Malta in July

Old Jan 9th, 2017, 09:53 AM
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Isabel - I love your photos & TRs

What camera do you take now on your recent travels? Thinking of leaving my Nikon 5300 behind in 2017. Getting too heavy to carry around on long explorations.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 08:28 AM
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Thanks. The cameras I currently use are Panasonic Lumex. Main one is FX300 and small back up is LX 7. I'm on at least my third version of each of these and love them. MY Nikon DSLR never gets to go anywhere, it's too heavy and to get the same zoom range you'd need a lot of heavy, expensive lenses.
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Old Jan 13th, 2018, 12:01 PM
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thank you. excellent report and great pictures.
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Old Nov 29th, 2021, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by isabel View Post
Day 3 - Monday, July 6, 2015 85 sunny and nice. I got to the bus depot to find long lines due to a new ‘system’ so all the locals were there getting their new cards. I got a 15€ card good for 12 rides (weekly pass is 21€). Found the bus to <b>Marsaxlokk</b>, about a 40 minute ride. Marsaxlokk isn’t quite as scenic as some Greek fishing villages but has a sort of charm. The brightly colored small boats (with eyes) were picturesque. Nice large church and plenty of cube shaped buildings as backdrop to the harbor. This village definitely looks more Greek than Italian. Walked around and took a few hundred photos for an hour and a half or so. Buses on that route (81) are every 20 minutes so it wasn’t a long wait once I was ready to head back). On the way back I saw two stops with signs to the Tarxien temples but decided to wait till later. Good thing, cause back in Valletta at the IT they said they were closed this summer for restoration.

Most of the island of Malta is ‘suburb’. While Valletta itself and Vittoriosa are picturesque, most of the rest is mid 20th century cement block construction. There are individual towns, some with a nice church or a few blocks old buildings, but mostly one town just runs into the next. Incredibly built up and congested. Traffic is horrid. Most of the places I went were no more than a few km from Valletta but took half hour or more on the bus. And I doubt driving would be even that fast as buses can at least use bus lanes and you don’t have to find parking. Away from Valletta there are some areas with a small amount of agriculture – tiny fields surrounded by stone walls. A few vineyards, some potatoes and a few vegetable plots, not much. Along the far coast – near the Blue Grotto, the temples and the Dingli Cliffs, it is more rural. The island of Gozo is less built up, but getting to the ferry from Valletta takes at least 1 hours on the bus, then a wait for the ferry, then a 20 minute crossing – and then another 45 minute bus ride to it’s main city. I decided nothing on Gozo was worth that amount of travel for a day trip.

Back in Valletta I had a late lunch and then visited St John’s Co-Cathredral – talk about dripping in gold and overly opulent. Would be enough to turn anyone off religion. The floor is interesting marble inlaid and there were a number of cool skeletons among the cherubs. €6 Then I went to the Grand Master’s Palace which is rather austere on the exterior (although one corner has a very cool sculpture looking down on you) but has two very pretty courtyards you can wander around. I decided against spending another 10€ for more over the top displays of wealth so didn’t go inside. Instead I checked out some of the auberges. Auberge d’Italie houses the IT. Auberge de Castile is at the entrance to town. Auberge de Provence houses the Archaeology Museum. And one nice perk to Malta (over Italy) is they have Costa Coffee Shops with wonderful iced cappuccinos.

I also took the lift from Upper Barrakka Garden (free down, 1€ up) to the ferry over to the Three Cities. The early evening sunlight on the harbor and boats and buildings was just gorgeous. The promenade around the harbor between Vittoriosa and Senglea extends for close to a mile and a half and is a really pleasant walk.
Isabel,

Thank you for your trip report. We are starting off in Malta on the afternoon (flights being what they are) of May 26, and will leave on May 30, 2022. If I've done this correctly, this comment will be after your report through the third or fourth day. Your pictures are gorgeous, and now I am more excited about this choice than I was before. We pick places to visit for odd reasons, and our upcoming trip is heavily influenced by my ancestry DNA which returned with 2%> Malta and 91%> Sicily and Southern Italy. So, we start in Malta, then Sicily where we will rendezvous with our daughters and husbands for 6 nights, then on to Apulia, next Amalfi, and home from Rome. The detail and color of your writing is a joy to read. I'm sending your report to my spouse for her edification as well! I'm also checking to see if the hotel you mentioned might be a better choice than the one I found, we are set (at least for now) at the Osborne Hotel (https://bit.ly/3D7ENdU).

Last edited by richarde99; Nov 29th, 2021 at 02:27 PM.
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Old Nov 30th, 2021, 12:41 PM
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If you are trying to research Maltese geneology records are difficult to find online in our experience. We had success using a local Maltese geneologist who was able to trace family records back to the 1500s by looking through church records. The cost was nominal and well worth it for us.

Another good resource on the ground there is the Malta Archives. If you have names of ancestors they can help you look up local records. We were able to get grandparents and greatgrandparents original passport applications with photos, find their addresses and then visit the homes where they once lived - which was right around the corner...
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Old Dec 1st, 2021, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by J62 View Post
If you are trying to research Maltese geneology records are difficult to find online in our experience. We had success using a local Maltese geneologist who was able to trace family records back to the 1500s by looking through church records. The cost was nominal and well worth it for us.

Another good resource on the ground there is the Malta Archives. If you have names of ancestors they can help you look up local records. We were able to get grandparents and greatgrandparents original passport applications with photos, find their addresses and then visit the homes where they once lived - which was right around the corner...
I think the 2%> Maltese is due to its proximity with Sicily. My maternal grandparents were born, raised, married, and had one child in Sicily before coming to the USA and having another 4 children including my Mother. My paternal grandparents were born, raised, and came to the USA as adults. My grandfather was married in Italy, and came to the USA with her. She died very young -- so my unmarried 19 yr old grandmother was called upon to marry her brother-in-law and raise his children. She did so and had 5 children of her own, including my Father.

Way more information than I needed to provide, but what the heck, it's an unusual story.
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Old Dec 1st, 2021, 01:06 PM
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Must be something in the water in Sicily. Through the magic of DNA testing we discovered that my Sicilian great grandfather (who was a sailor) had a son on the other side of Sicily - so my grandmother had an older brother she never knew. That older brother was left at an orphanage as an infant by his mother...
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Old Dec 1st, 2021, 05:29 PM
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Thanks for topping this and thanks to Isabel for writing it. I'd love to visit Malta some time.
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