Day 18 of 59
Tuesday July 17, 2018
So today included three taxis, two planes and one ferry!
Well due to an airline switch after we booked our flights, we had a VERY early morning. Our plane left at 6:30 AM. That meant being at the airport at 4:30 AM… which meant leaving the apartment at 4:00 AM… which meant getting up at 3:00 AM. ICK! Keep in mind that we are having difficulty falling asleep before 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning 🙂 Those of you who know me are stunned, I’m sure… normally I fall asleep by 9:00!
Anyway, our pre-arranged ride showed up right on time to pick us up and take us to the airport. Slightly more expensive than a regular taxi, but how the heck are we supposed to get a regular taxi to an apartment at 4:00 in the morning? We don’t have a phone, and there are no taxis just hanging around in the middle of the night. For me it’s worth it to pay a few extra dollars for peace of mind. Also I hate worrying about being late to the airport. I would WAY rather be early!
I had read that the Verona airport was a nightmare. I can tell you this. At 4:30 in the morning it is not. It seemed organized and orderly to me. 2 hours before your flight they put up on the screens which check-in counter to go to. Check-in was easy. We went through security… also easy. Then one hour before your flight they put up on the screen which gate your flight will be at. It is a small airport, and all the planes I saw were out on the tarmac… they took you to them by bus. It was super easy and organized. Now, maybe that is because it was so early in the morning. Or maybe they’ve become recently organized. OR… just maybe people on the internet like to complain… maybe 😉
We had a short flight to Rome which went smoothly. Then we found our next gate for our flight to Malta. They weren’t able to give us our boarding passes in Verona for this flight, so I just went to the desk when the gate attendant showed up and she printed them out for me. If you are doing this make sure you have all your people with you. I was in line while Steve was eating and she wanted to physically see him before she would give me his boarding pass. Seeing him across the room sufficed 🙂
Our flight to Malta was about 1.25 hours and also went smoothly. I think I might have slept through it 🙂
When we arrived in Malta we stood in our longest line of the day at the stand to get a taxi. At the airport you prepay and get a voucher for a taxi. I read somewhere that this is to prevent people from being grossly overcharged… but am not sure this is true.
You could also take public transit to the ferry for only 2 Euros… but honestly… we didn’t want to drag our backpacks on to a full bus and potentially stand for the hour drive to the ferry. Princesses, right?
The taxi ride was adventurous. Steve and I were both feeling carsick by the end. They drive on the left side (which is always disconcerting at first) and like they are playing some sort of race car video game. The little sensor in his car that beeps when you get too close to something was beeping fairly often!
Nevertheless, we arrived safe and sound at the ferry. You don’t pay on the Malta side, just when you come back from Gozo. We had just missed a ferry, so waited for the next one about 45 minutes later.
We had an uneventful ferry ride… very uneventful… Steve basically passed out on the table in the lounge… and I watched him sleep 🙂
Upon arrival, we took another taxi. When you arrive there is a board that says how much a taxi should be to each place. Our taxi to Marsalforn said 17.50 on the board, and he said 18.00… and we said “Okay!”
When we arrived our host met us at our apartment and showed us how everything worked. I kind of forgot most of the things he said (lack of sleep… or getting old?) but hopefully Steve was listening 🙂
Our apartment is perfect. Close to restaurants and stores… bus stop right outside…clean and modern… exactly what we were hoping for.
Here we are in the living room/kitchen. Down the hall at the back is the bathroom and two bedrooms. There is a balcony at the front and the back which creates good airflow… we haven’t even had to use the AC yet!
So far in Gozo we have stayed in Kercem and Victoria. This time we are staying in Marsalforn. The plan is to try out different places to see what we prefer. This way when we partially retire here we’ll know exactly where we want to be 😉
After a nap, we headed down towards the harbour to find some dinner. We are just a few quick minutes to a wide selection of restaurants.
We enjoyed a lovely dinner right beside the sea (as a matter of fact, the water was a bit rough, so some people’s feet were getting splashed by the sea!) and watched the local kids playing and running freely in the streets. This reminded me of one of the things I like about Gozo… it seems like some aspects of it are stuck back in time… in a good way. The kids were playing… unsupervised… in groups or on their own. One found a stick he was trying to hammer into a hole (for a long time), another was fishing, some little girls (maybe five years old) were just racing back and forth happily. I can’t think of the right word to describe it, but it made me feel content to see kids taking joy in these types of things completely without adult interaction.
After dinner we walked along the seafront for a while, until it got really dark, and then headed home in an attempt to sleep.
Don’t expect many posts from Gozo, as I think things are going to get really LAZY 🙂