What comes to mind when you think about the word "lagoon"? If you're thinking of a watery sanctum, you're on the right track. If you're picturing a mosquito-infested bog, I can give you something to help with that sad mental image.
Behold the lagoons of the island Comino.
Comino is the tiny island between the greater island of Malta and its little brother, the island of Gozo. All of these islands belong to Malta proper (which is its own country, if you need a geography bump). You can traverse the entire island of Comino on foot, in a day.
Perhaps you need a break from birds (What are you, nuts?). Consider these Maltese Wall Lizards, if you like.
The Maltese Wall Lizard (or Filfola Lizard) exists only on the three islands of Malta and in some parts of Italy. Males are bright green, as seen above, while females and juveniles are rusty or brown. These lizards mate in the spring and then lay one or two eggs which hatch in the summer.
They are everywhere in Malta and skitter through the succulents along the path every few steps it seems. Sometimes, a male was spotted puffing up and raising his head. This is a behaviour reserved for either intruders or sexy ladies.
Not pictured in this post: the secret society of the very few. AKA Ocellated Skinks. I think we saw three of them but they're so quick! I couldn't grab a photo. They are beautiful lizards though. Stay tuned for a very special future lizard post involving, say, chameleons.
In a time when everyone wants to appear like they are not tourists, I will be the one rooting for kitschy tourist things like hop on/hop off bus tours. I will be the one with my camera slung across my body and my rain jacket wadded up in my hand. I'll have sneakers on and a ponytail. The wind and miles will not depreciate my tilted, curious head.
The thing about bus tours and guided walks is that they are often the best way to see a large majority of sights when time is limited. The information obtained through cheaply assembled ear buds on the top of a double decker bus is usually a bit out of date but still covers non-recent history. And let's face it, touring is secretly mostly about withstanding the pain of your blistered, well-traveled feet (if you're doing it right). Sometimes you need to take a load off.
All of the photos in this post were taken from a bus tour in Gozo, Malta.
I have opinions about travelling. A bunch of them. You might think that this means limits but the exact opposite is the goal. If I had to boil it down to one simple mantra, I'd give you this advice:
Eat what the people eat, do what the people do.
And for god's sake, don't waste precious time at chain restaurants (unless you have children, I'm not even going to touch that one) and empty activities that are featured in "best of" lists. Talk to the people. Get the scoop on the underground sitch. Watch Anthony Bourdain shows. Eat a bug.
Last bit of advice for this post. Don't be intimidated by other people's travels or their wealth of travel experience. You do you. And feel free to apply any of my travel tips to your very own city. In fact, people generally know the least about their own city. You can recommend commonly talked about sights to visitors but how long has it been since you took a look for yourself?
If you liked this post and would like more travel advice in the future, let me know by liking, sharing, commenting or subscribing by email (at the bottom of the page).
Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) - Wied Il-Għasri, Gozo, Malta
I took this photo on a dirt path below the lighthouse that sits above Wied Il-Għasri. Unknowingly, we were walking through private property and eventually happened upon a tiny shack dug into the hill. It looked rather questionable. Luckily no one was home.
The detour was worth it to spot my first ever leaf-warbler.