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mookster

Other Greatest Hits Urbex Europe Tour Trip Tour July '13

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The weekend just gone, I spent a mad couple of days in France and Belgium with a group of four who'd never been before. Probably the most fun I have had for a long long time, it was non stop laughs and action all the way and, even though I was acting as tour guide so didn't see anything new to me, I enjoyed not shooting as much photos and just wandering around the locations soaking up the atmospheres and sounds, smells etc.

We kicked off at truly stupid o'clock in France, with the plan seeing the sunrise from the top of Grands Moulins de Paris mill. However it soon became clear the cloud was stubbornly not going anywhere, but I managed to get a couple of shots from the top anyway. Three of the group didn't tackle the stairs up to the top, as it quickly became clear to me that in the intervening 14 months since my last visit the place has become even more of a massive death trap than it was before, and it won't be long until almost all of the top 2 floors is totally inaccessible.

After it got a bit lighter we headed down and around the other parts, and three of us were halfway up the main tower when we heard the other two say from further down 'guys, there are four security guards walking across towards the building'. Staying put for a moment we tracked their movements and realised they were climbing into the site. Recognising the light blue shirts and dark trousers as those worn by the rozzers we quickly decided that as there were four of them, the best thing to do would be do go down to ground level and see what was up, no point running around a lethally dangerous derelict building hiding. The three of us emerged with the other two nowhere to be seen, and we spotted four of the police officers coming round towards us. We waved at them and they came over, and suddenly four more appeared from somewhere else! So we were surrounded by seven of the finest French policemen and one utter babe of a police woman who turned out to be the one who spoke the best English. Now it could have gone either way, but pretty much as soon as they saw we had camera gear and weren't going to burn the place down it was all laughter and smiles from both sides, we got the usual 'this is private and very dangerous' talk and a couple of other questions about our car etc, once the others in our group showed up we were free to leave with them following. Getting back to our car we found it boxed in by a trio of police cars with another officer standing guard taking the total to nine, which must have been nearly all the officers on duty at 5.30am that morning! After they had finished doing whatever amongst themselves they bid us farewell and we left, sadly without the total hottie's phone number....

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More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157634651305780/

It was then off to Doel which has a separate thread, after Doel we hit up Du Parc Stockings Factory

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Last that day was the Swimming Stadium, we met a small group of like-minded people in here so had a good chat, it was nice to see this place not with an extra metre of water in it like it was last year!

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More http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157634651661944/

Sunday saw us head to the awesome Villa Wallfahrt, one of my favourite Belgian residential sites. This used to be a religious hospice for terminal patients judging by the various bits of paperwork left behind and multitude of condolence cards and it closed around the mid-1990s. Sad to report though that someone has had the stuffed Pheasant away!

I took a more complete set of photos back in March, this is what I got this time though.

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More http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157634645185463/

Last stop after a change of plans was Atelier Decor, I think my group was pleasantly surprised here, it is a very photogenic location. Again, I took a much more comprehensive set of photos back in March.

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More http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157634651715822/

The group also did Tapioca Farm and Bowling Mill but I chose to have a little sleep in the car for both of those having covered them comprehensively back in March.

The other non-urbex highlights had to be accidentally taking private service road through a tunnel in Brussels emerging in a totally different tunnel, 2 of the group walking down the Dunkirk beachfront promenade wearing Cyberman and Gorilla masks, crashing into the side of the Eurotunnel train and just general messing about the whole way...how a trip should be!

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How you've found the time to do all of this already I'll never know, I haven't even got my shots on the computer yet. Bloody nice photos though, making me dreading looking at mine as I've already seen a few things I missed and isn't that a right kick in the teeth.

Also why do I look like I'm about 12 in my photo at the lilo?!

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Cheers guys :P

I had 'only' 200 photos to sort through so just ploughed through it in a couple of hours, I don't like sitting leaving them undone!

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Wheres the shot of said 'hotty'? :)

It's bang out of focus and not her best side. Camera set to F16 at dawn is not good for a sneaky tottie shot...

Edited by Bonesout

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Superb Mooks, great pics and a super write up, glad the police weres so nice to you, could have been a lot worse! Thanks for sharing :thumb

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