Its been a couple of days since I got back from the first planned Urbex EuroTour to Belgium. We left without a name and came back with many good memories and things that happened which gave the tour its name of the “Splash Snore Crash Tour”.
Splash – entering our first sleeping location, a large religious complex, I spotted a car coming up the drive and through the forest. Two of our crew ran to the bushes to hide thinking it was only trees and cover and ended up down a steep bank with a heavy thud into a small stream. By the sounds of the impact, it was feared that there would be broken bones or camera equipment to contend with. Luckily, only superficial injuries were sustained and despite some wet clothes, we progressed on further to our sleeping place and mornings explore.
Snore – the first nights sleep was in the basement of said religious establishment on mats, airbeds and with sleeping bags. Some of our explorers were very loud snorers!! Luckily, we had a better location planned for sleeping for the remaining tour nights and we all had a room each and the floor was a lot more comfortable and warm. We had no issues with sleep from this moment on!!
Crash – We parked up in a small side street in another area of Belgium at 6:30am to visit and photograph an abandoned castle which contained a basement full of Alfa Romeos. The guys we planned to meet up with chose not to turn up so we headed to the explore and spent a good few hours photographing what we came for. Luckily for us they didn’t arrive as the conditions for 4 people were enough at the location.
On getting back to the car, we ate some food and programmed the sat nav with the coordinates for the next location. As I engaged first gear and moved forward, unknown to me there was a six-foot square ditch planned for planting trees exposed with no road bollards. With a crunch and a bang, we got out and saw that the entire front of the car was beached and was now minus several parts. To cut a long story short, the residents helped us build a bridge and get the car out and our hire car company came to the rescue and provided a new car. All thankfully within 2 and a half hours.
Despite one bit of drama, we managed twelve locations, enjoyed good food, lots of laughs and most importantly, photography!! As per most urbex locations, names are given and stick. So in no particular order, this is what we did:
Tree Mansion, Tapioca Farm, St. Hilarius, Bowling Mill, Atelier Decor, The Lost Alfas, Hoff Van B, Horror Labs, Heavy Metal, Theatre Jeusette, The Dentarium and Charbonage. Quite a good list for our 1st experience of Eurotouring.
A journey back to Brussels to drop off the car before travelling home on Eurostar gave us opportunity to go and check out the veterinary school. Known as Horror Labs in urban explorers terms, this vast complex held one last unfinished building that is part of a regeneration of the former school into private apartments. In the basement is shelves of body parts of animals in formaldehyde which were used as teaching aids for the students here. These days they are left to rot and accessing this place to see the macabre sights is a question of luck. Luck was on our side this day and we managed to gain access and spend a few hours photographing the various floors including the auditorium before making our escape thankfully without any issues.
Following this adventure, we met with the others at the station and spent some time relaxing and having a bite to eat before travelling back to London and onwards to home in the knowledge that we had 4 days of images to process and enjoy.
Thanks for reading.