Malta-day three

This day was spent in the two little islands nearby – Gozo and Comino. We decided to visit them with an organized tour, who I recommend right away – Luzzu cruises. Keep in mind that every time you travel with a big group of people, it doesn’t matter if it is just a one day or one week trip, you must compromise. There are a lot of negatives, you can not spent the day in the ways you would like and you can’t see everything you want. The plus is just one, but sometimes it’s the most important one – you can visit a lot of places for a short period of time. If go there again I would definitely go alone, there is very good organized transport in Gozo and ferries to both of the islands.

Gozo is a small island next to Malta and they are connected, both historical and territorial. Comino is uninhabited, with no infrastructure but there is one of the most beautiful lagoons you could ever see.

The trip took about an hour and a half,the current and the waves were quite strong, so half of the people on the boat were throwing up. It was almost impossible to stand up, but we managed to even drink some tea. It is still a mystery how it didn’t spill everywhere.

You arrive in Mgrar – the main port in Gozo, where you get in a van on the way to the first stop – The Azzure Window. The roads are just like in Malta – narrow but offering wonderful views to small villages and fields.

Mgrar

The Azzure Window is a nature site more beautiful and magical than you can expect. It is located on the west side of the island and you can see huge cliffs, eroded in unusual but magnificent way. The most interesting thing, at least for me, was that the sea level is around ten meters below you, but small puddles of sea water or evaporated one, leaving just salt, are spread everywhere.

The white thing is sea salt and the rock were quite sharp

If you stand facing the sea on your left you can see one of the defensive towers built here as well as in Malta. Their purpose was to alert with fire to one another quickly and the whole island to get ready to attack.

A the sea, near the tower is a big rock called the Fungus rock. It is famous because there lives a special kind of medicine fungus, which the Maltese knights were using to cure. It was so important that a death warrant was issued for everyone who could dare to steal from the fungus. The rock is not connected to the inland but the knights invented some kind of machinery, like a lift, to reach it.

If you turn your back to the rock you’ll see the Window itself – magnificent hole in the rocks. It sound dumb, but the view is breathtaking. The area is popular for divers, I assume because the water is crystal clear. Even we, who just tipped our toes in the sea, managed to enjoy the wildlife living there. But keep in mind that there is no beach, there are only steep cliffs and rocks with sharp edges, you have to have appropriate shoes if you want to go near the Window. Sandals are no good, I’ve tried it. Unfortunately, the Window is under great danger. Big chunks of the cliffs are often falling and it is expected that in few years the whole ” roof” will fall off. Climbing and walking on it are forbidden because you can fall and height is big – at least 20 meters.

If you move aside from the shore you’ll see a peculiar and strange, at least for me, landmark called Inland sea. It was created by the sea, carving slowly through centuries the rocks and made a little lake, which wasn’t impressive at all. You can hire a boat and got through the tunnel but I didn’t have any desire to do it. I wan’t say a word about the concrete monstrosities built around it to keep the diver’s gear.

The next stop was Victoria – the capital of Gozo. Here we had a few hours to spent in the little streets of the town. Originally it was called Rabat, later named after the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, insisted by the locals and to differ themselves from the other town called Rabat in Malta. There is a huge fortress, which was being restored and a lot beautiful tiny churches. The most interesting part was the walk around the narrow alleys, where you can feel the true atmosphere of the town and to discover that, apparently, the heat is so intolerable that when you park your car you have to cover it with sheets. I saw such cars in Malta, suspected that was just a single case but it turned out to be a regular thing in the islands. Also there were almost no people anywhere, which of course was a plus for us.

View from the fortress
House sign

After few sweaty hours spent wandering and eating ice cream we came back to our boat and went to see the long awaited Blue lagoon. This is a huge landmark, a small bay with crystal clear water in the most amazing blue colour I’ve ever seen. It was used as a location for many movies, some of them are “Gladiator” and “Troy. When I was researching I saw it that way :

And when we get there it looked like this :

I can’t even begin to describe my disappointment. There was no place to step not to mention to left a towel or your bags and to go to swim. If you decide to go to the lagoon , my strong advice is to to do in any of the Spring months. This is the only way to enjoy this otherwise lovely place without the danger of someone poking your eye with an umbrella or an ice cream.If you want you can take a walk around the island but keep in mind that it is inhabited by six people and there are no roads or electricity. Besides the lagoon there is also another sandy beach, not so beautiful so not so crowded.

Because of our tour we had a few hours to spent there and after 30 min trying to shove through, pushing and stepping on one foot we managed to find a few centimeters to put our towel.The water was amazing, the view also but I couldn’t ignore the surroundings and we had to get back to the boat defeated.

On the way back the tour took us to some caves, made by the crashing waves but my disappointment was too big and couldn’t enjoy them at all. Even the weak current and lack of people throwing up couldn’t make up for it.

That was the end of our day and finally the positive emotions managed to kick out the huge disappointment. There was no other way with such sunsets …

I forgot to tell you that the ferries take off from the town of Sliema – big tourist trap filled with concrete hotels and nothing in common with the other parts of the island. We had the pleasure to see through the windows of the bus and had no desire to come back. It was just like thousands other resorts around the world.

Author: marinelapetrunova

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