Thursday, January 24, 2008

Urban Landscapes II

I used to greatly admire Peter Kazil´s site on Urban Landscapes and Urban Adventuring in Rotterdam and other European locations. Many beautiful photos and great geeky tales of urban adventuring. He personally admits to not being ever so adventurous but has certainly done some very neat adventuring and buildering (crossing bridges on their underside, exploring in-construction underground railway tunnels etc). And today I revisited it ... and I have linked right

He has given me a much greater appreciation of urban landscapes. In spite of the human ingenuity in the construction of urban facilities, and the technology involved, they are often stark and bleak.

But railway depots, gas storage tanks, power stations, a deserted bus station at 4 o´clock in the morning, a block of flats, docks etc etc can have a strange strange beauty.

Here we haven´t got much in the way of Urban Landscapes and opportunities for Urban Adventures are few.

However, he did inspire me to one.

Our central bank was established on the ground-floor of an eight-floor appartment block. Although there were gates on the doors to the appartments above, the locks did not work. On a reconnaisance trip, I discovered there were no locks on the doors to the roof.

I discussed the idea with my dear Filippino friend Arthur and his visiting brother Alex. They were game - Alex would assist me on the roof, Arthur would provide getaway transport and video the event.

Late on a stormy Sunday afternoon, as light was fading, Arthur drove us up to the bank block. Alex and I quickly ascended to the roof. I explained how I wanted the rope rigged - two belay points for safety. He rigged as I put on my harness and rack, then threw the rope over the parapit - ¨Alex, as soon as I signal I´m down, derig and get down quick¨.

And I abseiled down the side of the Central Bank.

Into Arthur´s car and away. Someone cheated on us and called the Administrator of the building who called the police - we watched from afar!

Unfortunately, Arthur´s video is murky.

Remaining to be done? Well, this building has two non-functioning lift-shafts ...

So below are some more photos of UK Urban Landscapes from December ...

The old bottle store of our local pub, now converted into a cottage

The town's gas storage

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