Jan 21, Malta
Flying in from Tunis, I had barely a day in Malta before returning home and I knew just what I wanted to do. The Gigantija temple called and so a here I was on sparkling blue waters, heading to the island of Gozo on the ferry. Tall church spires, narrow roads wind through green fields. It looks far more rural than the island of Malta and the air is a lot more laid back.
On a slight rise sits a tumble of massive stone slabs of what once was a large temple. Each of the two separate temples have spaces arranged like the suit of clubs. The aisles, just as in Hagar Qim run the length with a view of the island. Large stone slabs form floors, some have a circular altar and there are the same holes in the upright walls. Although older, this is in worse state than the ones in Malta – lack of funds the likely culprit, I imagine.
But the adjoining museum has a fascinating collection of statues found here and at the Xaghra funeral site nearby. The fat ladies sit in an array of poses. Some clutch their stomach, some lie down while some look skywards.
A curious feature is their chest. It is ridged like the underside of a tortoise shell. What could that be? Some are even carved on cow bones. One statuette looks like a dog and one like a snail. And then there are the stick figures of men.Their faces are different and one wears a hoodie.
Questions bubble up in my mind but the signage answers none of them. Finding someone to pester seems to be on the card but it may have to wait until I get back home.