Open Water Swim Journal, Travel

Flew to Malta, started swimming (Malta post 1 of 3)

This giant ad for the Discovery Channel was the first image I saw when I stepped into the international terminal at JFK.

Friday evening at 5:30pm I got on a plane to Rome. Sometime Saturday morning I got off that plane, wandered around the Rome airport for a few hours, and then boarded another plane, this time to the tiny island country of Malta, just south of Sicily. Sometime Friday afternoon I wandered off a plane in Malta, found a bus to the ferry terminal, took the ferry to the neighboring island of Gozo, and then hired a taxi to take me to the small town of Xlendi (Shlen-dee).

The ferry was much like the drive-on ferries in Seattle, with one very obvious exception.

The ferry was much like the drive-on ferries in Seattle, with one very obvious exception.

The view of Gozo as the ferry pulled in

A little delirious form lack of proper sleep, and confused about what day it was, I put my stuff into my tiny hotel room and walked out to the front of the hotel. The sight was stunning. The hotel sits on a somewhat rectangular bay, our open water “swimming pool.” Other folks from the group who had arrived earlier were climbing out of the water. I ran back to my room and suited up and went for my first dip. It was heavenly. All the fear I had about the cold water was instantly gone. I found the water completely bearable, and even warm at the surface where the sun had bathed it all day. I took my water-proof camera out and filmed a lovely introduction to Gozo which, of course, I have been unable to access on my computer. (I’ve fixed the problem now, and future videos should be no problem. So stay tuned.)

All buildings on Malta and Gozo are made of this yummy yellow limestone.

I learned this and many other interesting facts about Gozo from my Gozonian taxi driver

With 2 hours to go before the program officially started with a group dinner, I went for a walk up the hill to the nearby town of Victoria. All of the pictures below are from that walk. It was a glorious, beautiful day. By the time I returned to my room after dinner, I crashed and was sleeping like a baby until my phone woke me up at 4am. I thought it was my alarm going off, but it was only my mother: calling at 4am! Half asleep, unsure of long-distance calling rates, and not wanting to wake up my roomie, I shut off the phone and continued to sleep (Sorry mom!). The next day, which began early and ended late (and is the one I am at the end of while I type this) was the hardest day of swimming I have ever experienced, and also the most rewarding (and also the easiest day planned for in this program!). I will have to wait until tomorrow to report on the swimming. Now, I MUST go to sleep. I probably should have gone to sleep an hour ago. Tomorrow is likely to be twice as hard.

Since St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 60 AD, the Maltese have been a Christian people.

The limestone buildings are stunning in the evening light.

Please excuse the crap formatting. I should be sleeping. Good night!


About Caitlin Rosen


5 thoughts on “Flew to Malta, started swimming (Malta post 1 of 3)

  1. Oh my. I so didn’t call you…at least I didn’t mean to. A butt call perhaps? So glad you could go back to sleep. I love seeing where you are….visuals being a biggie for me and all. Happy that the water was warmer than you anticipated. Super excited that you have the blog up. Way better than a phone call….just kidding.

    Posted by Mom Rosen | April 18, 2011, 2:11 am
  2. Read this during a midnight feeding, so I was glad to hear I am not the only one keeping odd hours! I can’t wait to see video. I’m so glad your fear about the cold water was not realized! Loving the news. Deliriously sleep-deprivedly, KM.

    Posted by Kate | April 18, 2011, 4:33 am
  3. Wow, Caitlin. I can’t wait to hear how the rest of your swims went in Malta. What a beautiful setting to take on the open water!

    Posted by sarahmckred | April 18, 2011, 9:00 am


  1. Pingback: Systematic breakdown of body, mind, and limits (Malta post 2 of 3) « Throw Me In The Ocean - May 1, 2011

  2. Pingback: Swimmer’s block | Memoirs of Aleisha - November 26, 2016

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About Me

Caitlin Rosen I learned to swim as a wee one from my dad, who didn't really swim himself, but was tall enough and encouraging enough to send me back and forth to the side of a pool. There were also the terrifyingly wonderful trips on his shoulders out into crashing ocean surf, which instilled in me a fear and respect for the rising and falling, tempestuous beast, on whom he repeatedly admonished us kids to never, ever turn our backs. Read more...

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