If you go to Malta, you simply have to take a couple of bus journeys on the local transport whilst you are there. It is an experience not to be missed! The fares are extremely reasonable and the journey will not be one that you soon forget!
While we were on holiday, we used the local buses for a few journeys. We went to the Marsaxlokk quayside market on the Sunday, Mum and Dad went to Valetta and Dad and I paid a second trip to Mosta to visit the church and see the dome. There will be more pictures of the Mosta Dome at a later point, but suffice it to say that it is WELL worth a visit, and definitely shouldn’t be missed if you get the opportunity to go.
The majority of the buses we encountered on Malta were similar to the one above – very old, generally British buses with sliding windows, no air con – that didn’t matter as the windows were left open all the time, and the driver never shut the door whilst driving! – a variety of old seats and minimal suspension! However, they were obviously well cared for to have lasted so long, especially in the driving conditions over there, and, from the outside at least, you could be forgiven for thinking that they were much newer than they actually were.
I thoroughly enjoyed the bus rides, though. The picture above is of the inside of the bus we took to the Marsaxlokk market, and the reason that it’s tipsy is that the bus ride was like a fairground ride for the entire forty minutes that the journey lasted! I usually get really travel sick, but on this bus I just bounced right along over all the pot holes and lumps in the road, and loved every minute! You can’t really see very well from this picture, but it looks as if each bus is assigned to a particular driver, as they seem to personalise the ‘cab’ area with pictures. Most of the buses I saw had religious images up front, although I saw one or two with football logos for British teams like Manchester United or Liverpool.
The flags painted on the side of the buses are a common occurrence in Malta – the Maltese are apparently very proud of their links with Britain, and so the crossed British and Maltese flags are visible often. Also, on the tours we went on, there were regular references to British related parts of their history.
The buses were definitely an unmissable part of our time in Malta, and I’m so glad that we managed to use them a few times. I prefer to take local transport when I visit somewhere, rather than the tourist transport all the time. I think it gives you a much better insight into the local community, and how the local people live. Plus, you get to see lots more places as the bus goes into all the smaller towns and villages to pick people up and drop them off. And it was cheap! Local journeys only cost 47c, while the longer one to Mosta cost us somewhere around €1.13 each way. Far cheaper than Cardiff, where I have to pay £1.50 for a one way ticket to the city centre – a journey that only takes 15 minutes in reasonable traffic.
We also went on one of the Maltese tour buses, but far too much happened on that to add to this post. Another time, maybe!