When the wi fi costs money in your accommodation you do the decent thing and tell them to shove it. This means that uploading blogs on my ipad means finding free hotspots and there are a few around....if you can find them. There's one in the region of the Knickerbocker cafe so we went there for a morning beverage after having breakfast in our apartment.
With yesterday's blog uploaded our day could begin and so we headed to the ferry terminal to nip across to Gozo. We arrived to find 16 rows of cars all trying to do the same thing and none of them moving. The guy directing the cars perched us at the back of a lane and then seemingly gave up and I presume the queue snaked back down the road behind us.
The ferries run every 45 minutes in the day and every 90 minutes at night. We waited in blistering heat for over an hour-maybe this wasn't the best day or time of day to be taking the trip. Ah well. I think the crossing was abut 30 minutes and you pay on the way back. For a car and
two passengers it was only €20 so not too bad.
On the other side we headed first for the Ggantija temples which were built in around 3000bc. Once you find the damned place you then have to find the entrance which is about 100 yards away from where you thought you should be even though google maps tries to send you elsewhere. For fun I reckon.
Google maps isn't much good here as, despite it supposedly constantly being updated, there are many no entry signs it tries to get you to drive through. And roundabouts that have been there for years that it doesn't know about. Most of the time you'd be better off with your eyes sellotaped shut while a cat miaows directions at you in Klingon. We might try that tomorrow....
Anyway, these old temple things. The visitors centre is quite new and informative but you're itching to get out and see the temple and skip a lot to be honest. So we did. Claire wasn't that impressed with this temple but then the temple didn't look too impressed with her either. I can tell these things. It had
been around for a lot longer than Claire but then Claire was made by only two people and it took a lot more time and people to make the temple. And that is still standing. Claire sits and lies down occasionally.
With our tickets we were entitled to free entry into Ta Kola windmill which was quite interesting and surprisingly roomy. The girl taking tickets had incredible panda eye make up and was quite pleasant but was probably just annoyed that we had dragged her away from facebook. We were the only visitors so many people hadn't taken up the free entry offer. I recommend you do.
And so onto Dwejra which, until March 8th this year, was the home of the azure window. Something that had stood for hundreds of years collapsed in a storm just a couple of months before we were due to visit. Most places just put up scaffolding for us but this actually fell into the sea just to spite us. On a boat trip our 'captain' said that it had come down on International Women's Day and now there was now one less window to clean. Oh dear!
The boat trip set off from the inland sea, cost just €4 and set off through and to caves. The sea is incredibly blue here as on our boat trip yesterday and we saw orange coral and maybe some bats. He said there were bats but they may have been holes in the cave roof. Let's go with bats. I like bats.
And then it was swim time. Yes, look at us holidaymakers going swimming in the sea two days running! No beach though of course, just lots of jagged rocks to climb over to get to the water's edge and then a very ungainly flop into the sea over some seaweed. But we were in!
And soon we were perched on what was left of the frame of the azure window. The window is still there of course, only the frame collapsed and others were far more excited than this stump warranted. But I remained calm and then swam off into a cave. So yeah, swimming in the sea, but not the sandy beach, towel out early shennanigans of your average holidaymaker.
(9:10 some of them were
out by the pool this morning....what is wrong with you people?!?!)
After clambering back out of the water and across the jagged rocks we went back to the car to get cameras and then went back across the jaggedy rocks and through the water and back to the water's edge...again... I'm not sure it was worth it as people insisted on being in our shots and pushing them into the sea out of the way isn't even acceptable in England never mind here.
Close by us was also the blue hole-do you spot this blue theme going on? This is a deep, deep hole that divers go down and then it has an outlet into the open sea. Sounds like fun but not the walk from the shore to the end of the rocks in full diving gear
Next stop was the basilica of Ta'Pinu which we were just going to get exterior shots of. A wedding was taking place which may mean some extra people in our shots but the building is spectacular enough so hopefully you won't notice them.
And so to Victoria, also known as
Rabat which is the capital of the island. It was 17:40 on a Saturday night....and all the restaurants in the piazza were closing....strange.... The next piazza had restaurants with no prices outside and what looked like non-Maltese fayre. No thanks.
A tiny takeaway provided us with our sustenance. I had two types of pistazzi and a chicken pie while Claire had a ricotta pie and a ricotta pistazzi. With two bottles of pop it came to just €5.75. Okay so the food was mainly pastry and will probably mean I'll need a Rennie in a bit but it was proper local food. Won't be having it again in a hurry but at least I've tried it. After talking ourselves into having local cakes as well we were ready to have a wander round Victoria.
The citadel is pretty spectacular even after it has closed and it is amazing just how much you can walk round despite it being closed. Still managed to get annoyed by some tourists clunkering about but I guess there would be lots more in the daytime. And apparently pushing them over precipices is frowned upon too.... It's a funny old
It's amazing how you can go wrong whilst driving on such a tiny island but we both managed it with aplomb. It's also amazing that I contructed that whole sentence just so I could use the word aplomb. And that one.
The roads are rough and ready, the drivers more so. The road signs are more guidelines and google maps is about as helpful as Bon Jovi at a heavy metal concert. But we managed. And we even found our last destination, the salt pans.
Believed to originate from Roman times these shallow, manmade rock pools were, and still are, used to harvest salt. With fascinating patterns and wonderful colours, particularly at sunset they are well worth a visit. And we did manage to time it with sunset as well. And it wasn't a bad one, not brilliant, but not bad, especially using the salt pans in the foreground to reflect the last dying rays of today's sun.
Despite there being not many people around I still had someone in every shot I took. The same person who crops up in lots of my shots. I think
she's following me. I did mention yesterday that it was amazing how there can be only us somewhere but I still get someone in my shot. I do my best to reciprocate.
The journey back to the ferry was longer than we planned and we nearly headed down a road that we may have not been able to get back from. But we made it, paid the ferryman and then had a 100 minute wait for the next ferry. We are currently sat in the cafe of the ferry home as were getting bitten outside. I think it was the same insects that bit me to buggery last night. I have bites on top of bites!
It's been a good day. I was probably the bozo on Gozo although the socks and sandals wearing couple may have beaten me to it. Again we've run ourselves ragged trying to see as much as possible but it's all been good and I've already hit all the goals that my Apple watch demands of me. I've even done all or most of my blog before getting back to the apartment so that will be nice getting back
and not having to write that....errr....this.... Happy days as always.
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