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Serendipity at the Blue Grotto of Malta

Serendipity – a happy accident, a pleasant surprise

Today at Across the Cafe Table at the Travel Belles we’re discussing serendipity.

The islands of Malta and Gozo were places of non-stop serendipity for me. My trip to Malta was last minute, a case of get the cheapest ticket going somewhere and go! I did no research, no planning, and had absolutely no idea what to expect.

I was wonderfully, beautifully surprised. (Click here for stories on the Inland Sea, the Azure Window, the cliffs of Sannat, and the exquisite flowers of Gozo.)

On my second day in Gozo I was about to board a boat to go visit Malta’s Blue Grotto, when suddenly in the jostle and lurching of boarding, my camera was dropped and disappeared beneath the crashing waves.

I was gutted. My camera may be tiny and cheap, but it is a treasure to me, my way to capture the beauty around me and record memories for future remembrance.

For a moment we were all stunned and then one of the Gozitan boys dove overboard and somehow found it on the bottom of the ocean. I knew the salt water was its death knell, but I hoped beyond hope that the pictures could be saved. A lovely elderly British couple we had visited with earlier saw the debacle and instructed me to hand over my camera into their keeping so they could attempt to salvage something while I went to the Blue Grotto.

Trying not to let the loss ruin my trip, I handed it over, thanked them profusely then took a few steadying breaths and boarded with my friend Barbara.

I’m so glad I went instead of moping over the loss of my camera. The speed of the boat, the wind in our faces, the sun on bare shoulders – oh, it was glorious! Barbara felt so bad about the incident she insisted that I use her camera to record our little adventure. It meant so much to me.

I had no idea there was a Blue Grotto in Malta, but there is, just across the bay from Wied iż-Żurrieq on the tiny island of Filfa. Our boatman took us in and out of all sorts of caves, including the Blue Grotto, and we watched divers plunge into the crystal clear water.

Filfa is uninhabited save for a unique species of lizard, and it is wild and weathered, buffeted by winds and waves into a place of rugged beauty. When Malta was a British colony, the British Armed Forces used the island for target practice! Thankfully it is now protected under Maltese law.

When our boat tour was done, we bid farewell to the rugged cliffs of Filfa and motored back to Gozo.

As we clambered up the stone steps, we were greeted by the British couple who had not only kept my camera for me, but rinsed it thoroughly with fresh water and hung it to dry in the piping hot Maltese sun. The camera was  beyond repair, but thanks to their kindness the memory card was saved, along with the hundreds of pictures I’d taken on our trip.

Losing my camera was not the highlight of my day, but meeting that lovely couple who ended up saving all my pictures was indeed serendipitous. A most happy accident.

For more tales of serendipity, head over to the Travel Belles: Across the Cafe Table.

For information on boat tours to the Blue Grotto in Malta, click here.

What is the last “happy accident” you experienced?

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Krista - You know how I love to make you smile with my big words, T! 🙂

Krista - Ohhh, I’m SO sorry to hear of your loss, Ayelet. That would’ve been absolutely gutting. 🙁

Krista - Ohhh, local festivals are WONDERFUL things to stumble upon, Tuula. I love those too. 🙂

Krista - Me too, Joanne! It would’ve gutted me. 🙂

Krista - Aren’t they lovely, Andrea? 🙂

Krista - I loved it too, Katja! It meant the world to me to receive such kindness from total strangers. 🙂

Krista - Thank you, Ayngelina. 🙂 I’m so happy to report that as of this weekend, I have a replacement camera at long last. 🙂

Katja - I love how everyone pitched in to help – the boy diving in to save the camera, the British couple taking it home to rescue it, and finally your friend lending you hers so that you didn’t miss out on photo opportunities. It’s things like that which can really make or break a day. So glad that the memory card was salvageable!

Ayngelina - I am so sorry to hear about your camera but so glad you were at least able to save the photos.

Andrea and John - What a nice couple! I’m so glad your pictures weren’t lost – that would have been devastating!!!

Joanne - I’m so glad there was a semi-happy ending to this beautiful trip! It would have been so sad if your pictures were lost forever!

TuulaR - I couldn’t think of a better place to experience travel 
serendipity, so beautiful!  So happy to hear that your memory card was saved, I can only imagine how nervous you were!  My “happy accidents” usually involve stumbling upon a local festival I didn’t know was happening… always makes my travels so much richer!

Ayelet - All Colores - Those are such generous people. I was sad at the thought of your lost photos because I understand what it’s like – I lost 3000 photos in New Zealand very close to the trip’s end. It was, too, due to water, as it rained throughout the entire trip (except for when my relative and I were in the car :)). Both in New Zealand and back home, no one could save the memory card 🙁 I’m really happy your photos were saved, and the way it happened makes it all that sweeter.

Ulysses S. Rant - Serendipity…now there’s a word that brings a smile to on’es face! You know, K, you have so many great traveling stories that it’s hard to keep track of them all. I’d love to visit that grotto someday.

Ulysses S. Rant - Serendipity…now there’s a word that brings a smile to on’es face! You know, K, you have so many great traveling stories that it’s hard to keep track of them all. I’d love to visit that grotto someday.

Krista -  I hope you get to very soon, Dewi! 🙂 It is one of my favorite places in the world. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you, Lauryl! 🙂 Me too. 🙂

Lauryl Lane - I love this story! xoxo

Dewi - I never visited Malta, oh I really want to now 🙂

Krista -  Thank you, Margo! 🙂 They were truly angels in disguise. 🙂

Krista -  Aww, thanks, Andi! It made me smile pretty big. 🙂

Krista -  I do too, Neil. 🙂 I never cease to be amazed at the truly kind people there are in this world, even complete strangers. 🙂

Andi Perullo - I have goosebumps! What an awesome end to the story!!!

Margo Millure - Oh what a nice story. It’s amazing what wonderful people are around when we need them the most… and YAY for nice memory card save!

Neil1964 - I always enjoy how life gives us these moments. Your camera accident allowed those wonderful people to come forward to meet you….Brilliant!!!.
luv your pics as always Krista.

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