Saturday, April 9, 2016

Gallivating around Gozo

Well actually I wouldn't call what I do gallivanting but it went better with Gozo than waddling.  So I'm here....

Air Malta was okay...we got a free bottle of water and a tiny sandwich.  They charged extra for everything else including coffee and pop...yep....The flight attendants weren't overly friendly either...hmmm...ah well I won't be flying with them again...oops...except when I fly back to London in 9 days. 

You know when you go to a place and you fall in love and think "I could live here"....well it's not happening...I am hoping it will grow on me.  .I don't dislike it... don't get me wrong but I don't have the excitement I had on my first day in Madeira for example.  I'm hoping it's just my current mood...You can't judge a place in one day.  I am all about keeping this blog real and sometimes life just isn't that great.   It's day one - maybe my next blog post will be called "gaga over Gozo". 

The ferry from Malta to Gozo was quite...um..active...I wanted to go outside but honestly I could not manage to even walk across the lounge without lurching like a drunken person. (and we know that I know how to do that quite well)

I am staying at a B and B just outside of the village of Xaghra..pronounced Sha-ra.   It is lovely and I have a huge balcony overlooking some fantastic scenery.  The only problem is it is too windy to sit out there...in fact I had to wear ear plugs last night to drown out the noise and I'd like a double pair tonight please.  The wind has been blowing in sand from the Sahara....Malta is very close to North Africa.  The house sits up high overlooking a valley....beautiful but....Colin, the host is so kind.  He and his wife Pauline are from Britain and have run this B & B for about five years - sadly Pauline had to return to Britain as their daughter is quite ill.  I had toast, cereal and fruit salad for breakfast so was all set to go. 

Colin said it was an easy walk down to Marsalforn...well it was but people here drive like absolute maniacs and while the road wasn't busy when a car did come it came like a bat out of hell. (hey, he's British and they always tell you "it's just ten minutes down the road" when it's actually thirty...) I won't do that again...there is a bus that goes...every 90 minutes.....

Anyway here were a couple of the views along the way...



I then walked down into the town which was quite sleepy - it is very busy in the summer as a lot of people here in Gozo and on the main island of Malta have summer homes here. 



It was pleasant enough - I may come back here for a seafood dinner one night as it would be a short bus ride - I'd just have to time it with the buses because I am not doing that walk again!  

I then got on the bus to Victoria or Rabat as the locals call it.  This is the main town on Gozo and the transportation hub.  The bus was crowded and I had to stand but luckily it was only about a 15 minute trip.  Gozo is only 26 square miles so if you had a car you could cover it in one day no problem. 

I visited the Citadel which was built in the 9th century.  It has been under refurbishment by the EU and going in I actually had to walk through a construction zone.  I do believe I swore at one point as it scared the heck out of me...would not pass health and safety standards in Canada that's for sure! I do not like big metal things swinging above my head.  There are many ruins and the bone I have to pick with that is they weren't labeled so I didn't know what I was looking at...ah well the views were good....








St Mary's Cathedral.  Malta is a very Roman Catholic country.  I will say no more...well actually I did but deleted it.. (I can hear my friends laughing)

Tons of stairs which I love...but it was interesting.  I visited the Folklore museum which was okay - I enjoyed the visit to the Old Prison more.  (what is it about me and visiting macabre sites?) Visiting the Citadel is free but you pay extra for the museums but I thought two for three euros was fair. 

I needed a sit down and something wet and hey it's time for a late lunch and there was a restaurant on the citadel grounds with a killer view...so here is what I had...


I sat outside in the sun which turned to a cool wind and then back to sunny again. This was a Maltese pastry called a Ftira that had Gozo cheese and potato in.  It was pretty good.  The drink was a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice and lemon - the server brought a sachet of sugar in case I needed it but I persevered without and it was quite good.  And very reasonable. 

I then got the bus back to Xaghra where I visited the Ggantija Temples which date from 3600 to 3000 BC and are thought to be Malta's oldest as well as the largest.  They are a World Heritage Site.  The visitor centre was really interesting - I am always fascinated to read about how people lived way back when...or at least how we think they lived.




I staggered back into the centre of the village and hung around a bit deciding what I was going to do....


Church of Our Lady of Victory in the main square.

Being as the bus wasn't due to come for another hour I decided I might as well walk back....what a long walk that was...only about 25 minutes but it felt like forever... but some of the scenery along the way was nice...


Colin offered to drop me off at his favourite restaurant but that would mean taking a bus back and with the bus times so strange....I just could not walk back as I am so darn tired and of course I would have had a glass of wine inside me.  The restaurant sounds so good and I really want to try it but it is one of those that are only open in the evening.  There is an Italian restaurant close by but it is expensive and I don't have the clothes to wear anyway and it's the kind of place I would feel awkward on my own (excuses, excuses...) ...that'll teach me for staying in an out of the way place.  Will I ever learn?  Probably not. 

So here I sit with my stomach growling but it certainly won't hurt me to miss a meal...I just hope I can sleep between the hunger pangs and the wind rattling the screen and the sliding door on my balcony...

So that was my first day in Gozo...we shall see what tomorrow brings...will it bring love or more indifference?  We shall see! 

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