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Report - On le road again, part 1. (industry, dead animals, prohobo, rooves)

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by dsankt, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. dsankt

    dsankt si ce que tu dis est vrai
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    In continuing the fine tradition our roadtrip was progressing as expected. Technically snappel and I were indeed traveling by road, bouncing along merrily towards Brussels in... a bus. For the pedants keeping score at home I don't therefore know if this counts as such but the miles were clicking by and Brussels was getting closer even if we weren't doing the driving. A roadtrip with a chauffeur! We'd offended the Parisian red-tapers so by attempting to acquire our rental vehicle with snappel's drivers license and my credit card. Evidently this mix was unthinkable and nothing short of a pitchfork revolution was going to change things. The Parisians love a good riot and may seem to raise the manifestation banner at the drop of a hat (or paycheque) but our cause was more likely to get a raised nose than a raised pitchfork. The almighty computer system had decreed that the main registered driver must shell out the credit card deposit and that, as they say, was that.

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    Therefore deprived of luggage space our SRT kits took the chop as did any spare clothes and toiletries. All that remained were 2 cameras each, one change of clothes, sleeping bag and bed roll. The usual photos-or-it-didn't-happen crowd would sacrifice the last for another 2 lenses (1 if they're pushing white Ls) but to us the bedding combo was of utmost import since our accommodation plans were basically: pro hobo. Churches, crypts, construction sites, hovels, ditches... all were fair game for those sans domicile fixe. Security is ensured by tucking ones valuables into the sleeping bag and bedding down. Those who sleep cradling their precious cameras will hardly notice the difference anyway.

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    From the Brussels bus station we rolled roundabout à la maison de Slyv and met his family. It was refreshing to meet an explorer of his calibre mostly removed from the forum related drama. Obviously he has more important concerns than keeping abreast of the latest developments in footwear, backpacks and which torch he should be exploring with. For the Industry King, these are minor worries.

    Trains gave us the protip on a centrally located abandonment comprising multiple multiple story buildings plus a recommissioned tunnel system carrying a mission critical payload of empty bags, satchels, duffels and rucksacks padlocked into large wooden rolling crates. The purpose of this was never discovered. Snappel and Slyv took pity upon the poor derelict baggage and snapped a few frames to make it feel better. A little attention from the likes of those two pros and it perked right up.

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    photo: snappel

    Afterwards while inspecting potential Metro access a caveclanesque clusterfuck of botched clusterfuckness led to a long metal traffic barricade taking an unforeseen plummet into a large metro vent shaft. We salute thee brave pseudo-ladder, your sacrifice was noble but for naught as the door at the bottom was locked tightly beyond our ability to lockpick with twigs and a drinking straw (the ones with the inbuilt bendy concertina functionality are inferior to the straight ones, go figure).

    Despite earlier discussion of snoozing in ditches and construction sites we bedded down on slyv's fibreglass threaded rooftop and made camp for the first night of our roadtrip, despite the classification as such hanging tenuously by a thread. Accepted definitions of roadtrip require a vehicle of some form, as yet we possessed none. This bothered us not a bit as we drifted off to sleep under the stars. Aggregated Explore Count: 1.5 (vent penetrated)

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    We arose early, scratching furiously at the small needles of fibreglass we'd taken on overnight, I can only guess they wanted to fly the nest and see the great sights of Belgium and beyond. We plucked out as many of these stowaways as possible then deployed westward in search of TOA, Target Objective Alpha (Those Overshot Animals), Le laboratoire des horreurs. Cats in jars, sectioned heads, dead puppies and pickled intestines. It's grim, macabre and abandoned with amusingly, as one would expect of something dubbed "of horrors", the best was found in the dim basement. This dirty basement is mostly loaded with old furniture but one small room is stacked to the roof with delicious treats. Come get some photographic candy kiddies!

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    However lighting ops prevailed at higher, more illuminated elevations so arms overflowing with specimen jars we tottered upwards splishing and sploshing formaldehyde left, right and centre. Inter-jar decanting of said preservative commenced shortly after. I love the smell of rotting flesh and silver halide in the morning, as should you. I always thought photographers who shot pet portraits were lame but I must admit I'm starting to see the appeal. Ladies and gentlemen bring out your dead pets; from the ground, from the freezer or from the mantle, we'll have a ball.

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    photo: snappel

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    South of Brussels lie Those Forges, well known, done to death and available in all flavour-of-the-month styles. Desaturated, hdr, nude, fetish, hell tilt-shift if you've the Eurobucks. My 16-35 has been banged so many times that one of the lens elements has moved to create a nifty faux-tilt effect. It's less useful than it sounds but that's the price one pays for wrapping Ls in tshirts and stuffing them into rucksacks.

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    Snappel took pause for a cheap victory beer atop the blast furnace while I picked from my mouth the metal foil one inevitably finds when munching melted chocolate bars. From this vantage point towering over the entire site the boner power of Those Forges is clear; it's massive and filled with adequate dereliction to give the industards messy pantalons. Conveyors spread in all directions intertwined with rusting machinery. The top of the blast furnace is dying for a hammock and margarita campout.

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    Lower down amongst the maze of buildings we were caught by the rally driving, overrevving, genuinely friendly security guard who was confused that two foreigners might travel so far to visit his furnaces. He wasn't alone. For any other decay-tourists venturing inside take note they've implemented a deggi style system whereby the guard must exit his vehicle at particular points, touch his reader to small sensors glued to the walls then continue on his way, proving he has in fact completed his round at the designated time. Not knowing this we'd chosen a hiding place right beside a sensor. Noob error.

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    Our third location and already the gnarled hand of trouble was grabbing at our asses. Who can you blame it. We took this as a sign of things to come and not 30 minutes later we doubled our trouble frequency by blatantly platform hopping in front of rail security and an inbound train. They took it in good humour and uneasy silence after the customary parlez-vous francais? Er non.

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    Paris local Hount met us at the giant revolving door of local landmark Le Palais de Justice which is wrapped head to toe in du échafaudage. The company which owned the scaffolding went bankrupt 30 years ago and the scaff has been there ever since. Some of it's newer but the higher one climbs the worse it gets. Rotting timbers and rusty joints await the willing.

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    photo: snappel

    A few quick snaps at the top caught the last of the sun's golden rays and like the sun Hount departed, citing awaiting clunge. With hount you never know if he BYO'd or secured some on arrival but we thought better than to ask. At one of the highest points of the city we made reparations for our weak hobo efforts of the previous night and bedded down for the night up on the palais' highest walkway. Aggregated Explore Count: 3.5

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    #1 dsankt, Feb 22, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010

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