu). After being shown a wartime propaganda film ("Malta GC" - narrator Laurence Olivier), you're given a hard hat to put on and taken down into a warren of tunnels, which is fascinating, and brings wartime Malta really to life - the smell of the earth, the birthing room, .... I got the impression that it's run by a group of enthusiasts :)
2. The National War Museum (in Lower St Elmo, Valletta), with original guns, searchlights, the fuselage of "Faith" (one of the cekebrated Gloster Gladiators), parts of a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt, etc. Very interesting indeed
3. The Malta Maritime Museum (in Birgu). Also interesting, but could maybe do with more organisation seeing how much there is there. There's an amazingly elegant British naval cutter, and an impressive model of a Grand Master's magnificent galley
4. The Inquisitor’s Palace (in Birgu). Mostly about furnishings, etc, but there are some other things too, with a small inquisition room that you can peer into,. equipped with a small selection of instruments of torture. The lady on the front desk, who's obviously got a special interest in such things, thinks they're pretty mild stuff, though. There isn't a rack or a thumbscrew, but there's a thing to crush your ankles.
5. The Archaeology Museum (Auberge de Provence, Republic Street, Valletta). Wonderful. Everything a museum should be, including small (it only has prehistory), select, and letting you think for yourself. It complements the prehistoric sites - it's about the thinking and religion behind the stones. The famous Sleeping Lady found in the Hypogeum is kept there.
6. The Grand Master’s Palace (Valletta). Absolutely stunning. I knew that in theory the Grand Masters were sovereign princes, on a par with other European princes, but I'd never imagined magnificence on THIS scale. Normally you go round with just an audio-guide, I think, but I managed to latch onto a group from a German naval ship in the harbour being given a private tour.
The exhibition of arms and armour that you come to after touring the palace is more interesting than that sort of thing usually is. You learn a lot about the science of armour.
There's a good gateway site giving the full address, opening times, etc, of all these museums and others. It's http://www.visitmalta.com/museums
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Favorite thing: As you have found out the other post have it all wrong...maybe for the benefit of the doubt he meant rocky beaches!
A Forum Post like these is meant to provide info on exact info not guess work!!
Sandy beaches in Malta : Golden Bay, Apple's eye Bay(martinique bay ),Paradise Bay, Mellieha Bay,Armier Bay,Pretty Bay,St George's bay,Buggibba sandy beach,Gnejna Bay,Mistra Bay,Ramla Bay,...should you request any more help,info or support while in Malta just email me...enjoy :)
Favorite thing: Tourism Offices:
1 City Arcades
- Tel.: (+356) 2123 7747
- Fax: (+356) 2125 5844
* Malta International Airport
- Tel.: (+356) 2369 6073/4
- Fax: (+356) 2182 2072
* E. mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Some websites:
The Weather in Malta
Favorite thing: Some useful websites:
Protect your car.
Favorite thing: When iy is hot and the sun is so strong, it gets very hot in the car. So protect it with something in the windows, and dont forget your animals in the car!!!!
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