Away in Malta

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Mick F
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Away in Malta

Postby Mick F » 16 Apr 2011, 8:54pm

Away at the moment, and just arrived in Malta. Managed to get on line via the hotel WiFi but it's a bit slow.

Spent six hours driving to Gatwick from Cornwall, stayed overnight and caught the 11.55 flight here. Back home Saturday next week.

Normal service will resume as soon as possible ...........
Mick F. Cornwall

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bikes4two
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby bikes4two » 17 Apr 2011, 7:39am

Hi Mick,
Malta was always a good run ashore but I guess it's changed a lot since my last visit in the 70's? Has the Marsovin improved? We used to say the bottle ws worth more than the contents of the cheapest wine, but that was probably an unfair assessment made by the average matelot who didn't always find time to see the wonderfuly culture and history of the place.
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby eileithyia » 17 Apr 2011, 8:15am

Enjoy your trip and see back on here soon. x
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Mick F
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby Mick F » 17 Apr 2011, 4:10pm

Hi guys, and thanks for the best wishes.

Just managing to limp through the treacle that passes as the internet here. Been out to Marsaxlokk - fishing village and Sunday market today. A few bottles of Cisk and a meal, then back to the hotel to slob out for a while!

Some of you may have remembered that we've visited here before ........

I spent 27 years in the RN and never had a Med deployment. I've passed through many times and called in various places - Naples, Corfu, Haifa, entered the Suez Canal ...... and been to Gibraltar of course, but never spent any time here in the Med.

Our first visit to Malta was in 2002 on a package holiday, and in 2010 we returned on a package deal but got "arrested" by the time-share/holiday ownership sharks. We went to a nice place towards the north of the island and eventually paid £1,250 for six weeks here to be taken over the next three years. We're now on out second week and we gave a week to our daughter and new husband for their honeymoon. So that's three weeks gone so far.

Self catering in a suite that sleeps four - pool, restaurant, general store, bar, sunshine on the verandahs, and fully fitted/equipped kitchen. £1,250 for six weeks, providing you want to spend six weeks - is a bargain. All we have to do is get out here.

So all in all, we're very happy.

I have nothing to compare Malta to from the past and the RN, but even in the past nine years we've seen it change. The cars are newer, the Euro is here and EU money plus "foreign" tourists. The Maltese people are wonderful. Very blunt and straight, but with a huge dead-pan sense of humour. Some tourists are taken aback, but if you smile and are friendly and bright, they melt and are friendly back to you.

The old areas where the RN used to be are run down and ghostly. Strait Street - the old "gut" is still there and even some of the fronts of the bars can still be made out, but all empty and run down. The main streets in Valletta are thriving, the shops and bars and cafes are permanently busy and Grand Harbour is a particular favourite for the cruise ships.

Off out soon for an evening meal - and drinks of course!

TTFN.
Mick.
Mick F. Cornwall

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby ferrit worrier » 17 Apr 2011, 8:51pm

How about some pictures of old cars for "Road side antiquities" must be a few old Morris Oxfords etc.
Have fun regards to Mrs Mick. :)

Malc
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Mick F
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby Mick F » 18 Apr 2011, 8:29am

We count Minis.
Six so far.
We saw an Oxford yesterday, and a few Mk1 Escorts, there was even a restored RS2000(?) in bright red. Mainly, though, the old cars are gone and replaced by modern ones. Even the old buses are going.

Malta has lost its personality after joining the EU and not everyone is happy about it.

They had a referendum a few years ago about it all, and the For camp needed a 51% majority. It was passed by 60/40 I think. If you were to have another referendum now, it would be thrown out, as it is estimated that 75% of the Maltese don't want the EU or the Euro because since then all the prices have gone up and too many "foreign" tourists are arriving! They want the Brits here. Ironic, but true.

This has all been told to us by the Maltese we have spoken too.

Off to Valletta today. I'll see what we can do for photographs .........
Mick F. Cornwall

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Mick F
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby Mick F » 24 Apr 2011, 7:24am

Back home now!

We counted 26 Minis. Even saw a pale blue Estate.

Other old cars we saw:
Morris Traveller
Various Escorts
Capri
Hillman Minx
Hillman Hunter
Mk1 Toyota Corolla

Trouble is, they've brought in MOTs now and the older stuff is getting scrapped.
Mick F. Cornwall

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hondated
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby hondated » 24 Apr 2011, 5:48pm

Mick make sure you catch one of those old buses they are brilliant. Enjoy the break.

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Re: Away in Malta

Postby hondated » 24 Apr 2011, 5:51pm

Sorry Mick I always was a little on the slow side.

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Mick F
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Re: Away in Malta

Postby Mick F » 25 Apr 2011, 7:24am

Yes, back now.

Buses in Malta are a sore subject.

The Islands need tourism. It's been the main income for the past 50years and all the tourists love the Malta Bus.

Trouble is, they are now in the EU and all the buses are going. The old buses are generally "owner/driver" or at least in small firms with small garages to look after them. They are old buses that have been modified using truck/lorry parts to ruggedise them and give them huge powerful engines.

Every single one of them* will be off the road this July. Each and every one has been compulsory purchased and the best ones will be sold to Third World countries. The drivers will all be out of their well-paid jobs and some may be taken on at the minimum wage - 3.50 Euro an hour.

All the buses are being replaced with modern buses supplied and run by an EU company from abroad - sorry, can't remember the name/country. Valletta bus station is being modernised and re-sited as is the bus station in Victoria Gozo. The new buses will be run and maintained by this company, and any work/maintenance/repairs needed will be taken away from Malta.

* I understand that twelve old buses will be retained to work the tourist routes at the height of the season.

All very sad.
This is what comes from having a Tory government in charge for the last 25years! They are selling everything. National Lotto, buses, and even Air Malta ...........
Mick F. Cornwall