Urbex

Exploring the Urban Environment

Kinky Paris – Feb 2010

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Les Carrieres de Paris, the Catacombs, l’ossuaire municipal , the Catas, whatever you want to call them, they’ve been on the scene for years. Take the official tour along with the other quarter of a million others who do each year, see the bones, hear the story, emerge into the sunlight after an hour to shoot to le Louvre or la Tour Eiffel. Catas done, tick the box, au revoir.

Aside from the official tour, there are around 180km of catacombs that are not open to the public. Guarded by a group of ‘Cataflics’, the punishment for getting caught is a €60 fine and a slap on the wrist. Hence, the Cataphiles exist. A clandestine group of urban cavers, explorers, artists, graffers, partygoers and adventurers, the weekend sees the catas become a bustling hive of activity.

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Written by Ali

February 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Achtung Baby! (Part One) – Aug 2008

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Writing retrospectively about my first Eurotrip isn’t so easy. I usually put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard within a few days of getting home, before the buzz wears off and the trip begins to fade into the memory.

It was a pretty hot night when I got to West Park. We’d agreed to meet in Guildford/Granton Ward, and as all of us could arrive at different times, some of us spent more time here waiting than others. As the last arriver I bought Calippos, and met an excitable Rooks doing some colouring in. Bless. This was also the first occasion I met Statler, who has been on many subsequent trips with me (but not this one)

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Written by Ali

February 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Millenium Mills – Jan 2010

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My first visit to the Mills was in July 2008, following my first visit to Battersea. It was dark, we got on the roof, and that was all there really was to it. This visit was more conclusive however, as we saw the vast majority of the two mill buildings on site.

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Written by Ali

February 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm

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Einslife! (Part One) – Dec 2009

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Its sometimes the things that we don’t take photos of that we remember best. My first European adventure in August 2008 ended with us being requested to leave Berlin. One abiding memory of it was the farewells at the end when we went our separate ways, and the feeling is isolation sitting in my car on my own, after a week in the almost complete presence of my fellow explorers.

Memories of this trip that haven’t been captured on film or digital include being chased away from the Buchallee Weißensee Sauglings und Kinder Krankenhaus by a man who told us that you mustn’t run from dogs because they will chase you, and the dog will chase you because it lives there and it’s her land. The calls of ‘Einslife!’ after hearing it announced on the radio soon after arriving in Germany, the bitter cold of Beelitz and the hype of the early rise with the morning light.

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Written by Ali

February 17, 2010 at 11:22 am

I went to Belgium – Oct 2009

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The 6 of us decided to go to Belgium, the main attraction being Chateau De Noisy, a gothic pile on top of a hill in the Ardennes. Being such a way away, we needed to fill the weekend with adventures and things to do, so I arranged some.

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2 cars, a Land Rover and 6 people, one kerb-bash, one 2 hour delay in London, a trip round the perimeter of Cane Hill to see what’s left (nothing), and some nervous moments on the thunderous M25 eventually saw us arrive in Dover just in time for last check-in…

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Written by Ali

October 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm