A legendary Cave.

High up on the cliffs overlooking Ramla beach on the island of Gozo can be found a cave, which, if the legends surrounding it are true stretch all the way back to the time of Homer and the Greek poem known as the Odyssey in the 9th century.

The viewing platform at Calypso cave overlooking Ramla beach. Unfinished hotel just below the platform.

According to the story Ulysses was returning from Troy to Ithaca after the Trojan war when he became shipwrecked on Ogygia, the island of Calypso. The shipwreck occurred after Ulysses and his companions left the island of the Sun, or Sicily, which is only 90 kilometres away, and on a clear night you can see car headlights moving in the distance. It was while Ulysses and his companions were drifting southwards from the Straits of Messina for 9 days that they ran aground on the island of Ogygia, and as this island is the closest to Sicily in any direction it has been identified as the island of Gozo.

For centuries this cave at Ix-xaghra has been identified as the abode of the Nymph known as Calypso who, after falling in love with Ulysses, managed to bewitch him, and if the story is true keep him under her spell on the island for seven years.

 

Calpso cave, the handrails are just visible.

Although these days it is no longer safe to descend into the cave system, which is said to be a series of caves which extend all the way down to the sea. It seems some sort of geological upheaval has taken place in the area, as when I was making the steep climb up to Calypso’s Cave, I passed an unfinished hotel complex on the cliff side complete with a swimming pool, which must have cost an absolute fortune to build, and yet it had just been abandoned. However when I reached the connecting road which leads to the hotel I could see that some sort of a land slip had taken place, as the road had dropped in one place, where you can see there was a difference in height by 1-2 feet. Maybe the area is prone to earthquakes, however, this is probably the reason why access to the cave is no longer allowed.

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