Monday 15 September
We were recommended to make a day visit to Gozo Island, the second of three islands that make up Malta. With vague instructions from our hotel, we drove the 33km to the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal on the northern tip of the Island. The ticket for the ferry trip was a return day ticket – it appears that most visitors don’t stay on Gozo Island.
Our destination was the Ggantija Temples. These megalithic temples are amongst the oldest manmade religious structures, dating to the Neolithic age, more than 5500 years old. The are listed on the UNESCO register.
The name of the temples Ggantija is derived from the word giant. The blocks that the temples are built with are so huge that the Maltese believed giants constructed them.
Carob trees are common here. Thought to be introduced by Arabs around the 10th century, they are considered for the medicinal and healthy alternatives.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the visit to this fantastic archaeological site was receiving a message from Evan to announce ‘the rabbit has left the rabbit-hole’. Tony Abbott had been our Liberal Prime Minister for a little less than two years. I found him to be foul mouthed, misogynist and divisive. It was a great spot to get great news!
The Ta’ Kola Windmill in Xaghra was built in 1725 and is one of a few surviving on the Maltese Islands. The mill was named after the last miller Guzeppi ta’ Kola (Joseph son of Nikola).
When the wind blew in the right direction, the miller would alert the locals by blowing through a triton shell. This was a signal to bring cereals to be ground into flour.
We next visited the town of Victoria with its massive Cathedral of the Assumption, sitting on a site that had been dedicated to the ancient Roman goddess Juno. The latest building was dedicated in 1712 and sits high above the town with stunning views around the island.
Like most visitors to Gozo Island we headed home. There was no ticket inspection on the return journey – it was assumed that you came this morning and you weren’t staying.