We Live To Travel

Gozo – Party in Nadur Square and a Visit to the Salt Pans

Day 22, 23 and 24 of 59

Saturday July 21 – Monday July 23, 2018

Well I know I said I wouldn’t be posting much, but already there are two things I wanted to tell you about… so here I am again!

Our fabulous social coordinator Suzy found out it would be our last chance to see Cash & Band during our month here, so organized to pick us up and take us to the square in Nadur where they would be playing. They were part of a bigger event taking place… something about rural communities in the EU.

This had the added benefit of us hearing some local traditional folk music as well as seeing some traditional Maltese dancing. Here is a short clip… the actual dancing was MUCH longer 🙂

What was quite intriguing was the lady in black off to the side. We kept waiting for her to join in, in some theatrical way, but she didn’t. Steve later told me that she stood with them at the end for the applause because she was the teacher. I think I might get one of these outfits for me when I’m teaching. It’s quite formidable!

As well as the dancing they had traditional carriages giving people rides around the square. This was the fancy one.

And here is the “less fancy” one 🙂

You can kind of get a feel for what a Gozitan Square looks like from the photos. A large church at the top of the square and businesses and residences surrounding the square. This one was quite beautiful tonight and packed with people.

As they were doing some sort of special night for the EU delegates from rural areas there was a rather long stretch of speeches and presentations in the middle. My heart sunk when they said they were going to call up the 28 visiting countries one by one! Although it took a long time, it passed quickly, as we can always find ways to amuse ourselves with good friends 🙂

Finally, it was time for Cash & Band. They are terrific local talent that play just the kind of music we love. Steve was quite impressed with one of the guitarists, and I loved the way the singers voice was so diverse. Here is a little taste of how they sound… complete with fireworks. Yep, these Gozitans really like their fireworks!

At the end of the night as we were leaving I noticed this intriguing staircase in the middle of the square. It’s completely surrounded by fence, but you can see it would be easy to slip under at the start of the stairs. Enquiring minds want to know what’s down there!

The second thing I wanted to tell you about was our walk to the Salt Pans. I had wanted to visit this area both times we were here before, but didn’t get around to it. Conveniently it is a short walk (about 2 km) from our current apartment. I managed to drag Steve out of bed before noon today, and convinced him to go on this adventure 🙂

After you walk along the seafront past the harbour and some of the apartment complexes, the first place of interest you get to is the “Il-Qolla l-Bajda Battery”

 

Side note: The Maltese language is quite fascinating to me. It contains a lot of the letters we rarely use, and they use them quite often. There are many Q, J, and X’s in words. It’s a bit hard to figure out at first. For instance, you don’t say the Q’s… so Qala is pronounced allah. Also if it starts with Gh you don’t say it so the town of Ghajnsielem is pronounced Ansealem (from what I can tell.) Also, the town we want to live in called Xaghra is pronounced zshara. Luckily for us, everyone we’ve run into or had to interact with speaks English very well!

Sorry, went off track for a minute there. Here is a photo of the battery 🙂

This is me finding a spot to hide in the shade… it’s HOT out there! Anyway, as I was cooling off, I discovered a little secret way inside 😉

Now you know I’m a rule follower… but there wasn’t a sign that said I can’t go in… so I went in! To be completely honest, I sent Steve in first to make sure there was nothing scary or dangerous in there 🙂

You can tell it would have been an amazing place to have a disco! Even though it is abandoned and quite wrecked you can see that the architecture and the views would have made for amazing ambience!

After the battery we continued walking and found a spot to take a swim.

The water was actually quite warm, and easy to get into because of the handy ladder 🙂

Once we cooled off we continued walking. We thought we were about half way to the salt pans… but it turns out they start on just the other side of the bay. They do go on for quite a stretch… about one km in total.

As well as being quite beautiful to look at, the whole idea of how they get salt was fascinating to me. It’s just not something you really think about (probably because I just buy salt at the store)… but those Romans were quite ingenious!

We think that’s a big pile of salt under the tarp, but aren’t sure.

There was a lady selling little burlap bags of the salt for 2 euros on the side of the road. I decided against it because I did not want to be the person headed through customs with an unsealed bag of white crystals…

The landscape along this stretch of the coast is quite beautiful. Here’s a few photos to show you what we saw… I wish you were here though to see it yourself… photos just don’t capture the scope of it!

Steve went to investigate some caves by the sea, while I took a rest and soaked in the view from above.

Steve spying on me from inside the caves.

A view of the sea from inside the caves.

Looking back towards the battery/disco.

Across the street from the salt pans we saw this abandoned cave dwelling and decided to go in and have a look around. Steve’s going to give you a short tour. We both find it quite fascinating to imagine how someone originally built it, and then lived in it.

On our way back home we stopped at a little place along the road for a late lunch. It didn’t even have a name, but was honestly the best (and cheapest) food we’ve had in Marsalforn area so far! Steve had a chicken salad and I had a pulled pork sandwich. They were both quite delicious!

Until next time 🙂

 

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