After one week spent on Gozo, the sister island of Malta, here are some facts that puzzled me, making my brain more awake and hopefully more fit in the in the battle against ageing 🙂
#1: Buildings have no numbers!
Yes, exactly: no Arabic numbers, no Roman numbers, no digital numbers, nada! Instead, buildings have names: Santa Maria, Ave Maria, The Haven, The Big Apple 😀 Even the taxi driver couldn’t find the address although he had reassured me he personally knew the guy from Airbnb who rented the apartment to me. Ha, ha!
#2: Gorgeous looking houses
There are entire streets with old buildings that look impeccable and fairy tale like thanks to the bricks they are made of: local limestone – a golden looking stone that preserves its beauty over the centuries. These are by far the most gorgeous buildings i have seen on an island.
As much as the buildings are stunning, the cars are old and shabby and polluting. And some of them have also NAMES! 🙂
#4: Yachts, yachts, yachts
In contrast to the shabby cars, you will often see luxury yachts parked in the yards of the golden limestone houses.
#5: Free-entry garbage exhibitions 🙂
The garbage bags are hanged on hooks in front of the lavish residencies.
In Gozo and Malta you will find much appreciated farmhouses. A farmhouse is not what you might think – a modest house on a farm. A farmhouse is more like a high class, luxury villa in the middle of the nature.
Most beaches in Gozo are rocky and stony with 2 exceptions: the reddish sand beaches Ramla and San Blas.
From the Cittadella (an ancient citadel located in the heart of the island in Victoria city), you can spot the surrounding sea in the horizon, in a 360-degrees panorama, an indication of how tiny the island is. On a side note, the Citadella is the cleanest historical monument i have ever seen. Impeccable, picturesque with charming corridors and tunnels.
#9: Bethlehem reconstructed
In Ghajnsielem, you’ll find a great reconstruction of the Biblical Bethlehem with a cute donkey and some roosters which can tell the time of the day better than your smartphone clock :P.
#10: Giant burgers for free
The Clubhouse bistro offers the biggest burger we have ever seen. And you can get it for free if you manage to eat it in 45 minutes.
#11: What’s in a name? 🙂
The name of the island – Gozo – has a Spanish origin and means joy, pleasure, delight. Nice! Be prepared to see the name Gozo very often displayed on the street signs in Maltese: Ghwadex.
#12: Widow’s soup
A gastronomical specialty of Gozo is the Widow’s soup (soppa tal-armla), a soup entirely made of vegetables that used to be cooked by poor widows.
#13: Megalithic temples
#14: Bye Bye Azure Window
Azure Window, one of the main attractions of Gozo, which also shows up in the Games of Thrones scenery, has recently collapsed. You will still be able to find postcards with this special geological formation in Victoria, the capital of Gozo.
#15: Bancinu restaurant
You can have an uplifting meal in a restaurant that bears the name of a sunken ferry: Bancinu.
#16: What’s in a language? 🙂
You will probably not understand one word of the local language – Maltese – a mix of Arabic, Italian and English. Luckily, English is also second official language here.
#17: House of character
In Gozo and Malta we heard for the first time the phrase House of character 🙂
#18: Food and booze and gekkos
You’ll be able to share your meal with some tiny gekkos in the only restaurant that has exclusively 5 star rating on google maps – La Stanza. (Now, not anymore. I gave them a 3 star rating, not because of the gekkos, but because in my case the food was mediocre.
A taxi driver will charge you 10 euro for a 3 min drive from the ferry to the closest area Ghajnsielem (pronounced Ein-seey-lemm). So you’d better take the bus or rent a car close to the ferry. Bus price: 2 eur. They go every 40 min and they are always on time and have AC.
Bonus: on the predictable and unsurprising side: If you eat in the Fat Rabbit Restaurant, you are very likely to become a fat rabbit yourself. The portions are huge and delicious. The surroundings are refreshing.