David's Diary: Sunday, April 27, 2003

A Visit to Gozo, Malta

Ferry to Gozo
Ferry to Gozo

It has been another busy six-day work week. To have a break we decide to explore the island of Gozo. Malta, the country, consists of three islands -- Malta, Comino, and Gozo. Comino is uninhabited, Malta has the majority of the population, and the smaller Gozo has a laid-back feel. We drive from the marina to the North end of Malta where we wait for the ferry to take us to Gozo.

Mgarr
Mgarr

We arrive in the town of Mgarr where two churches perch above the harbour where they are clearly visible from the ferry. Less than a month ago we passed Gozo as we arrived in Malta from Tunisia. Gozo was the first land that we spotted after more than twenty-four hours at sea. We leave the ferry and drive to the town of Victoria located on a high piece of land in the center of the island.

Basilica
Basilica of St. George, Victoria

We stop for lunch then explore Il-Kastell, the castle which dominates part of the town. As we wander the fortified walls of the fort we can hear celebrations, fire crackers, and bands playing.

Views
Views from Il-Kastell, Victoria

There are spectacular views of Gozo from the high walls. We can also see the dome of the Basilica of St. George just off the main square. We finish our circuit of the castle walls and head back into the center of town to see what all the noise and commotion is about.

St. George's Feast Day
St. George's Feast Day

We talk to some locals and discover that St. George is the patron Saint of Victoria and today is St. George's Feast Day. Every village in Malta celebrates their patron saint. We arrive just in time to hear the band play as it finishes the parade. On feast day a statue of the saint is paraded through the town. There are hundreds of people milling around enjoying the sunshine and the feast.

Allen
Allen in Dwejra

We leave Victoria and drive to Dwejra. This small community is known for its inland sea where a small fishing village is surrounded by towering cliffs. Tunnels lead from the open Mediterranean to the inland sea where the small fishing skiffs are kept.

Azure Window
Azure Window

Dwejra is also known for the Azure Window -- a natural rock formation that frames the Mediterranean and surrounding cliffs. We wander around, explore the small church, and walk to the fishing village. After stopping for ice cream we are ready to head back to Mgarr and the ferry.

Mgarr
Back in Mgarr

We arrive in the late afternoon and only have a short wait for the ferry. But when we get to Malta we discover that the entire population appears to be out enjoying a sunny Sunday. It takes us over an hour to drive the twenty to thirty kilometres back to Msida. Everyone is hungry so we decide to eat out at a Middle Eastern restaurant close to the marina. We're home by 8:00 and have an early night after our busy day exploring Gozo.

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