Most of the western coast of Malta is made up of high cliffs very often plunging sheer into the deep blue Mediterranean. However this almost solid stretch of coast is occasionally punctured by a cleft, caused either through the action of water or through some past cataclysmic episode of geological faulting.
One such cleft is to be found at Migra Ferha which translates as Ferha’s watercourse near the hamlet of Mtahleb in the outskirts of Rabat. It is a place of wild natural beauty where it is possible to detach oneself almost completely from the signs of busy human activity and immerse oneself in a timeless landscape which has changed little across the millennia.
It is here that I came to witness a brilliant February sunset last week, with the bracing breeze of a north-westerly wind blowing straight into my face from the sea.
The majority of sunsets in Malta tend to be cloudless affairs during which one can witness the fading orb of the solar disc descend slowly but surely into the sea until it disappears altogether. Although I am never tired of such sunsets, I have to confess that I prefer sunsets which take place on a cloudy horizon: sunsets which create unique, unrepeatable patterns depending on the time of year, type of cloud and other atmospheric conditions prevailing at that point in time.
This particular sunset was beautiful because the setting sun not only created a brilliant borderline on the thick dark clouds into which it set, but also gave a brilliant reddish hue to the air and wisps of cloud just above the dark clouds, almost reminiscent of incandescent gas burning in an oil field stack.