Sunday, December 16, 2007
ta' qali - crafts village / xmas theme
Ta' Qali is a village in Malta, situated 2km from Mdina, a wide open space in the middle of Malta containing the national stadium, the Maltese National Park and a national vegetable market which is locally known as the Pitkalija.
Shortly before World War II, the area was used to build a military aerodrome and a station for the RAF. During this time the area served as an airfield but has since been transformed into a recreational area. The area is small in scale but considered by some in Malta as an ideal place to go for a picnic and spend weekend afternoons. The National Park also includes an amphitheatre. A number of international concerts were staged at the Park, including artists as diverse as Status Quo, Deep Purple, Fish, Iron Maiden, Demis Roussos, Alannah Myles, Bonnie Tyler and many others. International artists such as Riccardo Fogli have also planted their own trees in the Park.
Ta' Qali still fulfils part of its former role as an air field but the only aircraft that take off from the greatly diminished landing strip are model aircraft, whose owners make part of a club located there. Today, many of the military huts and buildings have been converted into workshops where Maltese craftsmen produce their handiwork, and Ta' Qali Crafts Village has become an important tourist attraction. There is also a the Malta Aviation museum where one can find different types of aircraft related to Maltese aero history. Before being converted to a recreational park the air strip was used in the first car races ever held by the Maltese, nowadays the Assoċjazzjoni Sport Muturi has it's offroad tracks where it organizes its annual motorsport championship.
A christmas village has been put up for this weekend only. This morning I drove up there. It was a little bit wet but still had a good time and will be posting some photos of the village for the next few posts.