Subject: Re: Long term stay - Malta
Hi Pat We were in Malta in the late summer so I can't comment on your time of year. However, I can tell you that Malta is a very special place.

I guess you're flying there but arriving and leaving by ship is a wonderful experience because this a maritime country and everything is focussed on the shoreline. We arrived in Valetta on a ferry from Sicily at 3:00 a.m. with nowhere to stay (the ferry was on Italian time!). We had met an English couple on board who did have a hotel reservation so we tagged along with them and the hotel keeper found us a room in his busy hotel. The next morning he showed us up to the rooftop and served us breakfast with a view. This was the first, but certainly not the last, example of Maltese hospitality we experienced.

The bus service on Malta is very efficient. You do not need a car. The buses are all lime green and, peculiar to Malta, they screech their wheels whenever they turn a corner. Has something to do with the humidity. Funny the things you remember.

We used the bus service to go everywhere, watching for an interesting restaurant and then getting off the bus for dinner. All buses in Valetta congregate in the main square and there is (was), I'm sure nothing has changed, a lovely little hotel on the square with a cool (as in air conditioned) bar where you might enjoy a cocktail before dinner.

As I recall, Gozo is the fishing island and Comino is the beach island. We spent a day soaking up the sun on Comino and had lunch at the only real hotel on the island. We did this by taking a bus from the bus station in downtown Malta to the edge of the island and then a very short boat ride to Comino. Bring your beach towels.

A few things to note. Malta is an interesting mix of North African and European culture. The language is derived from Arabic and the island depends on Libya for its oil, but the religion is Catholic. The mores are a mixture of both. Hence, a very conservative society where the young women sport the latest in Italian fashion and show-off for the young men.

Sunday is the day when everything stops, as it does during the siesta. We made the mistake of visiting Rabat during siesta and the village was shut down. So do as the locals do, eat a good meal and have a nap, because after sunset the place comes alive. Slowly walk the promenade to work up an appetite and then enjoy your dinner.

Enjoy. Lucy