Thursday, May 19, 2016

MALTA: The Fishing Village of Marsaxlokk

You know how you first try to get the lay of the land whenever you visit a new place?  Well, the day after we arrived in Malta, Saturday, we had a confab with our trip rep who helped us figure out the how and where and when of our 10 days.

That's when we discovered there would be a fishing market the next day, Sunday, in the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk...a definite tourist destination, she said.

Starting from our hotel in Bugibba, we took a bus to Valletta and then another bus to Marsaxlokk.
The 'x' in Maltese is the 'sh' sound, so, Marsaxlokk = MARsa- shlock.
It's a population of ca. 3500+ people.

The first thing we saw as we got off the bus and reached the harbor was the dockyard.
Big, clunky boats with years of hard work oozing out of them.

Then, turning the corner, we saw the market, lined up along the village street facing the shoreline.
Everything under the sun...except fish.  Where was the fish???

Theirs to know and ours to find out!
In the meantime, we started walking up and down the main street.

We knew there would be boats, of course, but these boats?
Colorful boats with their seeing eyes to protect them from mishaps at sea?!

You couldn't miss them if you tried.  They dotted the entire harbor.

And as you'd guess, fishermen came with them, sorting out their nets.

They're just doing their work while we tourists gawked.
A women's quilting bee came to mind.  HA!

Can you picture yourself spending a day at sea on one of these make-shift homes?

Can you imagine the sense of community such a place fosters?

About the time we passed the village square the second time, we decided to stop.
The church is the Parish Church of Our Lady of Pompei, from 1890.

It was the perfect place for a bathroom break, some koffie...and a bit of sun for Astrid!
"Our napkins have been cleaning happy faces since 1971." --Costa (UK)

Truth be told, immediately after koffie, we found a place to eat lunch.
Almost every restaurant/café was full/reserved, so we grabbed the first spot we found...on the street.
Prawns and sea bass...with the Maltese Cisk beer (pronounced CHisk).  Yummy.

And THEN we found the fish!

O M G.  Seafood I didn't need to see, really, but I did.
It was all there.

Right where the fishermen had done their thing for eons.

With women cleaning up after them, of course.
It's a way of life, isn't it.  Can you imagine it being your life?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Then, guess what?  The next day, Monday, we rode the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus around the island...

...and passed Marsaxlook while sitting on top of the bus.

Even though it was from a different vantage point, it was definitely recognizable!
THIS is why the fishing village of Marsaxlokk is a tourist destination for Malta.


  1. Such a colourful place. You captured it perfectly. You obviously enough learning about culture and I enjoy it when you take me along with you.

    I can imagine living in a place like that and having the sense of place the Maltese have. I think being an island is part of it with the people relying on each other and being isolated like they would have been.

    1. You know all about island life, of course, Marie, so I know you know what you're talking about! You'd love Malta. Thank you.

  2. The details! This is really incredible.

    Also, thank you for the idea to get the lay of the land first, including what happens on what days. We can do that with our hostess in Le Thor in July, like for instance, which villages have markets on which days?

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I'm glad you can carry this idea of "planning ahead" with your hostess in Le Thor come July. She will definitely know how to help you. In fact, she can start helping you plan NOW? :)

  3. I adore markets of any kind and so believe you can get a feel for the culture while doing so! Love the colorful boats...thanks for sharing!

    1. Because you enjoy markets, Robin, you would definitely enjoy this one. I can just see you interacting with some of those fishermen! :D

  4. Again the weather was good and the trip by bus was an experience not to be missed and we were glad that we could start with an 'empty' bus in Bugibba...
    I love all of you pictures, so much to see and so much beauty. I can see why tourists go to this town. That we passed it the next day was wonderful, now we saw it from another point of view..
    Fabulous post and incredible many details in your pictures. I was very happy with the fish though, at last!!! I thought we were 'too late'....IHVJ.

    1. We'll both never forget it. Totally worth both times we saw it...and, yes, from two different POVs. We're so lucky! :) Thank you.

  5. Oh my those colorful boats are just glorious....