Religion in Malta
98% of the Maltese are staunch Catholics, there are practically no atheists among the locals. In the 60s AD. St. Paul himself brought Christianity to Malta, after which no one was able to shake these foundations. Even the Muslim Arabs, who have ruled the islands for over two centuries, have not made the Maltese Muslims.
Transport in Malta
There is a regular bus service between all the towns and villages of the island and the capital Valletta. The different routes can be easily recognized by the numbers on the buses. Intervals between buses rarely exceed 10 minutes. Tickets are usually sold by the driver right at the entrance to the salon, sometimes the conductor works. All stops are on demand, so you must either report stops to the driver, or use a special device (rope with a bell, button) in order for the bus to stop at the desired stop.
Taxis are easily recognizable by their white color and red license plate with black markings. Every taxi has a meter; the tax is controlled by the state.
There is a ferry service between Malta (port of Kirkevva) and Gozo (port of Mgarr). From November to May, ferries from the port of Mgarr (to Gozo) run 14 times a day from 6.00 to 22.00, from Malta, respectively, from 6.45 to 22.30. The transfer takes about 20 minutes. From June to October, ferries run around the clock, including at night, with an interval of two hours, in the summer months – every hour. There is also a ferry service between Sa Maison and Gozo. The transfer takes about 75 minutes. From July to September, the same company provides daily, except Sunday, a fast connection between Gozo, Sliema and Sa Maison. The duration of the flight is about 35 minutes.
In addition, there is a helicopter service between Malta and Gozo.
Movement is left-handed. If you contact local car rental offices, the price level is lower than in Europe. Requirements for the driver are standard – over 21 years old, the presence of a driver’s license. Russian rights are valid. Car prices are moderate (from US$10 per day in low season). Sometimes they require to leave a deposit, about 100 US dollars (to pay for possible fines) The traffic rules in Malta correspond to the pan-European ones.
Plant and Animal World in Malta
Vegetation in Malta is quite sparse. There are only two small forests, several groves and parks. The time of greatest bloom for the local flora is winter and spring. In summer, the plants literally burn out under the sun.
Banks in Malta
Banking hours: from Monday to Thursday – from 8.30 to 12.00; on Friday and Saturday – from 8.30 to 11.30. Banks are closed on Sundays and weekends. ATMs are located on the island in large numbers. Major credit cards accepted: MasterCard, American Express, Visa, Diners Club.
Money in Malta
Until January 1, 2008, Malta’s currency was the Maltese lira (LM), from January 1, 2008 the country switched to the euro. There are 100 cents in one euro. There are euro banknotes in circulation in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.
Until the end of January 2008, the Maltese lira will be used in parallel with the euro. It will be possible to exchange lira for euro free of charge until the end of March 2008, after which the old banknotes can be exchanged at the branches of the country’s central bank for the next ten years.
You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, some hotels, large shops and restaurants.
Rate: 1 Euro (EUR) = 1.05 USD
Political State in in Malta
According to politicsezine, Malta is a republic, the head of state is the president. Malta was a British colony and gained independence in 1964. In 1979, at the end of the agreement on military bases, Malta, on its own initiative, adopted the status of a neutral state. Malta has been an associate member of the European Community since 1971 and will soon become a full member of the EU. The stability of Malta is due to the presence of a developed network of diplomatic ties with double taxation treaties with major European countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and existing agreements on commerce and investment protection.
Population in Malta
The population of Malta is about 365 thousand people, most concentrated in Valletta and its satellite cities, on the island of Gozo about 25 thousand and a handful of farmers on Comino. The population density is very high: more than 1000 people per 1 sq. km. km. The indigenous inhabitants of Malta – the Maltese (about 300 thousand people) – are the descendants of the ancient population of the island, possibly of Phoenician origin.
The official languages are Maltese and English. The Maltese language, probably originating from the Phoenician, is one of the dialects of the Arabic language, which is quite well understood in neighboring Tunisia, but has undergone later influences. The influence of the Italian language, especially its Sicilian dialect, is noticeable (for example, the names of the months are Italian, and the names of the days of the week are Arabic). Many Maltese speak Italian.
Cuisine in Malta
Maltese cuisine is a combination of the culinary arts of the inhabitants of the islands and representatives of many countries of both the European and African continents. Most of the most famous and visited restaurants in Malta adhere to the traditions of Italian and French cuisine, but recently they have increasingly included local dishes on the menu. She leads her traditions from the peasant and fishermen’s table. Of course, first-class hotels also serve “new cuisine” and other international delights. However, a simple meal in one of the fishermen’s villages’ unpretentious fish restaurants is more in keeping with the Maltese spirit than a candlelit dinner in an elegant hotel restaurant. Seafood is used to prepare many Maltese dishes. Traditional pie with lampuk – a fish that tastes like tuna, and one of the most exotic seafood dishes is spaghetti with octopus ink sauce. You should definitely try the Maltese puff pastries with ricotta and fried pies with dates in oil. A special pride of the Maltese cuisine is rabbit dishes. Also national dishes are Fenech (rabbit), Bragioli (beef dish) or Lampuki Pai (fish dish). And Maltese wine is a great addition to national dishes.