This was originally an invite kindly offered by Mr Jobs for me and the wife,the wife had to decline due to ill health so i jumped at the chance of 3 days under paris with a bunch of strange chaps in waders.
Was picked up by Maniac along with non member Mr perry to then head to dover to meet Bigjobs,Paradox,Fb,James and amy and then head out on the 2.15 ferry!
Bit of car trouble and a sleep later we are all on our way into Paris to find our entry point.
Once inside i have to say it was pretty full on with the pace and we spent the majority of the time on the march from one area to the next and from what i can gather we did some milage from the very north to the furthest south of this section with many stop off's in-between,i didnt have chance to grab as many pictures as i wanted to due to the camera being buried under the kit i took and for not wanting to hold the rest of the group up constantly setting up shots,and to be fair there is no real way to get my gear out safely when your ball deep in water.
Really enjoyed this trip and the party nye was a great end to the night with some really decent people.
Enough waffle and on with the pictures that i did manage to get..Just a final massive thanks to all concerned ,it was a great trip and one i wont forget in a hurry
Pics in no particular order..
People with maps who know where im going..
Pic heavy alert
And my favourite picture
Thanks to all involved couldn't have imagined a more decent a way to spent NYE..
Various bits of cobbled together footage from exploring metro systems in London and overseas. (The end bit at Aldwych is an in-joke).
There's stuff from New York and skyscrapers and stuff on the account, as well as a trip to North Korea. I rarely film, so not much on there.
If you look at this write up from the Daily Fail
Goussainville: Inside the French ghost town abandoned 40 YEARS AGO | Daily Mail Online
Goussainville looks like a good explore. Since the Tupolev Tu-144 fell out of the sky onto the village it has been
slowly depopulating, or so the article makes out.
However I roll up after a long drive to find more cars than the M25 at 8.30 on a wet Monday morning.
Cars are parked everywhere - not exactly deserted then.
So I find the old mansion house,
walk up the steps and look in.
Don't know if this has ever happened to anyone else on this forum but I simply couldn't be arsed to climb in.
Crap everywhere and mindless graff over every available and even hard to reach surface.
Go round the back and was just as nonplussed
& this is why people have moved on. Approx every 3 minutes..
So I'm here now might as well look at the rest of the village.
Here's an interesting door of a kind that seems to be repeated many,many times
Just round the corner I got into a rambling smashed up house. Room after wrecked room with discarded clothes & assorted garbage.
Then upstairs I found a photo album of an African family, all in bright colours looking at the camera like startled rabbits.
Why would anyone carry that all the way from Africa to France and leave it on the floor of some shit hole.
I'd had enough. I couldn't take any pictures, the camera never came out of it's bag.
Decay - fine, abject misery - sorry no thanks.................
My first, and to date, only explore underground is a trip to the Catacombs under Paris.
For those that aren't aware, a little history...
The rock beneath Paris is largely limestone, and since the 11th Century, mining of this limestone has taken place - to build the city. In many ways, Paris is built on a latticework of tunnels and caves. Collapses of the tunnels created were becoming more and more frequent, so in 1777 the Inspection des CarriÃ¨res was created. Their role, to inspect the quarries, map them, and where necessary reinforce.
By 1786, with progress being made, another problem for the City needed solving. The graveyards were becoming overcrowded, and there were concerns, the Parisians were convinced that their drinking water was being contaminated by the decaying bodies. The solution - to move the dead to the underground caverns beneath the City. So the task of moving 6 million corpses began, and the Catacombs were created....
I had heard from a friend that a trip was being organised, so I got myself on the list and started to make plans. The thing with this sort of trip is that although it lasts a couple of days - or thereabouts, your survival depends solely on whatever you take with you. Well unless you are a seasoned visitor and know more about how and where to exit the Catacombs without issues.
The plan was to enter the Catacombs on Friday afternoon and then come up on Monday, late afternoon. Going on the basis of 2 litres of water a day, and having not wanting to go short, I ended up taking 6 litres. By the time I packed in enough food, the water, sleeping bag, bivvi bag, inflatable mattress, spare clothes, mini stove, pans, a couple of torches, spare batteries, a couple of copies of a map - there was not much room left in the 60 litre rucksack, and it was bloody heavy.
We had arranged to meet some of the group in a car park near the main access point. The "rooms" and some areas are named, and the tunnels also have names - well some do. Our first port of call was "La Plage". Getting there involved something called the Sand Crawl. It was the first time I had to crawl for years - a long forgotten skill I have to say. Made all the more "interesting" as I had left my climbing helmet and head torch at home. My only light was the from the people in front and the P7 I held as I crawled along. Luckily it wasn't so low that I had to take my rucksack off, but it was low enough. Some people were managing an odd sort of low bent over walk, but for some, including me, it was easier progress on all fours.
Before long La Plage opened up. It was pretty cool I have to say. There was a lot of street art, and the reason it was called La Plage - well I can only guess the sandy floor and the large wave mural... I had a wander about.
Before too long, some French lads turned up. They seemed friendly enough, quite chatty. However... We had already discussed that we weren't going to tell anyone we met where we planned to go. The Parisian youth tend to have parties in the Catacombs and the odd day trip. The people we met weren't prepared for a multi day visit, but then again they didn't have to be. With the network under their feet, multiple visits were pretty straightforward, so no drama coming down for a few hours every other weekend or so.
After a little while they left. About 5 minutes after they had, a strange purple haze started to fill the room. We had no idea what this smoke was, probably a harmless enough smoke bomb, but frankly none of us wanted to hang around and find out if it was or not. Deep beneath Paris, no mobile phone signal, no means to call for help, not easily accessible - even if people knew where you were - nope, it wasn't a good plan to stay...
So, like the stork - we flew that place
We decided to head towards "Lanterns Room". This was a bit of a trek but a safe place to stay the night. Safe as in it was a blind tunnel, so we wouldn't have to worry about people walking by or wanting to get through.
I don't know if you have ever been underground for a period of time, but the strange thing is that all sense of time is completely lost. There is no day or night, hours just seem to blur.
In the "morning" the mini group I had travelled down with decided that we would go our own way, explore the network as we wanted. We knew where we were, where the exit was and with around 4 maps between us, we were sorted.
Oh, another thing I hadn't counted on - wearing waders. Don't get me wrong, they are essential. There are parts of the Catacombs which are partially flooded, not massively deeply flooded, but enough to breach over normal wellingtons. Walking around in wet wellingtons is not good fun. But wearing waders all day long - that really isn't pleasant. There is a heat build up, which is great all the time you are dressed, but when you have to put on wet socks, trousers and waders the next morning - man that is gross.
As we made our way through the tunnels, along the route there were a number of ladders leading up to manholes. The issue is, one has no idea if these are sealed or not, so it may not be a case of using one of these as an emergency exit... The pin prick of light in this image comes from the manhole cover - so it must have been daytime
The weird thing is, the speed at which light just falls away. It is very eerie to say the least and very easy to get lost as a result. I wouldn't want to be down here on my own that is for sure.
At one point, we - there were 5 in my little group - were talking about the poor girl who died in the Odessa catacombs. Short story - a 19 year old girl got separated from a New Years Eve party and couldn't find the group or the exit. We agreed to turn our torches off for a few seconds to see what it would be like. I know - pitch black. But honestly it was worse than that. We were all standing very close to one another, and as I am sure you all know - when one is standing close to someone, you can always feel their presence, even if you close your eyes - think crowded underground train - one doesn't ever feel alone. The thing is, here, with no light - I felt no one's presence. Nothing. I knew that everyone was still there - there was no sound - so no movement - but the blanket of silence and darkness was smothering, absolutely horrific. That poor girl, to be that alone, no ability to find anyone, no one answering your screams, not knowing where the walls of the tunnel were, stumbling in the dark, knowing that death was beckoning - just horrific.
I was very relieved to see that our little group was intact after that little interlude.
The Mineralogical Office
Of course, no trip to the Catacombs would be complete without bones...
and skulls too
Parts of the tunnels were used as a shelter, and one of these was where we decided to spend the night. We ate in the Flag Room
After a second night, we decided that actually a third night was going to be an adventure too far... We were fatigued and were ready to make our way out...
Part of the network was used by the Germans in WW2 as bunker
A word of warning - don't get lost, or you would end up looking....
Our final location to visit was the Castle Room - couldn't resist using the spare candles and making the place a little more interesting
Apero's Room - well the entrance at least
Although this wasn't in La Plage - it is similar to the one there, although can't remember exactly where this is, but it was up by the Bunker and Apero's Room I think...
And with that, thank you for viewing - as ever, more images on my Flickr