on March 1, 2011
Marsaxlokk is a small town on the shores of a wide bay down in the south-east of Malta. It is one the tourist map for being the archetypal Maltese fishing village. Its harbour is full of traditional luzzu fishing boats, painted gaily in blues and yellows and with their high prows embalzoned with an Egyptian-style eye. This is the Eye of Osiris and is meant to ward off trouble – another fascinating cross-cultural relic of Malta’s position at the cross-roads of the Mediterranean. The fishermen still go our to haul in their daily catch, a lot of which ends up at the many seafood restaurants lining the seafront or gets sold at the fish market. Despite its tourist potential Marsaxlokk still houses some 70% of the Maltese fishing fleet. As such it is used to tourists but isn’t entirely geared towards them – it has a life of its own independent of the coach trips.In fact, other than the luzzus bobbing at anchor or hauled out for a repainting on the quayside, there wasn’t a vast amount to see here; certainly not in November when we visited. The main attraction of course was meant to be fresh fish, but when we arrived at 3.30 all the restaurants had shut up shop, not to reopen for another three hours at least (one of the most annoying things I found about Malta was that they expected visitors to eat at set times only). With there not being much to detain us for three hours – one hour was in fact pushing it – we caught the bus back to Valletta.The bus ride is only 40 minutes from Valletta and costs a mere 47 cents each so I didn’t feel that we had had a complete wild goose chase out here. The photos alone were worth the expense I feel. However I would advise visitors to time their arrival for noon or evening and not any time in between!
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