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Report - Polaroid Paris (and a few digi shots) mostly the catas, april 3rd - april 7th

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Well Wasp, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Well Wasp

    Well Wasp Buzzzzzzzzzzz
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Am a bit slow on the organising of photos so this is all been and gone, but better late than never so here we go

    OT had very kindly put out an invitation to one of his awesome cata trips, these date nicely almost fitted with Easter, unfortunately bringing about some very pricey euro star tickets, so we (myself, urbanfox, and brickman) decided to get a ticket a day earlier and a few days later and then it was stupidly cheap.... unfortunately these tickets were all at silly o clock in the morning before any of the capitals metro/ underground services were open, a bad call

    St Pancras

    we set off Thursday evening from the lovely north hoping to get some kip and then catch our train at 5, but due to delays by the time we got in their was no time for that so we had to go straight St Pancras, which we discovered is not a very warm place to be, Brickers and Fox went for a sleep under the benches like the hobos they are I got my big medium format camera out and took some pictures

    urban fox trying to look clever in glasses

    after amusing myself by constantly looking over the bench until one of the strangers sat next to me got inquisitive and looked over too, to behold two people sleeping underneath them, it was time to get the train

    we arrived in Paris quite early Friday, we headed to our hotel, which was ok, a little bare for the cost but it is Paris. After settling down, we decided to go for a little trip, Brickman had been doing his research and found a nice little building not to far from the town which looked very nice, so we utilised the awesome rer trains to reach our location, well near to it

    busker on the RER, I love how his wife is holding out the money cup even though I was looking through a camera.

    We trekked through some bizarre are full of strange contraptions, hides, and lots of shot gun cartridges, I don’t have any pictures of this area but it was a nice walk, after a long walk we eventually got to our target, but alas the owner was outside we asked if we could have a look, and we did. It was very apparent he was not keen on us being their as he kept keeping an eye on us so we decided not to venture inside, and after a while it proved quite wise as a large party of well dressed business type people arrived on some official business.

    awesome building, looked gutted inside but some nice light in there.

    After that failure we decided to have a look around the city, which turned out to be a failure as while in the city we got a call from ot asking if we wanted to come to a quarry but we were to far from our hotel and their was no way we could make it in time, but due to lack of sleep we had got the previous (and the distinct lack of sleep ot and dweeb got in the quarry that night) it was probably for the best.

    We hit the supermarket to get our essentials, and then we set to work making sandwiches and packing our bags, and once that was complete, I went to my room and got me some kip, and it was awesome

    my room, I know you don't care but soak it up

    upon waking we hit the supermarket again, this time we were in awe at just how slow the service is, they are so laid back it's unreal, their was 3 people in front of us in a queue and it still took close to 40 mins before we were served, so by the time that was finished we were running late

    the supmarche wait

    we arrived at St Pancras about 10 or 15 minutes late, we greeted everyone present, but noticed the lack of Dweeb and OT, they arrived and it had turned out that the only sleep they had was on the metro to meeting us, and the did not like "weedboy" one bit, as he stole a small part of their life, a very important part meant for sleeping

    It wasn't very long after us that OT and Dweeb arrived and at that we dropped all our stuff off in the lockers, got our waders on and headed to the metro, with a fair amount of strange looks pointed our way, although not as many as you would expect considering how we looked

    getting on the metro to our entry location

    We did the usual supermarket stop, where we were told there was a chance that we may be invaded by a group of cataphiles tonight and the chance of sleep was close to zero. Obviously at this point beer was essential.

    We then slowly utilised an open manhole and made our way into the tunnel network.

    dweeb near the entry point

    It was soon after this that the light source for our trip was unveiled, dweebs and OT's carbide lamps, and it was definitely a nice light, it leant it self very well to photography, although not the most practical of lighting for most situation.

    Once in the tunnel we hit a few of the tourist spots (I believe this order is correct but am not totally sure) we firstly went to the castle room, had a small sit down and a read of the map.

    From the castle room it was a small trip to our lunch spot, le cellier, an old wine cellar, which was now a very nice dinning/ party spot. The graffiti is this area was very nice, although there was some unfortunate tagging over the top of some of the nicer pieces.

    Om nom nom nom

    I also got "my" digi cam out here and got a fair few shots here, the lighting was nice, I was very happy with my results

    meal 1
    meal 2
    meal 3

    after a nice meal we headed towards the slightly disappointing lamp room, which is now slightly devoid of lamps. Infect I was so uninspired I chose not to take pictures. once we had another rest here we headed to Le Plage, and from there we were heading to a room for a sleep

    you don't normally see it in the pictures, but the networks is virtually all tunnels, with some rooms now and then, the pictures tend to only show the rooms though.

    We had another sit down and a bit more food once we got to la Plage, I really like the mural in this place, unfortunately I was experimenting with defusing my Polaroid’s flash and so my pictures didnt turn out to well, a lesson to me, check your pictures if you're experimenting before taking more.

    best Polaroid result from le Plage

    And again I decided to get my digi camera out for this

    beach 1
    beach 2

    Attached Files:

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  2. Well Wasp

    Well Wasp Buzzzzzzzzzzz
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 7, 2008
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    From here we headed up to the sleeping spot, but before that we stopped of at (I believe this is the correct name) the monks fountain, which was quite nice although rather smelly. We set up shop in the adjacent modern room, which was ideal. The plan was a short nap before carrying on up towards our eventual sleeping (or party) spot, and on the way taking in the bones, and a small group of us heading up to the flag room.

    After a short while most people were asleep, amusingly Speed decided the floor was the best place to sleep, OT the wisest of the group set up a hammock.

    After we had been their a while a small group of cataphiles came in, absolutely devastated that we were sleeping in their, as it was quite early and they wanted to have a small party in their later (I believe one of the group has signed up on the forum). We explained what was happening and he seemed much happier and talked for a little while and then left us to nap

    While everyone was sleeping I was mostly bored, I tried and failed at sleeping so I decided to play around and take some pictures.

    the cataphile didn't look happy when I took his picture, but I reassured him by shouting camera man, and that seemed to make him happy, and the resulting image is quite nice too. (notice speed chilling on the floor)

    after this speed abandoned his floor bed and took up a normal sleeping place
    I got very bored after this and played with my head torch up the ladder
    spot light 1
    spot light 2

    Now most people in our group were more rested we headed to the only bit of these tunnel that should be known as the Catacombs, the burial pits (well one of them). Its a very surreal place to be, its not the bones which gets me but the realisation that the dust your covered in when you get out is all people too, the scale is quite unreal, and the way they are kept is of a massive contradiction to the public catacombs

    the ceiling was very low so you had to crawl through all these bones.

    while I was coming out of the small bone crawl I noticed that the previous night had left one explorer rather tired

    Once we had finished here, we headed up towards our sleeping spot, stopping off so a small group of us could head up to the flag room, I was really looking forward to this as I really like a piece a graffiti which is in the bunker just before the flag room.

    Once we had completed the stoop and then the belly crawl (the highlight of which is the metro train travelling over you causing the whole tunnel to shack) we emerged. Dweeb had a nice plan and headed to the flag room. everyone else had an explore and I headed to the graffiti and got a few shots

    there were some additions from last time, but they were on the surround area, and were quite nice

    everything photographic looks better in threes, and Polaroids are not excluded from this

    once I had finished here, I head to the flag room to see what everyone was up to, and Dweeb was hard at work, mounting the Plaque/ flag so it would be of the floor and hopefully stay more intact, as recently it had been suffering somewhat

    this flag will hopefully stay out the dirt and be a bit more appreciated now, as it is a very old part of history from down there.

    Now it was "bed" time, we headed to the spot, we chilled out a bit for a while, OT and Dweeb started on their Port. Quite allot of port later Rug, vergile, and one more cataphile (sorry I can't remember your name) arrived. We all drank and talked amongst us. Rug and Vergile were unbelievably friendly, and it was a pleasure to meet them.

    Dweeb showing of his work in the flag room, or the video of the quarry drive
    Party 1

    While I was taking these and drinking beer brickman wanted to play with the wide angel lens, unfortunately he didn't use the flashgun, so theirs the horrible lens shadow, but the atmosphere is awesome
    taken by brickman on my camera 1
    taken by brickman on my camera 2

    Now the effects of port were reaching a climax and the night before wasn’t helping so unfortunately OT was the first to bed, this obviously left him to be the most apparent target for Vergil, he gathered everyone around underneath OT's hammock and pulled out a strange object dipped the tip in wax "as dipping it in wax is the most important part", he then placed this down and lit it, a impressively bright flame was let out, somewhat similar to magnesium burning, then what we all knew was coming, smoke, and allot of it, the whole room was soon so thick you could barely see your hands. But unlike what I was expecting this was quite a pleasant smoke it was dense but didn’t feel thick and had quite a pleasant sweet smell. It was a nice finish to the night


    needless to say we all slept in, some of us felt a bit worse than others in the morning. The plan today was to head towards the exit while taking in a few places on the way, and to also enjoy the sand crawl.

    breakfast and hangovers

    I didn’t take any pictures of most of the stuff seen as I saw it last time, the sites visited were I believe, foxy's memorial, the human bomb room, and the mineralogy office, and the class murals which are adjacent to it.

    almost over the top

    Once we got to the exit, most people left leaving just myself, brickman, urban fox, and our very kind guides, Dweeb, and OT who despite being hungover and tired stayed a few hours longer to show us something a bit different

    Firstly we had a quick stop off at passie de murial (sorry my spelling sucks) to just go over everything and make sure the suspicious torchlight wasn't following us (as we believed it to be the police)

    he is even worse than before

    We now headed to an area of the tunnel network that seemed quite different, and had hardily been touched by taggers, here we saw more "original" features of the tunnel network rather than the recent additions from cataphiles.

    firstly there is the old sign, very similar to the plaque in the flag room, although I think this one is slightly younger

    Stairway of skulls

    once reaching the top of the stairs, there is a small selection of very impressively size coat hooks.

    Attached Files:

    #2 Well Wasp, Apr 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2017
  3. Well Wasp

    Well Wasp Buzzzzzzzzzzz
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 7, 2008
    Likes Received:
    by the time we had finished up their it was time for us to make our way to the exit, we trekked all the way to just below the manhole cover only to be accosted by some cataphiles heading the other way informing us that the police are waiting up the top of the manhole, so we joined the mass exodus of cataphiles heading towards the other near by exit.

    light at the end of the tunnel

    as we finally get back on the street level, I try to get a candid shot of everyone nearly dead out side the fruit shop, only to have a cataphile run at me shouting something in French with his arms stretched out, I thought he wanted to half inch my camera. Turns out he was being nice and wasn't happy about me not being in the picture :thumb

    cataphiles group shot

    Needless to say after that trip a very good nights sleep was had. Monday we had a plan to head up to the "pink" power station, it turned out it wasn't really that pink. So we snuck round the site found entry, waited by the window to make sure that a guard wasn't in there. Urbanfox and brickman jump in just as he comes around the corner, such bad timing it was shocking.... but that not the end, we all scarper I get rushed back out the tiny hole in the fence, only for them two to decide he could not be a guard, he was holding what looked like a tripod. So we head for another entry point, the guard accosts us turns out his tripod was in-fact mace spray. He was sound took us through the power plant, took some details and let us go.

    metro station

    After the second fail, we decided to look around Paris again, saw the tourist spot and I hated it. Groups of tourists completely killed everything.

    tourist hell just out of shot

    luckily that wasn't the end of the day, in the evening we met up with one of brickmans friends, he was awesome, shared his wine and stories with us, we told him about what we had been up to. After that he thought that we mite be interested in a church near our train station which currently had scaffolding up. Don't know if he will read this but thanks :thumb

    The tip of seemed to be ok, I hopped over one part to find no way up, getting back over I have quite a fail, I got caught on the fence then slowly leaning forward to make sure I wasn't caught I leant to far and didn’t land correctly, 7ft drop onto my knee. After allot of limping we carried on around the church and found a way up, which was, much easier, I could do it even in my peg leg state

    lovely church

    we went to the top of the scaffolding and chilled for a bit, the restoration work on the church was amazing, there really was a group of skilled workers doing this. Round me if this kind of worked needed doing the building would have just been left till it became too unsafe and the taken down, so good on the French :thumb

    After a nice sit down, brickman went a wondering and aggggggeees later returned with a smile so big it didn't look humanly possible, the reason for his glee was the fact he had found the way to the tower, so obviously we headed their was some roof top Paris fun.

    The views were incredible, but my pictures do not do it justice. From where we were you could make out all the Parisian landmarks. :eek:

    view over the church

    hard to make it out, but that is brickman on the top of that roof, we all went up their for a picture, and it was not a pleasant place to get to

    if you look hard you can see the efile tower :)

    So after we had our fun their we made a hasty retreat, stopping by a hotel for a picture opportunity, am not sure why....

    hotel Kuntz

    from here to the train station, and a nice peg legged sleep for me, while we awaited our train

    the disposal of my waders at gare du nord, due to a failure in the keeping of water away from my feet.

    Another long journey home on Tuesday we got back late afternoon, early evening, and we were all quite tired but all had a fun time.

    even if we did have quite allot a failure

    Fat knee

    Attached Files:

  4. Squirrell 911

    Staff Member Admin

    Jul 24, 2006
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    Nice shots mate :thumb. the cattas are hard on kit, your body physically and mentally but definatly worth while. :)
  5. UrbanFox

    UrbanFox ...ginger, like a fox!
    28DL Full Member

    Aug 30, 2008
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    Awesome report!
    Lot's of detail and random stuff, I like!
    I had an amazing time. :thumb
    Your pics are great.
  6. Alias

    Alias like marmite
    28DL Full Member

    Nov 14, 2005
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    Home Page:
    fantastic report, well written and broken down so its easy for an ADHD kid like me to follow.

    Thanks for taking the time
  7. Brick_Man

    Brick_Man 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 30, 2007
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    don't even know where to begin worshipping :Not Worthy
    Oh, didn't realise I took those people shots with flash, wangle & lense shadow? Thats probably when I lost (then refound) your lense cap :eek:

    and shot of me looking at oversized coat hooks like my brain just fell out, urghh, worst shot of me ever :gay

    I like how you've combined the entire trip into one 'UBER report' it helps make more sense of the madness that was.
    Mate, you couldn't even begin to describe how happy I was. Felt like I was the first person ever to go up there since it was built in the dark ages, even though I obviously wasn't. I needed to share the happy'ness, but had to withstrain myself from doing so :eek::cool:
  8. Vivo

    Vivo 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    May 3, 2007
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    How sharp are the medium format ones?!

    Great stuff mate. Love the shot of the busker.
  9. Well Wasp

    Well Wasp Buzzzzzzzzzzz
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 7, 2008
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    very sharp


    any blurring is through either the converison to digital, the uploading or more likely out of focus, the format is awsome.

    cant quite make the text out on the back of the book in that but its not too far off, maybe with a larger scan although its already at 1600dpi (on the original 6 by 7 shot)
  10. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
    Staff Member Moderator

    Nov 15, 2005
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    Mint, the floor was best i tell you!
  11. toothdoctor

    toothdoctor 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Apr 11, 2009
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    Lovely pictures! Just out of curiosity: What MF camera and what scanner do you use?

    I couldn't help but furrow my brow at stephanie mayer though. Why is everyone reading that nowadays>!?! it's like the new but old davinci code
  12. tucker

    tucker Scallywag
    Regular User

    Oct 2, 2007
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    fuck that, twas mad cold! Good report mate btw :thumb
  13. Freebird

    Freebird 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Oct 5, 2008
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    Some excellent shots and a great report. :thumb Awesome place, :( still not been!
  14. Well Wasp

    Well Wasp Buzzzzzzzzzzz
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 7, 2008
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    bit late, but i was shooting with a mamiya RB67 pro s i think it was ilford 50 iso stuff i was using, i can get rolls of it for £1 a pop

    and scanner is some epson thing at college.. just a flat bed which also scans negs, its an awsome machine i think it mite be the epson perfection v700, i have an epson perfection 1200 at home which is ok too, and can be picked up for next to nothing

    and thanks everyone glad people enjoyed the report i thought mite be a little too long
  15. VECTRA

    VECTRA Guest

    It was great to see someone using medium format and film....the quality stood out!
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