Saturday evening. For some reason, I had a total craving for pizza so, with encouragement from Mrs RC, I headed along the beach to the pizza place I found last year.
The sun was setting behind me as I approached the place. Was it still there? Was it still as good?
You bet it was! This is the Meat Feast, so I feasted on it and had a beer before heading back to the hotel.
It was very dark, none of the light pollution that I am used to at home. I took a 15 second exposure shot of the lights on the other islands which came out nicely...
Next day we set off to explore rock formations.
This is the second time I have been along this track - first time I was on a hired bike which was really not up to it..
We found this cave that seems to get a lot of use from climbers.
Plant life tended to be small and hardy..
And very pretty!
During an interlude, a couple of us did a spot of rock climbing.
I was doing fine until I stretched a little further than my shorts were prepared to do, which split from knee to half way up the zip. Luckily I had a top that I could tie around my waist to cover myself!
Monday was a totally free day, so I hopped on the ferry for Gozo.
I wanted to check out the clifftop walks to see if they would be good for when Mrs RC and I visit in the summer.
Heading out from the ferry terminal I took the first road that seemed to head for the cliffs. My destination (a place called Xlendi where I intended to have lunch) was about 3 miles away in a straight line. My walk was NOT in a straight line...
And a lot of it was not particularly pretty either...
But I did see some fun stuff and some very pretty stuff.
Can you see the hidden words?
There are lizards on the mainland, but here I became worried that I would stand on one.
This bay was wonderful - I could only reach the beach by scrambling down a very rough path, often using steps that had been hacked into the cliff...
I did reach the cliffs, but the path was far from joined up, causing my route to bend and loop back on itself. At one point, after a stretch of what was probably a mile, realized I had looped back to a point only 200 yards from where I had been earlier.
But it was fun. Can you see the face in the cliff below?
The flocks of sheep and goats have vanished from the mainland,but are still to be seen on Gozo...
By now, I was close to my goal - the 3 miles had taken 4 hours of solid walking - a total distance of 10-12 miles, maybe more? Who knows?
Temptation called. This path seemed to go straight to where I wanted to be, looking a lot quicker than following the road.
Was I tempted? Of course I was! But he path just vanished when it reached the houses, meaning that I had to battle across a load of overgrown scrub to get back onto the road. Ah well, another short cut gone wrong. At least I was on my own and no one else would ever find out about it!
The end was in sight, my stomach was telling me it needed food, but what sight greeted me?
While I had been walking, the wind had picked up a lot, and now there were waves breaking exactly were I had expected to have lunch! The prom was awash and most of the places were closed.
Luckily, one was still open, so after a badly timed dash to the door (I got wet) I was able to grab a pizza and beer and watch the waves send spray through the bar door.
Refreshed, I headed inland, to grab a bus back to the ferry. On the way I saw rabbit paradise...
Yep, this guy had free run of the family vegitable plot and doesn't he look good on it?
By the time I got back to the mainland, the sea was pretty rough - the ferry had been pitching and rolling badly during the crossing too.
Back on solid ground I headed for the hotel, but paused for a few pics of the waves.
After taking this one, I decided to wait for the next big one. I heard rather than saw it, clicking the shutter just before the water hit me, soaking my right side. The photo was just blank whiteness. This caused great amusement when I got back to the hotel and told the story.
Today is my last full day here. We leave very early tomorrow, so I should be back in Canterbury around lunchtime. Mrs RC will be there to meet me. I can't wait. Funny, I had thought that having Skype chats would have made me miss her less than usual, but I think it actually made me miss her more! Or maybe it was knowing that she will be with me next time I am here. Either way, this has been a great week but I can't wait to get home to see everyone again.
I hope you have enjoyed my stories and pictures. I will be playing catch up on my bog reading over the next couple of days to see what you have been doing while I was away! Hope it has been good!
Woke up to another beautiful day (sorry to Mrs RC and the rest of the family who currently have snow and a broken boiler!) and the sight of a cyclist riding half a bike along the prom outside the hotel.
My second breakfast as croissants with chocolate sauce. My colleagues tried to say that I over-did the sauce, but they were wrong...
Yes, I am a convert to croissants!
A nice big church, just outside Valletta. The wonky paving makes it really hard to take a good pick of this, but I think I actually got it straight this year!
There was massive development going on just inside the city gate, including the reconstruction of the opera house which was destroyed during the second world war. With the new columns going up you just know this is going to be something special...
One of my favourite views. Can't see this too many times, even with a mobile drilling rig in it!
There were a lot of small rowing boats in the harbour today...
If I had hung around I would have seen them racing, but I spent the best part of the day strolling around at random, meeting up with students at odd intervals and making sure that they were OK. I know that are all grown ups, but I can't help it. If my kids did something like this I would expect nothing less for them...
Anyway, I think I found 2 of the smallest shops in the world.
Yes, that is all they are. They are 6 feet deep at the most!
Another church. This one started chiming the call to worship as I passed - incredibly loud in the narrow streets...
Where the rich visitors stay...
This guy seems t have himself a good view from his house, which literally rises out of the harbour...
Unless he looks this way, where he can see this...
Someone DOES seem to be trying to rescue it, though, so maybe he is OK really.
My final act for the afternoon was to buy an ice cream.
The ice cream was wonderful (Black Forest and Orange Cheese Cake), only somewhat spoiled by the woman who was serving. She seemed to think that she was far too important to be selling ice cream to tourists, never smiled and had no words of courtesy, even though she made me wait for my change while she served about 4 other people. If hadn't minded risking losing the change from 20 Euros I might have caused a stir about it, but why let an ignorant Kraut bitch spoil my day? I just hope she isn't married - the poor guy...