Saturday, May 24, 2008

Goin' to Gozo

Day 72
I as up before my alarm had gone off. It was already hot though when I left the hostel with all of my stuff. I didn't walk to Valletta, where all buses leave from. I waited and waited and eventually one came.

Once in Valletta I boarded bus number 45 to the port for Gozo. I was one of the first on and took a seat up front by the window. An older man got on the bus, he smelled like a diaper. When he gave me a crazy smile I was frightened that he might sit next to me, but he moved to the back of the bus. About half way through the hour long ride an awful smell, like someone had just had diarrhea filled the bus. The driver pulled over and walked to the back, chasing the man out of the bus. The driver spent the next several minutes yelling and screaming at him. He then pulled out some detergent and put it everywhere the man had been sitting. I couldn't tell if he had let the man back on or not.

We were a bit late because of the earlier incident and I almost didn't make it to the ferry, I had to run. The ride was only about 30 minutes though and not the least bit painful. I knew that my hotel was only about a 10 minute walk up a step hill and didn't want a cab. Still, they all accosted me.

When I got to the top of the hill I was quite confused, I had not known that my hostel was HI. The place looked like a monastery, but turned out to have once been a home for troubled boys.

I could have taken a bus to Victoria, the main town, but I decided to walk. The woman at the hostel told me to go straight until I got to the traffic light and then I would know that I was there. I asked her how many traffic lights I would pass, she said just one, the only one on this island. It wasn't a bad walk, just hot.

When I found Victoria I found the tourist office. Most everything was closed, but if I moved quickly I could check out the citadella. I didn't have time for every museum, but chose to see only the cathedral. Apparently the site has been religious for the last 7,000 years. The cathedral was nice. Interestingly the main dome wasn't a dome at all, but rather a well painted optical illusion. This was done to save money. One of St. Ursula's arms is here. She was is a British saint who was being forced by her father to marry. She said that she would not marry until she had made a pilgrimage and took 11,000 virgins with her. Near Cologne they were attacked and beheaded by the Huns.

After the cathedral had closed I spent some time just wandering the citadella and taking in all of the sites from there. When I was tired I headed back to my hostel, by bus this time.

I wanted to have a real Maltese dinner and choose the nicer looking of the two restaurants near me. I figured that because I could see the sea that the crab cakes should be fabulous. Boy was I wrong, it was fake crab. The cheese ravioli however was quite good and almost redeemed the place. The fabulous wine helped it further along.

After dinner I simply headed back and spent some time reading before nodding off.

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