The Malta bus …. (cont)

….. these icons had an olive green livery with a black stripe.

In the 1930s because of the illiteracy which was staining the Maltese population, all buses had to be painted in different colours according to the route they operated,  bad luck if you were color blind.. In 1975 buses were painted green again which was the standard for 20 years.

In 1995 vehicles then carried a yellow (lower) and white (upper) livery, with  a red band just below the window line. Gozo buses were grey with a red band below the window.Their mark and uniqueness was the high level of customisation and detailing.

The majority of classic Malta buses had elaborate grilles and headlight arrangements, curved windscreens and sloping roofs, with a front engine mounted in an extended bonneted nose.Increased use chrome parts / high polishing of chrome parts, such as hubcaps and grilles

Paint detailing, both generally, and of parts such as indicators and filler caps was what we call in Maltese “Tberfil” – Lettering and design hand work. Custom passenger messages, both in the interior and exterior of the bus as well as hand written graffiti tattered the insides. 

Names relating to the village patron saint, monarchs, or other notable objects was also a common feature. 

Trimmings and hangings, inside the front window made these amazing machines – a character like no other. 

Slogans, murals, quotations and lucky images (such as the horseshoe)Some of the other features one could notice and smile at where the 2 seats near the driver facing lengthwise .. many loved this as the heat of the engine kept them warm. 

The long nylon rope to activate the bell to stop…very basic this was. 

Th rexine used to cover the old foam to somehow comfort the seat. 

The back door which was for emergency.., and the entry which had no door attached making this a safety issue. 

Fancy a ride now .



In a recent research I was doing I came across some very interesting facts about many forgotten ways of life here in Malta, amongst which were the — Steam engine — the tram — the karettun and yes, ‘tal – linja’. This amazing looking hunk of metal was in my days the method of public transport all the others I mentioned where long lost before I was ever concepted.

The steam engine ran from Rabat to Valetta, the tram ran out of Valletta to variuos cities stopping in Floriana and Cospicua. The karettun was running everywhere as a method used by farmers, like the one below used by a vegetable vendor.

The tram and steam engine.

The steam engine or ‘il Vapur tal art’ coming from the Italian word ‘ vapore’ steam ship in English…stopped the service because it was taken over by one of my favourite machines, which for many tourists during their time where what American cars where in Cuba.

The Maltese Bus.

The above had been my method of transport till the age of 19. It was not fun..but surely a cult. The bumps the heat or cold, cigarette smoke and dirty straw seats were all part of the experierince. Some had names others had mascots and a few where unacceptably disastrous using paragon instead of desil to move people around.

Food on these buses was ok. Eat drink smoke – no problem. They were fun, and everyone found some kind of charm in them, although few are the people that know what these machines were, or how they came to become such an icon … will continue next time though,

The Maltese Door

The ins and outs of …….

Every one of us has some kind of fascination, and every country fascinates. Mine are variuos, of course food is one which unfortunately I cannot put aside, it has been my life for now 27 years ( well 46 years as without food we cannot survive ).

One of the other fascinations I have is doors.

I don’t think I’m the only one though especially anyone who has visited Malta. I must say that the local portals are impresssive. The colors and styles are what really strikes you. Few are the people that know the quirks of these amazing carved pieces of wood.

The most intriguing part of these humble abodes are the size, the color, the amazing carvings as well as the simplicity of some, the stone masonry around each and the key holes, last but not least the knockers that are so much of a collectors item now. These door knockers symbolized wealth and extravaganza status, the larger heavier and shinier …………! The simpler if you had any meant lower class or none!

Unfortunately with the fast pace Malta is trotting away with, many of these doors are dissapearing – many have dissapeared – burnt to fuel many of our local bakeries some of which have lost their own door now! This happened before the authorities realized that the colorful paint once burnt became poisonous! At least many others people took the opportunity to start collecting or at least recycle them as new entries for old refurbished and converted farmhouses, or the latest trend converting townhouses and palazzos is one of them.

Boco was one of my latest projects, a challenge an amazing experience which opened and closed new doors for me in life, but if you look carefully or have the opportunity to stay there one day you will notice that for every head board in every room I recycled the doors found inside the house.

Everything that was found at the site was recycled, or used artistically in any way possible. Having the right direction and team was the most important tool. Thankyou Tony, Franz and Anson

These are some before and after ……

And the facade in one of the best Maltese streets …. in Cospiqua.

Yes the doors are the same ones. Strong as ever, back from the nineteenth century. Why Boco ? ….. if you ever ask me I will surely give you a discount or buy you a beer.

So yes doors, my wife to be Simona like myself is another door weirdo, in fact she has a red door tattooed on her arm …. and this will be the theme of our wedding!

Wedding ……? ( Alarm bells )

Food for thought – Malta


I have always wanted to write a few words about how food is part of the culture of any country, city or village.

Culture – the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. The characteristic features of everyday existence shared by people in a place or time is timeless.

Culture is more dynamic!. Chefs use the term “fusion kitchen” they are creating the fusion by using ingredients and ways to cook. In Malta the term fusion is part of our culture. The traditional here is a cultural fusion of tastes colours and ingredients.

What is cultural today will be traditional tomorrow.

One asks me many a time what is the traditional dish here in Malta. I answer them that the best question asked in what is the cultural dish of the country? We are far from the normal country, we are not just an island. We are an island. A big city a country; a melting pot of all nations from all the corners of the world, and the best is yet to come. Food is one of the main reasons I travel – every city country I visit I look for tours or food classes; I sample the best of street food and I sample every morsel with defined reason. I believe Malta food tours should be more available for everyone to sample. |Food for thought is a way to the heart of that country.

My mission will be just this and I will succeed.

Malta’s best is yet to come, I strongly believe this as we are now entering a phase where settlement sets. This means that the distinguished start setting new trends. The traditional merges into new forms – creating experiences. Experiences  in the smallest European island; this experiences will make you think – Food for thought!

Malta island tours …. Christmas in the air

It’s been a while since I wrote a couple of lines; in fact it has been a few days since I wrote about my Malta island tours. Since then I went off on a couple of much needed breaks. Now I’m back just in time for the festive season, one which helps me recall all the good times I had through Karlito’s Way. I remember having a Malta island tours – hosting this lovely family of 5 from New Orleans. We spent a day together and we visited the main attractions of Malta, mainly Hagar Qim Temples, Mdina and Mellieha. Whilst at the temples, Mark 12, decided that he wanted to become an archaeologist. It is something that to date never happened on any of my tours where a kid was so impressed by one of our treasures, maybe he remembered Indiana Jones in one of his movies, whatever it was, it really was a great pleasure for me to hear those words and then he added ” I love my Malta island tour “.
Mariko from Japan booked a Malta island tours and chose to visit some of the typical villages of Malta: Zejtun, Marsaxlokk, Mosta, Rabat and Mgarr. In Rabat, we stopped to eat the traditional Maltese snacks called Pastizzi. Mariko went crazy over them, to such an extent that she wanted to book another day with the Pastizzi maker to watch him go through the whole procedure.
With Andrew hailing from Adelaide Australia, we visited Gozo as part of our Malta island tours too, the main attraction for him was Dwejra, Fungus rock and the Azure window. Once we got there he was mesmerized by the beauty the place holds. He decided that we had to cancel any other plans for the afternoon because he was wanted to walk around and sit on the rocks looking out at sea.
I know these few stories might seem like little things to many, however, to me, especially as the year is coming to an end, they make me realise that occasionally we do take things for granted and forget the beauty that we are surrounded by; having said that, I don’t refer to just the nature here but to the love that is around us coming from the people we meet.
Sending you much health, happiness and love from the little island, Happy Holidays….K

boat tour Malta

Boat tour Malta

Summer favourite tour for all the sea lovers to have an amazing day at sea on a Maltese traditional boat. Our boat tour Malta started with a pick up of my guests from their hotel it was an early one – 9:00 am.
We had 2 couples on this day from Australia – whose interest was swimming with the tuna – Malta is one of just two places in the world where you can swim with tuna
We headed off to St Pauls Bay where we had our Captain waiting for us on the jetty. Spiro was a dark skinned fisherman who had seen a lot of sun and sea – his face was creased from all the elements he had experienced during his life battling the hard seas of the Mediterranean. Every line on his face was a story he could easily have written a book!
So the day started and our boat tour Malta we headed for the St Pauls Islands where we stopped at the fish farms that hold so many tuna fish.
Who ever wanted had a chance to jump in and swim with these gentle giants!
At first everyone was a bit concerned but once me too – but then courage hit and it was like paradise – below us we could see hundreds of tuna gliding graciously in circles wow what a sight!
We started feeding the Tuna with frozen Macharel. This was a frenzy! We could not get enough out of this experience! Kilos of fish were being eaten by these super stealth fish; each one was over 500 kilos and at no point did we feel threatened!
The boat tour Malta was already complete but we headed off soon after all the fish was eaten; we headed for our next stop Comino Blue lagoon; Spiro though on the way took us to some of his favourite spots including one underwater cave that was a shot location for the famous movie “ The count of Montecristo “.
We eventually had lunch served once we got to the blue lagoon which was a selection of cold dishes I had prepared the day before – we had “bzar biz zalza”, hobz biz zejt and “balbuljata”. This was just what the doctor had ordered – and to wash it down with a bottle of red Malta wine – Superb!!
After a swim in the crystal waters we continued our Boat tour Malta with a trip to close by to the lovely cove of ‘Dahlet il Qorot ‘ in Gozo. This is one of my favourite bays in Malta and is also included in one of the Gozo tours. On our way back Spiro decided to fish by trawling method this was a method used for many centuries were a fish or feature camouflages a hook that is then used to catch the attacking fish. In within 5 minutes Spiro had a bite and managed to catch a ‘sawrella’ – lovely yellow golden fish used for grilling!
Was this his lucky moment?

Malta Gozo private tour

malta private tour gozoWhat a day it was – Starting our Malta Gozo private tour in the west side of Malta we headed to the most Northern tip of the island; where we could see Gozo clearly in front of us. From one side to the other we got a good eyes view of the island.

It became an even more amazing experience later as we were accompanied by dolphins towards the middle of our 25 minute journey by ferry. They were dancing in the surf and jumping from one wave to the other.
Our Malta Gozo private tour began with a very short visit to a local farmer from whom we bought fresh produce to cook what will be our lunch! Wenzu the farmer had all sorts of vegetables – carrots turnips and artichokes these fresh moments is what makes our Malta Gozo private tour special and unique. Cooking fresh produce is the most important of ways to have a wholesome meal; adding local bread and some heavy red wine just gives the extra ‘icing on the cake’.

We then headed off to one of the local beaches – where no one was around and the silence was surreal – we set up our kitchenette and started our food demo cum lunch with cooking one of the local delicacies – ‘stuffat tal majjal’ – stew of pork with red wine.
Will not say much more … the sound of the waves – the smell of the food cooking, the wine all added that special touch to already a special day and island.

We had managed to sit down for our Malta Gozo private tour lunch at the sea side just in time before the rain took over and our tour of Gozo was then a drive by of some really picturesque corners – the photos we took were now dramatized with the colour of the clouds at the background – our private tour then had a turn for the better again as the sun was back on our side.

With our bellies happily fed with we made our way to Dwejra and the Azure window with a stop off at the best view point in Malta and Gozo; Which for this moment I will keep as my best Malta Gozo private tour kept secret, here we had one of our famous K tour cocktails mixed with local wild growing ingredients like fennel and thyme.

‘Now that was the cherry on the icing’!

Custom Trip to Mellieha

Mosta Dome on our Custom Trip to Mellieha

Well starting at 8:00 am we met in the sanctity of the Mosta Dome to marvel at the World’s Third largest Unsupported Circular Dome to begin our trip to Mellieha.

After that, we got into my tailored Jeep and headed down a trek to a secluded area of the Mgarr region to witness the majestic site of Pink Flamingos migrating over Malta on their way to warmer climates, a site that would remain in the Miller Family’s memories for many years to come I’m sure.

Mr Miller was definitely ecstatic with the wonderful shot he managed to capture below:

A Flamingo in Flight on our Custom Trip to Mellieha


Lunch time on our Custom Trip to MelliehaAs the unrelenting Maltese sun started peaking at around 11.30am we headed to the shaded comfort of an Old Olive tree, that has withstood the plethora of dangers to it, to stand mightily among the beautiful Maltese countryside as a testament to the influence of the Roman Empire many centuries ago. There we had a mouthwatering table set up with traditional Maltese delicacies, as well as a couple of interesting fusion items that I created specifically for my guests.

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