We headed over to the other side of the island today, to visit two of our favourite places.
Xslendi: where I snorkelled, bought dresses and ate ice cream. Xslendi is a lovely small town in a bay, we feel very much at home there. It has great places to eat and shops selling summery dresses and loads of knitwear. I just need to come at the right time of year to try some of that on as I really can’t face it in the heat. Knitting is obviously a big thing on the island as I’ve seen it in several places.
Dwejra: where the Azure Window (what the Gozitans call Tieqa Zerqa) once was. Sadly, earlier this year it collapsed into the sea after a storm. The natural arch, eroded over millennia by wind and water had supposedly got firm and solid sides but the top was an increasingly thin and fragile layer of fossilized sea creatures and was best not walked on. The authorities thought it would last another six years or so. Unfortunately, not.
As it was, it was the pillar that collapsed, taking the rest of it down too. However, whenever we have visited before there have always been people standing on the top of it, despite warning signs up telling them not too, and it is a miracle that it collapsed early in the day before any sightseers had clambered up that far. I picked up a couple of postcards this year that show just how rough the seas could be around there – difficult to believe in the summer.
Nearby is a 20m high outcrop called Fungus Rock. This acquired its name because of the rock’s fungus like vegetation. The plant is known as the Maltese sponge and was believed to be a natural blood clotting medicine as well as a supposed remedy for dysentery. The Knights of Malta outlawed its collection except for their own use. A guard tower was built and they devised a primitive rope and pulley system to access the rock. Subsequent research showed this to be a futile endeavour when it proved the fungus possessed no medicinal qualities.
An Inland Sea has also been created here. A land-locked sea-water pool with a natural tunnel in the rock through which short boat trips can be taken.
In light of the disappearance of the Azure Window we wondered what we’d find when we visited this year as a small gathering of market stalls would set up each day to capture the attention of the increased density of tourists.
Where the Window no longer is…
We need not have worried – the place was still busy with many people apparently coming to see where the Window wasn’t…
We had lunch at the lovely restaurant, overlooking the Inland Sea and got back to our villa late afternoon.
We ate in this evening, which has begun to suit me more as I don’t have to get dressed up. Which makes it sound like I normally do – ha! But you know what I mean – going out means having to put a bra on, and possibly something less comfortable than I’d prefer, particularly when I might have put on an additional pound or three over the last week…ahem… it also might mean to some, make up, but to be honest I’ve given up on anything more than a lick of mascara.
This was the evening I cremated the ribs. I don’t just mean they were a little singed, no, no, no – one side had actually become charcoal. However, never to be deterred by a cooking setback I chipped away at the blacked section and attempted to pass off the rest as something yummy for dinner – haha!
I finished the second book in The Eyre Hall Trilogy, Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall by Luccia Gray and you can read my review by clicking on the title or book cover.
Holidays since becoming an independent author are not the same as they once were and mine now wouldn’t be complete without a few challenges. So I decided to set myself some stuff to do, what with the new book on the horizon and all that. Here goes.
List of goals for the week:
Blurb and back matter to write – totally my most important task!
No. of books to read – 12 (okay so I am being ridiculously ambitious here but these are what I have on my seriously-I-have-to-get-to-these-right-now list!)
No. of book reviews to write – 12 (hahaha! Although it does stand to reason)
No of blog posts to write up for lead up to publishing – 14 (based on the list of ideas I’ve had, though not all may make the final cut!)
Keep a diary each day so I can do a series of posts on my return.
Interviews to plan questions for – 5
Clearing emails out of Inbox – no. at start of holiday – 4967!
Thanks for reading
My posts from 2015!