Report - - Escape to Belgium Roadtrip June 2011 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Escape to Belgium Roadtrip June 2011


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The Disorder from Chaos Roadtrip

I was talking to Rookinella a couple of weeks back, chatting about how it had been a turbulent month or so for both of us and we decided a Euro roadtrip might be a good way to clear our heads and get away from things for a while. We both had busy schedules, both had work in an art show in London, but after the opening there would be time for an escape before other responsibilities needed attention.

Whoever “they†are, they say fate is a fickle mistress and when a list of euro dereliction drops into your lap, fate giggles and pulls you towards the channel. But then there are the shiny remains of another list to attract her attention, and then there’s arguments over which country to go to and then there’s someone elses list we can use (Thanks, you know who you are ;)) so we bitch and fight, and sulk a bit but eventually the roadtrip mother list comes together.

Ignoring the Uber –motto “Don’t Fck With The List†I secretly tweak it slightly before I’m happy and then it’s all put to one side as the art hurricane whistles through. Grabbing spare moments, ferries are booked, plans change, art panics ensue, it’s on, it’s off, drama happens and finally we’re sat on a street in East London surrounded by pretentious hipsters and Clive Anderson. True, I would like to check out the avant-garde performance in an hour’s time, but enough conceptual art for one day, there’s an exit to be made, let’s get out of here!

Day 1 Grande-Synthe

After an awesome Google Earth provided car-camping location we start the day at Grand-Synthe with Depeche Mode, masters of the synth! But France can keep, Belgium is the order of the day. It’s a numbers game and HH is its name, HH2 first location of the trip. A good if not a bit empty euro-hospital.





So onwards and it’s time for Spinerij KTM. Or Not. It’s a sea of broken brick :( On to Tuilleries de Littoral. Or Not. It’s restored and converted to offices :( Third time lucky and Kinderlinkin Verite is a hospital\care home that’s actually still here. Partly used as an arts centre and document storage it’s an OK mooch on a 30°C day.

Kinderlinkin Verite

Next stop Lavoir de Laines and it’s antique Wool Washer machine, something like a paper mill machine, all long and unfathomable. Next it’s Chateau De Loup and a stealthy approach is met by loads of cars parked outside and the residents sat outside music playing enjoying the sunny afternoon. Ah, Fail!

Far Out, Sons of a Loup de Fail, enjoying their summer afternoon

No worries, Abandoned experimental Catamaran is next, but no, it’s gone and a building site is where it was :( Military hospital 5 mins up the road... No, converted! Meh to that, let’s go to Iscal Sugar. Oh, a grassy field now, that’s another one gone :( So we go to see some Weaving Machines at UCO Yarns, having a flashback as we drive past Express Printing, the big Helicopters are round here too, and what’s that there Interbeton! No, that’s not what we’re here for...

So we find a great access into UCO and once in it’s apparent that something has changed, this place is completely cleaned out, no sign of epic, just emptiness and being used for storage, full of pallets of food and other goods. Getting spooked by flushing toilets and banging noises it’s time for an exit. Let’s explore Interbeton. No it’s epic meh. InterMehton.

Car camp 2 is found. It’s all about the riverside. And outdoor cinema.


Day 2 – Starting the day the HH Way

HH3 near Antwerp, we’ve been told it’s a stealth mission and we’re onto it ninja style, out of the woods and straight in climbing up into a first floor window. The we realise the ground floor doors are all wide open, there’s cyclists in the grounds and the generator is running a phone mast, not security. Unnecessary stealth fail! Nice old hospital though, even if most of the epic has gone, it’s getting smashed up and half of it is full of abandoned Mr Trebus style mad peoples living areas.






Good stuff, let’s go see Maison Nostra on the way to HH4 brings. Oh, trees are now cut back and there’s a new house there :( on to HH4, Oh, mid conversion :( Chateau Hogemeyer brings some welcome dereliction and some well dressed sulky amateur euro-explorers who looked like they were just going in there to smoke weed and touch their similarly sulky girlfriends.



Vliegveld Brustem next, I remember what it was like round here when it was still operational and it’s great to see that the brothels lining the main road are still going strong. It’s Sunday afternoon and there’s pink and blue neon and bored looking hookers everywhere! You should see this place on Saturday nights it’s like cruising Amsterdam’s Red light district in your car! So we get caught up in some cycle race craziness and then we’re on this airfield. Looks boring. Then we find an abandoned Jetplane. Oh yes!


June rocks, it’s light and warm till late and seeing as it’s Sunday it’s probably a good day for some more risky industrial stuff. Liege it is for some Blast Furnace Action :thumb


Then a depressing trip to University of Liege, now pikey ruined and a broken shell. Met a Belgian pikey, he was OK, but this wasn’t a good pro-hobo location, more car camping at Cristallerie, more filmage and lots of fireflies in the warm night air :)