A Conversation for Malta
mutumbo Started conversation Feb 10, 2005
One wonders whether the author has actually ever been to Malta or where he/she got the info from.
Just a few inaccuracies / corrections / additions:
St.Paul was not particularly welcome. The episode with the snake gave birth to the legend (which no-one seems willing to test) that all snakes in Malta, local or imported, are not poisonous.
The Knights Templar and the Knights of St. John Of Jerusalem are two separate institutions. There is virtually no connection between the Knights Templar and Malta. The Knights Of St. John came to Malta, having been ejected from Rhodes by the Turks, in 1530, having been granted title by King Charles the Vth Of Spain, at the request of the Pope. Thus ended a spell of autonomy. Neither the Knights nor the Maltese were particularly pleased with the situation, but eventually settled down to it like an arranged marriage. It is still unclear as to who was carrying out the male portion of the sexual act. This relationship lasted until 1798, until the arrival of the French forces, with Napoleon at their head.
The terminal at Luqa Airport was closed down and moved to Gudja in 1992. The runway itself is not all that long. At had to be extended to accomodate 747's, but the effectiveness of that extension has only been tested once or twice.
There are very few exposed cobbled streets in Valletta, most have been badly damaged & removed or covered in tarmac.
The only pedestrian areas in Valletta are 300m of Republic Street, and on most mornings (market days) 200m of Merchants' Street, the latter for donkey's years, the former only since the seventies.
There was another more serious partial landing, by the Turks, known as the Great Siege, in 1565. Valletta was built specifically to avoid a repetition of the attempt.
To this day a common expression of pain/surprise or anger is 'Damn the Turks'. Turks often use the expression 'might as well go invade Malta' when told to carry out an impossible task.
The only people to actually lay siege to Valletta were the Maltese themselves, the French having retreated Valletta after the Maltese revolted against them.
The French have the peculiar distinction of being the only military power to be evicted from Malta by the Maltese alone. (Whatever the British may say)
WWII is also referred to as the 2nd Great siege. Victory in both sieges is celebrated annually on the 8th September, with a series of rowing races, amongst other things. The 8th September is the both the day the Turks gave up in disgust and sailed away in 1565, and the day the Italians surrendered to the allies in 1943.
A Maltese Cross and the George Cross are two separate things. The latter is the medal, whereas the former is the eight pointed star used by the Knights Of St. John. There are those of us who beleive, myself included, that the George Cross should be substituted by the Maltese Cross.
Demon Drawer Posted Feb 10, 2005
I was there admittedly in 1988 and 89 so I apologise about my info on Luqa airport. My Great Uncle was stationed there in WWII.
I feel that this article is in need of a update. I'll get working on it after the Uk General Election.
Demon Drawer Posted Feb 10, 2005
Immpic Posted Apr 1, 2008
The airport in Malta is still called Luqa aiport even though the terminal is now in Gudja. The runway was not extended. A new one was built in the mid 70's and it accomodated 747's many a time including the ones used by Swissair and Alitalia for pilot training on the island. The new runway is 3544m, which makes it longer than Gatwick's and about 300m shorter then Heathrow's. The old runway is still there and it is 2377m long. Emirates uses its Boeing 777-300 on the Dubai-Malta route and this is almost as big as a 747.
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