Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Island of Gozo

Gozo is the small(er) island to the north of Malta island and the perfect day trip. For RIers, it's easy to think of Block Island, you take a similar ferry and the lifestyle is calmer, the views better and the beaches more natural. As you may imagine from my brief description, I loved Gozo. Beyond the island the name is just so much fun to say and they make Gozo cheese which is kind of weird but an interesting concept as it survives at room temperature which can be upwards of 25 degrees celcius on a normal day. Since I took so many photos, I decided to narrate our day pictorally with brief descriptions. So, jump in the baby Kia and load in...
The boat ride was rather windy, and some of us :cough:me:cough: were more prepared for the elements while others had to run down to the car deck and retrieve their jackets.

The island quickly came into view and if it's possible, the water became a deper blue.

These islands were once British but I'm not sure if that is the explanation for this phone booth which was located across the street from...

this church. I wish I knew the name of it but we were somehow drawn to it on the horizon as we drove of the boat and came straight here. Mas was just gettign out so we were able to get a parking spot and have a look around.

P ventured inside as I was wearing a neon yellow t-shirt and bermuda shorts thus declearing myself inappropriately dressed to enter a church. Although I did peek in the entrance when he told me I was missing out on the immaculate interior. Below, you can see a crystal chandelier covered in plastic. I had previously read that all church decor is covered during lent and this photo was taken about a week before Easter. We saw other Maltenese Catholic churches on our trip and they had similar coverings on lights as well as statues and golden alter decorations. Things that were not functional like lights always had a deep purple and black covering so you could not really know what was underneath.

This church didn't suck us in as much but was still impressive and one of our first impressions of the island.

As we drove along, we quickly reached the end of the port town and island.

We continued our island drive down toward the ocean along narrow, twisty roads, stopping many times to take in the views which can be described as no less than breath taking.

Finally we reached the water (pictured above) and I was excited to get my toes wet. The water was a bit cold but this area had lots of small jelly fish which worried me more than the temperature. After hearing stories of crazy warm water jellies in Australia, I no longer trust unfamiliar jellies near my body.

We eventually decided to stop for lunch al fresco.

I ate delicious fresh calamari (it was not breaded or fried) and P had a pizza with Gozo cheese while we took in views of waves and the old city.

Then we got back on the windy coastal road, we didn't much of a map and the road lacked signs but every now and again you would come across a sign listing the location of the capital city and various cultural points of interest. I would say it was a relaxed drive but it becomes a bit tense when faced with oncoming cars or any sort of delivery truck and the locals overtakeing constantly.

We drove to a coastal overlook which may or may not have beent he highest point on the island.

Then we found a cave. You could enter the cave but it was dark even in daylight and no one had a flashlight so most people only peeked in. I briefly lost P to the cave but when he realized he could see nothing he emerged in search of a flash light (as if our Kia was so prepared). I could offer a camera flash and off we went.

Eventually the cave narrowed and we decided to set our sights on the below beach instead.

Hello beach sand! Once again some of us were more prepared for the natural elements of this island than others.

Once he saw the clear water and soft sand together with my refusal to stand anywhere else, those German shoes and black socks were quickly disgarded.

After we had our fill of wading in kneed deep ocean, we washed the sand off of our feet and hopped back in the Kia. We drove until we found the Ggantiga Temples. These were our first temples of the trip and turned out to be the best choice. These particular temples are the most in tact on the island and really allow visitors to grasp the intricate design and build of such ancient structures. These date to before the pyramids and were once 7ft tall stone structures with roofs.

After our visit to the Temples, we were quickly getting tired from a day of island exploring so our baby Kia hopped back on the boat and we sailed home to Malta Island, content with our day and still enamored with the color of the water (maybe that was just me).

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