Visitors today disembark the ferry from the main island of Malta at Mgarr Harbour, at the south of Gozo. Although the new ferry terminal is relatively new, dating from the early part of the 21st century, there has been a ferry operating here since at least the early thirteenth century.
When a ferry comes into the harbour today, there’s quite a queue for buses, although in our case we just waited for the third bus which was much quieter. For the sake of a short wait, it made for a more comfortable ride. Anyway, what I liked was a guide book written by Thomas MacGill in 1839, who describes the scene back then in what he referred to as Migiarra.
“Migiarra offers no convenience to people landing, except a dirty coffee shop, the houses or huts on the beach are for the reception of fishermen and those attending the boats. But there are always in waiting an abundance of asses, to transport visitors into the interior and there are now also some calesses [carts] of a very ordinary description for those who do not choose to ride.”
Things have improved somewhat since then, but I can imagine the scene, the hustle and bustle of excitement of the incoming ferry and then the need to shuttle people to the centre of Gozo. In many ways, not much has changed, although I’m sure that the coffee shop situation is now much better.