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SECRET OF MALTIC HAPPINESS

Gozo (or Gozo), a small “satellite” of the island of Malta, is not so popular among tourists. Most often, travelers come here for day trips. Someone wants to explore the megaliths of the Ggantia complex – prehistoric temples included
The World Heritage List of UNESCO, the other, pretty tired of the ancient stones in Malta, are the Blue Lagoon and the Calypso Cave.

From the Maltese port Chirkevva here, in the bay of Mgarr, the ferry goes. The distance of six kilometers, he overcomes slowly in half an hour. But the azure Comino, a tiny island from the movie “Troy”, will “sail” on the starboard side slowly and effectively. On Comino maps is visible only at high magnification: its size is one and a half square kilometers, the population is eight people, and the main visitors are divers and lovers of snorkeling along the coast. “The beauty of that island, the most beautiful of all Maltese,” says ferry captain Edward Lillis.

But Gozo residents of the “big Malta” causes mixed feelings. On the one hand, everyone wants to live there. Or rather, to have a property: the island has fantastic nature and many beautiful old villas that can be leased to tourists, and in the low season to live in. On the other hand, the inhabitants of Gozo, as Lillis says, are “unsociable”. “What is generally uncharacteristic for the Maltese,” he quickly clarifies. But a quarter of the permanent population of the island really never left their habitat.

Anyway, Gozo owns the most recognizable Maltese brand – Calypso. The local travel agency, transport company, the ferry, the hotel and the brand of excellent ketchup are named after the charming nymph with whom Odyssey spent seven years. However, the Calypso Cave itself is no more than a modest hole in the rock. It smells dark and bad because of a colony of bats.

Quite another thing – the island brand number two, the so-called Azure Window. Until recently, the limestone arch, through which the Mediterranean Sea scorches the eye with an unbearable blue, was considered one of the most recognizable sights of Europe: you can see it in countless films – for example, The Battle of the Titans and The Count of Monte-Cristo.

But the most amazing thing about the Window is that it is no longer there. The 28-meter-high rock arch collapsed into the sea during a storm last spring.

The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, wrote several tweets about the collapse of the Window, noting that “that sad day had come” that scientists had warned about. As a result, the rating of the Azure Window on the TripAdvisor travel portal has slipped to one. “Unfortunately, it no longer exists, and there is nothing to watch except for a small church,” says one of the tourists. Another notes that now from the entertainment in Gozo only the sea is left. “Nature wins,” he added sadly.

Probably, every Maltese, after reading this review, will jump from joy to the ceiling: Malta is often called “a soulless piece of stone” and “stone desert in the sea” (quotes from the same Internet portal). And then – wildlife prevailed. In fact, in the Mediterranean it always wins: even a thousand-year-old Maltese stone is gradually covered with algae, moss and shells.

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