22 August 2011

Malta in November

Several years ago hubby and I decided that as Christmas was approaching we should get some sun in foreign parts. We chose Marsascala in Malta and got there just in time for a heat wave.

The hotel was in the sea, well not exactly IN the sea but on what appeared to be a peninsula. Apart from having brown drinking water the hotel was very nice, the accommodation was spacious and the food was good. There was just one thing wrong … there were too many hit men with guns sprawled out in the lounge.

It transpired that Colonel Gaddafi owned the hotel. His private apartment was actually what we call the basement. We didn’t see him the whole time we were there. We weren’t even sure if he was in residence but with an armed male mob we took no chances. Guy said ‘Keep walking, don’t breathe a word, don’t even look at them when we pass.’ As if I would, those guns terrified me and I didn’t much care for the men’s fierce facial expressions.

Several times, as if on a given cue, the gang would leave their couches and stand in menacing positions, legs wide, hands on guns ready to fire. We thought Gaddafi must have shown up but we were wrong. Perhaps the men were performing some kind of drill to put the fear of god into the holidaymakers. Or perhaps they were merely bored! We’ll never know!

The nearest I got to being injured was when I took a bath in that awful water. I decided that whilst there I would wash my hair because the only hair spraying implement was attached to the bath. But OMG I really squealed when something pierced me in the eye. I sat there nursing the eye and wishing the terrible stinging would go away. After what seemed an eternity the pain disappeared. Although the eye felt terribly sore I was able to get out of the bath and get ready for dinner.

It was when I got home that I noticed the blister forming on the eyeball. The local optician treated it and subsequent blisters which he said were caused by something in the Maltese water. It took a couple of years for the problem to clear up.

So now whenever we think of Malta we think of the hotel in Marsascala that stuck out in the sea where men toted guns and eyes got shot.

We’d found the hotel in the holiday brochures but shortly after our visit it was taken out and never heard of again. I wonder if Col. Gaddafi wishes he was there now.


  1. Quite an adventure.!! The brown drinking water would definitely
    make me think about not going there
    for a holiday...

  2. it took a couple years to clear, this i would pass on the next trip...

  3. what a post and very apt with what is going on in the world at the moment!!


  4. WOW! What a great story, Valerie!

    I could actually SEE the look of those menacing hit men you described, like something out of the movie The Godfather!

    A good friend of mine here in Philly has a daughter who is a writer who lived Malta at one time, writing a travel story for a magazine she wrote for.

    OMG...she never mentioned the brown water - YIKES!

    Glad to hear you were able to get that eye blister cleared up.

    Have a great Tuesday, dear lady!


  5. Faye, it would stop me going again.

    Brian, quite right too...smiles.

    Gill, that's so true.

    Ron, maybe the brown water was peculiar to the hotel we stayed in. Yes, the men were pretty frightening.

  6. Oh my - Hearing that story is just one more reason for us to stay on U.S. soil! They wouldn't have had to shoot me, I'd have died of a heart attack first.

  7. The photo is beautiful, but after reading about your experience, I'd be happy just looking at the brochures!

  8. We are thinking of having a week away in November and my first thought when I read the title of your post and the heatwave bit was "Oh there's an idea!" However having read all your post I don't think we'll bother with Malta! LOL

  9. Pearl, Malta is one of those places that you either love or hate.

  10. Gadaffi had an apartment there? Who'd have thought!

    I loved Malta. We stayed in Selima, which I wouldn't recommend (too touristy) but as it was just a place to sleep for us, it didn't matter too much. There's an surprising amount of variation in the landscape on Malta, and Gozo had the most amazing salt 'beaches'. They really have to be seen to be believed.

    We were there a couple of weeks before Christmas so they had all there decorations up. It was kind of odd having Santa lighting up the local roundabout when it was so warm.

  11. I always drink bottled water when I am abroad but that would not have avoided your problem.

    I am amazed that the tour operator did not know who owned the hotel.

  12. I am thinking he is wishing he were there now! Not a very nice man for sure.
    Wonder what was in the water that blistered your eye for 2 years, had to be something horrible. So glad no permanent damage was done to your eyes.....:-)Hugs

  13. Sharon, we did see most of Malta while we were there. Hubs loved it but I wasn't too struck with all the rubble in the roads and pizza boxes thrown away on the beaches and rocks.

    CW, I imagine the tour guide would know who owned the hotel. Gaddafi wasn't on the baddie list at that time.

  14. I've heard that from both sides Valerie. :)


If you're new to A Mixed Bag you might find something to interest you, a bit of mirth, a story or two, or some pictures. I'm so pleased you popped in, do leave a comment if you have time.