After a pretty grey and drizzly few weeks, when we saw the sun shining in all it’s glory this Sunday, we decided, along with some friends, to make the most of it. The plan was to visit the Garden of Serenity in Santa Lucija so I could take some pretty pictures, then enjoy lunch on the sun terrace at Ellas Food Factory in Marsaxlokk. The Garden of Serenity was shut for referb (which left me remarkably UN-serene!) and Ella’s didn’t have the terrace open- there was so way we were wasting the day inside so we had to think of a new plan quick sharp.
Lucky for Joe and I, our friends Andreas and Elaine have a car so we’re able to get out and about a bit easier, explore areas we’ve never visted before, without the stress of finding the right busses and wasting our day waiting for them to arrive. So we started off by heading to the giant sinkhole Il-Maqluba in Qrendi. Sinkholes are big news in the UK at the moment as they seem to be springing up (well, down) all over the place, ruining land and houses and generally being awfully dangerous, but this place was something else.
It’s apparently been around since 1343 when it sunk during a terrible storm. There are, of course, a number of myths and legends about this beauty spot which you can read about here. I understand that it’s fact that this ground depression plays an important part in the water systems of the local towns and villages and has an interesting eco-system within that holds a number of native and rare plants and trees (source). Whatever the cause, it’s both surprising and beautiful and makes you feel like you are not in Malta at all- the sound of birds and insects and the unmistakeable scent of nature…
Can you spot the face in the rock below? Maybe it’s not so clear in the picture but to the naked eye it was a perfect, grumpy face. It looked as if it had been carved deliberately although I’m quite sure it’s just the natural formation of the rock.
We followed the clear, safe, railed path and looked down into the depths, but there seemed to be another carved stairway taking you down and right into the heart of the sinkhole. It looks like it has been used before but it was quite wet, looked a little slippery and some rocks seemed to have fallen right down in the depths blocking off the access to the hole so we didn’t dare risk going down in case we got stuck or slipped. Andreas bravely went and had a little look but it just didn’t feel safe, so I’d really recommend sticking to the path!
This is definitely somewhere you should take the time out to go and see if you ever find yourself in the area.