Malta - Ghajn Tuffieha Bay / Gozo

by Sistaweotch May. 24, 2008 3627 views



MALTA! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malta [en.wikipedia.org]

A lovely day at the beach. The first half of the day was spent buying necessities, as my luggage had disappeared somewhere between Catania and Luqa. The second half, however, was spent enjoying the golden sands and crystal waters of Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, along with Francesco's excellent company. We took the bus to Golden Bay, but Francesco said he preferred the next bay over. I'm glad we went there instead. More room, fewer people. And we got to walk past the wall snails!

Francesco had his mask and snorkel with him, so he was able to go on jellyfish lookout as we paddled around for 25 min. or so. SO much easier to swim in the Mediterranean than the Pacific, let me tell you! (Go go extra salt!) He saw a large fish and handed me the mask, but it was gone by the time I looked. (*Note to self: get fins, mask, snorkle, and waterproof camera!) I did, however, get to see a large octopus settling onto a rock. It was looking right at us. Now I think I'll avoid the octopus salad that you can get everywhere in Napoli. I'd just feel too guilty…

For a very pale-skinned, indoor person, I didn't burn very much at all. Indeed, after 4 days I think I have a nice base tan to start the summer, woohoo!

I thought it was really unusual and neat to see white-shelled snails out in the sun. Francesco thought it was really common and dinner-lookin'.

Snails in situ. I learned that from all my recent museum visits. In situuu… Neat!

Mmm… So pretty!

Later, as we were leaving the beach, we found the place where you could rent the umbrellas. D'oh!

Lunch that we brought from Naxxar. The sandwich was awesome! The bread was softer than what I've had in Naples and it had sun-dried tomatoes, Maltese sausage, and goat cheese. Just looking at this is making me hungry.

I miss it already!

The most excellent Francesco, my CS host for the first night. He's Italian, but attending university in Malta. Well, for a few more days anyway. He'll soon be leaving. Darn. He was a great host! ;)
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Gozo ferry. Whidbey flashbacks!

View from the ferry. The water is just so unbelievably beautiful.

View from the outside of the Ġgantija Temple.

Me! And the oldest freestanding building in the world! And my green shirt from Malta! And plaid American shorts!

We couldn't go too far into the temple (restoration work, I think), but it was still incredible to be there.

Spiral patterns that show up on most (all?) of the neolithic temples in the area.

Wide shot of the whole complex.

View from above the Calypso Cave. According to Saviour, there is a barrier wall (hint: mouseover) just under the water designed to scuttle pirate ships. One end was left open for the residents who actually needed to reach the sea and come home safely. The stones were from an abandoned Roman villa.

Entry to Calypso [en.wikipedia.org] Cave. It was quite steep and the rail (not seen) was in need of repair. I was wearing flip-flops, so this made for an interesting and careful descent.

Can you imagine what Odysseus thought when he woke up to this view? :D

Maybe when he took in THIS view he started to think it wasn't so bad after all…

View from the smaller, inner part of the cave. Saviour and Francesco went exploring with one flashlight. Having done a bit of caving with the Nat'l Speleological Society back in the 'States, and considering that I was wearing inadequate footwear, no helmet, and had not even one – let alone the recommended three – light source, I opted to come back out and take photos. (Did I mention that Saviour is 22 and Francesco is 24? Yeah…)

The cave is up high now, but was clearly closer to the ocean at some point. The rocks have old (ancient?) barnacles and other shells in all the nooks and crannies (hint: mouseover).

Steps out of the cave.

Another view.

And one more, just because I like caves. :)

Saviour and Francesco emerging from the dark, small part of the cave, unscathed. A miracle!
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