Pointe des Espagnols

I’m afraid we’re fair-weather hikers, so we’ve only had some short walks close to home over the last few days. It looks like we’ll far exceed the average of sixteen rainy days here in October; today is October fifteenth, we’ve only had one totally dry day so far this month, and the forecast is rain every day for the foreseeable future… On the plus side, we do get some great cloud formations to admire.

A break in the rain gave us the chance to head out the Crozon peninsula to the final point of the Crozon trident left for us to visit, the Pointe des Espagnols (Spaniards’ Point).

It was surprising to see so many old fortifications (building started in the Middle Ages and modified through WWII) almost totally covered in thick vegetation. I guess in a country with so many old structures, you can’t maintain them all… Only one was really still visible – elsewhere there were just hints of old stone walls.

The point gets its name from a 1594 invasion by the 400 Spanish soldiers who landed here and held off a force ten times bigger than theirs for a month. The Spanish were allied with French catholics and wanted to confront the English in Brest, who were allied with French protestants. (One thing we love finding here – explanatory posts along our path. Sometimes they’re about history, sometimes geology, sometimes the animals and plants to be found nearby – regardless, we always find them interesting.)

There was a clear view to Brest, including what look like old WWII submarine pens at the west end of the harbor… Brest was a major German naval base.

On our side of the waterway it was no surprise to see gun emplacements up high (the concrete at our feet) but I did wonder why they had one facing into the harbor along the shore – for a last ditch effort, I suppose. It would be interesting to take a boat ride and see just how many bunkers there are along the harbor entrance.

Driving back from the point gave us a goal for our next hike… if the rain ever lets up again!

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