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Published: October 19th 2012
While Richard is slaving away at work each day and Catherine has gone off to Sweden for work - I decided a little side trip to the smaller island of Gozo would be just the ticket - so a hasty search on Booking.com came up with a real bargain ...how could £18 a night including brekki be anything but a miracle for me - as you know always looking for value for money on my travels.
This time I manged to pack my stuff for 3 days into my little rucsac - I must be getting better at this packing lark!!! and off I went to get the bus to the ferry . A word here about Malta busses - yes they run all over the islands but I have to say the timtetabling is not the most reliable - and if one arrives early and you were on time thentough you might wait another hour. And round about lunch times on some routes there seems to be a big gap - so check the timetables thoroughly. Also it has been known to see a bus arrive at the stop with a sign on Not in Service - so you don't
get on then it drives away and lo and behold the sign switches to just where you had wanted to go. Getting on a bus to return to Sliema yesterday the sign on the front said Sliema Ferries - great I got on - after we departed the signs inside the bus read to Buggibba ...which one to believe??? I just sat there thinking well if it starts heading off in the wrong direction I will get off ...but I was lucky after a bit of a round-about route it took me to my destination. So you need a bit of luck and patience and a sense of humour... and hang onto your seat as the roads and driving are pretty cr*p too. It's good to carry the Kindle with you to help with long waits!!! Having said all that a bus ticket for the week was only 12 euros and will take you most places. On Gozo a day ticket is 2.60. And the drivers manage to avoid scraping cars and walls as they drive through the tiny streets.
I was still using my Heritage Malta multipass ticket ( 22Euros) and must have visited alost all the sites
possible so certainly got my moneys worth there too.
Staying at the Hotel Xlendi for 2 nights - I had a great 1 bedroom apartment - quite spacious and with a balcony overlooking Xlendi Bay - high limestone cliffs hemming it in on either side. It was a quiet place with restaurants and cafes lining a small quayside... and a small beach. The hotel is having quite a lot of renovations and seemed to comprise several buildings at different levels so you were in one lift and out the other. The furnishing were a bit old fashioned Maltese style ( I suppose) but everything was clean - breakfast was served on the rooftop terrace where there was also a pool. Good continental breakfast laid out and second day I had them cook a full english for me . And nice helpful staff also so coudn't have done better.
I managed to pack in quite a lot in my 3 days - the Citadel in Victoria ( Rabat) - wonderfully ancient with a Cathedral, Old Prison, Archeology Museum and Folklore museum. Then a visit to the megalithic Ggantija Temples - built 3600 BC -( way before Stonehenge) wow -
Copy of Xlendi Bay
Looking out from my balcony.
how did those ancient people manage to do it with their limited technology - and why !!!
That was the morning so next it was a boat trip to the tiny island of Comino - water taxi 8 euros there and back. This is the famous Blue Lagoon and yes the sea is the most beautiful blue - there is a tiny beach and quayside which was crammed with deckchairs in rows - so a bit difficult to find a spot - but I plonked myself down and managed a lovely swim there. And you don't have to walk far away from the crowds to find a deserted spot suitable for your picnic - which I did. Next to the ferry at Mgarr where I had picked up the water taxi boat was a litle cafe and the friendly girl there did me a coffee and a large tuna/salad roll for 1.20euro. Some of the little snack bars are very cheap and they don't sting you to buy a bottle of water either. So Comino is certainlly a great little trip for a few hours.
Back on land and last day in Gozo I wanted to head out
for the rock formations at Dwerja - just missed the bus again and had to wait ages - but patience was rewarded as it ceratinly was quite a sight to see once there . These islands are very small and there are LOTS of tourists here so everywhere you go there is a horde - but don't be put off - often walking a few metres away from the bus stop will find you a quiet spot...sit a while ...contemplate the ocean and magificent surroundings and views while you eat your apple and life is good in that moment.
A bit of a moan!!! What a pity that so many people leave their litter in these wonderful places and Malta seems to suffer particularly from that and of great annoyance to me are the smokers who have chucked their cigarette ends EVERYWHERE!!! Yes Malta is a bit faded and crumbling and tatty - I think it's not a very rich country but there is lots of restoration going on though ...so it would help if streets could be kept clean.
Well thats it for now - the weather has been a bit changeable - it's still around 26
deg but humid and very windy so the sea is rough. But this is probably my last chance of sitting in warm sunshine in 2012...so I am off to walk on the Sliema Strand and sit and have a coffee. Bye for now - love to all.
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