This article was translated by John R. Bopp

It’s been a while since we’ve had the chance to bring you all a new Viewpoints episode.  As we usually say, there aren’t enough of us to go around, especially this year.

But we couldn’t ring out the old year with at least one more entry.  And for it, we chose one of the places in our country that is known around the world for its magic.  We’re referring to the Otzarreta Forest, an island of indigenous forest in Gorbeia Park.

Our regular readers will remember how this place, not too long ago, was included in a list of the 19 forests we needed to see in our lifetimes.

Hayedo de Otzarreta
Otzarreta Forest

Plus, every time we include a photo or a reference to this place, there is a huge number of commentators to recall the beauty of the place.  So, we decided to dedicate this Sunday, which seemed more like April than December, to visit this place and share our experiences with you.

So we’re incuding a video and a selection of the many photos we took while we were walking among the magical beech trees.  Whenever we “get lost” in our Biscay forests, we always end up wondering when we’ll be able to bring back the indigenous forests to this part of our country.

No one can criticize the presence of the great pine forests that saved this Territory’s forests from the evils of deforestation due to over-exploitation.  But we think, and this is our un-expert observer’s opinion, that it’s high time our institutions, who saved our mountains a century ago, took steps now to recover our indigenous forests.  That way, our grandchildren could walk among forests of oak, chestnut, beech, and holm oak trees.  They would have to be forests that would be profitable for their owners, and at the same time maintain the unique ecosystem of this part of our land.  And, regarding our opinions about the eucalyptus trees, we prefer to keep that to ourselves, and it might come off a bit ugly.

But getting back to the Otzarreta Forest.  If you, our readers, get the chance, you mustn’t miss out on getting to know it.  Don’t expect to find an unknown hideaway; the truth is, there are a lot of visitors.  But in any case, it’s worth visiting this forest for the trasmocha beech trees, which the colliers and loggers of our land “sculpted” throughout our land, creating extraordinary magical places to delight visitors and recall our history as ironmongers and shipbuilders.


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