VIEWpoint pp MAGAZINE ON TOURISM, 2011 FALL
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ON THE MAP
Malta the Treasure Island
Misleading Name, Misleading Professionalism
Adrienne Nagyné Strumpf
Photo Gallery Section
The Fall for me….
The Prickly Pears. Jams and liqueurs are made out of its fruit.
Malta the Treasure Island “I hope that you all already know and I am not the first one who is telling you that, but if you were expecting sandy beaches shadowed by palm trees you came to the wrong place”, told us our travel instructor after our small, 180 seat, flight arrived to Malta, to the airport of the city of Luqa and with that our journey in the treasure island has begun. Malta’s small, 316 m2 territory is located
in the Mediterranean Sea, from south of
Luckily for the tourists almost everyone in
Sicily and east of Tunisia, and can be reached
Malta speaks English, which is their
from Budapest with a direct flight in two
inheritance from the colonial ages when
hours. It is a sovereign state with its own
Malta was the territory of the British
language, which interestingly has arabesque
Empire; what’s more, they constantly mix
roots, although they use Latin letters. Most of
their native language with English which
the names of the towns, for the first sight,
conversations among natives. 4
Water pipe near Paradise Bay. These aboveground pipes, carrying desalted water, enmesh the whole island.
temple Ę›gantija we can call upon the faith
of the first maltase, in the Hypogeum, the
quiescent version of Malta, and Comino
prehistoric underground temple, we can
which has only four permanent residents
climb down to the core of the earth and in
the capital city, Valetta we can see
visitors, but a large part of it is bird
monuments from the renaissance and
sanctuary and nature reserve.
Malta has always served as a gate to
When you look out of the small window
Europe and that had a great impact on its
of the airplane, Malta seems as a bleak and
history as it was occupied by Phoenicians,
dry place where nothing can set root. The
Romans, the Sovereign Military Order of
fields covered with red soil and rocks are
Malta and the British. The diverse nations
divided into small yards and separated with
crossing the island left many monuments
either a rock wall, that has no solder at all,
behind. Walking among the sometimes
so the water can go through, or a wall of
fifty ton rock giants in the megalithic
Prickly pears which is a type of cactus that 5
has big thick leafs and its fruit is eatable
hotels are constantly growing, most of the
and displayed on fruit stands all over
area is left unbuilt and hides the most
Malta, for the misadventure of those keen
beautiful bays of the island, for example
tourists, including me, who feel invincible
the most northern Paradise Bay or the
desire to touch them and have all their
Mellieha Bay that has the longest sandy
fingers covered with tiny stiff prickles for
beach on the island.
Traveling down south, we arrive to St.
Truly, the island’s outmost problem is
Paul’s bay, the center of North-west
the drinking-water shortage; most of
Malta’s tourism. Qawra, Buggiba, St. Paul
winter’s moisture ends up in the sea
and Xemxija built into one large holiday
quickly without filtering into the soil and
resort. Here we can find countless hotels,
the summers are long, hot, and dry. About
apartments, restaurants one after another.
half of the drinking-water comes from
Interestingly, there are not much
unsalted sea water, while the other half is
authentic dishes offered by the restaurants,
retrieved from the ground or from water
but name a nation, and they have it!
collectors placed in the roofs of the houses.
French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai,
The size of Malta equals to a bigger
even Mexican, the market is outstanding
county in Hungary. The distance between
when it comes to foreign cuisine. Only
the northern Cirkewwa and the southern
one thing cannot be found in this part of
Marsaxlokk is only 43 km, but this tiny
the island: open beaches. If you are not
piece of land hides diverse values.
satisfied with swimming in your hotel’s
The north-western part of the island is
pool or with the few giant rock, which are
ideal for the lazy type of tourists, like
there for you to jump into the water, you
myself, who like to lay in the sun in a
have to get on a bus and travel to the
sandy beach for hours or do water sports
like jet skiing or wake boarding. This part of Malta was almost unsettled until the end of 17th century, only a few villages were built, but these were constantly exposed to pilot attacks from the sea. There are not many historical sites can be seen here, a few small fortress left from the British that were built to protect the area against the attacks. Although the number of new 6
Fishing boat near Paradise Bay
The city of Valetta
The middle part of Malta offers less
which gives a unique Mediterranean image
nature, but more culture. The knights of
to the buildings that never have colored
Malta arrived to the island in 1530. At that
walls. Only the closed wood balconies are
time the Sciberras peninsula on which
painted to various types of colors and add
Valetta is located was almost absolutely
some cheerfulness to the city view.
unsettled. Across the bay, in the place of
The capital city has many sites to
the towns that today called Senglea and
offer. Inside the city wall we can walk
Vittoriosa, fisherman lived among the
among the old, historical streets of Valetta,
ruins left by Phoenicians and Arabesques.
we can visit the grand master’s palace, or
The center of Malta at that time was
the Baracca gardens and we must see the
Mdina, which is located in the middle of
city’s most gorgeous building the St.
the island. However, the order soon
John’s Co-cathedral, dedicated to John the
realized the strategically importance of
Grand Harbor and between 1530 and 1565
What from outside is look like an
they founded Birgu, (today’s Vittoriosa)
average church with the usual limestone
walls turns into a lavish cathedral inside.
Conspicula). The collective name for these
The used to be simple but considerable
settlements in our time is Three Cities. In
building was built in the 16th century. The
1565, after the great siege, one of the grand
inside was remade in lipping baroque style
masters of the order, Jean Parisot de la
in the 17th century. The breath-taking
Valette decided to relocate the capital city.
Today Valetta is a busy capital that
embossments with golden color, and the
overgrows the one-time city walls. As I
ceiling gives room to the murals that
walk through the city I see rows of
present 18 scenes from the life of John the
windows carved out of the stone, stone
Baptist. Each aisle is dedicated to a grand
bridges and buildings. It seems for me that
master, with sculptures crests, symbols and
the city is a masterpiece of some stone-
scenes from their life. From the nave a
mason giant because it is hard to imagine
richly decorated wooden door leads us into
how humans had the strength to create all
significant painting of Malta is displayed.
The basic building material of the
The Beheading of John the Baptist was
island is still the locally produced lime-
painted by the Italian baroque painter,
stone. The colure of this stone is ranging
Michelangelo da Caravaggio. In this room
from golden-yellow to middle brown,
a safety guard makes sure that no one
Closed balcony in the city of Valetta. In the capital city old and new are collated together.
makes a picture of the invaluable artifact. The floor of the cathedral is also unique.
knights, members of the Order, buried under marble plates covering the floor. Each grave stone has a Latin script, presenting the heroic achievements of the knight buried underneath, and there are also symbols: blazons, skulls and skeletons carved into the stones.
The nave of the StJohnâ€™s Co-Cathedral. The mastersâ€™ of the order.
main altar and the artifacts displayed artifacts on it are gifts from the grand
Small windows of flats that are carved into the rock wall.
The Grand Harbor.
Across the street from the cathedral
The southern part of the island is not as
in a restaurant called Luchiano, where I
popular among tourist as the other parts of
had the best dish ever, a perfect medium
Malta. The reason for that is the substantial
rare steak with octopus stew, I met a young
industrial growth of the area, for example,
Hungarian waitress who told me that the
the implementation of Maltaâ€™s second
crowded streets of Valetta become deserted
power-plant, however, this is the part
after seven oâ€™clock because the capital city
where we can find the small villages where
has no nightlife at all. The party centers of
fishery is still the main income resource
the area are St.Julian's, Sliema and
and the small fishing ships carrying the
Paceville, crowded resorts about ten
trade mark of Malta, the Eye of Horus that
minutes from Valetta, popular among
tourists and the young and less reserved
residents of the island.
Large cliff with a window that can bee seen on the way to Gozo. such formations
The small bays of the islands,Comino and Gozo are full of with
Xlendi Bay, the most popular beach of Gozo reminds us to the historical past.
The main island of Malta that used to
residents are all know each other. Their
reject all effects of globalization, for
keys are left outside of the doors for the
example, the big colored commercial
visitors who are free to go in without
knocking. There is another meaning to the
cosmopolite. If we want to go back in time
key in the door. The residents of Gozo
we have to visit Gozo, the little brother of
were fisherman working in large ships on
Malta, which preserved its innocence from
the sea. The captains of the ship always
made sure that after arriving to the harbor
Travelling through the narrow but bright
the crew stayed on the ship till the
and clean streets of the villages and towns
morning, so the wives of the fisherman
we can picture how Malta possibly looked
could finish their business at home. The
like at the colonial times. The time is
key in the door also meant â€˜you can come
stopped in that little island where the
in; nobody else is here with meâ€™.
Limestone window of Ę›gantija, the Neolithic, megalithic temple complex of Gozo.
II- Qawra, the inland sea, surrounded with the typical maltase holiday homes. These small garage like two storey buildings have a bedroom upstairs and a large door downstairs that makes it easy to carry the sun beads in and out. The house itself is only used as a shelter.
The Blue Lagoon. The most beautiful beach of the island of Comino is popular among both tourists and locals.
Misleading Name, Misleading Professionalism. What are the images immediately popping into our mind when we see the word spa? For me it is a very quiet place where one can rest in the hands of professionals. Although, I know that this word in Hungary is often associated with the hotel’s wellness section, where one can enjoy resting in the Jacuzzi, sauna, or wellness pool, I definitely expected something else when I visited Thermal Spa Siklós. The wellness center is located near to the
But do not think that the struggle is over
center of Siklós, although it is relatively
with leaving the locker room. After jumping
difficult to find it, because of the huge
through the dirty feet washing water you
building site that stands between the hotel and
arrive to the pool area. Here you can find four
the main road.
adult and three child pools surrounded with
I can’t deny that the building itself and the
sun beds. The first thing caught my eye in
gate system are very up to date. After buying
that area was not the decorative interior or the
your ticket, (the cost of an all-day adult ticket
two giant slides, but the food that was all over
in weekdays is 2.500 HUF, and there is a
the place. Half loaf of bread displayed on a
discount for the residents of Siklós and for
sun bed, sandwiches and a thermos are
handicaps) you receive a card that you have
sticking out of a beach bag. How can the
to slide at the gate and later on at machine at
management let people eat in the pool area?
the lockers, to view your locker number. It is
How much of that food ends up somehow in
also used as a key for the lockers. This
system is a great newness after the general
After checking out the restaurant I realized
practice of such places, where you usually get
that the reason for that is that the wellness
a key that is fixed on a rubber band around
section has only one restaurant and a very
little juice bar. In these areas people are not
Unfortunately, both men and women are
allowed to eat their own food, but that would
jammed together into one locker room, so if
be uncomfortable anyway, because even
you want to change your clothes you have to
paying guests can hardly find open spots in
get in line for one of the three changing
the tiny little room, where there are only eight
rooms, provided to ten – twenty people
tables and since the waiting line is long and
staying at the locker room at the same time.
the prices are high people prefer to bring their
Also, there are no benches to sit down in this
area to, for example put on your shoes, or just
The pool area itself is very demanding, the
simply put down your bag.
four adult pools offer fascinating services, such as, water massage beds, foot massages, waist massages, massage cabins, water springs,
neck showers, a twisted passage and the
Even the sauna area with its six very small
previously mentioned huge slides, at least
indoor saunas (2 steam cabin, 2 infra, 2
according to the website of the place. As a
Finnish) is extremely loud.
matter of fact, the small harnesses inside of
The only quiet place within the complex is
the pools provide only one kind of steam, I
the outdoor Russian sauna, which resembles
suppose, both for waist and neck and there is
to the Finnish sauna very much, the only
a water massage bad and a twisted passage,
difference is that the Russian sauna is much
but all the other services listed on the
bigger and you have to go out to the cold in a
webpage are invisible, at least for me, but it is
bathing suit to get there.
possible that I missed them because of the huge crowd.
sauna I asked around what other people think
The whole pool area resembles to a sardine
about the place because I thought that I might
can. It is difficult to move without bumping
become too picky. A very nice lady told me
into the wet bodies of complete strangers. I
that they have been visiting the place
understand that serving people and making
regularly since it opened up in august 2010.
huge money is priory in this institution, but if
She said that the particular day I went there
night clubs have to control the number of
was a relatively slow day, because there is
people that can stay within the building why
usually a much bigger crowd. She also told
cannot wellness centrums have the same
me that it is more of the children’s place than
rules. I believe that a crowded pool is just as
the adults’ and maybe because of that she can
dangerous as a crowded nightclub and after
see a large quality decay. The upstairs’ salt
checking in large number of people the
cave has no salt anymore; the equipment of
management should put out the “full up!”
the playing area is scrimpy. The best spot
according to her was the outside swimming
The other thing just as annoying as the
pool but it is closed for the winter.
crowd is the constant screaming of children. I
Do not get me wrong. I am not against
understand that the place is a children
children or family friendly places. I just think
friendly environment with 3 child pools, but
that it should be emphasized more in the
while cannot these pools be separate area?
advertisements and the website of the place
Where can adults enjoy relaxing when the
that it is more likely a place for a family
sitting pool, or Turkish bath that is offered for
getaway than for a quiet day for resting as a
those wanting to rest are full of the crowd and
Spa title would suggest.
with smooching couples?
Resting in the calmness of the Russian
Tourism Through My Eyes – In my interview with Adrienne Nagyné Stumpf, the founder and manager of Pyramid Travel Agency, Komló, she speaks about her carrier, the trends in tourism then and now, the changes in the quality of offers, the effects of the depression and the mutinous word on tourism. When did you start to work in the travel
No, I didn’t. One of the reasons was that
the only qualification I didn’t have in the
It was 17 years ago. I worked in several
field of tourism is the tourist guide
travel agencies in Pécs. The first agency
certificate. Once or twice I had to
was Mecsek Tours that was the place
accompany a bus to Greece, but it was not
where I thought that I have found the
appropriate job for me. I was twenty and
I assume that during these seventeen
had no previous training in tourism, only a
years you had a lot of opportunities to
school leaving exam and two foreign
travel. Where have you been?
language certificates. First I gained the
experience and then I started to study
conduct so called „study tours” to where
they invite the assistants from the resale
What was your position at these offices?
offices. These study tours help the
In the beginning I was a cashier in the
assistants to get to know the destinations,
forint cash register, than I got a certificate
hotels and other programs and with that
for selling foreign currency as well. Later
on I sold travel packages and airplane
convince the passengers easier to book a
tickets. In the last few years of my career
holiday program if you have been there
as an employee I was an office manager.
and have your own experiences. Of course,
Did you organize travel packages as
you cannot visit all the places you sell. I
visited Greece by ship, Cyprus, Tunisia,
Yes, but only a few. In Mecsek Tours I had
Egypt, Austria, and Mallorca. But if you
to organize package deals to Greece, Italy,
work in this business you have several
and some school excursions. But these
were easy, no contingents or charters were
discounted price. And of course, I like to
needed. All the other agencies were I have
travel, so I have been in Slovakia, Israel,
worked were resale offices.
USA, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba,
Did you have to guide the tours that you
Croatia, and Romania as well.
Which one was your favorite destination
problem is that since this is an ex-miner
among these countries?
city the economy declines, therefore the
My favorite was Cuba, that’s the reason
potential clientele is very narrow. This
why I have been there three times. The
situation is worse year after year.
atmosphere of that country is very special
What are the most popular tourist
and the people are very friendly. They are
very poor, but still, very happy. I like their
changed throughout the years?
In the summertime the most desired trips
Were you considered staying there?
are Greece, Croatia, Tunisia, Spain, and
I was dreaming about it, but I have a very
Italy. In the last few years, because of the
tight relationship with my family and my
increasing extra expenses for the trips by
homeland. I cannot imagine my life
airplane, people prefer going by bus or by
car. In wintertime the most popular
How does your role changed now that
program is skiing in Austria, Slovakia, and
you have your own resale agency?
Italy. Before these extremely high airport
It was very easy to open an own agency,
taxes and kerosene fees, this time of the
because during the years I spent as an
year Tunisia and Egypt was also popular.
The number of booked exotic holidays is
connections with the travel organizer
very low. People like to travel, but they
companies. After getting the permissions
cannot afford expensive trips. They search
for the office, I made connections with
for one day packages for neighboring
them and started to sell their trips. In the
countries or domestic travels so they don’t
first six years I worked alone and I had to
have to give up traveling.
organize everything on my own including
Is that tendency different in other,
marketing, finance, sale, and so on. In
summertime it was very hard working
I think it is similar in the whole country, or
alone, because this is the busiest season for
perhaps in the whole world. On one hand,
the spread of the internet made it easy to
Your agency is located in a relatively
organize the vacations from home, leaving
small town. How does that affect your
out the agencies. On the other hand, the
Komló is not so small; it is the second
discretionary income, and we know that
biggest town of Baranya county. The
this is the money what people can spend on
buying things which is above their living. 25
It seems to me, the world is becoming
reason why they use a higher rate for the
more and more dangerous. For example,
currency exchange. Of course sometimes
the blasting in London, the rebellions in
the drastic change cannot be predicted. In
Egypt, Tunisia and Greece, the flood in
these cases the tour operator can raise the
Thailand and so on. What effect this
price of the package at least in 21 days
events have on traveling appetite?
before departure, but if the raise exceeds
In my opinion, the media shows all these
8%, compared to the original price of the
events more dangerous than they really are.
package, the client has the right to desist
But people always believe what they see
from the trip. It is very unpleasant to
on television and it is very difficult to
inform the clients about the changes in the
convince the traveler of the opposite. After
price, because they calculated a fix amount
these events it takes a lot of time to gain
and for some people it is difficult to bring
peopleâ€™s confidence again. Interestingly, if
up the extra cost.
these problems occur in Europe (Greece),
How do you see the future of your
people are more trustful and they donâ€™t
business and tourism as a whole?
hesitate to travel, not like if it happens in
Africa (Egypt, Tunisia). A natural disaster
changes of the world. People not just like
can happen anywhere and anytime, nobody
to travel they need a holiday. If you can
can influence it. This is the nice thing in
rest up, your work will be more effective,
this business, that you cannot predict
but if you donâ€™t have the money for
anything. The outcome of the holiday
recreation it is a negative spiral. You will
depends on the organizing agency, the
be more stressed and your work will worth
circumstances of the target country and it
less. On the other hand, there are a lots of
also depends on the traveller.
countries that live from tourism. For them
How does the drastic change of currency
this is the only possibility to raise the GDP.
rates affect the business?
These are: Tunisia, Egypt, Dominican
When the tour operators put together their
Republic and so on. The international
catalogues, they have to calculate in
trends will have an affect on the tourism
advance for almost 4-6 months. That is the
and the future cannot be predicted.
on the financial
PHOTO GALLERY SECTION
The autumn for me is……
. . . . . ROMANTIC THE CASTLE OF SIKLÓS
. . . . . DELICIOUS HOSSZÚHETÉNY
. . . . . CHALLENGING KŐVÁGÓSZŰLÓS
. . . . . BRIGHT LAKE ORF키
. . . . . COLOURFUL LAKE SIKONDA
. . . . . MYSTERIOUS THE VALLEY BETWEEN SIKONDA AND MÁNFA
. . . . . SAD THE VILLAGE OF PÜSPÖKSZENTLÁSZLÓ
This is Suzy, three years old Hungarian Pointer. Suzy WALKS at least once every day. She loves to PLAY with her ball. She sleeps in a soft pillow in a WARM SHELTER. Her food contains enough nutrient and vitamin to keep her STRONG and HEALTY. Suzy is a HAPPY dog.
What about YOUR DOG?
RESPECT YOUR PET AND IT WILL RESPECT YOU!
THE ONE AND ONLY ISSUE OF VIEW POINT MAGAZINE. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED ME! EDITORS: Teodora For, Tibor Bende, Ildikó Bende, TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Tibor Bende, AUTHOR: Ildikó Bende, PHOTO: Ildikó Bende, Zoltán Sárvári. 42