It's been a while since our small Belgium/Luxembuorg/France-Roadtrip in September, but now I finally had the time to recall this one and edit some of the images.
As I'm totally new to photography, I would be very delighted to hear your opinion on the photos and processing! (:
1st day:Usine Barbele
The entrance was quite easy. The place where the hole in the fence should be seemed to have been closed a few times already; but everytime a new hole was opened just a few steps further. Arriving at the heart of the plant, we quickly made our way up to the rows of coking furnaces.
It was a rather dark day, clouds hanging heavily in the sky, and we stopped many times when some loose parts made loud crashing noises, moved by the wind. We did not feel comfortable here, it seemed like we were not welcome.
After taking some portraits at the big fans, my girlfriend told me she was hearing engine sounds, and we decided to rush into a small cabin at the side of the road and hide. And really, she was right: A black Dacia made its way slowly around the plant, passing the shed where we were hiding. We heard it stopping somewhere, opening and closing it's doors again, and we were in complete agreement we should leave this place as fast as posible. Hiding behind everything we found, we fled along the side of the way, stopping and quietly peeking back every now and then.
2nd day: HFB
We decided to be quick with this one when thinking back to the day before. We made our way to the blast
furnace, took some photos and left again. We'll have a look at the rest of the site on our tour in march.
ET Phone Home
I found this one online just the day before, and after a short research, I had the coordinates. After having a
stop at a small park to have a look at a sculpture we wanted to see, we quickly headed over the fields
toward this one. We arrived at sunset, and after strolling through high grass and climbing the small fence,
we stood in the middle of those antennas. I really liked the view, but I'm not at all pleased with the
pictures I made. Maybe we'll repeat that one someday.
3rd day: Diesel Power Plant
Not much to say. The door that was said to be open was closed again, so we moved on to the sea and did
not any exploration that day.
4th day: Salle des Compresseurs
We made our way in from the west. According to the parts we found in this wasteland, it used to be some kind of power station. There are also some basement structures where you can still find some electrical gear.
The compressor house was a nice little place - nice machines looking like ducks, rust, peeling paint, plants. Beautiful.
5th day: Power Plant X
The access to this one was said to be "a bit dirty", but i really enjoyed it. We took some shots in the boiler room and moved on to the pumping room in the next building.
Sadly we didn't get to see the big hall with the gas motors as renovation work was going on - the space was lit up like a soccer field and plastic sheets were covering windows and machines. Let's hope it gets well preserved for the posterity so they can enjoy that view too!
This one was easy. We heard stories of police driving around and were careful, but luckily nothing happened. The place isn't as impressive as HFB or Usine Barbele and in a quite bad shape, but there were some nice perspectives.
It was raining cats and dogs, so we didn't have much time to shoot the nice reflections.
That's it for now. There aren't so much images as we also did a bit of sightseeing and I sorted out a bunch that I didn't like or weren't able to process to the point where I could post them with a good feeling Hope you still like them!
If you like to see some (but that's not THAT much) more images, you can hit up my flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/152392524@N08/albums
We'll do another tour in March (Be, Lux, Fr, Es, It, Ch) and hopefully we'll come back with more pictures. Maybe I'll also add some of my older images.
And of course, thanks a lot to the people that helped me with the locations and confirmed my researched coordinates - it's really nice to know how to get in and somebody has been there recently. I won't publish the names here so that you don't get flooded with requests, I hope that's ok. You rock!
best wishes from Germany,
My first post to this forum.
Today we visited a factory somewhere in Belgium.
It used to be a plant where soda but mostly water was bottled and then prepared for distribution to grocery stores in Belgium and surrounding countries.
The factory stopped being productive because of a severe collapse of the roof.
We didn't have any hightech-equipment so I used my iPhone to make some pics. enjoy!
It´s a special kind of silence that´s being felt all over that place. It´s peaceful. Heather´s growing like a carpet and right between all the weathered stone crosses. Once made out of plain stone, they now mark the human remains of former patients of the nearby psychiatric hospital, who deceased between the years 1921 - 1981. As the cemetery was opened in '21 the hospital was still named "Rijkskrankzinnigengesticht" ("public mental hospital") - a customary term at that time. Around 1750 - exclusively male - patients were buried here. As mentioned above, the last one in 1981.
The graves itselves are designed pretty simple. The individual stone cross only contains a metal plate with the name as well as the date of birth and death of the patient in respective. You can´t help it but ask yourself what kind of lives they might had had. It was not uncommon that patients had to spend a significant part of their lives in such institutions, not to say even their whole lives. One thing is certain at last. They all had to spend the rest of their lives within an institution, which excluded them from society.
The graveyard itself is located right in the middle of the woods. Thanks to the sunny weather of a late summer´s day, it helped to find the atmosphere more peaceful than anything else. The sun was shining and created an immense heat between the stone crosses and the heather growing all over the place, just helped to add friendliness to the whole scenery. I´m sure a cold, misty November´s day would change the whole atmosphere completely. Yet, the friendly weather that day couldn´t delude me from that gloomy mood arising deep down. All those seemingly perfect stone crosses in a row, those bleached out plastic flowers on some of the graves and further, partly indefinable objects being found on the site - remnants of an unique culture of memory - made me feel quite uneasy.
Shortly before leaving the grounds, I spotted a pretty new-looking plushie, a mouse. Sitting right on one of the crosses, already with cobwebs on its head. It really appeared out of place. My gaze settled on the fence around the burial site. Right in the middle of the woods, I could see a woman standing on the other side of the fence. Rooted at the spot and gazing at me as well. Or maybe she wasn´t even looking at me, but the whole scenery itself. I started to feel a bit uneasy, as I feared she wouldn´t like me to be right in the middle of that burial site. Yet, when I started to approach her, I was able to recognise her as a patient of the still existing psychiatric hospital nearby. Apparently, she was on an excursion through the woods with other patients, but had left the group for a short time. I really asked myself, what her thoughts were. I´ll never know. Coming nearer, she disappeared in the thicket and I left the cemetery grounds.
This was an odd explore, from the front of the building it looked like a standard office block but the inside told a different story.
First off, some fairly standard looking CNC machines - but the further in we ventured the clearer it became. There was an entire production line left in situ for making alloy wheels!
Each stage of the build process had its own machining area and the wheels were transported from one area to the next on a huge conveyor system - everything from milling, shot blasting, heat treatment, lacquering and pressure testing. Many of the machines had lot numbers attached and it was my guess that it wouldn't be long before everything including an immaculate rack of machine tools were auctioned off.
We gradually made our way to the front of the building, where the only notable room was a small laboratory - still half equipped. An enjoyable explore and a good end to the day.
Visited with Jaff Fox and thanks to H for his info.
This sign, roughly translated means: food and drink are strictly prohibited in the lacquer plant.