We then headed to the salt pans. Salt is my weakness, so imagine my delight to be in the place WHERE SEA SALT IS BORN! It was so cool to see this centuriees-old Gozitan method! It is still family owned, and we got to meet one of the owners as she opened up the salt shop for the day. It has been in her family for 5 generations, and she graciously explained how the salt is collected.The large, shallow rock pans are filled with sea water in the spring/early summer. Under the sun, the water quickly evaporates (taking approximately 7 days), and then they will go and sweep up crystals of sea salt. At times, summer storms will wash away all the salt, which is devastating for the crop. The salt is then stored in caves carved into the rock (one of the origninal storage caves is used as the salt store).
This place could not make my heart smile any more – combining my favourite things – friendly people, learning interesting things, salt, and an open road for cruising
Azure Window & Blue Hole:
Our final Gozo destination was the Azure Window and Blue Hole (inland sea). This was the place I was most excited to visit, and it did not disappoint. You get to amble across weather-worn wholey rock to the spectacular natural arch formed in the limestone from the confluence of excessive fault-ins and years of unrelenting wind and water.
I learned two sobering facts after leaving this one-of-a-kind spot. The first, not too surprisingly, is that the Azure Window is predicted to collapse “any day now.” You don’t need to be a geologist to see a really large crack in the arch, and apparently large bits of the rock keep falling off into the ocean (making it particularly hazardous to walk on top of the arch and kayak/swim/dive under it). At some point, this will become the Azure Pinnacle, a testament to the unrelenting forces of nature, that ever keep marching forward.
The second was a more sobering one about how human carelessness can cause irreversible damage. Game of Thrones had been filming by on location, and a subcontractor spread a layer of sand over top of the aforementioned wholey rock, causing irrepairable damage to the rich and unique micro ecosystem underneath, turning, “what once was an egg into an omelette.” When I get to spend days in the world’s most spectacular places, I am reminded of how critical it is for us to enjoy these spots, to savour their beauty, and to love them, in order to do what we can to protect these unique and fragile spaces.
For now, I will be so grateful to get to wander these spectacular spaces and rove the roads of Gozo.