My Malta Experience
by Neil Halford
(Tipton, West Midlands, United Kingdom)
Luzzu In Marsaxlokk Village
Well my story and love of Malta started way back in 1998, although my wife had been to the island before, we had not been as a family. I did not know what to expect, even though I had heard a lot of good stories about Malta, I just had to find out about it myself.
Some 13 years later and many visits to Malta, I am still finding out about its charms and magnetism to want to return, so much so I like to call it my “second home”.
Way back on our first visit back in 1998, we did the usual way of travelling with a package holiday.
By the time I had left, I knew that Malta was such an interesting place I bought myself a timeshare ... "Oh No !!!" I hear you think. Been caught by the dreaded “Timeshare”, I like many others was a bit sceptical at first. But let me tell you, it has been the best investment I have ever made and it gives me and my family a guaranteed 2 week holiday to the place we love.
We normally stay around the Bugibba/Qawra area. Such a vibrant place, good food and inexpensive. The Maltese people are very friendly and just plain fun to be with. Nothing is too much trouble.
GETTING AROUND MALTA
When in Malta there is nothing more enjoyable than jumping on one of the local buses! They are a cheap way of travel and as regular as clockwork. How they keep these going is a true testament to their dedication. Although these buses are due to be taken off the road, the memories they have provided us are priceless.
They also do tour buses that run around the island. These are very flexible, as you can get off at one stop and get back on somewhere else.
PLACES WE WOULD RECOMMEND
There are many wonderful places and things to do while in Malta, I have just picked a few ...
One of the many places that we visit is the beautiful Mosta Dome ... and anyone who goes to Malta like I do, should not leave without a visit. And of course one of its historical memories was during the war, when a bomb came through the roof; fortunately the bomb did not go off and now takes pride of place on display in one of the side rooms ... fascinating story ... You will not be disappointed after your visit.
The little fishing village on the southern part of the island is so idyllic; maybe here you will see more of the little boats (Luzzi) than anywhere else. This has got to be one of my favourite places to visit, there is a nice place to eat and drink here where you can sit right by the water's edge and dream your dreams away, and if you go on a Sunday you will find a nice market.
PRETTY BAY (BIRZEBUGGA)
This is another one of my favourite places which is well within reach by bus, or if you got plenty time on your hands a leisurely stroll from Marsaxlokk. It has a beautiful beach and playground for the children ... one of the main features here is the Freeport and is dominated by the large container ships.
BLUE GROTTO CAVES
This is a MUST SEE place to visit, where you can go into the caves by small boat. A little tip here is make sure you have flat shoes on, as the walk down to the Jetty is quite steep!! There are places to eat and drink here and is quite cheap.
A little story associated with the Blue Grotto is that the cliff over looking the caves is (if you're old enough to remember like me!!!) where the advert for Cadbury’s Milk Tray was filmed.
What can I say about Valletta? Well I could probably talk for ever on this one ... The main city of Malta, there is so much to do and look at here, plenty of places to visit like the war museums and of course the famous pub called “The Pub” where the actor Oliver Reed died. Also you got the famous Grand Harbour which overlooks the three cities. A tip here is go to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, where you can take in all the sights.
Of course Valletta was also the main area during the war where supplies during the war were destined for and the most battles fought to save their island, which they did admirably.
After all they didn't win the George Medal for doing nothing.
FOOD AND DRINK
There are plenty of places to eat and drink while in Malta and are very cheap. You have to shop around as you would anywhere else.
A MUST TRY is the local delicacy of Lampuki. I am not a great fish lover by any imagination, but do love this and you can find it at many restaurants.
Oh well!!! I hope that you have enjoyed my little story about my experience of Malta. I do hope that when you visit, that you take everything in.
I never get tired of either talking or going to Malta. It is an amazing place and caters for young and old alike.
The people are so inviting and fun to be with. And a destination NOT to be missed.
I would recommend Malta to anyone, and cannot wait to get back to what I call “My second home”.
This story was one of 5 finalist stories in our first I LOVE MALTA CONTEST.