An act of nature this week has crippled the world of a postcard symbol beyond compare. The Azure Window of Malta is no more.
What do you say when a place you wanted to see all your life sinks into the sea? You are not me, granted. I say… thank God it was not an act of man. No war took this historic landmark away from us. There was no terrorist attack. Just God. Things happen for a reason. Save your pictures, dear travelers. In a couple of years, they’ll be worth a fortune. They are even worth a couple of bucks today. But no, it’s not about capitalizing on a disaster. It’s about one of the implications of what is happening as you read this. Again, for good measure: Malta’s Azure Window is no more.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is quoted to have said this is “heartbreaking.”
Steve, an Argophilia reader who sent us the news wrote:
“Cherish the wonders of Eastern Europe, because the rest of the world says goodbye to Malta’s Azure Window today. And where are you?”
We are here, Malta. We are here, travelers. We are just… well, coping. And words fail me. I am a travel writer who cannot put down in words how this news impacts my thought process. “Hurt” is too easy a word when one of the iconic sites of a destination turns into this:
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) March 8, 2017
“It is a very sad day for Malta. The iconic Azure Window collapsed this morning, succumbing to the forces of nature and the passage of time,” tweeted @VisitMalta yesterday.
Maltese for Azure Window is it-Tieqa tad-Dwejra and it sounds poetic now. Future travel journals will note it-Tieqa tad-Dwejra with a side of bitterness. It stands no more. Today we read the news and whisper “Oh, my God” or something else. We sip coffee and look at pictures saved somewhere in the cloud. We care about the weather and we go on with the day, week, month… Something else will capture our interest in the blink of an eye. But Malta will always remember the day the Azure Window vanished. Malta will know.
What do you say when symbols become legend?