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The Grey Island

Here’s why I wanted to go to Gozo.


I mean- seriously! Che Magnifique and all that! This, my friends, is the Azure Window- filled with prettiness and light.

This is what we got instead…

Man- it’s supposed to be Auzure!

I’m pretty sure that Malta sees good weather about 364 days of the year. The day that we went to Gozo clearly coincided with their ‘wet season’.

The trip to Gozo itself was fairly horrible if you are pathetically weak sea-dog like myself. The ferry ride from island to island was fairly simple- only about 20 minutes.. doable. But Maltese streets are some sort of windy horror out of the mind of Escher and Dante’s love child, and our bus stopped and started up and down all the little hills and all through the alleyways and…

Well, to make a long story short, it was a good thing I didn’t have any breakfast, because not all of my contents made it to the smaller island.

I am a delightful travelling companion.

We got off the ferry, and jumped straight on one of those hop-on/hop-off tour buses.

The views were lovely, the air was.. bracing.

Here is an artistic impression of the joy of the journey:

We were some of the few people brave enough to sit on the upper level, and by the time we reached our first destination, we were all fairly happy to hop off.

The Ggantija temples are some of the earliest man made structures remaining: at 5500 years old they’ve been hanging around longer than the pyramids and possibly twice as long as Stonehenge. We entered through the Museum (which is some sort of binary to ‘exiting through the giftshop’), and met up with these tiny little guys:

Including my favourite of all- human figures carved from Cow Toebones! I mean seriously! that is some awesome up-cycling there.

One of the problems with having a ridiculously old structure, is that there’s not really much you can say about it. The museum itself was fairly small and mostly contained ‘we suspects’ ‘we thinks’ and we ‘wildly guesses’.
The Temple Itself:

One of the coolest things about the temple is the blatant vandalism that, due to having occurred itself many many decades ago, has become somewhat part of the history of the place. Luckily, the people who came, saw, and scribbled, also managed to draw out a couple of pics of the place at the time, allowing current researchers to have a slightly more accurate understanding of the temple in its pre-current form.

The temple was also filled with these deliberate holes, but once again- the exact reason for them was some what a mystery.

I tried to get in touch with my pagan side:

.. and Andy embraced the ‘slightly cold tourist’ within:

We managed to barely miss our next hop-on, and had to spend another 20 minutes hanging around a very small, dead part of town (although this was on Christmas Eve, so the deadness is fairly justifiable). We took shelter from the horrible weather in a tiny shop, occupied by a very fierce older couple, hell-bent on the upsell.

The bus pulled up just as we were about to convince ourselves that we really did need an 8 pack of matching doilies. The weather was horrible, and the bus was full to the brim. We smiled happily, and talked loudly about how awesome the temple was, in a vicious attempt to lure unsuspecting seat-hoggers off the bus.

Our next stop was a seven minute break which seemed to coincide with the bus drivers need to take a ciggie break. Down there somewhere is supposed to be Calypso’s cave- where she kept Odysseus ‘against his will’ for several years on his ‘attempt to return to his wife and kid’. Sure thing buddy.

We did managed to find ourselves some kickin’ Pasticci. Which is basically just deliciously layered filo pastry enclosing some sort of cheesy (or other- but the cheese are best) inside. These things- which have also made their way into my mongrel heritage- are magnificent, and tend to cost less than 50 cents on Gozo.

We made it to the ‘Ultimate Photo Spot’ on the island, and tumbled though the rain and wind in attempts to catch the Ultimate Photo.

This man is telling me about how awesome it is that there are many fossils that I am currently trampling on. He seemed upset that, in my soaking wet and freezing cold state, I couldn’t manage much more than ‘uhuh? Interesting!’

Andy was also Cold!

Look Ma! I found shelter!

Ma is to busy looking into the deep grey:

After an all to long time (those buses really should come more regularly), and several very long minutes in which the entire tour group feigned interest in ridiculously over-ornate and over-priced glass just so we could seek shelter int he glass shop, we got back on the bus again.

This time, Mother refused to get off again, and went straight for the ferry home. Andy and I got off at Victoria, and had a look around the old city.

There, on top of the fortressed city, the wind picked up, froze me to death, but at least made me feel quite dry.

We also got a very nice view, and some more pasticci.

Oh! And there was a church. It was fairly nice as church goes. You know, nice and warm and protect-y.

Andy bought some weird little pizza with sausages on it. Not the right choice.

Typically, the sun decided to come out just as the day was ending. On the plus side, it made the journey back much more pleasant.

Gozo: Go there when the weather is good!
Gozo: Go there for the pasticci!


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