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20th Anniversary of my trip to Paris and Vienna | General Exploring Chat Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

20th Anniversary of my trip to Paris and Vienna


Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi People of 28DL,
I haven't posted on many forums over the last few years, but I thought I'd share this report with you all.

The forums look like they're still going well which is great in this day of social media.

Cheers,

Doug

Intro: July 01, 2001.
It was 20 years ago to the day when this photo was taken.
I had spent a day flying halfway around the world from Melbourne to Paris before deciding to wait at the airport for Prowler & SLoTH to arrive. I think I was too scared to go out into the big city of Paris alone… so I waited with my bags (no lockers due to terrorism) for 7 hours.
I have never been so happy to see SLoTH & Prowler.



Other Cave Clan members still to join us were dTrog & Cro plus Gilligan who was currently living in the Netherlands.

By today’s standards we were beginners. Most of the locations we had planned to do are considered soft nowadays, but we were as keen as mustard. Also, another difference between our trip and many explorers from the 2020’s is that we were going to spend more time not exploring than actual exploring – I know crazy right? Nowadays it is EXPLORE 6 SITES A DAY FOR THE 10 DAYS OF YOUR INTERNATIONAL TRIP OR DIE!
The internet was a thing by 2001, but urbex wasn’t huge on it. Yanky Jim.H was immensely valuable in helping us with contacts and I am forever grateful.

Over the next few weeks I will make some posts on the anniversary of the more interesting days. Some, like this post, will have nothing to do with exploring while others will include a bit of ye olde urbex!

Cheers,

Doug
 

chills

• Chief Noob Wrangler •
Regular User
Nice to see Doug, looking forward to seeing more of your memories and CC antics! ✌
 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 02, 2001.
Today we just walked around Paris being tourists. I was hungry and went into a shop that had Coca Cola written outside. I looked up on the blackboard behind the guy behind the counter and saw the word Hotdog, so I asked for a can of Coke and a hotdog. He looked at me and shook his head: “Le tourists”. We were in a betting shop.


We went and had a look at Notre Dam then walked along the Seine.
When a couple of my worldly aunties heard I was going to Paris they gave me this advice; “If you buy a beer from a café, then don’t buy one from the touristy areas and if you do buy one in a touristy area then don’t sit down as it will cost you an arm and a leg”. So we’re walking along the Seine between Notre Dam and the sewer tour (we’re actually heading towards the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower so yeah, probably the most touristy place in Paris, but we’re Aussies so we decide to get a beer… in café… the man gestures, ”Big or small?” I look at the others and look back and gesture back big. He gestures to the table outside. I nervously look at the others and they all move towards the table. They take our orders (Prowler gets a Coke). My worldly Aunties would never forgive me.

It’s a hot summer’s day in Paris so the beer is pretty bloody good. They give me the receipt face down. I lift it, look and place it back down. The others look inquisitively; ”Just enjoy your beer. It actually wasn’t too bad. The 4 beers cost a bit more than a slab/case/box would have at home, and they were big beers. We could have gone a second but we wouldn’t have left. We had a spring in our steps for the rest of the walk to the sewer tour.


 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 03, 2001. (one photo says July 4, but it’s the 3rd)
Despite the fact we were going into the Catacombs with some Catophiles, we decided to go on the Catacomb tour. We arrived to find they were closed for renovations :(

We did pop a grille and find a way into the women’s toilets (see the video for more on that).
That evening we meet up with Brewal & Titan to do the ATAC quarries. Once inside we find that a gathering has been arranged and we get to meet Mikey, Gilles & Moloko.

The tunnels were amazing, but with most of us being quite tall, we had concerns that the upcoming 14th District trip (that we basically came to Paris for) was going to be 12+ hours of ducking through low tunnels).






Probably my favourite photo on the way back to the motel after finishing ATAC.

dTrog & Brewal on the way back into Paris after doing ATAC.

SLoTH & I were staying at a separate motel that night so we left the group and checked out a location that Jim had mentioned but the stink of poo and the fact that we were tired put us off. Just as we went to leave a 4WD pulled up and 5 cops with machine guns jumped out. We were covered in clay mud so they put 2 and 2 together and asked if we were Cataphiles. We said no. They asked if we had any maps (I had some Il Drainos, but they saw that they were Australian and didn’t care). The head cop said to me ”If I am doing my job, you would be in jail with a lot of money to get out!”
 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 04, 2001. (it's 12:15am in Aus so I am posting this on the anniversary ;)
No exploring today. We go to a bar and celebrate being in Paris. We then go to the supermarket and buy a case of beer but there is no fridge in the motel and they don’t sell ice so we fill up a couple of plastic bags of crushed ice from the supermarket deli and put it in our sink, but we’re all stuffed and fall asleep after one beer listening to 80’s music.


The next day our whole apartment stank of fish (yep, the ice was used in the supermarket to keep fish fresh).
 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 06, 2001.
More tourist activities.


Then some fun that evening with Ben & Tomas (from The Netherlands) Yanky Jim, Olrik, Lezard, Brewal, BHV and others as we check out the Greenline.








We then walked through Paris in the pouring summer rain for an hour or so to get back to our motel. It was a great memorable night.
 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 07, 2001. Part 1 of 2

It was 20 years ago today that an exploring highlight happened for me.

The YouTube clip includes some footage from the 14th and is well worth a look (in my opinion)


We meet at a bar that seems to be full of cataphiles. It feels so much like a Cave Clan gathering. After a couple of hours we literally walk out the front door, cross the road and enter a manhole down a 10 storey ladder into what can only be described as dreamlike. For the next 12 hours we spent our time walking through hundreds of corridors in the 14th District, known to the cataphiles as the Grand Reseau Sud (Grand Southern Web). As I said, many hardcore explorers almost consider the 14th District for novices. Well I’m not a hardcore urbexor and if I lived in Paris I would probably spend the rest of my life exploring the hundreds of off shoots we walked by.


A few of my favourite shots from our trip into the 14th District…


We visited the Ossuaries of Montparnasse Cimitery and posed with some bones. It kind of seemed disrespectful, but the locals tried to assure us that it wasn’t.













A classic shot of Cro climbing into the German Army Bunker.





I’ll post these as thumbs as there are so many…

 
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Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 07, 2001. Part 2 of 2

It was 20 years ago today that an exploring highlight happened for me.



We even got to stop for an hour or so at a birthday party that was being held for one of our guides.

Next was The Mineralogical Cabinet. This is the last of six of these display rooms where they would show off the different types of stone available from the quarries. This room actually had had seating cut into the walls. Explorers often used this room to hang up hammocks and get some sleep. There was what looked like steps leading up to the roof. Each level would contain a different type of stone. In effect, it was a showroom for dodgy rock salesmen.








It was an amazing night!



The YouTube clip includes some footage from the 14th and is well worth a look (in my opinion)

 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 08, 2001.

We’re pretty much exhausted. We arrive at a T intersection and we all sit down while two of our guides look at a map they have spread out on the wall and discuss which was to go. Their voices become slightly elevated as one points to the left and the other to the right (the entrance we’d planned to use had been blocked so they were looking for another way out). Then one guide stomps off to the left before he comes stomping back a minute later and tuns the map the other way up and points to the right. They call out for us to follow and soon the end of an amazing night is over.








The YouTube clip includes some footage from the 14th and is well worth a look (in my opinion)

 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 09, 2001.

Some of the others guys go out exploring other places that I don’t do. On this day Cro, Ben, dTrog, Prowler and Jim ventured out to the NATO HQ then Ben, Cro and Tomas went out to something called The Floating Rock. There are other things that I have missed. I don’t have photos or videos of any of these expos. I kept doing random touristy stuff.

Below: At Burger King just before I lost my wallet with all my money and cards. Luckily Gill had a Commonwealth Bank Gold Card and saved my arse.

Right: A statue of a kid having its way with the turtle.






 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 10, 2001.

SLoTH, dTrog & I arrive at our motel in Vienna. Then, having made no research at all as to finding The Third Man Tunnels, we looked at a map and walked to the closest canal. Naturally the Power of the Clan had lead us directly to the tunnel inlet, however there was a tour out the front so we followed the Wein Canal against the flow.



 

Doug

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
July 11, 2001.
20 years ago today Sloth and I check out catacombs at St Stephens Cathedral while dTrog goes hunting for some Kraftwerk CDs.

[youtube]
That afternoon SLoTH and I checked out The Third Man Tunnels. Once again, soft by today’s standards, but wow!
I’ll do thumbs again as there are quite a lot of photos. The video is also worth a look and includes some footage from The Third Man.
[youtube]
 

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