Archive for the ‘Roadtrips’ Category
Of course, not every moment of a roadtrip is spent shuffling round sewers, hiding from security guards in the Metro and climbing bridges. There’s the mandatory derping, train play, police intervention, angry foreigner interaction, budget food seeking, ‘prohobo’, sleep deprivation, automobile incidents and general swagger of the Brit abroad. Marc brought his gallic flair to the party, teaching us to speak ‘forrin’ whilst myself and NC Kapita incorrectly assumed that everybody east of Vienna would look and speak like Borat. Read the rest of this entry »
“Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.” (Vladimir Putin, 2000.)
Take your eyes off the pothole ridden minor roads of the former DDR and chances are you’ll be looking at something concrete that was built by the Soviets. My introduction to the remains of the Soviet Union came in 2008, with the Beelitz-Heilstätten sanatorium providing an ample opportunity for a day of roaming around the vast, derelict campus, taking photos of the peeling paint and lnely chairs. Although at the time I visited, I understood little of the involvement of the Soviet Union in this complex’s history, my interest has evolved and I’ve learned of the Sanatorium’s footnote as the ultimate destination for the DDR’s president Erich Honecker as his country collapsed into westernisation. Read the rest of this entry »
One more left, then I’ll finally stop writing about this trip! Again, written from the road. The best bits are fueled by some 500ml bottles of Becks. Happy days. I write a lot because I think the trip was significant in a number of ways in terms of how I view ‘Urbex’ and the lifestyles we adopt to fulfil our aspirations within our means. Hopefully this will make sense.
A series of glitches allows the infrastructure of Paris to be accessed through various portals. Along with our ever generous host Marc, I joined Brad and L’Ottoire for some Parisien place hacking, with Dsankt, Mrs Dsankt and Olivier joining us at times across the weekend too. I use the term coined by Brad as I felt that at times we were not exploring as such; the places we were accessing had been previously ‘hacked*’ and we were enjoying the fruits of the hard work of others. On the contrary, at times we immersed ourselves in the unknown and pushed for the new, when Paris’ delights are well known to many.
*To program (a computer [a place]) for pleasure or compulsively; especially, to try to defeat the security systems and gain unauthorized access to a computer [place]. Read the rest of this entry »
As we sat on the ferry back from our December adventures in 2009, we jokingly said we’d go to Poland and explore the Soviet military bases there. Hit another country, new places, new people, new adventures right? I decided the best way to do this was to integrate it into our summer roadtrip, and lo and behold, after a week in Belgium and Germany, we found ourselves passing the Border into Poland, past the freshly rusting border crossing from the days before the EU.
Our third sleeping spot was set up in Stadtbad Duisberg, a sports centre on the outskirts of the city. We found a perfect room, adjacent to it was a flushing toilet with paper, that at least three of the group utilised. A flat floor gave us a reasonable night’s sleep, and we explored the buildings in the morning. Both a sports hall and a swimming pool were bathed with light from the high windows, but the rest of the site was vandalised.We found a footpump which served us well for the rest of the trip.
Prohobohemia seems to be the adopted name of this alcohol fueled, 3,400 mile trip and it initially seemed to ring true. At the point of writing, we’d slept in 4 different locations and they were all widely different. A train depot in Belgium, a steelworks in Luxembourg, a sports centre in Germany and a Soviet base deeper east.
Europe beckons again. The tick tock of a monotonous life of work, rest, and occassionally play has born fruit, and the fruit this time is two weeks off in a hirecar, with Statler, Gary and Brad.
On the last prolonged homeless tour, we all wanted to immerse ourselves further into the ‘lifestyle’ of urbex. With our basic needs met within the crumbling walls of the buildings we explored; sleeping and eating in these spaces seemed perfectly normal, as did finding spaces in courtyards to build small fires upon which we could cook. Should the apocalypse come, our survival would only depend on our ability to acquire prepacked sausages from the Carrefours and Aldi’s scattered across the continent.
6 nights was the length of the last ‘long’ trip, a couple of weekenders thrown in for good measure at the start of the year are good fun albeit brief. This time, we’ll be away for 12 nights, spread across 4 countries. We’ll hit Poland for Soviet Military bases, the Ruhr for mining, Berlin for general dereliction, Belgium for the last few bits on the official ticksheet, and Luxembourg for some heavy industry.
Prohobo 3.0 here we come!
Following Paris and the Einslife trip, the plan was to get away to Belgium again and see some powerstations and industry. More of the usual, whatever we can get our grubby, bramble scratched hands on. This trip seemed almost routine, a foray into dereliction for a prolonged period of time less of a novelty. If I’d have taken this trip a couple of years ago I’d have probably been beside myself with excitement. Thanks on this trip must go to Miles in particular, driving all the way to Liege and back in short stints between our long houred days of exploring.
Following Noisy we headed for Hasard Cheratte, a mine on the edge of Liege. We sat in the car and laughed at both Duck-girl and the hugely dangerous game of football tennis played across the road. Access was easy, the sun was shining, and there was industrial goodness all around. Where would I rather be? Nowhere.