La Mola


In June of 2010 we were holidaying on the island of Menorca. The island has much to offer and although we have visited the island many times, we had never visited La Mola, a fortress situated just outside of Mahon.

The fortress of Isabel II, La Mola, is one of the major European fortresses built in the 19th Century.

Queens Gate, entrance to La Mola, Mahon, Menorca

Built during the period 1848 to 1875 it was largely out of date before construction was complete.

The fort became a victim of technological advances, the change from muzzle loading artillery to the more powerful breech loading variety, complete with rifled bores. Instead of grouping the guns within the fortress, a series of coastal batteries were introduced.

The Loopholed Gallery – La Mola, Mahon, Menorca

This gallery, 390 meters long, is formed by 48 arches that house 48 casemates, in each of which there are two loopholes for riflemen. This defensive front served to defend the moat.

Saint Philips Castle and the British tower Saint Felipet – Mahon, Menorca
View of Clot de La Mola

In this small inlet, ships would anchor, during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Hornworks

This is the first line of defense against a land attack and where the main artillery pieces were placed.

A tranquil mooring, La Mola
The rugged coastline surrounding La Mola
The rugged coastline surrounding La Mola

Hopefully, these few pictures give you some idea of La Mola. The place is huge and you need to allow a good couple of hours to do it justice,

Langstone Mill


Langstone Mill, Hampshire, England

Langstone Mill dates from the 1700’s when the windmill was built. Subsequently, in the 1800’s, the mill and the mill store were built. The windmills distinctive black colour is due to the tarred outer skin which is resilient to the effects of coastal weather.

Limousin, France – Day 14


The morning started with heavy rain and thunderstorm surrounding the gite. With breakfast and the storm all done by 09:15, and with the sky brightening, we took to the car and set off. Todays target was Bort des Orgues but as usual we made detours or stopped off en route.

After filling up the fuel tank at Bugeat we pulled over to take in the beautiful vista that is le Lac de Viam. This is an artificial lake which now provides beaches from which many water based leisure activities are launched. And, as well as a feast for the eyes, the lake is an integral part of the French hydro-electricity network.

le Lac de Viam
le Lac de Viam, Correze, France

After enjoying the view we continued on our way, but not for long. Another small detour took us to Le Mont-Bessou just north of the town of Meymac.
Here we climbed the viewing tower

Viewing Tower, Le Mont-Bessou, Correze, France
Viewing Tower, Le Mont-Bessou, Correze, France

which I have since discovered

is built of Douglas fir, braced with steel cables, and is triangular in plan. 188 steps and six intervening landings, take the visitor to the main viewing platform, which is 26 metres (85 ft) above the ground.

Which probably explains why I came close to being seasick so far away from the sea. The tower resonates with every step as you ascend and never quite seems to settle, never quite stationary. Presumably that is why they have this mounted on the top deck in the middle of the floor.

Swing-O-Meter, Viewing Tower, Le Mont-Bessou, Correze, France
Swing-O-Meter, Viewing Tower, Le Mont-Bessou, Correze, France

I’m pleased to say that I did not see the pendulum swing out of the center circle.

All that aside, the views were, despite the clouds, spectacular.

View from viewing tower, Mont-Bessou, Correz, France
View from viewing tower, Mont-Bessou, Correz, France – Looking towards Meymac

View from viewing tower, Mont-Bessou, Correz, France
View from viewing tower, Mont-Bessou, Correz, France

All the fresh air, scenery and climbing the tower had made us hungry. So on we travelled to Bort des Orgues where we sat on the terrace of the Central Hotel overlooking the river and ate a superb lunch.

NB: I just discovered this post, in draft state. I don’t feel it is complete but have submitted it as is because my memories of that day are truly hazy.