Sunday, 18 August 2013

Day 2 - Gozo

We had a quick breakfast and then headed to the bus stop, which was only a short walk from the hotel, and were soon on the bus to the ferry terminal.  Maltese buses are legendary, being driven by insane, angry drivers who want to complete their trip as quickly as possible.  Let's just say that the downhill rides are better than most funfair rides.

By the way, the bus has a hinge in the middle, so that it can bend like a small train.  It is the hinge that is making the screeching sounds (hopefully!)

So, down to the ferry, a quick trip across and we were in Gozo.

The tour rep had told us that the buses on Gozo were not reliable, pushing us to take the guided tours.  As we left the ferry terminal a bus was waiting for us.

We had bought "ride all day" bus tickets in Malta, expecting them to work on Gozo too.  Wrong.  As we boarded the bus on Gozo, the woman there glanced at our ticket with utter contempt.

"Ve don't take your steeen-king MALTESE tickets!"

OK, maybe she did not use those exact words, but close enough.  We bought some more (they were dirt cheap anyway) and settled in for the ride.

Once in Victoria (the main town on Gozo) we set about wandering the streets with the vague aim of finding the Citadel which would give us great views of the island.

Being a staunchly Catholic country, the church gets a lot of respect.  People rush to give their seats to Nuns on the buses....

There are some great vehicles scattered around the islands - this one made me think of wReggie for some reason...

We finally found the Citadel, and staggered to the top in the intense heat.  Mrs RC even managed to perspire a little, something that never happened back in England!

As expected, the views were amazing.

Then it was back on the bus for Xlendi, a lovely little bay that you might remember from previous posts.  Oh, the bus we needed was sitting there waiting for us, too!

We had dinner here, which was great.  

One thing we had was deep fried goats cheese.  

Sounds so wrong.

Tastes so right.

One of my pieces of bread also tried to look like a local attraction:

As it turned out, the bread was as close as we were to get to the Azure Window, but more on that in another post.

We also discovered a new drink here - Watermelon Lemonade.

Without a doubt, this is the most refreshing drink in the entire universe, and as soon as we got home Mrs RC went to work trying to recreate it with great success - watermelon, lemonade and ice smashed together in a smoothie maker.  Fantastic.

After this we headed back to the ferry and the hotel (the bus had been waiting for us - so much for the rep's advice!), were we decided that we needed a bit of a swim.  From a visit about 20 years ago, I remembered a small beach that was not too far from where we were that might not be as busy as the main beach, so we set of to find it.  To cut a long story short, the town seems to have expanded to absorb the beach, and all we managed was to spend a couple of hours meandering through an estate that consisted of a series of loops with no quick way out - they were basically gated communities with no gates, just one way in and out.  So we retreated to the hotel in defeat, for a drink on the balcony.


terri said...

I used to take the city bus to and from work. I seem to remember a similar experience to yours. It amazes me how they zip in and out of the crowded downtown traffic and rarely seem to get into any accidents.

Gozo appears to be another beautiful place. I love the way all of the streets and architecture seem to involve so much stone!

That truck is definitely one I can picture Wreggie driving. I won't be surprised if he has something similar soon.

Betty said...

It sounds like a great trip! The bus would scare me though. I love the bread!

Abby said...

Lovely! Is goat cheese the dairy of choice there? I'm glad the buses were so accommodating after all. And good for Mrs. RC and her sweat pore flush!

ShadowRun300 said...

Beautiful! So far I'm really enjoying your trip. Well, except for the bus ride. I would have been freaking out - yet everyone on the bus seemed so calm!
So sorry you didn't get to enjoy the beach today. Your trek reminds me of the time you went in search of pizza the last time you were there. (at least I think it was pizza?)I hope it was at least an enjoyable trip through the gated communities.
Looking forward to day 3!

Rock Chef said...

Terri - Stone is the only locally available building material, so they go for it in a big way. All wood is imported, as what trees they have are short and twisted.

Betty - For me the buses are part of the adventure...

Abby - Goat cheese is the best of the local stuff (and it is really good!), the cow's milk cheese is very bland. Most cattle are kept in huge barns with no natural grazing so I guess this affects the flavour.

ShadowRun300 - ah, that was my day on Gozo when I was checking out the "coastal walk", which did not really exist :-)

Riot Kitty said...

Yum! I want watermelon lemonade now. That last picture is so neat. How do you pronounce Xlendi?

Rock Chef said...

Riot Kitty - Shlendy.

Abby said...

I enjoyed the "funfair" bus ride this time - video wasn't working for me at my last visit. I've had a few bus rides like that where I just pick something happy to look at on the ceiling and trust in the higher power.

agg79 said...

Another great day wandering the island. Love the play-by-play of your adventures. We've got slinky buses over here, just not the wild roller coaster ride you had. Looked almost like a great carnival ride.