It is late afternoon and I am sitting in a laundamat pecking out this post on the tiny keyboard on my phone. It is a strange little place with old washing machines and dryers that make it look more like a set in Dr. Who than anything we are used to seeing in everyday life. There is a group of teens playing cards on the floor in the corner and it is easy enough for me to tell that every other word they say is a profanity, keeping with the tradition of foul-mouthed French youth, which I actually quite enjoy.
I came back to Paris to do a few things, most of which I postponed when the Cataphiles invited me to weekend near the border of Germany exploring old war forts and underground bunkers, illegally of course. I couldn’t pass up the offer, knowing that it would be a good opportunity to get a few unusual shots.
We left Friday afternoon, heading outside of Paris and CouchSurfing with a friend who lives in the suburbs. We began the five-hour drive into the countryside and to the forts at 7 a.m. I was exhausted from a night of terrible sleep, not to mention traveling from the Gaza border to Cairo to Rome and then to Paris two days before, so I spent most of the drive asleep with my head bouncing against the window, which only occasionally woke me up.
We met up with about 30 other people from all over France; the group had been organized on the internet and consisted mostly of Cataphiles. It took us a while to actually find the forts, as they are buried in the middle of the woods and you must park and trek into a restricted military area to get to the complexes. The French military is in control of all abandoned forts and have made them illegal to enter or explore, which doesn't seem to deter anyone.
We navigated the bunkers and underground rooms all day on Saturday and a party that evening stretched into Sunday morning, interrupted only by more exploring. We finally began our trip back to Paris late Sunday night
I will post the images once I have had a chance to edit them, most likely next week. I wont post a lot of them, as most were quite similar to the Catacombs story that I just put up last week, but a few of them are worth seeing.
So, here I am , once again doing my laundry, trying to wash out the mud, grass and other filth I accumulated on myself over the past three days. Sometimes life seems to be a constant process of getting dirty and then getting clean again.