A Belgian Tour – March 2014


I have been in to Urban Exploration for what 4/5 years now? …. and i had never been fortunate enough before to sample what Le European Continent had to offer, In fact, i hadn’t been fortunate enough to even leave the country in 3 years, due to using my Passport as ID on a night out and losing it in Nottingham Rock City, possibly after too many Jagerbombs and a whole lot of At The Drive in “One armed scissor” …But i digress

European “derps” (technical term of course) often seem to be on a different level to what appears in the UK (i shall add “these days” here for fear of rage and backlash)….. well to me they do, in the time that i have been taking photos of derelict, abandoned stuff, i have seen a lot of mindless vandalism, graffiti and carelessness….. maybe it says something about the differences in the social conditions of the United Kingdom in comparison to such countries as France and Germany, but this is an area i have  given but that one fleeting thought to and so don’t currently feel qualified enough to comment.
The people that i tend to “urban explore” with…(man i hate that term, but there are little better ways to phrase it) had done several continent trips before, an di had always been left home (passportless) singing a song of CFTI (Cheers for the invite… its a bit of an injoke but safe to say its said with much endearment, very little sarcasm, and a lot of laughter from both sayer, and receiver)
However! NOW! Passport, inclusive of standard grumpy face photo now possessed, i was able to accept the “I” rather than CFTI so piled in a car (at extremely short notice) with some fellas, and sped HIGHEST SPEED to le Chunnel, whilst pointing out all the way down from lovely Leeds, that we were all going to be underwater, yes in a tunnel, but under the whole of the sea, (its pretty bloody scary when you think about it, however we obviously made it alive), we checked out 3 what could be described as ruddy bloody good (not my words the words of Top Gear Magazine..) derps .
Drank Chocomel,  (capri sun for me i’m trying not to get moobs) had a picnic and returned, It was good…
There were 3 sites visited…. alot of laughing occurred …. i have the best friends x
I shall Go in reverse order to what we visited them in..(saving the best for last)
Dr Pepitos / Dr Nandos
Small little European towns, quite often throw out places of this like.  If you are familiar with other European Urbex sites you may have seen Dr Anna’s Haus, and this was very similar.  Obviously the former residence of a local village doctor, who would work out of a room in his own house, long since passed, and presumably with no relatives to take on his possessions, they were left in situ.  This had seen the effects of people going in and moving things about to stage that  “just walked out and left shot” that always looks the exact opposite, however the doctors room and old car in the garage made for excellent photos, plus, there was a really crap taxidermy badger, which made my day.  I ‘ve always been a fan of the abandoned houses, however they have become the “popular” subject of urbex recently, and the center of much intergroup politics, (yes that stuff happens) and i don’t want to buy into any of that.  It was refreshing to see something new, and with breathing space.

Our next stop, and again something i have never seen the likes of before….HF6 was a Blast Furncae.  It closed in 2009, this Blast Furnace was one of the many elements of the former Cockerill Industrial empire.    John Cockerill was a British blacksmith and he founded an iron foundry in Seraing in 1817. The works then grew many times over, and ownership  changed numerous times, before it finally closed.

Feeling slightly like i had walked onto the set of Terminator Salvation 2, or some equally grand dystopian Sci-Fi movie….The blast furnace is huge, i got maybe a 3rd of the way up, and i lost my legs, they became a substance less than jelly….I am afraid of heights, and anyone else that is will 100% know what i mean when i say, once it starts gettinginto your head , there is little stopping it…. Consequently my pictures are limited and i couldn’t get any from the top.

Powerplant Gigawatt

One of the biggest differences between here and Belgium (that i can point out from my one visit) I the amount of mothballed beautifully intact industry, and in particular power stations there are.  I hadn’t seen a turbine before…. i have now seen several, in all their glory…. of varying ages.
This place probably gave the most meaning to the phrase PEAKED TOO SOON as it was our first stop. It was good. It was amazing in fact. I’m not to shy to say , this is probably the best industrial derp, in fact best derp i have ever been it, It’s content, size scale and sheer pristineness totally fried my mind,
Belgium’s largest Thermal Power Station. Now powered down following years of expansion  and Turbines GALORE…. i think all 4 of us would have quite happily failed all other attempts that weekend with these photos in the bag, but like troopers we did press on and succeed


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