So six weeks in Malta is gone now and we have been back in Finland two weeks now. It’s nice to bee back home but I have been really busy lately. I have started my summer work and prepared my graduation party and I have to confess that I forged to write this final report and that’s why it toke so long.
If I think our Malta experience now after two weeks I think I learned lot even at first I thought that I won’t learn much working in travel agency. I also scared that my language skills wont’t get any better because our work mates spoke mostly Maltese, but I was wrong whit that too. Our work place Britannia Tours was really nice and I could work for them anytime if I got a chance. Also Maltese culture is lovely and people there are so friendly and I think I will find my self from there many times during my life. Even Paragon Europe the society which toke care of our accommodation and everything else was really careless and they didn’t do much when we told them something was wrong In the end I think our experience was good and I will miss that place except our apartment. 😀
So now we have told you everything about our trip and I hope you liked our stories!
Today is (finally) our last day in Malta. Our flight leaves at 17:20 from Malta to Frankfurt and we’ll be in Finland after midnight. I’m missing my pets, friends and family so much. After all, six weeks have gone by very quickly. We’ve had a lot of fun!
This week we visited Manoel Island in Gzira. It’s located right next to Sliema. Manoel Island’s population is zero if you don’t count in the ducks, hens, geese, guinea pigs, rabbits and cats living in the Duck Village. Duck Village is maintained by one man who has built it from trash and things he has found in the streets. Funny to see cats and birds getting along so fine!
On Manoel Island there is Fort Manoel but it’s not open to public. It’s an old war fort and it was built in the 18th century. It has been restored after WWII. I was a bit disappointed that we couldn’t go around the fortress but we walked around the island itself. Needless to say, it was stunning! Nuff says, the fort is haunted by the Black Knight but we didn’t catch a glimpse of him.
Tuesday was our last work day at the head office in Qormi. We made wallets for the customers and organized them by the meeting dates.
Before every tour the customers have a meeting in the head office where the tour leader tells them about the trip and gives them the plane tickets. It’s usually kept one or two weeks before the departure.
After we had done all our work, we bought 11 doughnuts for our co-workers, gave them Karl Fazer’s chocolate and fed them salmiakki. Surprisingly, no one even grinned when tasting it! It was kind of sad to leave all our workmates there, but I’m sure we’ll be in touch in the future.
On Wednesday & Thursday we went to the Mosta Branch. We invoiced customers and made bookings with the Group Travel System. It was a lot of fun to work with Natasha, Maddie and Andrew! After work we had a closing meeting with Paragon.
Our last three days we’ve spent well in the beach. I’m going to miss the sea so much! I love swimming in it and watching the waves hit the coast when it’s windy.
This has been as great adventure for the both of us. We’ve learned a lot about Maltese culture and working as a part of a big family business. I recommend this for anyone who has ever thought about working abroad. You should follow your dreams and go already!
So today our last week started and I am pretty exited to come back home but same time it’s kind of sad because I am gonna miss this place and people here. But lets get to the point. Since last post at work we have been filling in the customer wallets and counting all ready past tours feedback forms. Last week at Wednesday we also got to know the Valletta’s branch and we were taught how to make the reservations and stuff like that. It was really nice because the people there were extra friendly and the customer were so laid-back. We were there also today but we didn’t work whit customers this time. So we have learned again something new.
At Tuesday after work we went to Lascaris War Rooms and Saluting Battery. It is a war museum and it consist of an underground complex of tunnels and chambers that housed the War Headquarters from where the defense of Malta was conducted during the Second World War. This secret complex contained operations rooms for each of the fighting services from where not only the air defense of Malta was coordinated, but also some of the greatest battlesfought in the Mediterranean during the war. It was really interesting because we don’t know much about Malta’s history. We also witnessed a cannon shot in Saluting Battery it was pretty impressive.
Really old phone which was used to communicate in world war 2
Room were Malta’s air forces were leaded
At weekend we toke really easy. At Saturday we went to the beach in Sliema but we weren’t there so long because we were to near at coast and one bigger wave wet our towels. 😀 After that accident we just hanged around in Sliema. In the evening we went to see our boss’ band gig. It was awesome and you can check their Facebook profile at this link Decline The Fall !
But I think there was everything worth of telling from our last week
Four weeks have gone by so fast! After today, we have only 13 days left in Malta. A week ago on Sunday we went to Mdina to see ”The Medieval Mdina Festival”. There were all kinds of stuff from the Middle Ages and we even got to see old-school torture equipment. Some people were dressed to fit the festival and we witnessed duels, archery battles and so much more.
On Monday was a public holiday (May Day) so we didn’t have work. Instead we decided to travel to Blue Lagoon in Comino. We took a ferry from Ic-Cirkewwa to Blue Lagoon and after 10 minutes we arrived to our destination. It was mesmerizing to see such landscapes I’ve only seen in photos and advertisements. The water was so clean and turquoise! We stayed the whole day there exploring the island and adoring the views.
Yesterday we explored Marsaskala, which is a sea-side village in the South Eastern Region of Malta with a population of 12 00 people. Even though it’s right by the sea, it was so hot I felt like I was melting. We saw some pretty rad street art and a few abandoned houses. We also discovered a beautiful and peaceful beach there.
When we walked along the Promenade, we saw salt pans on the shore. Salt pans have been used at least for 350 years in Malta. Basically, the sea water fills the crevices in the coast line. It is left settled for eight days and then it is moved to smaller salt pans, further from the sea and in a warmer temperature. The salt starts to dry and form salt crystals. After it has dried enough, it is collected, processed, packed by hand and distributed to markets, food shops and souvenir stores.
Kind of amazing, huh?
At work we have been filling in envelopes that will be given to the customers at the start of their tours. The envelopes include a feedback poll, airport policies, luggage tag and such things. It sounds easy but it’s very precise, we have to write every customers name separately on the envelope and on the feedback poll we write the tour names and dates.
Today our co-worker Isabelle brought us pieces of chocolate cake in the middle of the day! It was a cheerful surprise. On Wednesday we will go see Valletta’s branch of Britannia Tours and meet other people that work for Britannia Tours.
Have a nice day! Or as the Maltese say, Il-gurnata t-tajba!
It’s Susanna writing again. Since Remus last post much hasn’t happened. We have start get used to our work place and working is easier everyday. Also we have been get to now our workmates little bit better and they had bring us some traditional Maltese pastry and they have been interested in Finland and our language. We have been doing now same kind of office work which Remu told you in last post.
Enough from work. Last weekend we explored this kind of weird culture and country more and last Friday after work we found our way to Mdina. Mdina is Malta’s old capital city and it’s history has traces back more than 4000 years. It still has it’s walls and moat and when you walk from the city gate it’s like you have been time traveled straight to the Middle Ages. Its not allowed to drive a car there which make it really calm place. The quietness, churches, chapels and architecture which has been remain unbelievable well guarantees amazing experience.
We spent Saturday in Blue Grotto and it’s marvelous sea caves which are popular tourist attractions. Why? you should just take a boat and see it yourself. It locates at the coast at the southern part of Malta and the bare, rocky island and sea shows there whole new side of them. The Blue Grotto Malta started to get its name in the early 1950’s, when the British army personnel located in Malta at the time, used to ask the local fisherman to take them for a boat trip to the Blue Grotto sea caves.
At Sunday we decided to relax and go to the beach. We did some research and after hard choice we went to Golden Bay which is one of the Malta’s best beach. It was a bit disappointment because that day was pretty windy and in the shore there was lot of dead reed but because the wind we didn’t even want to go swim. But it was still nice to see a new part of this island.
So I think there was all for this time so good night and sleep thigh!
This week’s gone by fast. We started at our workplace on Tuesday and our days have been full of learning everything new.
Last Sunday we traveled to Mosta, which is a city about 9 km to west from Msida. We wanted to see how Maltese people celebrate the Easter Sunday and we weren’t disappointed! Our destination was Mosta Church in the city center. The celebration started at 18.30 and before that there was a normal Easter service in the church. The church itself was amazing. It was kind of weird listening to the service because it was all in Maltese and I haven’t figured many words out of that language (just yet).
After the service people started gathering outside the church. Of course we just imitated everything all the local people did, so we followed the mass.
Outside the entrance there was a marching band preparing for their performance. They played two songs and afterwards children started to come out of the church dressed as the characters from the Bible.
After the children there were men dressed up as Pontius Pilate’s soldiers. It was so cool. They all looked so majestetic with the gear they were wearing.
After the soldiers had walked through the ”aisle” with the band playing, there were only left the men who carried crucified Jesus.
After all the people had gone through the aisle, they kept on walking through the crowd and the streets of Mosta for the next (at least) thirty minutes. It was pretty cool to testify all this celebration and the happiness of Maltese people. While some of the citizens followed the marching band, Susanna and I went underground! There was an entrance to old bomb shelters and halls from World War II that led us obviously under the ground. When we walked along the chilly and surprisingly spacious corridors, we could read through Malta’s history from the times of WWII. There were old pictures and info tags on the walls. It was exciting and I learned a lot more about this country’s history.
Now back to reality. On Tuesday it was our first day at work. We were pretty excited in the morning before we left our apartment. We had a few problems with the buses but luckily we had a lot of spare time (learned from past experiences: always have spare time).
When we finally got to Britannia Tours Ltd’s office in Valletta, we introduced ourselves to everybody present and our boss Kris assigned us to our computers. The first job we had was filling in Hotel Fact Sheets in Excel. After filling them in, we sent them to the hotels to make sure all the facts were right. When I was sending the first email, I had a great trouble: I couldn’t find the ”@”-sign anywhere. Indeed, I searched for it like five whole minutes. Take a look at the keyboard I use below.
I have been learning to write with that thing ever since Tuesday morning. It’s pretty weird but I will hopefully get used to it soon. I keep also forgetting that there are no Ääkköset here.
Today we filled in Tourist Route Sheets. Oh, what does that mean? It means you look at the Britannia Tours Brochure 2017, pick a tour and write it all in Excel. Not actually all of it, just the distances between place A and B, B and C etc. Also you have to look up on the Internet all the extra fees during the tour and write them down as well. It sounds very simple but it’s actually very precise and time-taking.
Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed my first three days at work. All the co-workers are very friendly and even the managing director jokes with us!
I guess that’s all for now. Thank you very much for following this exciting journey!
Today we visited Valletta. Using the public transportation has turned out to be pretty easy. On every bus stop there are timetables so it’s easy to make sure you’re in the right place. Pretty much every bus from Kullegg (our ”own” bus stop) goes to Valletta. Kullegg is one of the main stops in every route.
Visiting Valletta was great. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful and very decorative. I made a quick video to combine the best pictures of Valletta that we took.
That’s all for today. Wish you all a nice Saturday!
Its Susanna writing here. So we arrived to Malta at Monday and our journey to here went surprisingly well and we both got our luggage. I have visited Malt once before so the shock at first when we arrived to our accommodation was still pretty big. The loft wasn’t quit what we expected and at first we felt like now one here wanted to do nothing about it, but now things has started to clear up.
We all so got an email at Tuesday from our mentor from our workplace that unlike we thought we will stars working at next week not this week. So we have tried to use this free week as effective as we can.
First two days we just walked around and checked out where are the nearest shops, bus stops and learned how to use local public transporting. We all so went to Sliema were I was two years ago as language trip whit EF and saw some more this beautiful island.
Third day we decided to go to Gozo which is one of the three populated island of Malta (Malta is the main island of these). At Gozo we went to San Blas beach which was really beautiful place. After that we have get to now our neighborhood better and because now is an Easter week and today is good Friday and Malta is Catholic country there is only couple shops and places open.
So I think there was almost everything for this week so we keep spending our free days and see you next week!
Hello everyone! It’s Remu writing here from sunny Malta. It’s 18°C.
Our flight from Helsinki – Vantaa airport left at 6am. We had to change the plane in München to get to Malta. München’s airport was really great, large windows brought the warm sun inside. We were really tired when we got to München, so we mostly just lied on the chairs and browsed Facebook with the free Wi-Fi. Finally our flight took off and two hours later we arrived to our destination: Malta.
At the airport we waited for our luggage to arrive for a half an hour. Then we walked into the lobby to search for our very own taxi driver. He turned out to be a real gem: he showed us the nearest grocery stores on our way here and helped us unlock the front door to our accommodation. The locks around here are very fragile, so you have to be careful when opening them. Also on our way here I was amazed by the traffic: everyone drives on the left and the driver sits on the ”wrong” side of the car, compared to Finland of course. That’s just something we have to get used to!
Soon after getting settling down in our apartment we met our flatmates, they’re very nice. After that we hurried to buy some groceries because we hadn’t eaten in a very long time (if you don’t count the strange things they tried to feed us on the airplane).
Now we’re just chilling together in our flat. The clock here is one hour less than in Finland. Not so bad to get used to 🙂
We are two students, Remu (19) and Kirppu (18), from Jämsä college. We are currently studying our third year of tourism. On Monday the 10th of April we’re travelling to Malta for our international training placement. The placement will last six weeks. Our work place is a travel agency in Valletta called Britannia Tours. Here’s a link to their website: Britannia Tours Malta.
We’re very excited about this great opportunity to work abroad and improve our expertise on tourism industry. We will be writing on this blog once a week about what we have learned and experienced on our adventure!