AA&F: Bill Corner
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2002 - Malta ·
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We stayed in Marsaskala in the east of the island and toured round using the excellent local buses. All the buses went through the capital Valletta and then on out into the interior - if that's the correct word for an island that's only about 35 miles wide! On our final day we visited Gozo.

Malta may not be the most scenic of islands, but the amazing history and friendly people more than compensate. It was 7,000 years ago that people first discovered Malta's delights (probably Sicilian tourists crossing a handy land bridge which joined the islands at the time).

Centuries later the Knights of St John made the island their home bringing the famous white 'Maltese' cross with them. They won the locals support, defending Malta from Turkish raiders during a terrible siege in 1565. (Nearby Gozo wasn't so lucky and most of its population were taken as slaves).

Malta's strategic position put it in the firing line again during W.W.II. The people suffered such severe blitzing and starvation that the whole island was awarded the George Cross for bravery during the siege.

Today, Malta packs a population of nearly 400,000 into an Isle-of-Wight sized island. With Roman Catholicism going strong it's likely to remain the most overcrowded island in the Med.
May 2005
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