The secrets of the citadel (1)

Citadel

I love Gozo’s citadel: its vast solidity as a hilltop fortress reflects it impressive history of swords and scimitars, and yet, glowing soft yellow amber, with green-carpet views rolling away to the deep blue sea in every direction, it has a beauty and romance that might have been lifted directly from Scheherazade’s Arabian nights: it’s […]

Through the Keyhole

Say ‘farmhouse’ across Europe, and in the mind’s eye you conjure a picture of a detached foursquare building resting alongside a scattering of barns in the middle of green fields. It would be likely to have windows scattered over two floors, perhaps painted white with colourful shutters flung open in a welcoming green Alpine valley, […]

Away in a Manger

Taking the ferry to Gozo from the modern metropolis of Malta is like stepping back in time. Instead of tall tower blocks and bustle, the buildings nestle close to the land, an unassuming stripe along the skyline where traces of the old traditions of the archipelago can still be found. During December, in the village […]

Prickly pears and pomegranates en route to The Redeemer

On a cloudy day the other week, The Significant Other and I climbed Tal Merzuq Hill on the top of which stands a giant statue of Tas Salvatur (Christ the Redeemer; as replicated by The Significant Other in the picture above) with his arms out-stretched. He is the third such statue at this site replacing […]

Saints, bands, flowers and fairy-lights

Gharb Square

It was village Festa week here last week – and we had a truly wonderful time. Festas are a big deal in Malta and Gozo, a celebration of the village’s patron saint with events and processions over a weekend or more. Our village Gharb really goes to town with a seven-day celebration of the visitation […]

Atop Ta Għammar

View of Gozo from Ghajn Ghammar

I am often asked by friends visiting Gozo for top tips for special places to go, secret spots that leap less often from the pages of a tourist guide. This morning, I strode to one of my favourites and I’m happy to share it. There’s a ring of amazing mosaics that glimmer with gold and […]

Dahlet Qorrot – a secret spot

Dahlet Qorrot

Ask me today for my top five places on the island and I can’t guarantee I’ll give you the same five as I would have done yesterday or might tomorrow. What I can be sure of, though, is that the lesser-known Dahlet Qorrot, a particularly beautiful bay on the North Eastern edge of the island […]

Gozo’s new Jedi

As a tourist to Gozo in the early days, baked mid-brown with a dash of lobster, I was surprised to see the warm woollen jumpers amongst the traditional lace hanging from stalls in the market place. They seemed an unlikely purchase for the summer stroller or sun-worshipper. I was bemused and amused in equal measure. […]

The Chef is not my wife

Well, what d’ya know? For nearly three years  The Significant Other and I have enjoyed the Gharb Rangers Bar’s hospitality,  whether that’s on the upstairs terrace with fresh fish whilst gazing across open countryside to the Ta Pinu Basilica or winter-wrapped over a delicious pizza in a damp wet February (only 60 miles from Italy, pizzas […]

Phoenician drinking habits

It’s a speck of an island, hardly visible on a map of the Med, yet Gozo’s history runs deep: just over a decade ago divers discovered the remains of a Phoenician wreck dating back to 700BC. Beyond a popular bay on the south of the island, this is the oldest known wreck in the central […]

The Busman’s Holiday

Definition of ‘a busman’s holiday’: a form of recreation in which one does something very similar to what one does for a living.   One of my favourite ways to spend time in Gozo is aimless wandering through the back streets of Victoria, through the jumble of resplendent houses, from rickety-ramshackle to richly-renovated, that jostle for […]

The wonders of the weather

Gozo is a wonderland: whilst Lewis Carroll’s Alice wouldn’t recognise its terrain she surely would feel at home here. It may be a small and gentle Mediterranean island, but on this three-dimensional chequerboard of green and golden-browns, the roads take you in directions you’d never expect as secret ravines and valleys divert your route according […]

Keeping an eye on Gozo

Tucked away on the side of St George’s Basilica in Gozo’s Victoria I have just discovered a museum I must have walked past a hundred times before and never noticed and I feel apologetic that I haven’t been shouting about it from the rooftops. I confess I first ventured into the Heart of Gozo/Il-Ħaġar Museum […]

Gozo’s pomskizillious Citadel

Painting of Gozo by edward lear

A couple of weeks ago we caught up with some good friends over a Cisk in Xerri’s*, watching the evening roll in over the sea to Comino, the twinkling lights of Malta beyond. One of these friends grew up on the island and is an absolute repository of Gozo stories – captured within book covers, he’d […]

Open Water Certification

Esther Lafferty

The Mediterranean island of Gozo crams a huge amount of geological interest into its pocket-sized landmass from the smooth space-age rock formation on Marsalforn’s western side, best viewed across ix-Xwejni bay and the age-old salt pans on the coast road, to the large limestone arch, fifteen men tall, that juts out into the sea less […]

Reflecting upon Science in the Citadel

Last weekend The Significant Other and I went to the ‘Science in the Citadel’ event in Gozo’s Victoria. In this stunning setting, both inside and alongside the honeyed-gold medieval bastions which went some way to keeping a challenging breeze at bay, a multitude of stands offered scientific interest and inspiration to both those who were […]

Valletta: a Mediterranean fortress bathed in winter sun

Less than thirty miles from Gharb as the crow flies (though if you don’t have wings you’ll need to take a ferry) stands the age-old city of Valletta, a fusion of European, Arabic and North African influences: palm trees against golden stone, flat roofs and its signature enclosed wooden balconies hanging in bright colours above […]

Gozo’s story book beach

ramla bay

When The Boys were small, we had a children’s book (The Runaway Dinner by Allan Ahlberg) in which, unobtrusively in the backdrop of one of the early pages, a Spider-Man costume hung on the washing line between the everyday socks and vests and common-or-garden T-shirts. It made me smile every time I read the story as I […]