In December 2022, we received an invitation from colleagues – members of the IPA Krakow Region - to participate in a trip to Malta, organized in October 2023 together with the Association of Police Pensioners in Krakow through the Polish Tourist and Sightseeing Society - Foreign Tourism Office in Krakow (BTZ PTTK).

On October 2nd, 2023, our group of 7 persons checked in at the Balice airport and after meeting the other participants of the trip - IPA members from Krakow, Nowy Targ and police retirees - we flew to Malta.

The Republic of Malta includes three inhabited islands - Malta, Gozo (Ghawdex) and Comino (Kemmuno), located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily and Tunisia. Malta was settled already in the Neolithic, and the oldest traces of human presence date back to the 4th millennium BC. Due to its geographical location, it was invaded and taken over by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. Later, the government was ruled by the Hospitallers, the French, and finally the British. Eventually, in 1974, Malta gained independence and in 2004 it became a member of the European Union.

Malta offers a lot - visiting historical places, attractive outdoor places and places of recreation. During our six-day stay, we tried to visit as much as possible and at the same time relax - and I dare say we succeeded.

Our base was the Bella Vista hotel in St. Paul, from where, together with the group supervisor from BTZ PTTK - Sławek, under the leadership of our resident pilots - Tadeusz and Robert, we set off on daily escapades. They provided us with a lot of information about Malta, its history, places visited, as well as many interesting facts and useful information.

We visited Birgu and the capital of Malta, La Valletta, with the Palace of the Grand Masters, Barraka Gardens, the ruins of the Royal Opera House, the monument to Jean de LaVallette (the founder of Malta) and the St. John co-cathedral, that rich interior hides, among others, Caravaggio's paintings - with "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist” at the head.

In a craft village, on a former British military airfield, we watched the processes of melting objects from coloured glass, as well as making silver jewellery. We were in Rabat and Mdina, in the Catacombs of St. Paul, and then we sailed on motor boats, viewing the Blue Grotto and the surrounding cliffs.

One day was devoted to visiting the island of Gozo. We took a cruise ferry and visited the main attractions of Gozo, including the Salt Pans, the remains of the Azure Window. We sunbathed in Ramla Bay. We returned to Malta by fast motorboats, stopping at more attractive places on the coast.

The other day, we sailed on a cruise catamaran to the island of Comino, where we spent the whole day sunbathing and swimming in the Blue Lagoon. You could also jump into the water from the deck of the boat, which anchored twice on the high seas, and watch underwater life from the catamaran’s lower glass deck.

The last day of our escapades was a stay in the village of Marsaxlokk with a picturesque fishing port and a large market. Then we sailed in gondolas around Valletta's harbour and admired its historic defensive walls and fortifications from the sea. Then we went to Mellieha, where we saw Popeye Village, a picturesque village built as a film set for the movie about the famous pirate Popeye, whose progenitor - according to our pilot - was a Pole - Frank „Rocky” Fiegel. We spent some time on the beach and visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha and the Grotto of the Madonna with an underground chapel.

We tried to meet with the IPA-fellows from Malta. An official meeting was not possible, but spontaneous meetings with Maltese police officers took place several times.


Text: Romuald Szczęsnowicz, Zbigniew Baran

Photos taken by the trip participants

Translated by Krzysztof Kapturski




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