With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Archive for the ‘Gozo’ Category

Malta

Posted by Heliocentrism on July 15, 2018

December 11th – 31st, 2017

Mark checked with www.google.com/flights/ and came up with 3 different choices of destinations. One was Istanbul. Another was a city in Greece. The third was Malta. I wanted to stay in the EU a little longer, so Istanbul was out. We had already been to Greece and I would have loved to go back. But I was very curious about Malta.

Me hugging my favorite brother while my mom sings as loudly as she can (St. Croix USVI)

I am from the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Two things that every Cruzan knows are: one, a Cruzan is a person born on St. Croix, and two, all 7 flags that have flown over the island. The flags belonged to the Dutch, English, French, Spanish, The Knights of Malta, Danes, and lastly the Americans. All of these are countries that everyone is familiar with and can point to on a map. Well… except for the Knights of Malta.

I had no idea who they were, where they were from, or where they went. I remember asking my teachers about them in school and never getting a satisfactory answer. I got a few, “They don’t exist anymore” and some “No one is completely sure”. Both of which are nonsense and untrue. They still exist.

The Knights of Malta started out as a group of knights, called the Knights of St. John, who helped pilgrims going to Jerusalem. They were a cross between inn keepers and doctors without borders, except “doctor” here is too strong a word. Back then, medicine was knowing when to put poo on a wound or when to use leeches.

Eventually, they became more militaristic and moved to Rhodes to fight for Christianity which was code for harassing Jews and attacking Muslims. After awhile they became a nuisance. The Knights’ presence in Rhodes attracted more war than Rhodes wanted to deal with. Greece kicked the Knights out and they spent several years moving around Europe looking for a new home.

No one wanted the Knights in their backyard. They were a bit like a drunk who always starts bar fights that leaves the place a total wreck, then wonders later why no one wants them in their bar ever again. They kept asking around for a new city in which to stay, when finally a Spanish King with control of  Sicily let them have Malta. Not that Malta was his to give…

Oh Knights, you’re an entertaining train wreck, but no, none of you can come to my house for dinner.

The Maltese weren’t pleased with them. They thought the knights were… assholes. They were jerks who walked around like they owned the place. They renamed everything. They bossed people around. They didn’t even bring decent food with them. And, the Knights complained a lot.

But all of this could have been ignored had the Knights not attracted so many wars. There are many books written about the most epic of these wars, The Great Siege in 1565, where knights died noble and honor-rich deaths, while the Maltese died normal plain deaths even though they were both fighting on the same side. The Maltese had to put up with them for about 268 years.

In time the Knights would piss off Napoleon causing him to invade the island of Malta and kicking out the Knights. They would go back to wandering. During this time they were given the island of St. Croix. Just a few years later they sold it. Many years would pass until a weakened, fractioned Knights of Malta settled in Rome where they still are today. They still do a lot of work during war time, but now they’ve returned to focusing on humanitarian efforts without taking sides.

This was taken while on a bus ride to town

Malta is insanely beautiful. The island is filled with historical sites, catacombs, spectacular churches, and amazing landscapes. But I want to talk about the most curious of tourist attractions on the island, the old movie lot.

Apparently, a long, long time ago, back in the early 80’s a live action version of Popeye was made into a movie. I had never heard of it until I got to Malta, but it happened. It starred Robin Williams and it was really, really terrible.

They filmed here back in 1980 and for some reason the film set was never taken down. Left abandoned for years, someone bought the thing back in the 90’s. They repainted buildings, fixed up other structures, and charged admission for entrance.

A pool, a put-put course, a souvenir shop and a few restaurants were added. Tourist just poured in. I’m fairly sure this place makes more money per year than the film every did.

They do play the film at Popeye’s movie theater. I think it’s on an endless loop. But, no one stays in the theater for too long because the movie is just awful. The set is great, though. Play mini golf, go swimming, eat an over priced burger that Wimpy could never afford either today or tomorrow, but don’t watch the film.


Malta

How to get there:

Phone:

  • 112 – emergency, ambulance, and fire

Website:

Data:

Videos:

Books: 

Notes:

  • The tap water is safe to drink, but it does taste funny.
    • It’s desalinized water.
  • There are transportation cards you can buy to use the buses in Malta or you can pay cash on the bus.
    • The transportation cards comes with discounted fares if you use it correctly.
    • Most transportation cards work on buses on Gozo too.

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00 daily

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • 3300 – 3000 BC
  • Tickets are usually sold out weeks and months in advance, so buy your ticket as soon as possible.
  • Photography is not allowed inside.
  • Bring your earbuds.

The Knights Of Malta

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • €6.50

Hours:

  • 10.00 – 17.00

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • This starts out with a short film, then you walk through exhibits of history.
  • You can get tickets of The Knights of Malta in combinations with the Mdina Experience.
    • The Mdina Experience is just a 30-minute video.

Popeye Village

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  •  Spring & Summer €14.50
  • fall & winter  €10.50

Hours:

  • 9:30 – 16:30

Video

Books:

Notes:

  • They play the movie in one of the houses in the village, so there is no need to watch it before hand.
    • The movie is terrible!
  • I think the village makes way more money that the movie ever did.
  • The tickets include some free stuff.
    • We got free post cards and a cup of mulled wine.
    • (Kids got a toy instead of wine…)
  • There are lots of games to play.
    • There is a put-put course.
  • In the summer you came swim in the water or in the small pool area.
  • The food is a little over priced.
    • Generally, restaurant food in Malta is inexpensive, but not here.

Fort St. Angelo

Basic Information

Website

e-mail:

Cost:

  • €8
  • Combo Ticket €13 – includes
    • Fort St. Angelo
    • The Inquisitor’s Palace
    • The Maritime Museum

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Video

Notes:


Inquisitor’s Palace

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • €6
  • Combo Ticket €13 – includes
    • Fort St. Angelo
    • The Inquisitor’s Palace
    • The Maritime Museum

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00
  • Last admittance is at 16:30

Video

Books:

Notes:

  • Look out for:
    • The tribunal room
    • The garden in the middle
    • The prisons cells with original graffiti

St. John’s Co-Cathedral

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • €10
    • Includes an audio guide
    • Bring your earbuds

Hours:

  • M-F 9:30 – 16:30 (last admission at 16:00)
  • Sa 09:30- 12:30 (last admission at 12:00)
  • closed Sundays

Videos:

Books:

Notes:


Gozo

Basic Information:

  • The boat comes every 45 minutes during the summer.
  • The trip takes about 25 minutes.
  • A round trip ticket costs €4.65.

Website

Cost:

  • There are various combo tickets that you can get.
  • You can use the same bus card here that you use on Malta.

Video

Notes:

  • Look out for:
    • The Cittadella
      • You can walk around the Cittadella for free.
      • There are many individual tickets for little museums in the Cittadella and there are also combo tickets.
    • The Blue Hole and the Azure Window
      • Unfortunately the Azure Window fell in March 2017
      • You have to dive to see the Blue Hole

Casa Rocca Piccola

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • €9 – Guided Tour

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 17:00
  • Last tour starts at 16:00

Video

Books:

Notes:

  • Look for the parrot.

Rotunda of Mosta

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • free

Hours:

  • normal church hours

Notes:

  • During WWII a bomb fell on the church, going through the dome. It did not explode.
  • There is a bomb shelter right next to the dome.

Don’t Miss:

Go Ahead and Miss:

  • The Maritime Museum
    • Basic Information
    • Why miss it?
      • It’s small and not that interesting.
      • It’s included in a combo ticket and that’s why anyone ever visits. Left on its own, I don’t think they would have many visitors.

Map:

Advertisements

Posted in Gozo, Malta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: