The legend of the 'Syri i Kaltër' has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
The legend of the blue eye
The legend tells of a giant snake that had come out of the waters of Saranda and Delvina. At the bridge of the city of Saranda, there was a small spring, to which many women and children drew water for the house. While women were taking water, the snake came and ate all those people.
Then the reptile walked towards Sopot and, during the journey, ate whole packs of cattle and also devoured the two shepherds. An old sage suggested to the people of the village to load dry wood and burn it on the back of the donkeys. When the snake approached to devour the person who was setting fire to the dry wood, destiny wanted the snake to actually eat the donkeys. Thus, having eaten the donkeys, the snake was burned inside by flames.
The reptile, while burning, screamed: "Where are you, sea, that you have generated my head? And you, river, my brother? ”The sea and the river from Sopot started towards him, while the agonizing snake squirmed in front of the mountain, on which today the visible signs of his action have remained.
Then he fell, dead. Thus, from that moment, the mountain and the water of the sea are united with one another as father and son.
The blue eye
The landscape that leads to the Syri i Kaltër is already in itself a wonderful gift of nature: palm trees, wild ferns, tropical plants, oaks and sycamores, all one area. A total of eighteen springs are distributed along the area, with the source of fresh water from the Gjere mountain (in Italian 'largo') which flows into the Blue Eye, creating a natural pool with a depth of about 50 meters.
The depth of the Syri i Kaltër has never been officially ascertained. Many divers have tried to get to the end in the past, but never succeeded, because at a certain depth the water pressure becomes too strong.
The first who tried to explore the depths of the 'Syri i Kaltër' was the well-known diver, and at the same time journalist, Xhemal Mato.
"We had to find a way to dive, because the currents of the 'Syri i Kaltër' continually bring you to the surface. After many attempts we tied our ropes to an anchor that pushed us down, doing the opposite of what the mountaineers do. We stopped in an 'open' area, where the currents didn't push us upwards. ”- said Mato long ago.
The latter also highlighted how for years - together with a group of American scholars - he organized accompanied dives for those who wanted to visit the depths of the 'Syri i Kaltër'.
"In the 2002 we placed, at a depth of 20 meters, a symbol of our association and a 'diving notebook with pencil' where the people who came there could write their name. After years, there were many foreign names, mostly German and Italian. This shows how the 'Syri i Kaltër' has incredible potential for tourism. "- added Xhemal Mato.
In this underwater notebook (which, in a nutshell, is a large white stone) the data of the 'Syri i Kaltër' were also engraved, namely the depth explored (50 meters), the temperature (10 degrees Celsius) and the altitude above sea level (22 meters).
The blue eye is an oasis of fresh air and climate, a tropical paradise that can compete with any other in Venezuela or the Maldives. During the summer, it is an exceptional shelter from high temperatures. An incredible natural wonder just waiting to be visited.
How to reach Syri i Kaltër
Drive to 30 minutes from Saranda stopping at the village of Muzine near the Delvina-Gjirokaster national road. Or, alternatively, by bus, even if there are no direct lines to the site.