21.4.18

Victoria and Citadel


It was until the fourth day in Gozo that we had a closer look at Victoria.  The past days were come and go: coming from the pier to change to Xlendi, taking a boat to Comino, etc. Right in the morning, little squares were full of residents, shops were opened, busy but not crowded. 


We saw many older people sitting and relaxing at Kafe de Gorg.  It is a good sign for good food because the elderly knows where to go.  Different pastries were sitting in a glass cubicle to attract guests.  And so, why not? One pastry is filled with ricotta cheese (pastizzi tal-irkotta).  I like the other filled with mushy peas (pastizzi tal-pizelli). They are fatty and so nice that I had another one when we were on the main island. 


If you have a chance to walk around, you'll find all houses are built with the same materialgloberigina.  It's yellowish and decadent.



Victoria is the most inhabited area, centre and transportation hub in Gozo. If you stay in the suburb, it's better to shop necessities at Victoria before heading to your apartment. Streets surrounding Victoria can be quite steep.Our bus drivers carefully drove from Xlendi to reach Victoria through winding and narrow streets. The way to Xlendi is also initially narrow and gets wider gradually. Steep on and off.  It is not for inexperienced drivers.


After our second breakfast, we walked up to the Citadel, Cittedella. It has existed since possibly Neolithic times and fortified during the Bronze Age around 1500BC. Throughout the different rulers, the Citadel has been the administrative centre.  It was reconstructed during the Knight period. For two centuries, it was attacked by Turks and Berber corsairs. Residents were required to spend the night at the Citadel for safety reason.  Unfortunately, it could not escape from the defeat. Defenders committed suicide for saving honour. Surrenders became slaves for years. It took nearly half a century to re-populate the island and rebuild the Citadel. Lately, the Citadel looks new and clean. It dominates the skyline in Gozo.


A video is scheduled to show tourists the history of the Citadel. The beginning is the formation of the islands and progressively to the invasion, self sacrifice and the surrender..... I can see their patriotism, love for the country.


The Citadel is a city.  Like other cities, it has its own Cathedral. Originally it was a temple dedicated to Juno. When the country was Christianised, the temple was converted as a church, dedicated to Virgin Mary.  It was damaged and reconstructed a few times. Until 1846 it elevated to a Cathedral.




I like going through the alleys.  High mighty walls and raw feeling.  We visited an archaeology museum but was quite disappointed with the few items on display. The Citadel is filled with different stores to let tourists experience the way of life since centuries ago. Lace, wine shops are still top of my mind.

 
 

Walking in the Citadel is not only meandering in the history but one is rewarded with a panoramic view of the island.  Gorgeous!

 
 



6.4.18

Dingli Cliffs



Dingli Cliffs are located off the village of Dingli.  It is quiet. But what make it knows is the astonishing cliffs, make a perpendicular plunge into the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of metres below sea level.  They stand proudly at the highest points of Malta.





The Dingli cliffs stretch for a few kilometres. Some edges are sharp with a flat cliff and an occasional cavern.  Other cliffs descend in a sloping terrain to the water. Different forms of rock amazed us.  It is gorgeous to admire the beautiful Mediterranean. It is soothing, amid the strong winds top of the cliffs.
Situated south of Malta stands the lonely Filfla, an uninhabited, barren rock islet. It can be seen along the Dingli Cliffs or at Hagar Qim Temples.  It was sad in the afternoon but looked fabulous under the sun.



Apart from the beautiful nature, there s a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene.  It was built in 1646.  Although it was recently restored, its door was closed to the public.  No one can adore the interior.  It is very beautiful to see the alone church on the cliffs with backdrop of the sky and sea.

 

A famous restaurant, The Cliffs, is nearby.  But at time, the midday, it was closed.  Therefore, the two little gourmet lovers did not risk to find it. Risk includes: going astray and missing bus 201.  It was scheduled to run hourly.  However, it appeared only every 1.5 hours.  Once, we decided to walk instead of endlessly waiting, then it came.  The occasion we wanted to take it after the walk, it appeared half hour after the scheduled time.



The day, we started with bus 74 from Valletta to the Blue Grotto.  The blue water was amazing.  Then we proceeded to the Hagar Qim Temples.  It turned to be cloudy.  Taking the same bus, we were brought to Dingli Cliffs. The bus was punctual all through. But bus 201 was missing schedule severely.  Finally, we arrived at Mdina, had a nice stroll in the evening light and headed back to Valletta.