I had a lovely last day! It was honestly the best day I've had so far, it was so good.
In the morning I got the bus to Cirkewwa, the ferry back to Gozo and a bus to Xlendi, a small fishing village on the west coast. It's built in a narrow valley sided by steep limestone walls and has an aquamarine bay with bobbing boats. I spent a couple of hours exploring the area around this village. Steep steps cut into the rock to one side lead to a secluded cove, a path on the other leads to a watchtower with salt pans cut into the rock below and on past towards the windswept high cliffs of Ta Cenc. It was so peaceful and deserted up high on the cliffs with glorious views across the bay and out to the sea, one of my favourite things I've done on this trip. Up on the cliff were strange half bit shelter type things, with flattened land next to them as if it was cleared for crops. They were too small to be dwellings, so my only guess is that the land there used to be farmed at one point and the shelters were for the farmers to take shelter from the midday sun, no longer used and fallen into ruin.
I think I've mentioned the midday sun. It's so hot here that 13:00-15:00 is really quite unbearable and it's not possible to be outside in this time, apart from in transit between shadier cooler areas. Most of the shops shut up for a few hours and churches also do this. I got into the habit whilst I was here of doing stuff early in the morning then having lunch at midday followed by a chilled few hours inside if possible, then going on to do another outside thing one it had cooled down a bit.
In the afternoon I took a boat trip around Comino. It was fabulous! So lovely to be out on the water with a cooling sea breeze. We sailed around Comino and the few pointed out famous rock structures including caves, holes through the rock and odd shaped lumps of limestone. We had two stops to snorkel, in high sided Crystal Lagoon and then in the famous Blue Lagoon. Particularly in the latter, the snorkelling was wonderful- the water was crystal clear and around the rocks with algae and plants growing on them I saw many varieties of reef fish, a sea cucumber, some little sand skippers and a couple of jellyfish. The sea was warm enough to stay in for around 45mins before I got cold. I really enjoyed this and would like to do more if I return.
Had a really lovely holiday. I wasn't sure about Malta at first but it grew on me. .
I loved the history, the ancient buildings, fortifications, medieval walled cities, ruined temples, beautiful churches and checkered stories behind them. I loved the limestone cliffs and winding roads, the hilliness that created myriad views down to blue sparkling sea. I liked the air conditioned buses & how easy & cheap it is to get around and the smallness of the island that meant I could go all over it in a week. I liked Theobroma raw vegan chocolate shop in Valletta and the amazing (albeit very expensive) hummus I bought in the supermarket Trolees. I liked how the tourist attractions weren't too busy so I could see stuff without having to peer over people's shoulders or jostle to get a spot. I liked that I was able to find space, emptiness and aloneness hiking on my own up on cliffs. I utterly adored Gozo (little island to the north, part of the Malta archipelago)