Travel Blog - The beauty of Gozo.
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
The first thing that struck me as I travelled towards the ferry terminal ⛴ headed for #Gozo was the lush greenness of the island of #Malta in March!
The second thing?
The astonishing vibrancy of the bountiful blooming spring #wildflowers 🌷
During this trip they had me completely captivated! I found myself stopping the car on numerous occasions just to capture their beauty in all of its glory! 💕
Such radiant colours and so much variety!
I love wildflowers, my garden is full of Snow Drops and Bluebells, and I’ve just planted some Poppy seeds. I adore Poppy’s.
I also love that wildflower fields create the perfect habitat for our pollinators, amongst them our beloved bees, 🐝 🐝 as without them we would be in a dreadful position.
It always amazes me to witness wildflowers growing from so very little! Seeing them peek through stone walls, and out of cracks in pavements! Their will to exist is beyond astonishing.
Most importantly though, they make me #smile 😊
I spent just over 48 hours on Gozo during my recent adventure, and I cherished every minute of each of those hours. There is just so much to see and do on this beautifully compact island.
In this blog and my next, I’m sharing some travel photographs 📷 I captured during a number of my whistle stops, each of those stops whilst brief, thoroughly captured my heart ♥️ A lot I will be revisiting as soon as it’s safe for us all to do so 🙏
First up is Tas Salvatur Hill!
I really need to get much closer to this hill on my next visit and also to see it in blue skies! My images were taken just before the heavens opened to a huge storm. The sultry skies really gave me goose bumps as the shutter clicked on my #Canon camera, this statue of Christ Risen is magnificent, and in the dark skies it shone through to me like a beacon of light. I had a little special moment here. 🙏
The name of the hill upon which the statue stands is Tal-Merzuq and you can find it on the road from #Victoria to #Marsalforn. Please trust me, you won’t miss it 😊
Joy of joys, there’s a little myth and legend attached to it too, and you all know how much I love my #myths and #legends 😀
The first tale recounts the time when black smoke was seen to be rising from the hill which led locals to believe that it was in fact a #volcano, although geologists over the years have dismissed this idea.
The second tale tells of God punishing the people of Gozo by plunging the island into darkness for three days and nights 😱
At the end of the third day a strong ray of light could be seen coming from the hill. The Maltese word for light is merzuq hence the name of the hill today! 😀
Did you know that the original statue was in fact a wooden cross?
The statue which stands today is not the first, it is actually the third statue of Christ to adorn the hill!
The first statue replaced the wooden cross back in 1904, but sadly couldn't withstand the islands weather.
This was replaced with a second statue in 1960 but the pedestal which supported it gave way in the midst of a fierce thunderstorm.
The statue which stands today is made of sturdy reinforced concrete and fingers crossed, is so fare bearing up wonderfully well to the elements. 🙏🤞
Next up we have #Xwejni Bay (which I now know is pronounced shwayney 😆).
This gorgeously turquoise dazzling bay can be found very near to Marsalforn. Just look at the kaleidoscope of colours in the water, isn't it simply magical?
The bay is extremely picturesque with its little boathouses cut into the golden rock.
It’s also a super place for #diving, especially novice diving due to its shallowness. There are refreshment kiosks here, and on road parking. Deck chairs and parasols can be hired on the quaint pebbly beach here during the summer months too.
Whilst working through my #photographs when I reached this one it totally took my breath away!
If I had to put a name to it, it would have to be “Stairway to Heaven” ☺️
Xwejni is also extremely well known for its Salt Pans.
The man made salt pans are set out in geometric patterns and are set adjacent to the azure blue Mediterranean Sea. They are over 300 years old, and stretch along the coast for around 3kms.
This centuries old Gozitan art of sea-salt production requires nothing more than seawater, wind and sunshine, producing a totally natural end product.
Gozitan Sea Salt can be purchased from the local vendor who sets up stall near to the salt pans or in many stores across the island.
Please note - you must not enter the salt pans and to be honest there is absolutely no need, you can take amazing pictures right from the road.
My next whistle stop was just a little further along the coast road heading from Xwejni to Wied il-Ghasri.
This stop was an utter #surprise!
I found a spot on the rough where I could quickly park the car without damaging it 😆 to enable me to quickly hop across the road. The views of the salt pans, cliffs and ultramarine blue sea were just too stunning to miss.
Imagine my #thrill when I found this here too.
A huge coil of stone #cairns!
Back then, I had no idea how many cairns would begin to enter my life in the months to come. I truly believe I was guided to this spot 🙏
The first cairn I spotted in Gozo was on a low stone wall just outside the grounds of Ta’ Pinu. Just one cairn shining in the sun all on its own.
Here it was simply impossible to count how many there were, the design was just so striking too. I was fascinated.
Would you like a little history about Cairns? If so I'm delighted to oblige!
The word cairn is Scottish Gaelic in origin.
Cairns or rock stacking, has carried a spiritual meaning for centuries. It’s the art of balancing stones and to do so, it requires the art of patience and also needs some Popeye muscles 💪 depending on the size of the cairn you are aiming to build 😆.
They have become known over the years as a sign of hope, grace, thankfulness and also remembrance. They have also served to mark burial sites, used as monuments, and as an aid to navigation both on land and at sea.
I’m charmed to live very near to the beach, and here in the North East of England we are so lucky to have so many breathtakingly long golden sandy beaches.
Since the beginning of the UK Covid -19 lockdown, we have been so fortunately blessed with beautifully warm and sunny weather. 🙏
I actually have a #suntan to rival any I’ve obtained in Malta over the years 😆
Initially we were allowed just an hours exercise and those who lived near to the beach started to build cairns using the ample supply of rocks washed ashore by our North Sea. That hour was so precious to us all.
I was completely knocked out when I saw them all, I had heard there were a lot, but I didn’t realise just how many there actually were, we have hundreds.
I was so inspired that I built my own cairns of "hope" in my back garden, and I adore them. There have been many rebuilds this weekend though due to the strong winds 😆
I’m saddened to hear that the Gozitan cairns have just been removed, I understand as they were constructed on private land? I’m truly hoping that they pop up again in an alternative location 😉 if you find out, please do let me know 😊
Lastly but by no means least - the impressive #Aqueduct!
Now this was actually a hilarious whistle stop as I couldn’t find anywhere nearby to park, so I had to drive by it a number of times before I eventually mustered up the courage to naughtily dump the car on an access road to a field! 🙈
Just to give me enough time to climb 🧗♀️ up onto the stone wall and grab some photos mind 😆
Needless to say, I received some very odd looks from the cars passing by, and a few honks of horns. I’m hoping the latter wasn’t in infuriation and more in the way of a wolf whistle 😆
The Aqueduct is located near to #Kercem, and is extremely striking, hence the number of drive by’s 😆 This girl was going to get her photos by hook or by crook 😆
The Aqueduct was built around 1840 by us Brits 🇬🇧 and it’s purpose?
To supply the villages with fresh water - transporting it from Għar Ilma, on the coast just past Ta' Cenc, (Għar Ilma literally translates as the Cave of Water) to the central reservoir which was located within the Citadel in the islands capital Victoria.
It’s a wondrous sight, but sadly I was unable to linger for too long, as I also had to factor in the time needed to get myself back down off the wall whilst at the same time avoiding any injuries 😆
Thankfully I managed and I also didn't get arrested 😆! Tracy lived to explore another day!
Next week I have oodles more beautiful gems to share with you all.
My list of places to visit on the islands is getting longer and longer and I really can't wait!
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing ✍️ this blog full of gorgeously charming memories, as for the past two days we’ve had grey skies, hailstones and torrential rain here in the North East of England.
I’m praying for the sunshine to return ☀️ so I can top up my tan, I would hate for it to turn rusty 😆
Until next week my lovelies, please stay safe and take care, sending the hugest of hugs to you all 🤗