Malta and Gozo – the good, the bad and the ugly

Malta and Gozo – the good, the bad and the ugly

I was fortunate enough to be sent on an educational visit from the Malta Tourist board some time ago.

It is quite an outstanding country with a brilliant history and many, many tourist attractions to excite the most discerning of travellers.

We will start with the good;

History. (very interesting but if history bores you then skip this bit)

The history of Malta dates back to the start of civilisation and is very intricate. It seems Malta was the object of desire for many countries and has been invaded and ruled by many. Malta had a Neolithic period and the remains of temples, dedicated to the goddess of fertility can be found today. Traces of the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Byzantines can also be found. Christianity was brought to Malta in 60AD when st.Paul’s boat was shipwrecked there. Some 800 years later, Malta was invaded by the Arabs who injected an influence of their language on the Maltese. It then joined Sicily and was also ruled by the Normans and the Aragonese among others. The Knights ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798 and then the French had just two years to reign. This was not welcomed by the Maltese who actually requested the British to assist them and the Brits ruled Malta from 1800 until 1964. At this point, Malta finally gained independence. Ten years later, Malta became a republic and finally joined the EU in 2004.

Azure Window

 

This stunning natural landmark is probably the most photographed place in the Maltese islands. It is a natural limestone archway and is on the island of Gozo (I will discuss this more later).

The Beaches


I wouldn’t say that Malta is a beach paradise as there aren’t many at all, but they prove its not quantity, it’s quality!

Temperature

Malta is about as far south as you can get in Europe and nestled in the Mediterranean. They have long summers with a good chance of a scorcher from May until September and the winter months are usually a nice milder temperature.

The Medina

The historical fort remains pretty much untouched and offers breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.

Valletta

 

Valletta is the capital of Malta and is insanely beautiful. They say it was built by gentlemen, for the gentlemen. Personally I think it is more beautiful, as if it’s had a woman’s touch. It can be quite touristy and is very vibrant. There are often events and festivals going on here.
Film Sets

Malta, for obvious reasons, is the setting for many films, most of the sets you can visit today. The most well known films shot on the islands of Malta include Gladiator, Troy, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Popeye (the Popeye village is a popular tourist attraction for families) and loads more.

The Beautiful Sea


The sea in Malta is famous for being so clear. This attracts divers from all over the world as there are some sublime dive spots for beginners or advanced. If you’re not a fan of diving you can head out on an amazing boat trip through the azure window, the caves and the famous blue lagoon which is water that is inexplainably, bright blue.

Chill Out Towns

 

If you hire a car, you can drive around and stop in almost any town for lunch and expect a view like this.

The Ferry

There is a public ferry service that operates regularly between Malta and Gozo and is very cheap.

Weddings

Malta is a popular wedding destination. The country embraces foreign weddings and it is far more simple than other countries to arrange, not to mention the incredible photo opportunities that are available 360.

The size

Malta is not huge, yet the vast amount of countryside, filled with towns and tourist attraction makes it feel so. You can easily drive the entire circumference of Malta in less than a day.

Now let’s roll onto the bad;

Tragedy

 

‘The pub’ is the famous spot where actor Oliver Reed died whilst having a beer filled break from filming Gladiator. Theories state he died from a heart attack. My sources in Malta told me that the real reason that Oliver Reed died was that he had ‘one too many’, fell backwards off his bar stool and hit his head, causing death. It is still a popular tourist attraction but in my opinion, a tragic loss.

The ugly…;

Beige

 

Literally, the only negative thing I can stay about this magnificent country is that Malta can be too beige. The buildings (despite being beautifully designed), the roads… Everything is beige and dusty. But even this has a silver lining. If you hop over to Gozo, it is a lot greener and prettier there.

Summary

It is a destination I would recommend to almost anybody and somewhere I would definitely return to.

To find out more, please visit http://www.visitmalta.com

Thanks for reading my blog peeps.

Cuddle Your Globe

xxx

7 of the most ridiculous reasons to call in sick when you’re really abroad.

7 of the most ridiculous reasons to call in sick when you’re really abroad.


You know somebody who has pulled a long term sickie from work when they have booked a holiday, or failed to return to work when they were supposed to because they are STILL on holiday!!! Or maybe you have done this yourself?

I have decided to do some research, including speaking to office managers to find out some of the worst excuses given when a staff member has gone missing in action.

1. ‘My flight got delayed by 4 days and I had no battery on my phone to call you.’

2. ‘I contracted Malaria whilst in Ghana, Africa so I had to stay in hospital for 2 months. Here is my genuine sick certificate…’

3. ‘I’ve been in a witness protection programme.’

4. ‘My granny has died so I need some time off.’ (The same granny has died 3 times now).

5. ‘I’m addicted to crack cocaine and my dealer has been arrested so I need some time off to recover.’

6.’I’m… Erm…. In a Thai prison.’

7. ‘I missed my flight and can’t get on another one for 3 weeks!!’

If you’re planning on doing this, for the love of god come up with something more original.

Question Hour

Question Hour

If you have any questions about travel, anywhere, worldwide… Ask me!! I’d love nothing more than to assist you with planning your dream vacation, business trip, long haul flights, skiing or diving trip!!!

My advice is free and friendly. If I can’t help I can always point you in the direction of someone who can. Travel is expensive so you want to get it right!

Thanks

Cuddle Your Globe

email: info@cuddleyourglobe.com

Xxx

The Dark Side of the Sun.

The Dark Side of the Sun.

The slightly darker side to adventurous travel.

I have mentioned in previous posts that I had a six year career in the travel industry. Needless to say I adored this job. So you may be wondering why I gave this job up. For many years during my job as a travel broker, I had a deep desire to become a Paramedic. The more I looked into it, the more I realised I wanted to help people, be out and about and have a job that throws me a new challenge every day. Travel did this to an extent, but it was different. I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes to be a Paramedic. I knew nothing of medicine or healthcare and had not even witnessed an emergency before.

I was in a travel job that I simply adored. I worked hard and played hard. I was on an aeroplane every 5 weeks either on an educational or prize trip. I was then offered a job to train as a Paramedic with London Ambulance service, the biggest in the world!  The decision I had to make seemed like the hardest of my life, at the time. A week later I set off on a work trip to Miami and the Bahamas as I had won first place in a sales competition. (I miss those days!)


I was sharing a room with a female colleague who I confided in about my dilemma. I didn’t want to leave the job I loved so much, travel is my whole world. But the Paramedic training was something I felt I needed to do.


The following day, I decided to head out on a snorkelling trip with my colleague / friend, in the beautiful, clear shallows of the Bahamas. There was a Latin American group on our snorkelling boat too which consisted of young families, teenage children and what I assumed to be the ‘grandmother’. One by one, we all grabbed our snorkelling gear and slipped into the lush water, the only thing you could see above water was the boat and some 15 metres away was a rock wall. I dunked my head and couldn’t see many fish and figured the boat and hoards of people were scaring them away so I decided to swim further away from the boat. The fish here were beyond beautiful. So many colours and lights – amazing! It was at this moment that the light and colours became dark. Was it really what I could see? A still, motionless body, floating under the water. It looked like a young male in shorts. All I could see was the back of the body and it was floating near the rocks, fairly far away from the boat. I have never swam as fast as I did swimming towards the body. I shouted to the people on the boat for help. What they replied made me feel sick. ‘Nana!’ ‘Nana!’ The screams were repeating. At that moment I realised the body was the elderly grandmother that had been on the boat. I reached her and pulled her out of the water. I was clinging on to the rocks with my feet just to keep some momentum to hold her above water. Her lips were blue, her face pale. At this point, one of the young males from the group had swam over to the rocks. Together, we jointly held her head above water and performed the heimlich manoeuvre to get the water out of her lungs. I didn’t know what I was doing to be honest but just used common sense to try to save her. At this point the guides on our boat had called a speedboat over with a lifeboard which they threw into the water. I helped to lift her onto it and later saw she was being administered Oxygen, but still unresponsive. The boat returned to the dock so she could be taken to hospital.

By the time we returned, she was standing up by herself and actually looked straight at me. In that one moment, my life had changed. I had blood all by feet and realised I had actually lost one of my toenails whilst clambering about on the rocks to save her… But I didn’t care one bit.


The day I returned from this trip, I handed in my notice to my employer and accepted the job with the ambulance service. They say things happen for a reason and I think this was one of those inexplainable events. I have never looked back in my current job as an EMT, but I make sure I still travel frequently and writing this blog helps keep my passion alive.

Hello globe trotters

Hello globe trotters

My name is Lou (Louise if I am in trouble). The main thing you should know about me is that I not only adore, but I live for travel. The rush of endorphins that I receive when I leave the strange flying room filled with 200 strangers compressed farts and step out in a new world is what gets me through each day. The possibility of experiencing a new culture or seeing something that I know I would never have the opportunity to see at home is invaluable to me and I feel that seeing the world has made me into the person I am today. From standing in a field with a kangaroo only meters away to a group of heterosexual males holding hands and being affectionate with one another because that is ‘normal’ for them; I believe that absorbing ones self into a different way of life is the best way to really live.

I have been very fortunate in that I have managed to see such a large part of the world already and have ticked a lot of countries off of my ‘list’, I have traveled for business, for luxury pleasure and have also traveled solo around south east Asia with nothing but a backpack. I worked in the travel industry for six years and am full of useful travel hints and tips from where to book your trip, where to go, what to pack and what to do when you are there. I recently read somewhere that the average person spends 7% of their time on holiday, so I think its important to fill this with the best experiences that are possible, but I cannot promise I wont try to convince you to stretch that 7% a lot higher! I intend to share many of my stories and tips with my readers so your travel experiences will be superb. Enjoy 🙂