So my new American friend, Linda, says to me… come on, Bird! Lets hit the forts.
Now Fort St. Elme has been pounding at me like the tell-tale heart. I was always looking up at it… thinking… I have to climb that bastard. What I didn’t know was that you didn’t just go up to it and back. Oh no! The route takes you to the lesser known Fort Dugommier which is MUCH HIGHER!
See that bad daddy in the upper right hand corner? That is Dugommier. BASTARD! IT felt like a certain amount of bait and switch to think I was going to the lower one and having to get my rather prodigious derrière up that extra 20 meters. In fact, Dugommier is so hidden and stealthy that one doesn’t even notice it from the town.
Here we have the first sign where I realised that I had been conned!
Now these forts are old. St. Elme has been Elming in some form or another since the 9th century. Yes. That would be about the time the Vikings were pondering visiting North America. Elme has been forting as a fort until 1903. I think a thousand years of work is a good amount of time before you get your retirement. But then, retirement only lasted until 1942, when the Kriegsmarine (German navy!) occupied it from 1942 until 1944. It had a smashing view. I certainly don’t blame them at all. I can see the Kapitan in Charge pondering a few years of drinking Rose with a splendid view… I am sure he said, ‘Shore it up, Lads! Captain needs a bit of shade!’
Dugommier has been around only since 1844. In fact, Dugommier was the name of the General who took the fort back from the Spanish in 1794. According to my english translation of the French Wikipedia page, he did it with the weight of 11,000 balls.
I will let you decide how many Frenchmen it takes to get 11,000 balls because I am just not going there.
What I can tell you is that all those French and Spanish and German men were not afraid of heights because that walk is a freaking KILLER! This is part way up! Just part. I kid you not!
Now the German Navy built a few artillery emplacements, and on the walk this would be the one you come across. To be honest, I can’t blame them. I would put an emplacement here too…. You can see everything! I stopped here to wheeze and gasp like a 90 year old.
Then all of a sudden, after all the horror and the hurt…. we were up there….
And let me tell you… it was horror, and it was hurt!
You hit Dugommier first, but there just isn’t much to see from the summit as it is all behind fences. It has been abandoned for a long time. I am not to sure if the Germans used it for much or not, but it is a real wheezer to get up there. But from Dugommier it is all downhill… THANK GOD!
But the sense of accomplishment is tremendous! You get there, and you feel like a GOD!
You look down at Vendres…
You can see Cap Bear in that pic… another fort… to be conquered later!
You look down at Collioure…
And suddenly you do the ball calculation as many fewer men… 😉
This is your training. Check it out!
|When||Thu, 5 Dec 12:05|
|Where||Fort st elme and duggonier|
|How did it go||Kicked my ass but I am so proud of me!!!|
|Total Distance||6.52 km|
|Average Pace||14:07 /km|
|Average Speed||4.25 km/h|
|Total Calories Burned||803|
|Average Stride Length||0.72 m|
|Weight||Like dragging a brontosaurus uphill…|
|Shoes||Adidas , 17 km|
|Fastest Song||Baila Me-Gipsy Kings|
|Weather||13 °C, 19km/h W, 54%|
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