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,