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Children’s TV has always been and remains baffling – as anyone who has watched the Teletubbies or In The Night Garden will tell you! When I grew up in the UK, the choices included a black and white drama about Robinson Crusoe, Laurel and Hardy films, an odd Yugoslavian production called White Horses, or French diving documentaries featuring a chap called Jacques Cousteau.
What were they thinking? It’s a wonder any of us grew up sane! The aforementioned Monsieur Cousteau would dive all over the world, taking with him an underwater camera to show poor landlocked kids the delights of the submarine world.
We’d watch him pull on his flippers and rubber suit in the four corners of the globe and then listen to him wax lyrical about their respective delights in his very strong French accent. We wouldn’t understand much though, as he had a very ‘theek Fraunch aksarnt’.
Now here’s the relevant bit! Well, done for staying with us! It seems Jacques once listed his top 10 diving sites in the world, presumably in French with a translator or else no-one would have understood him. On that list was a certain body of water in Gozo, close to the dormant village of St Lawrenz. It’s called the Inland Sea and it’s spectacular!
On the surface of things (pardon the pun) it seems unlikely that this small inland saltwater lake, joined to the sea only by a tunnel accessed through a small archway, should be worthy of such a lofty accolade.
Most of the time when you come here it will be deserted and almost always quiet, unless there’s a fisherman trying to guide his boat out to sea for a day’s work, or a dive school eagerly preparing to be amazed as they get instructions before taking to the water.
There’s nothing at the site the locals call Id Dwejra to hint at its magnificence below the waves - save for a few fishing huts, which like the lake sit against a backdrop of steep, sheer cliff faces.
The diving trips we mention begin in the Inland Sea but it is actually what is through that small archway and tunnel that attracts them here. As they swim out into open water the sea floor drops away and they’re into what many consider to be the most beautiful diving area in the Mediterranean. Its beauty is indescribable, so we won’t attempt it!
Suffice to say though, that if you’re a dive enthusiast, or you’ve ever fancied having a go, then there is no better place to don your flippers on the Maltese isles than right here.
Above the waves, this is also an evocative place to be when the sun goes down as it really does become eerily quiet. Peace and tranquillity reigns and it’s a beautiful spot for watching the sunset with a loved one.
Id-Dwejra is about halfway up on the western coast of Gozo, halfway between the two large bays. If you’re driving you need to take the main road to the west out of Victoria, the Triq L Gharb towards San Katald. Then, keep going west till you can drive no more. There are also buses that run to the Inland Sea from the main bus terminus in Victoria.
Various dive schools offer packages and excursions in the Id Dwejra.
Address: Deep Blue Lido, 100 Ananija Street, Bugibba
Phone: +356 2158 3946
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