I figured I might as well write this one up before I forget the sequence of events. Myself, Qualdoth and Keloran decided to visit some of you fine folks at the AWRE Site Visit in October. While there, we thought it would be best to do a two week urbex epic tour of awesomeness.
Day 1 – We flew into London, took a train to Paris, bought a french baguette, walked around the city and went to bed at our hotel.
Day 2 – Drove out of Paris and headed towards Chateau Singe, it was a really great location, but not much to shoot besides the few rooms everyone has already seen. Totally worth the drive though.
We then continued along towards a Sanitorium, I have never seen photos of it but had the location and a general idea of what it looked like via Google Maps. It was a very large property in a residential neighborhood. We didn’t have access details and after about an hour we gave up. Turns out, we were trying to get at it from the wrong side of the property. We had a long drive ahead of us towards Lumiere so we went on our way. We met up with a fellow Belgian explorer Henk whom we had befriended in Detroit a few months prior, talked for a bit and called it a night.
Day 3 – Woke up at the crack of dawn and headed towards Chateau Lumiere. Fantastic location in great shape, you really couldn’t take a bad shot in this place.
We then continued towards Villa Amelie. It was wide open, and right beside a school, so everyone could probably imagine what shape it was in. It was a neat place to visit, but I don’t think I got any keepers out of this place.
After Amelie we drove towards Bureau Central. It was a really great building with a fantastic atrium. We had a lot of fun exploring this building and spent a few hours here.
Day 4 – We drove into Belgium and headed straight towards Noisy. We had a fun time getting up there as the ground was pretty wet from the rain the night before. We were greeted by a recently deceased french bulldog at the doorway. The rest of the building wasn’t in much better shape than the bulldog. It was a fantastic place to visit, I loved spending time on the roof and enjoying the view of the country side but shooting the interior was pretty tricky. Qualdoth got a great shot which he’ll hopefully post in this thread.
After Noisy we drove a bit until we arrived at Power Plant IM. We had access details for the plant itself, but decided to just visit the cooling tower. The tower was fantastic, the echos were great and the occasional noise from the hawk living up above was pretty cool too.
After IM we stopped by the Theatre Varia. We were there in the evening, a neighbour was standing outside and told us not to even bother as it was sealed up pretty well. If we had gone at a less busy time, perhaps we’d had a chace.
Day 5 – We woke up bright and early and met up with PlazzmiK and a couple of his friends (Not sure if they are on this forum, if so say hi!) at Horror Labs. It was a fantastic place, all of the jars were really creepy. We had a great time exploring this place for the majority of the morning. It was great to meet PlazzmiK and witness him creating some of his awesome long exposure light painting.
We then continued along towards the Labyrinth School. It was being prepared for renovations and will be turned into some sort of housing/condo in the near future. The outside of the property was being dug up for pipes but the inside had not yet been touched. We made it just in time and were able to shoot this fantastic location.
After the Labyrinth School, we headed towards Chambre du Commerce. We decided to take a walk around on this evening just to get an idea of what we were in store for when we woke up the next morning. The sun was setting and we were walking around the building. We hadn’t brought our cameras as we were just going to grab a bite and take a look. Sure enough, the first door we pulled on open up and we walked right into the place. We spent a few minutes in awe of the trade floor and went on our way.
Day 6 – We woke up bright and early with the hopes that the unlocked door we came upon was still accessible in the morning. We gave ourselves enough time that if it hadn’t been unlocked, we’d try to get in another way. Thankfully it was unlocked and we got in without issues. Within 10 minutes, another couple of explorers walked in with flashlights. It turned out to be two females who had driven a few hours to visit this location and got just as lucky as we did. I don’t think they are on this forum but their shots are here: http://urbanladies.weebly.com
We spent the morning together talking, waiting for the sun to rise, then shooting.
After the CDC we drove out of town and towards Brugge for our first little bit of European tourism. Brugge was really cool, we had a nice meal, a belgian waffle and some good beer.
Day 7 – We slept in, had a nice morning and drove towards ECVB, it was a weekday, and there were a lot of workers on site. So, that didn’t happen. We then continued towards Salve Mater, we drove up, parked and were stopped by the photographers assistant in the neighboring building. We tried to work out an agreeable price but he was asking 50 euros per person. Maybe he thought we’d pony up the cash because he could hear we weren’t locals but we went on our way to the next location. The next location was Kasteel Hogemeier. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good location, maybe at one point in time it was. I walked in, took a look around and walked out. At least we saw Manneken Pis and had another Belgian waffle!
Day 8 – We drove towards Fort Chartreuse, it was a really cool location with some great history. After that we decided to drive into Germany and make an attempt at the mine with the hanging baskets.
Day 9 – We headed towards the mine, realized it was as active as it gets. Despite talking to an explorer who had been there, I don’t think we actually had the correct location. So that was a bust. We took a long drive back to Brussels and got on a train into London.
Day 10 – Walked around London for half a day, had a squirrel jump on my arm at St. James Park, picked up the car and drove towards Ipswitch.
Day 11 – Woke up and went on the AWRE Tour, met some fantastic people, had some laughs, took some photos and learned something of historical significance. It was great to meet the Sophos’ as well as everyone else attending. After the AWRE tour we drove towards Pyestock.
Day 12 – The Pyestock trip deserves a thread unto itself, all I can say is that me, Qualdoth, the Sophos’ and MuddyFunkster had an EPIC adventure that included terminator dogs, zombie toads, barbed wire, scrappers, as well as cloak & dagger style evasion. The whole trip was so traumatizing, I haven’t even gone through the photos yet.
Day 13 & 14 – Tourist stuff.
Hopefully Qualdoth can fill everyone else in with some more interesting photos and maybe some funny stories I may have missed!