Weekly photo challenge: Escape

When I walked up over this hill in the early morning and looked back at the village, I was completely alone on a small part of the Mediterranean coast. No one knew where I was.

Village from top of the hill

Port-Vendres from top of the hill

Turning round to see the sea, I looked down over this cove, and, on the far side, a fort and war ruins, French and German, that remain on the cape.

Cove between Port-Vendres and Collioure, France

Cove between Port-Vendres and Collioure, France

Having escaped from civilisation for a brief hour, I walked down to take a closer look at the ruins and saw why this point had been chosen for a fort; it’s ideal for shooting and blowing up shipping way out on the horizon. No escape for them.

This is one of two arches through which cannons were pointed, with holes for thinner weapons. Unfortunately, with the arch and holes positioned as they are, it resembles a face.

Gun and cannon slots, Fort Mauresque, Vermilion Coast, France

Gun and cannon slots, Fort Mauresque, Vermilion Coast, France

It was horrible, seeing this war junk lying all along the cliff edges.

War junk, coastline between Collioure and Port-Vendres, France

War junk, coastline between Collioure and Port-Vendres, France

What struck me was the ugliness of concrete, while the nineteenth-century stone fort has that element of beauty found in stone construction all around this region, whether it be houses, barriers, walls, steps or forts. Here’s some more ugly concrete, a piece of German war litter, a base for a revolving cannon.

Base of revolving German cannon, leftover from WWII, between Collioure and Port-Vendres, France

Base of revolving German cannon, leftover from WWII, between Collioure and Port-Vendres, France

Fortunately, wars end, and life is good again.  But if you need to take a break from the troubles of ordinary peacetime life, I recommend this coastline where surprises make every day special.  I found this beautiful Bottlebrush tree, which I didn’t know grew outside of Australia,  growing on a hill with red roses, grapevines and palm trees, all overlooking the blue Mediterranean.

Bottlebrush, Mediterranean Sea

Bottlebrush, Mediterranean Sea

13 thoughts on “Weekly photo challenge: Escape

    • There are a few of them around here, growing on the footpaths and in gardens – bottlebrushes seem to like the climate here in the south of France and the French love them for their exotic flowers. The must be introduced, not native.

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  1. What a wonderful escape, I love that feeling of walking away from the world of people…..and I couldn’t agree more about the ugliness of concrete ….and most of what we build nowadays.

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    • This region, and indeed Europe generally, has centuries, millennia, of history; in some places it’s layered. There are so many history lessons it’s hard to keep up.
      Glad you liked it.

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