Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Gozo (and Malta)

Back in June, we headed off to Gozo for my brother's wedding and decided to make a bit of a holiday of it and go looking for some reptiles and butterflies. On landing in Malta we jumped straight in the car and headed for the ferry and Gozo then off to find our wonderful B&B for the first couple of nights. We stayed with a lovely couple at Charming B&B “Dar ta’ Zeppi" and I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Gozo, Tanja and Vince were incredibly welcoming and friendly and the place is just beautiful and located in a quiet part of the island. After we checked in we headed off to find dinner and ate at a small little restaurant just 10 minutes walk away enjoying fresh fish caught that day and delicious local wine.

The next day we headed off in search of some butterflies, reptiles and the beech! As Chris was sorting some stuff out I had a wonder round the garden at the B&B and came across this Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) feeding on a white flower that acted as a perfect reflector producing a wonderful light underneath the butterfly. 

Time to head off and explore the botanical gardens just up the road, I was hoping for chameleons, lizards and snakes as well as bugs, unfortunately the lizards were too quick and the only snake and chameleon I found were dead ones but we did find a long-tailed blue butterfly (Lampides boeticus).  

After much searching we decided to head to the beech for some relaxation and a swim in the rather chilly sea then back to the B&B and off for dinner. The next day we headed back to the same spot briefly to have another search, this time coming across a rather obliging dragonfly.

Still no reptiles so time to head to Ramla Bay and a walk on the beech, just as we were leaving to go explore some more I found a Maltese Wall Lizard (Podarcis filfolensis) in the tree by the information centre and that was me for about 20 minutes. 

After a day of exploring and a good meal we headed to bed ready to move to Xlendi the next day to meet up with the rest of the family and do some more exploring over the next couple of days and to celebrate the wedding. Most of the exploring took place on the cliffs just up from Xlendi Bay, and I could have honestly spent days there and still not been bored so here are some photos from the cliff explorations. I've decided that as I spent so much time photographing the wall lizards they have their own dedicated post you can check out here:  Maltese Wall Lizards

We did make a trip out to the Azure Window (Games of Thrones fans should recognise it) and enjoyed a wonder round and then a swim in the inland see to cool off.

Salt crystals forming in one of the small pools

The wedding was absolutely beautiful and we had so much fun celebrating, eating drinking and dancing on the roof of the St. Patricks Hotel in Xlendi Bay, and here we are with the bay in the background.

The time had come to say good bye to everyone and head back to Malta for a day before catching the flight home. On recommendation we visited the medieval walled city of Mdina and later on in the afternoon met up with Rich and Susie for tea and cake. Rather unlike me I took some photos of the buildings as we wondered round. 

We had a wonderful time and will definitely be visiting again, there is so much more I would like to explore and photograph at different times of the year as well. Just have to find the time and start planning! Until next time, stay safe, Victoria xx

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