One of the perks of getting out of bed early is the chance of seeing a really beautiful sunrise. I think it is just so sad that it is over so quickly, maybe that is why everyone enjoys that moment so much. I certainly do.
Since we had an early pick up today, we made sure we had something in our stomachs before our trip to the island of Gozo and I must say, we made it to the meet-up point in the nick of time. Are we good or are we good!
We booked this trip through our travel agency and I was curious if we were going to get the Dutch speaking guide we asked for coz my parents don’t speak any other language than Dutch and sign language for dummies.
Upon our arrival our guide greeted us in English so I was a bit worried, but he soon made everyone feel at ease and told us the Dutch speaking guide was going to meet us at the ferry terminal.
I heard relieve sighs while I was translating the bit coz it turned out not only my parents didn’t speak English, we also had 3 older couples from the Netherlands who didn’t speak anything else but their native language.
As soon as we arrived at the last pick up point, I or should I say, we found out why we had an English speaking guide on board. A group of 10 British people were going to join us as well and as soon as we all got introduced to each other, the long trip of a few hours towards the ferry terminal in Cirkewwa could finally begin.
“Shaken not stirred” is the sentence I thought of more than once as we were driving along the coastline.
20 people in a small minivan with a big guide and an even bigger driver … this is nothing but adventure in one way, but on the other hand, my stomach wasn’t always that happy and I was more than happy to see the ferry terminal so that I could get out of that sardine tin they call tourist bus and be able to breath in some fresh air again.
Once inside the terminal it seemed like to whole island had come to one place and one place only, Cirkewwa!
I have never seen so much people together in one place since I visited China a few years back and it was a difficult task finding our Dutch guide between hundreds maybe not thousands of people, but we managed to find her! Talking about a needle in a haystack!
Serves me right of course for chosing this day coz just like Belgium, Malta has a public holiday on the 1st of May and it seemed that not only tourists, but also the Maltese people wanted to have a break away from work or took the chance to visit some relatives or simply went back home.
Upon our arrival we couldn’t get on the first one, so we had to wait for the other one to arrive and as it did, we were amongst the first ones to get on … perfect for choosing a nice spot.
As soon as the limit was reached, we could leave as well and cross over. Half an hour goes by so very fast and before we even realised it, we are at the port of Mgarr.
It only took us mere minutes to get of the ferry and once outside again we met up with our guides again and said hi to our driver as well, who by the way, organised a very big coach for us. Now this is traveling in style!
First up on the agenda as soon as we left the port, were the temples of Ggantija. This megalithic temple is said to be the earliest one ever to be found of the neolithic age. I don’t know if this is true, but we first visited a small museum where a few artefacts were on display and than it was onwards towards the temple itself.
I was really surprised to see how much was left. It wasn’t just a bunch of stones scattered around a hill. You could really see the temple and thanks to our guide who could talk very passionate about that period of time in history, we got more of an inside on how those days must have been as well.
From here it was on the bus again towards the capital city of Victoria or Rabat for the locals, but not before we had one last look at the more than beautiful surroundings. These neolitic people sure knew how to pick there spot.
Victoria doesn’t look all that big to me, the centre of it anyway, but it makes all up for it by its beauty.
Our guides first let us watch a movie so that we had a better view on the city as well as its past and after a quick lunch we had some time to visit the citadel. Basically this is also some kind of fortified castle and guess what … they were renovating the place! Just our luck!
We weren’t able to see the lot, but could walk a few metres on the city walls as well as have a quick peek at the impressive interior of the Cathedral of Assumption.
After getting a few minutes of free time, our group walked all the way back towards the coach parking and from here we left for that other highlight of the day, the Azure window.
Booking a trip through a travel agency also means you get those compulsory stops at locals to sell all kinds of stuff and this wouldn’t be a “good” tour if it didn’t do that as well … so halfway up to the Azure window we had a quick stop at a local shop who sold all kinds of typical things from Gozo. It goes without saying, almost nobody bought something simply because everything was way overprized … there goes our guides commision!
A good thing however was that half an hour later we arrived at Dwerja Bay and once passing the many food and souvenir stalls, we could walk up to the cliffs, but not before first going on a small boat from where you have an excellent view on this wonder of nature.
If you value your life … don’t take such a boat! No, I am just kidding!
The sea was kind of rough and once again the term milkshake came up and not only by me, but it was well worth it all.
We got a good half hour of free time before we needed to be back at the bus because otherwise we were going to miss our ferry and looking at the expression of our guide, this ment a serious NO – NO, so we all made sure we were there at the appointed hour and just for that, the 20 of us got a big smile and an applause from our 2 guides and driver … how sweet!
Because we were so good boys and girls we even got a little bonus coz just before we arrived at the port of Mgarr, our driver drove up the hill to the highest point from where we had a more than beautiful view on the blue lagoon. The water was really blue, so nice to see that and also a nice way to end a perfect day on the island of Gozo.
Once back in the ferry terminal, we had the same problem like in the morning, lots and lots of people pushing, shouting, ... trying to get on that ferry back to Malta, what a picture!
We arrived back at our hotel by 8 PM but weren’t exactly in the mood for having dinner at the hotel restaurant, so instead we just went across the street and went for burgers and fries at Fortizza, a local fort which was turned into an eatery … it was yummy and also a perfect ending for a fantastic day. That, and one last night cap on the boulevard of course!