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On the third day, we left early to visit the island of Gozo. We drove to the port of Mġarr from where we took the ferry ride to Gozo. The ferry makes a trip every 45 minutes and the ride is around 25 minutes each way. We can even take our cars inside the ferry. The fare of this ride needs to be paid during the return journey (from Gozo), and it is approx. 20 euros (for the car).
Compared to the main land, Gozo is less developed and more rural. We drove to Dwejra bay to check out the Azure window, one of the most beautiful features of Gozo. Azure window is a natural arch rich in Maltese limestone, Globigerina. The Azure sea provides a gorgeous backdrop for this arch.
Driving across, we reached Xwejni bay. Along the bay, salt pans were built for sea-salt production. This form of salt production has been carried out since Roman times. It is a natural way of producing salt, where the sea water fills the rock-cut salt pans, and after the water evaporates, the film of salt is harvested.
We drove to the main city of Victoria and decided to walk around. One of the main attractions of Gozo, the citadel is located here. This Citadel is visible from almost everywhere on the Island, rising steeply above the surrounding countryside. It owes its roots to the late medieval era. For centuries, it served as a sanctuary from attack by Barbarians and raiders who took the population into slavery. History says, until 1637, the Gozitan population was required by law to spend their nights within the Citadel for their own safety. In later, more peaceful times, this restriction was lifted and people were allowed to settle below its walls, creating the prosperous town of Rabat, now known as Victoria.
There are lots of little nooks and corners to explore within the Citadel- shops, cafes, restaurants and viewpoints that allow you to see the whole of Gozo. The citadel of Victoria is well worth a visit if you are in Gozo. However, you must prepare yourself to walk uphill.
After a beautiful day spent on this island, we took the ferry back to the main island.
On the last day of our trip, we checked out of our hotel early and drove to places like Birzebugga and Marsaskala, which are beautiful sea side villages, before heading back to the airport.
Though the trip was very short, we made the most of it. Everywhere we went, we encountered beautiful churches, and to top it all, it was Easter; It was heart whelming to find people decked up in gorgeous dresses, suits and neckties (even the kids), rushing to the churches and after the sermons, back on the streets, spending time with their families, neighbors, friends and enjoying coffee and lunch together at the restaurants nearby. It reminded me of India, where friends and families get together so often to celebrate even the smallest of occasions…