{Travel Tales: Malta & Italy, Part Five – Eating by Water Makes Everything Taste Better}

The fourth full day of the trip basically affirmed (or reaffirmed, since I’m pretty certain I’ve had this thought before in my lifetime), that eating near water makes everything taste better.

We actually slowed down quite a bit today, and did not have as action packed a schedule as we had the previous three days.  However, to make up for that we had one of the most unique experiences of the entire trip – and that includes the Italy portion.  But we’ll get to that later, as it was the close of our day.

Our day started with a trip to Victoria to check on some jewelry that Sarah and her mom had left to be repaired and resized.  At this point, we had been to Victoria enough that I could practically wander around on my own – I was recognizing the streets and making sense of the connections, even though the streets around Gozo are otherwise exceptionally confusing as they meander and twist and you can easily find yourself turned around.

Apparently we did business the “Maltese way” that morning as none of the jewelry was ready yet, and we would need to come back another day.

We had plans to meet Sarah’s uncle Edwin and aunt Rose for tea that afternoon, but we had plenty of time before we needed to be there.  Sarah wanted to visit a specific store in Marsalforn, so we headed there to shop and have lunch.  We parked the car and began walking down to the water.  On the way I noticed this bench, painted two different colors to match the houses it sat in front of.  I was highly amused by this, especially since the blue side had less space than the green side.  In my head I was imagining a whole feud between the two people who owned these houses, claiming spaces on the fence and not allowing the other household to use “their side” of the bench.

The only other time we had been there was in the dark, and so I was looking forward to seeing another town on the water in the daylight.

It did not disappoint.  Everything on the water in Gozo is beautiful, and this was no exception.  As usual, there was a beach area and the shore was lined with restaurants where you could eat outside and enjoy the expansive views of the water.  Our visit to the shop – a little hippie place that sold clothing and other accessories – resulted in my first gifts of the trip, some clothes for my niece and nephew.

We had a light lunch in Marsalforn.  I never wrote down the name of the restaurant and my attempts to figure out which one it was were futile.  However, there are tons of little cafes and restaurants all along the water, and they all have really nice outdoor space so I’m sure you can’t go wrong with any of them should you ever find yourself there.

We had a leisurely lunch and some drinks before starting back.  On the way to the car, I also found this sign, so naturally I had to have a photo in front of it:

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Afterwards, we still had time before the tea, and so we took a drive to a little remote area with a duck pond.  I am sad to admit that my journal entry for this particular day was a bit skimpy, and I wasn’t as diligent with writing down the names of places.  If I am remembering correctly, however, the duck pond was outside of the town of San Lawrenz.  There was literally no one – and nothing – around when we first got there.  The only sign of life came from the ducks quacking about in their little habitat.  It was such a funny little pond, an oasis in an otherwise dry, dessert-like area.

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On this particular day, we actually remembered to take our fashion pictures.  As we observed the ducks and the surrounding area, we found an obliging photogenic fence as our backdrop.

With nothing much to see but the duck pond, we stayed long enough to take a short walk around the perimeter of the pond, and then head back into the car to make our way to Sarah’s aunt and uncle’s house.  As we drove off, we were treated to even more spectacular views.

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We met Edwin and Rose, and had some coffee and cake at their house.  While we were finishing up, Sarah’s cousin Danny, whose wedding we were there to attend, arrived.  We spent much of the time discussing details of the wedding.

We had plans that night to have a picnic on the water with Sarah’s grandmother, but first we had to head back to the apartment to gather a few things.  I had noticed a little alcove down the street with an overlook and a statue that I wanted to check out, and so Sarah and I took a quick walk down there to take some pictures and enjoy the view before we needed to leave for the picnic.

We picked up Sarah’s grandmother, and headed off for the picnic.  Before we left, I was told we were going to be eating by the water, and so I pictured us sitting at a beach.  I had no idea what I was in for.  We drove past a beach area, and ended up on an overlook.  All around us was water and a collection of salt pans.  We set up a table and chairs, and the food was served.  Sarah’s grandmother outdid herself making a pie and a baked ziti.  We ate and drank as we watched the water and the setting sun.  Occasionally other people would drive or walk by, but for the most part we had the place all to ourselves.  In between courses, we took a walk down the road to look at all the salt pans.  They made the landscape look like an alien planet.

This was our fourth full day on the island, and I had started to completely lose track of time, and the days started to blend together feeling both lazily long and incredibly short all at the same time.  I was definitely all about island life at this point, and so glad that it had only been a few short days and that we still had over a week to go before Italy!

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