Anyway, as I live at the edge of town, bordering the Ta' Cenc plateau, it takes only a few seconds before getting the first view. I'm cheating a bit as Lewis wouldn't have seen that first view on the way out as it would have been behind him, but he would have seen it on the way back. That's the village of Sannat where I live, with St Margaret's church taking pride of place, which tends to be the case with all Gozitan villages.
What Lewis would have seen first is the Citadel, which is in the capital Victoria, or Rabat as the locals prefer to call it. The Citadel was originally a small fortified city, and houses the island's cathedral, Santa Maria. When the population increased and villages grew on the island, the citadel was still used in times of siege. It sits right in the centre of Gozo, at the highest point, so would have been very easy to defend. Although it wasn't enough to stop 10,000 Ottoman's when they invaded the island.
Moving along we have the village of Xewkija, with its magnificent church of St John The Baptist. Big bugger, isn't it. That happens to be third largest free standing rotunda in the world there, which is quite something for such a little island. There is an argument over the status, however, with the good people of Mosta on Malta claiming that theirs is actually the bigger of the two. Perhaps it is, but I'm giving the bronze medal to Gozo, thank you very much.
All this lies to the left on the outward run/walk. To the right is the raw wilderness of the Ta' Cenc plateau with dramatic cliffs at the end - something I'll go snap some other time, as Lewis would have seen them on the approach to the island by ferry. Beyond the plateau lies Malta across the sea, with Comino in between. That's Comino there, with its watchtower on the right. I'll come back to Comino, as Lewis spends a few days there.
Moving further on, after taking a turning you are facing an even better view of the sea. In the distance you can see the Gozo ferry (there are actually three of them) which is the island's transport link with Malta. And in the foreground is Faisal Rock. Unseen from above - off to the left of Faisal Rock is one of my favourite dive spots - The Middle Finger. It's a column that rises from maybe fifty meters deep and ends about eight meters under the surface - a real haven for sea life, so an excellent dive site.
Further downhill and veering off to the left, the run/walk goes along Mgarr ix-Xini bay with it's own small watchtower guarding the entrance on the other side. The bay has gained some small fame recently, thanks to Angelina Jolie who made the film 'By the Sea' on it, starring alongside hubby Brad Pitt. I'll come back to Brad later as well, as he also features in the book - on Comino, where some scenes from 'Troy' were filmed.
The run/walk reaches its turning point at Mgarr ix-Xini beach. That's the view Lewis would have got on the approach, and is it any surprise that he wanted to return, which he does later in the day for lunch at the little sea food restaurant that can just be made out at the edge of the trees.
And I will be returning there as well, because it really is as good as I describe in the book. But that's for another day, and another tribute to Gozo blog.