click on image to view the 2002 - Malta photos...
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.