Written 19th february
and a night on Mojacar beach, we headed on northwards in search of big guns, the first travel recommendation we received, from an ex-colleague, way back when I was still at work - so long ago!!
In response to my request for free or cheap things to do in Europe, he had suggested visiting some spectacular gun batteries near Cartagena and had provided weblinks and google maps. Having made the ridiculous assumption that the things would be signed I didn't download the map properly so it was a bit of a mission to actually find the things but when we eventually got there they were awesome! So glad we persevered!
The four massive guns remain in place, two at the Castillitos battery at Cabo Tiñoso, near Puerto de Mazarron, and two at the Cenizas battery, near La Manga Club.
The directions for each are are respectively:
The road runs up into the hills behind Campilo de Adentro, which is to the right on the road leading from Puerto de Mazarron and La Azohia to Cartagena. The road up to the guns is narrow and twisting and great caution should be exercised.
A much more accessible coast defence battery can be found near the lighthouse on the left hand side of the bay at Portman, past the La Manga Club.
Guess which ones we went for... ;)
and I have never seen anything so menacing looking, or clearly of such pure evil.
There are two identical guns, built by Vickers in 1923 with a maximum range of 35,000 meters
and a tube of 18.6 meters in length and more than 88,000 kilograms of weight.
Calibre: 38.1 centimetres (about 15 inches)
Made at: Barrow in Furness, by Vickers.
Total length: 17.671 metres (about 56 feet)
Rifling inclination: one turn in 30 calibres
Weight without closing mechanism: 86, 332 kilogrammes
Weight of closing mechanism: 1,663 kilogrammes
They are immense. On 26 April, 1937, the two guns, which were in the hands of the Republicans, fired on a group of Nationalist cruisers and it is believed they were last fired in 1973.
got a bit snap happy! they are amazing things
We also went down into the disney castle like emplacement and through the great blast doors (Will had bought the torches!) and were able to get into the machines rooms, generators and even up the the iron runged ladders inside the guns themselves - well Will did, I wasn't quite brave enough! - and they are truly, truly awesome. It will be a great attraction when it is all finished, but also pretty special when nearly deserted.