Adventures In and Around the Blue Lagoon
This is the Blue Lagoon. It is the most beautiful, beautiful blue that you can imagine. We admire it daily from our balconies and the back patio, and after a few weeks of gazing from afar, there came an opportunity to get a closer look. We loaded up the motor boat, packed the lunch, the drinking water, the kids' swim rings, the umbrellas, the sunscreen (lots and lots of sunscreen), and headed for the dock at Mgarr.
It was going to take several trips to transport everyone from Mgarr to the lagoon, and on the very first trip, the boat motor started making doubtful noises. So Jon, Carla, the kids, the lunch, and the umbrellas were unloaded at the beach, and the rest of us crammed into a vehicle and sped away to catch a ferry.
The ferries are, essentially, like floating cattle cars. Ours wasn't quite as packed out as some I've seen, but we were definitely cozy. We sat very still, with enormous bags piled on our laps, and felt the salty spray and admired the water that changed from blue to bluer to very, very blue. Arriving at the Blue Lagoon, we scrambled out at the dock and located Jon and Carla and the lunch (no small feat on the crowded beach). And then we swam.
The water is intensely salty and crystal clear with a clean, sandy bottom. The current was so strong that even walking around in the shallows was a bit of a workout; however, no-one got carried away, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. After a while, we unanimously agreed that it was definitely time to eat, so we scrambled up over the rocks and around the crowds and back to our shade umbrellas.
I had gotten up extra-early to make lunch for everyone, so after I'd eaten and hydrated, I contemplated a siesta...but took a walk instead. The 'beach' is a rocky hill that slopes down to the water. So I (naturally) climbed the hill. The crowds thinned out rapidly as I walked closer to the watchtower at the top of the hill and shot some photos overlooking the lagoon.
After a pleasant wander, when the sun was starting to get hot and the salt had dried in little crystals on my skin, I scrambled back down to the water and jumped in for a short swim before we had to leave.
And that was when the adventure really began. We had carted all of our plunder down to the dock and were waiting in line for the ferry when Carla mentioned ice cream. The idea of cold sweetness took hold with a vigor that can only be understood by one who is tired and sunburned and covered in salt and is standing in full sun on a crowded dock. Carla, Jill and I promptly abandoned our bundles and went to get ice cream for the whole group.
We had ordered four cones when Jon suddenly popped up beside us and commanded, "don't buy any more ice cream!" Apparently the ferry had arrived unexpectedly early and our group had left without us...and taken all of our baggage. Also, our ferry passes. So we trooped back to the dock and ate our dripping ice cream cones while we discussed our options and waited for the next ferry.
Most of the ferry lines here are privately owned and operated, and not terribly well-marked. In our determination not to miss another ferry, we kept an eagle eye on all the boats that were constantly coming and going. Our lookout was accompanied by string of dialogue: "This ice cream is so good!...Is that our boat?...No, I don't think so...well, maybe it is...I think our boat's called Selima or something...I guess we can just explain about our passes?...So glad we got the ice cream!...Do you want a taste of mine?...I think that's our boat...never mind."
When the proper boat finally did arrive, Jill explained to the captain that, yes, we actually HAD bought two-way tickets, but no, we DIDN'T have them with us because they'd already been taken across to Gozo on the previous ferry. Either the man believed us, or his conscience wouldn't permit the idea of leaving us marooned. He let us board the boat, and we decided it would be wiser not to muddy the waters further by mentioning the fact that Jon and Carla didn't have any tickets at all, since they'd come over on the motor boat. We got a pleasant, uncrowded ride, which included a mild collision with another boat (the area was so crowded with swimmers and boats of various sizes that I was a bit surprised that we hadn't seen more collisions in the course of our visit), and when we got to shore at Mgarr we thanked our ferryman very politely and payed him an extra €10 for Jon and Carla's one-way fare. I'm not sure how much he understood, or just how crazy he thought we were, but we were back on the proper island so we didn't really care.
Perhaps it was some combination of the sun and the swimming. Perhaps we were all on a sugar buzz from the huge ice cream cones we'd consumed, or perhaps, we were simply relieved that the ferry ride had worked out. Whatever the case, we were all fairly slap-happy by the time we got to the car.
The sight of one horrendously ugly duck and his crew crossing the road nearly killed us (you should really watch it in full-screen. Though it still may not be funny).
And then Jon's superior reflexes saved me from getting hit in the face by the door of a truck, because apparently, the driver thought it would be a great idea to open his door just as we were driving past him. Driving here is a bit of an extreme sport, and every time we've ventured forth, I've had cause to be grateful that I'm NOT the one driving. In fact, I NEVER want to be the one driving. I'm fairly certain that something would explode.
Then home (late) for supper and showers, to wash the sand and the salt from our hair and our clothes and reflect that it was, all in all, a rather splendid day.