2019 Malta and England Trip travel blog

Ta' Kola windmill - built by the Knights in the 1700's. When...

South outer wall of Ggantija Temple ruins - over 6000 years old

The inner walls - there would have been rooms inside and a...

They think this is where they prepared animals for sacrifice

Note how much larger than any other building the Cathedral in Victoria...

The prickly pear fruit that Margaret is pointing to grows attached to...

The red sand beach at Calypso's Cave

The steps they used to go down is in the darken crevasse...

Marsalforn Harbor

Time for a hot chocolate or ice cream

Salt Pans at Marsalforn - 3 miles all along the coast owned...

Bringing in the salt after the water evaporates

No salt mines for these ladies - they will oversee the job

The grandfather in one of the three families repairing damage done to...

The street entrance to the courtyard of our hotel

In Malta, May 1 is a national holiday (we never did quite figure out why) and they celebrate by having horse races (harness or sulky racing) or Marathons, Here on Gozo, it was a marathon that closed several roads – not that there is all that many – so we had to take several different alternative roads. First thing this morning was the Megalithic Temple ruins at Ggantija which date back almost 6,000 years. The weather and scavenging has taken a toll on them but you could see that they were quite impressive. How people that far back could set stones (without mortar) and move the more than 5 ton stones around is unbelievable!! Unfortunately there is not a lot of written documentation of the excavations that started in the 1700's but there were artists here that managed to paint how the site looked at different phases. Much has been lost since then.

On our way to Marsalforn, a fairly new resort town on the NE coast of Gozo, we made a short stop to see the red sand beach at Calypso's Cave. Originally, the tour guides used to take tourists down a very narrow stone stairway snaking through the rocks to see the actual cave but that was stopped several years ago – Thank Goodness! It was scarier looking.

We had some free time to explore the little resort town of Marsalforn where the marathon either started or ended – we couldn't decide which it was. We plopped ourselves down on the waterfront to enjoy the sunshine and hot chocolate or ice cream. Much more important. After that, we went a short ways out of the town to the Salt Pans where three families have designated areas of over 3 miles of shallow, square areas divided into “plots” where the sea water is trapped and then evaporates. These Salt Pans have been there since the Romans but the current three families have had them for more than five generations. We saw one of the men out repairing the short walls dividing each 5' x 5' area which had been damaged several months ago by storm. A relaxing afternoon back at the hotel to get ready to leave to return to Malta tomorrow for a last night there. This has been a learning experience about another culture. The people of Gozo particularly are very friendly, courteous and willing to talk to you.

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