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The road was bursting into the landscape with brute force, curling around the mountains it could not cut open. The sea below had the deepest blue colour, I have ever seen and the sky was simply no competition for it today. The tops of the mountains, mellowed by wind and rain, seemed soft like a cream cake. Monotonous landscape was distracted from time to time by cars, rushing through an empty road, taking advantage of the freedom not available where they came from. City rush stayed far far behind and it was the perfect time to enjoy the ride.

 

We stopped for a moment, so I could take a few pictures from the top of the mountain. The valley below was slowly opening towards the sea. White rectangles of salt, snatched from the sea, lay below like an open book, letting the sun drinks the last drops of water. Far far away a tourist ship was slowly conquering the sea to take its guests deeper into the bay. At this point I could not really decide where I would rather be. Down there, cutting invisible waves or up here – witnessing nature adapt slowly to the work of human hands.

 

The last part of the road was quite difficult. We needed to stop and check one of the tyres just to make sure that it was intact. It took us a while to find a suitable parking space on a side of Bateria de Castillitos, but it was worth it! The views were absolutely stunning. The two biggest cannons we have ever seen in our lives were sitting comfortable in a strategic position – at the top of a rocky cliff, 218 meters above the sea level! As we found out later – the firing range of these guns was 35 km and they were made in the UK! They were scary bastards!

 

Apparently they were fired only once, in April 1937. And it was enough – the awareness about the damage they could bring upon an unlucky ship was enough. They were left in peace, although ready to be used up until 1994, when the Spanish armed forces were modernized and the guns lost their purpose. Today they are bolted at the end, killed and frozen in time, left for the tourists to admire and for the winds to play around during long and lonely nights.

 

It’s not only the guns and stunning views that makes this place so attractive and worth visiting, even though the road leading here is long and difficult. It’s the curious architecture that seduces visitors all year round. At first I thought I was looking at buildings made from carton, something not really stable and real; like the buildings of Disneyland in Paris or Thorpe Park in the UK. Even though the purpose of the site was strictly military and the buildings were made out of natural materials available on the side. The creators could not help themselves and embraced modernist eclecticism, very much in fashion in the late thirties, during Spanish Civil War. I must admit – it is an unexpected and rather enjoyable surprise. And makes great holiday photos too!

 

We stayed here for an hour, wandering around and trying to imagine the guns at work. Be aware there are no facilities near by, so you do need to bring water and food with you. In case you are planning on staying longer – I am sure you will experience incredible sunset!

 

This place is like a collision of a fairy tale and brutal reality. Nature incredible beauty has been corrupted here, to produce historical weapon in time of need. The two guns you can see on the side today silently tell the story of violence and hatred, fear and determination. The story which no one wants to hear again.

Practicalities:

Batería de Castillitos is situated in the region of Murcia, located at Cape Tiñoso near the town of La Azohía in the municipality of Cartagena.The best way to get there is by car, using the highway RM-E23, cm.

Bateria de Castillitos, Cabo Tiñoso, RM-E23, 30201 Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
location: 37.538895 °, -1.117516 °

If we managed to get there, you will too! Our sat-nav showed the place exactly – we used points of interest/tourist attractions feature.

Bateria de Castillitos

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