The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Discoveries

Sometimes you wake up and it is just another morning but, somewhere deep inside you, you feel a strange sense of anticipation, as if you are on the brink of solving a great  mystery; or setting out on a thrilling adventure. That is how I felt last Saturday as I parted the curtains and stared out of our window at the familiar, serene scene. It was a blustery, sunny day with a flimsy haze that dulled the harsh brightness of the winter sun. I opened the window and sensed that a subtle change had taken place. There was a languid warmth in the air, a promise of  things to come, a hint of spring.
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Before too long we were out, driving to the squat tower at Nadur that crowns the hill on our horizon. It is the first thing that we see every morning and the last thing that we see, silhouetted against the sky, when the sun sets behind it. The wind was howling up there, blowing and heaving in every direction. We did not stay long. I felt a bit like the wind – restless and just as unshackled and unbound.
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So we drove some more to a sign that said Ghemieri (which is a mouthful to pronounce, I know, but it sounds very  much like emery) and followed a winding road that ended up in front of a barred gate.
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Carved in stone on the archway was a coat of arms, eroded by the winds of countless winters. Here was my mystery. All I needed was to get beyond the gate. It seemed rusty and old, but it would not budge. Conveniently, a small hole in the metal frame let me look through. But all I could see were the leaves and branches of an  olive tree, all bent and gnarled.
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I would not give up. We walked around and came to a little lane that said ‘Private’, but a friendly farmer assured us that we could go and take a little walk.
I led the way, prepared for almost anything. Then I saw it, lurking in the trees – a chapel, flanked on either side by a building the colour of spilt blood. A tower; a blood-red house and a little church. How mysterious, I thought, how utterly fascinating.
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My mind was soon a-buzz with unwritten stories. This place had to be old. I know of only one period in our history when buildings were painted in such bright colours – during the era of the Knights of St John. Here was a building that was at least 300 years old ... maybe more – all within a five mile radius from our house and I had never seen it before.
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It was such a peaceful, scenic spot, and the view was incredible. I could see why one of those knights of old would want to build his country abode there.
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We re-traced our steps, walking past the padlocked gate again and  down a sinuous country road. Some of my restlessness was gone. The serenity of the place was soothing but very much alive, with birds and blossoms and even the elusive chamomile -  which I had not seen for a number of years.
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It was the perfect end to a morning of billowing breezes, small discoveries and little wonders.
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Homeward bound, we listened to this. Some virtual digging informed me that the mysterious red house at Ghemieri is known as Palazzo Gomerino and it flanks the church dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and St Anthony the Abbott. And although I could probably write some more, I will stop here. Until next time friends …
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Location: Palazzo Gomerino and the Church of the Immaculate Conception & St Anthony the Abbott, Ghemieri, L/O Rabat, February 2013

11 comments:

  1. Dear Loree - what a beautiful post and your pictures are superb. You live in such a beautiful place. Ah may spring come soon! Have a great day.

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  2. Beautiful and interesting discoveries ! You are so lucky to see spring moving in ! We just got rid of the snow.

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  3. Beautiful pictures, I see Spring has arrived in Malta, how lucky.
    All is so barren here on my side of the world, well I guess it won't be long before it arrives here too.
    Sue.

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  4. Your writing is just beautiful...I'm glad I stumbled upon your page the other day! How nice that spring has arrived where you are. Still winter here, but change is coming soon!

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  5. How fun to discover something right in your own backyard (so to speak). I've never seen a red church before...it is adorable. So glad you got out and about and we get to benefit from your discoveries! I really should take it as a lesson to get out into Houston more often than I do.

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  6. Oh Loree - that place is gorgeous! I want to know more, I want to see more pictures - those walls, those stones have so many stories to tell - next time I am in Malta, I must pay this place a visit xx

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  7. Lorna, I have never heard of this place ........how gorgeous..........the contrast in the colors is stunning. And I agree with Josefa.......these walls could tell a lot of stories.......So glad you found this delightful spot.

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  8. Something quite magic is stirring inside you, dear friend. I will be very interested to see where all of this leads. I find it particularly intriguing that you had a premonitory sense when you woke up that morning, as if the end of the day were folding over on the beginning. Lovely.

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  9. Super beautiful and amazing picks!! And how awesome is God’s creations too!! love your blog also From Bad Day

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  10. i simply adore finding secret and hidden enclaves such a this. thank you for sharing your mysterious and beautiful island with us.

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