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Report - Petite Ceinture, Paris, France, March 2014

Benutzer

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
The Petite Ceinture was a railway in Paris, operational from 1852 to 1934. It was a precursor to the modern metro system, forming a circular route (hence the name, literally the little belt) connecting the main railway stations.

I was visiting a friend in Paris, and we decided to avoid the normal tourist trail and do a bit of exploration instead.

There are some fairly long tunnels on the petite ceinture, including one probably about a kilometre long. We'd read that there was an entrance to the catacombs there but we couldn't find it, although we weren't looking particularly hard - We were down to one torch at this point and we could easily have gotten killed or worse still, lost. As we were just beyond halfway through this tunnel, we heard a rumbling sound. Turned around and saw a pair of headlights coming towards us along the rails. Shit. This railway's been closed for 80 years, what on earth could it be? What do we do? Shall we hide in an alcove until they've passed? Run? Since we were fairly sure they'd already seen us, we decided on the latter. So we ran. But they were gaining on us- the ominous rumbling sound and the headlights were getting close. We decided on a change of tactic - if we just strutted along confidently as if we owned the place, perhaps they'd leave us alone? Well, it worked. The funny vehicle rolled straight past us. There were 4 men in high vis on board, 2 of them pedalling it.
After the tunnel, they stopped and we caught up with them. One of them got off the wagon to pick up a (dumped?) fire extinguisher. He turned to us, gave us a dirty look and mumbled, "ah, les catacombes, non?" My friend asked him, "oú est l'entree des catacombes?" but he just mumbled something unintelligible and went back to the wagon, and they pedalled off.

I'm sorry for the crap quality of the photos - my camera is cheap (eos 300d) and I only took one lens with me (50/1.8)

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In hindsight, this photo probably didn't need to be quite so oversaturated
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This is the bizarre vehicle
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My fellow explorer
 

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Last edited:

The Franconian

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#2
Re: Petite Ceinture, Paris, France

Good story with that "Draisine" or whatever that thing is called in english, wonder where they go with it