Darlene Foster's Blog

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I am a guest on Canadian Writer´s Abroad. Check out what I have to say about my move to Spain.

 

Source: Foster’s Dream Life

We had a fabulous day on a boat trip to the Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino during our recent visit.


Fort Chambray and the neo-gothic chapel of our Lady of Lourdes greeted us as we approached Gozo’s Mgarr harbour. We disembarked and piled into a packed minibus that took us on a rapid trip to Dwejra on the other side of the island. This is the site of the famous Azure Window often seen on postcards and calendars of Malta and featured in a number of movies and TV shows such as The Game of Thrones. Just two weeks earlier this important landmark fell into the sea. An example of how nothing lasts forever.

The Azure Window as it was. Photo from Wikipedia

The site of the Azure Window now.

We enjoyed the stunning view from the rocky shore nevertheless.

The impatient bus driver herded us back on the bus, reminiscent of the movie Vacation. “Now you’ve seen this let’s keep moving!”

Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary

We stopped at the Ta´Pinu Sanctuary where every year pilgrimages are made to Our Lady of Ta´Pinu who is believed to have healing powers.

Inside the sanctuary

A wall in the church displays crutches, plaster casts and pictures as offerings by those who have been healed.

Not wanting to annoy our surly bus driver, I quickly took some pictures but was still the second last one back on the bus. I received a grim look as I boarded.

A knight guarding the pharmacy

A lovely rose balcony in Victoria.

A sandwich on delicious Maltese bread near the Citadel in the ancient capital city of Victoria ended our visit to Gozo as our efficient bus driver was waiting to take us back to the boat. We would have liked more time to explore.

On the return trip, we docked at the uninhabited island of Comino which is a nature reserve. Hubby stayed on the boat but I walked up steep stairs, past a shrine set in the rocks, and found a great view of the crystal blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. I don´t think I have ever seen such clear water.

The clear waters of The Blue Lagoon

Some visitors went for a swim and others sunned on the rocks. Trucks serving snacks were available for those who got hungry or thirsty. I had to laugh as people juggled huge pineapples hollowed out and filled with drinks while they manoeuvred the steep steps back to the boat. I know I wouldn’t have been able to manage that!

A couple enjoying their drink in a pineapple on the way back.

We enjoyed the spectacular views as we headed back to the island of Malta, happy that we had seen all three of the islands that make up the country of Malta.

This is the last of my posts on Malta. I hope you have enjoyed them and perhaps one day you may visit this amazing place. 

I´ve been interviewed on Don Massenzio´s blog! Drop by and say Hello.

Don Massenzio's Blog

Today, I’m very excited to feature Darlene Foster as she sits down for this weeks edition of a Perfect 10. Please enjoy.

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. Flory, Steve Boseley, Kayla Matt, Mae Clair, Jill Sammut, Deanna Kahler, Dawn Reno Langley, John Howell, Elaine Cougler, Jan Sikes, Nancy Bell, Nick Davis, Kathleen Lopez, Susan Thatcher, Charles Yallowitz, Armand Rosamilia, Tracey Pagana, Anna Dobritt, Karen Oberlaender, Deby Fredericks, Teri Polen

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com


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  • Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me. I believe tapping into your creative side is so good…

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Sometimes it is the little, unexpected things we find when we travel that make the trip memorable. In Valetta, the capital of Malta, we found a Cat Cafe.

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Shelter and food for homeless cats in Malta

They seem to look after their cats well in Malta. We saw stray cats wandering around but they all looked healthy and well fed.

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This little fellow got caught in the rain

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While wandering the streets of the cities and towns of Malta, we were intrigued by the unique door knockers on the colourful doors.

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We discovered this amusing car on a side street.

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And a decorated garage door.

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We found a tribute to Albert Einstein

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A typical menu in Malta. I was not tempted to try rabbit ravioli!

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We always take time to stop for a coffee and a local dessert.

 

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Ricotta turnover, so yummy!

 

 

It’s good to get off the beaten track and check out the side streets, you never know what you’ll find. 

Check out one of my favourite recipes on Sally´s blog.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Darlene Foster very kindly sent in this dessert which she and her family enjoy. If you have a recipe that you would like to share then contact me via the link at the end of the post.

I enjoy making desserts from scratch. We don´t often have dessert but when we do, it has to be homemade. I love this one from a recipe book I was given as a gift. It is always a hit with hubby and guests. Everyone loves a bit of chocolate! The pure Valor chocolate is great but any chocolate will do. It is a perfect recipe for those who require gluton or lactose free desserts. The dolop of whipped cream is optional. I often serve it with a couple of strawberries on the side.

AUSTRALIAN APPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE
from Green Feasts by Richard Cawley

4 eggs separated
115 g/4 oz sugar
115g/4oz plain chocolate…

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Do you remember Popeye the Sailorman? As a prairie kid growing up without a TV, I loved the Popeye comics. I waited eagerly for the funny papers, as we called them, to arrive in the weekly newspaper. Then in 1980, a movie was made with Robin Williams and Shelly Duval. I loved it too.

A pleasant surprise during our visit to Malta was discovering the film set of the movie. Unfortunately, Robin Williams is no longer with us but the set to the movie still is. The village of Sweethaven rests on the edge of a peaceful cove in Anchor Bay and is now a popular tourist attraction. When we heard about it, we decided to take a bus to Popeye Village. I’m so glad we did. The delightful visit made me feel like a kid again.

The village of Sweethaven built for the 1980 Popeye movie.

To construct this authentic wooden village in Malta, tree trunk logs arrived from Holland, and wood shingles, used in the construction of the rooftops, were imported all the way from Canada. A 165 international construction crew consumed eight tons of nails and two thousand gallons of paint to finish off this incredible set ready for film production in January 1980.

A precarious outhouse.

There are plenty of activities on the site including a boat ride around the bay. Information about filming the movie, movie clips, music from the film and various props are everywhere. The film, directed by Robert Altman, featured his grandson playing the part of Swee’pea. Characters from the story are happy to pose for pictures, answer questions and entertain the guests.

I even got to meet Popeye and Olive Oyle! I didn’t see Swee’pea though.

A Popeye comic museum on site.

The Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon character was introduced by Elzie Segar in 1929. The comic museum displays various Popeye comic strips over the years and brought back great memories.

Great memories of Popeye Village, Malta

This was an added surprise for us! I was humming Popeye the Sailorman for the rest of the day.

Have you ever been anywhere where you have encountered a pleasant surprise?

Today I am a guest on Teri Polen´s blog. Check out my answers to her great questions.

Books and Such

We’re changing it up today on Indie Author Friday.  Darlene Foster is sharing her exciting collection of children’s travel adventure books.  Join Amanda as she journeys around the world and experiences new cultures and a few mysteries.  Aren’t these covers beautiful?

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her.

Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.

Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere…

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