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Visiting Gozo and Malta

Current Location: Ggantija Temples, Gozo
Current Position: 36 2.84 N 014 16.14 E Click to view map.

After a nice sail from Tunisia, as Noel wrote on the blog while ago, we arrived in Malta on May 31st.

Our first port of call was in this picturesque fishing port of Mgarr, in the beautiful island of Gozo. We anchored just outside the harbour and soon after a young man from the Harbour came and ask if we wanted to go inside for a small fee. We said no thanks but asked where we could leave our dinghy while we went ashore. He said not to leave here or there….because you never know about the fishermen!!! we left the dinghy locked in front of a restaurant and went ashore to visit the town. We stopped at the tourist office and he was behind a glass wall. Gee…is it really that much crime around here? Well…not that we noticed. Our dinghy was still waiting for us as we left it. Tourists are greeted and welcomed ashore by a nice folk group of singers, guitar and accordion players!

Mgarr fishing port, Gozo

Mgarr fishing port, Gozo

 

 

We took a taxi to show us a couple of sites inland in the capital city of Victoria. We visited the citadel, nice but not very big. The walls were all of lime stone and the narrow little streets were busy with tourists and shops selling their souvenirs and crafts and their lace, that they are famous for. Beautiful views from there

views from citadel in Victoria,Gozo

views from citadel in Victoria,Gozo

Church and square in the citadel

Church and square in the citadel

lace making

lace making

inside the citadel

inside the citadel

 

The Ggantija Temples, built over a period of several hundred years(3600-3000BC) were the first Maltese prehistorical site to be cleared of earth and debris. The Commandant of the British troops employed convicts from Gozo Prison to do clear the site and paid expenses from his own pocket. The Government took over the land in the 1930’s and in 1949 it was open to public and today is one the most visited cultural attraction in the island. It is the oldest known building in the world – older even than Stonehenge and the pyramids.

Temples

Ggantija Temples

(Sorry, not a great picture – I forgot the camera!)

 

 

Magnificent views  from here, including the famous red sandy beach of Ramla and villages with beautiful Churches and  their manicured  cultivated land.

Ramla beach

Ramla beach

 

We were back onboard for dinner. A bit of a rocky evening, as the port was busy with ferries full of tourists and locals, making waves for us. The night was very calm.

Next morning we were excited to set off for a circumnavigation of the island. The scenic views were breathtaking! From cliffs to salt pans to small villages, quarry and more!

the beautiful coastline of Gozo with many cliffs and caves

the beautiful coastline of Gozo with many cliffs and caves

Funghus rock. beautiful big circular bay we drifted aroung and admired the beauty, with just this one boat as our neighbour.

Funghus rock. We drifted around this large circular bay and admired the beauty, with just this one boat as our neighbour.

 

Azure window along the coast just after funghus rock. It was busy with buses and turists evrywhere. We were happy to have the best views and on our own.

Azure window along the coast just after fungus rock. It was busy with buses and tourists everywhere. We were happy to have the best views and on our own.

 

 

We ended our tour of Gozo and sailed on to mainland. We anchored in St. Paul’s Bay in Malta, poured ourselves a drink, looked around and  decided we didn’t like the view. Too developed and busy. Time to move on and get to Valleta, the capital city, before dark.

 

Fort St. Elmo. Entrance to Sliema creek in Valleta.

Fort St. Elmo. Entrance to Sliema creek in Valleta.

I had to take a picture of Fort St. Elmo after reading about the Great Siege. It was here that in May 1565 a Turkish fleet of 138 ships and a total of 38 thousand men and lots of artillery arrived and fought the Knights. They fought for most of the summer and there many dead from both sides. The Turks tied the dead bodies of the Knights to crosses and floated them across to the defenders. The Knights retaliated by bombarding the Turks with the heads of their fallen troops. Eventually  Sicilly came to rescue. The Turks retreated after loosing 2 thirds of their troops.

Fort St Elm was rebuilt and the Knights prospered, until Napoleon arrived in 1798……

As I sit on the boat I just couldn’t imagine the scenes and what it would look like with 130 ships and 30,ooo men, and the blood….

 

 City of Valleta.

City of Valleta.

 

Valleta. I couldn't stop taking photos of this view form our boat.

Valleta.

We were planing to stay in Malta for a few days, but when we woke up the next morning |Noel looked at the forecast. We decide to leave that day because we had a pretty good wind in our favor and then it was dying down to no wind at all. We will return to Malta sometime in the future and explore the rest of it. We were sorry to leave so soon. We wanted to get to Greece and do some tourist destinations before it gets too crazy busy with the Summer crowds.

Stay tuned to our next blog post on Olympia. Greece. Love it!

 

 

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