Razor Wire Tour â€“ Belgium Jan 2015
So, it all started last year when I visited Belgium with a few members to hit up some Derps. Along the trip we headed through liege and after seeing a ton of photos I finally caught a glimpse of the rusted blast furnaces on route to see a Derp church. Myself and The_Raw decided that there needed to be another trip to see some industry.
Fast forward about 6 months and I get a message from The_Raw saying he was organising a trip and was I up for it. A few people dropped out and others joined at the last minute and in the end we had a good group of us heading out for 4 days in Europe.
Massive respect must go to The_Raw and Wevsky for drawing up the map and marking a ton of locations and to Raw for taking on all the driving.
Visited with The_Raw, Extreme Ironing, Monkey & Wevsky
Centrale Electrique Ohm
We headed over on the Eurotunnel and stayed the night in Bruges at an average hotel with a rather inappropriately placed shower. An early start in the morning led to us walking around the outside of a building trying to work out access. We had little information on the location and had seen only a few photos online. After a short while we were in and standing in a bar area which looked pretty well maintained. Heading up the main stairs we reached our goal and were greeted by turbinez and control panels. We waited for daylight and spent about an hour taking photos before all the lights came on and it sounded like someone was downstairs. After a quick panic we packed up and GTFO!!
We arrived here after light and spent a while trying to work out our access. It looked like someone had secured all possible access points but luck was on our side and after a walk along muddy overgrowth we found something hidden which would allow us access. After some dodgy access we were all in thanks to Extreme Ironing for going first. This was our first encounter with excessive amounts of razor wire and over the 4 days we learned how much they love the stuff in Belgium.
The last stop of the day was a power station which is in the process of being torn apart. Access was incredibly easy and before we knew it we had reached the turbine hall. There were workers moving around in and out of the buildings and we had a close encounter with a Forklift truck that was using the building as a short cut across the site. All pretty easily avoidable and we spent a good few hours climbing around the gantries and platforms.
Heavy Metal Plant
I had seen pictures of this place for years and had always wanted to have a look inside. I had a brief discussion with Wevsky who said it wasnâ€™t on the list for the trip but after looking at where it was we were literally a 5 minute drive away. There was no way we could give this a miss being so close and after seeing so many photos I guessed it would be pretty easy access. We arrived to a chain link fence which was well patched up and had three runs of razor wire across the inside. I found a possible access point but it was a bit dodgy to say the least. We decided to go for it and all got around the fence. Across a bit of no mans land and we are met by a second fence again with a shit load of razor wire on the inside. We used the same method again to bypass this fence and assumed we were home and dry. As we got closer to the buildingâ€¦.another fence again covered in razor wire. We were now getting a bit fed up with razor wire but couldnâ€™t turn back now. Another two fences and a gate covered in razor wire and a sketchy climb up and we were on a cable tray making our way to the main building. On exiting we saw a yellow van literally drive past us very close and assumed we had been rumbled but it continued on and we didnâ€™t see it againâ€¦.result.
HF6 Blast Furnace
Next we headed to HF6 which was one of the main sites on our list that we all wanted to see. There is something very sexual about huge amounts of rusted metal, ladders and gantries. Access was pretty simple until we came to a gateâ€¦.fucking razor wire!!! As we weighed up our options a car pulled up outside the site and an angry guy jumped out and shouted. We thought it was security so made our way out. He got in the car and left. Turns out he was just an angry local with too much time on his hands. A quick walk around the block and we were back on site at the gate. We found another route but again were met by a fence with razor wire. Using the same methods as before we were quickly standing at the base of the monstrous blast furnace. The views from up top were amazing and after making our way down we had a good look around the other buildings then spotted an external staircase on a building overlooking the blast furnace. We headed up for a few photos then got down and left for the next location.
Ghost Bus Tunnel
The final stop of the day was one that myself and Wevs had been desperate to see for a few years. We have done more tunnels than I care to remember but never anything quite like this place. Between all of us we slowly started trying to work out how the hell to get in and it looked as though the place had been freshly secured. After some head scratching and improvisation we were in. We were warned of alarms in the tunnel and so we didnâ€™t venture all the way and could hear something beeping down the tunnel. Happy that we had covered enough of the place and knowing that it would take a while for us to all get back out we packed away and made our exit.
Another early start and we headed for a big disused industrial building. This was one that Extreme Ironing suggested and to be honest I knew nothing about it and hadnâ€™t seen pictures before although I am told it was hit pretty hard by the HDR crews. It took a while to work out how to get on to the site unseen and once on site the place had been well secured all around. I guess this was a substation for the industrial sites around. Beside it was a live area with high voltage transformers buzzing away. After a load of time and effort we managed to find a way in to the building. There was very little left in there and the place was pretty far gone so we took a few photos of the control panel and made our way out.
Wevsky had visited this place before and was very vocal about not wanting to return to â€œthat shit derpâ€ but it looked interesting and we hadnâ€™t seen the place so went for a look. Access was really easy and we spent a while walking around the old buildings which had a few nice rooms with tools and glass left in situ. We were pretty much done and ready to leave then we noticed an open door into a more modern building. There was loads of equipment and parts and all the power and lights were on and this definitely made the place a lot more interesting.
Fort de Flemalle
The_Raw had been looking online at possible locations and had stumbled upon this place. Situated in the middle of some fields we didnâ€™t really know what to expect and guessed it would be the ruins of an old fort. After walking around looking for a way into the moat we found the main gates which were locked but could be bypassed. We entered the moat to find a very well maintained fort and steam coming from the boiler room. Walking around the moat we were sure that someone would appear but we didnâ€™t see a soul. The moat was used as an assault course for air softing and while making our way around the course then it began to snow. Not the shitty UK snow, this was like snowballs falling from the sky. Wet, Cold and covered in mud we had just about given up then spotted a way into the fort. The place was amazing and spread over 4 or 5 levels of mint tunnels and gun rooms. One of the passages ran for about 5 minutes of fast paced walking before ending at a shaft to the surface. This place was a gem and we spent hours walking the tunnels and passages.
We started off by returning to an old university which I had done before so I didnâ€™t bother with any photos and the power had been cut in one of the main buildings since my last visit. We spent a while climbing through the service tunnels and running between buildings. We came into the courtyard and bumped into another group with cameras and tripods who were with an elderly woman. No way did these guys access the site the same way we did. We approached them and the woman pulled a key from her pocket for the main gate. She let us out the gate and didnâ€™t seem bothered that we were there. Slightly confused we left through the gate and headed off.
â€˜Indiana Jonesâ€™ Mine
I knowâ€¦the name is gay as fuck but I have just named it as others have previously. This was basically a large slate mine in Belgium. I would have guessed that it was a limestone mine looking at the whitish dust everywhere and the rock but again I didnâ€™t know much about the place other than seeing some photos hit the internet a few months back. This place was much better than I had expected and I am sure it had a lot more to offer but we had only set ourselves a few hours to take a look. The mine is in pristine condition and all the carts and tracks are in working order. This place is a real gem so hats off to those who put this on the map.
[insert codename] Powerstation
I think this one is being kept quiet and I am certainly not going to make up a stupid name for it and I donâ€™t think it warrantâ€™s the whole report being non-public. On our way back we felt that we could still push a bit more and this was one place on the list that we really wanted to take a look at. I know Wevsky had exchanged a few messages with Big Jobs and Drhowser so props to you guys for some guidance. Getting onsite didnâ€™t take long and after some running around up and down gantries and stairs to various locked doors we soon found our way into the turbine hall. Power and lights all switched on we made our way around got some shots then quickly made our way out for the long drive to the Eurotunnel. This place was mint and the perfect way to end the trip.
Finally arriving back in the UK in the evening we shook hands and congratulated each other on our success and went our separate ways. Cheers to the lads for being great company and for all the work put into the trip. And thanks to Belgium for making such amazingly good waffles and beer!!
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