Archive from November, 2012
Nov 25, 2012 - France, Paris    No Comments

Still Deer

Today I’m officially 28. It’s just to let you know.

Deer in Rambouillet

After a long and gray day driving around to find some interesting spots, I went to check on the Chateau de Rambouillet. As the castle was close to the public due to the shooting of some TV film, I went to discover the gardens.
I was impressed, the place is really huge, but small compared to Versailles. ;D
It took me some times to get in the middle of the park, I was looking for La chaumiére aux coquillage which could be translated to the shell cottage, but didn’t find it.
I must have take the wrong road at one point. Not really worried, I was taking this photograph when a guard remind me trough his megaphone that it was time to go home.
Next time little cottage, next time…

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Nov 20, 2012 - Asia, Vietnam    7 Comments

Beautiful door in the Imperial City

Versailles in Autumn

I was in Paris last week and take the time to visit some of the most beautiful castles around. I want to “le Chateau de Versailles” and had a great time there. It’s so incredible how big it is. I spend most of the day taking pictures in gardens, strolling from fountain to copses, feeling like a Prince with nothing else to worry about than watching leaves falling to the ground. Pictures will be on their way soon!

Imperial City

This is one of the many doors that can be found in the imperial city of Hué in Vietnam.
The city was built in the first decades of the 19th century. At the time, the Purple Forbidden City was a real wonder.
But during Vietnam war, the city took real damage. The US army counter-attack after the Tet offensive in January 1968 led to a terrible bloodbath and the destruction of most of the city.
More than 13 000 people died during the fight. Mostly Vietcong soldiers and civilians (almost 5000 civilians died, most of them executed by Vietcongs).
Out of more than 160 buildings in the Imperial City, only 10 remains.
As you walk across the imperial city, bullet holes in the walls remind you of those terrible times.
But since the war, renovation works has been done trying to recover the former beauty of the city and the remaining buildings are really in good condition, it was really pleasant to walk around the place, getting lost between the alleys and the canals, under the stunning heat of the Vietnamese sun.

Door in Imperial city in Hué

Nov 13, 2012 - Asia, Thailand, Urbex    4 Comments

USS Lincoln County (LST-898)

As you might already know, I was in Thailand during the late August.

We crossed the border from Cambodia and we stayed in a nice island called Koh Chang. There, during one of our motorcycle trip around the island, I caught a glimpse of an enormous boat decked at the end of a lonely pier somewhere at the northern tip of the island.

Next day, I waited for my mate to take a nap and I rent a scooter with the hope of sneaking into the boat.
I arrived there and the place was really empty I parked my ride on the side of the road and walked to the pier. I had to cross the 300 meter pier to get to the boat, out in the open, my biggest fear was to be seen and get in trouble with the local police. I managed to be as stealth as I could crossing the pier to finally stumble across an old fishermen which didn’t look surprised to see me. Way to go Ninja!!  ;D

I quickly spotted an old rusty and twisted ladder which got me on the main deck of the boat. The place was sooo big. I managed to take my flashlight out and took a stairs that led me to the command bridge, the boat had been stripped out of his armament and electronics but I was surprisingly happy to found that the chart room was still full of some old Navy Maps dating from the Vietnam War.
I spend most of the remaining hours of the day in the boat and visited 4 of the 7 decks. But as I was on my own and judging from the state of the place I wasn’t reckless enough to go very deep in the belly of the ship. The ambiance was really creepy, pitch black rooms, very thin hallways, rusted floors and dripping roofs, flooded decks, not to mention the sound of the waves rumbling trough the metal carapace of the ship.

USS Lincoln County LST-898

As my later Internet researches told me, the boat is an American Tank Landing ship. Built in mid 1944 in Pennsylvania she (It looks like you have to refer to a boat as a “she”, strange fact isn’t it?) was send in the pacific to help in the invasion of the imperial Japan at Okinawa.
She was then involved in the Korean War and participated in the famous Inchon Invasion the 15th September of 1950.
After that she was assigned to the Arctic Ocean and made few trips in the Western Pacific till she was decommissioned on March 1961.
After serving the Navy during two wars and for more than 16 years, Lincoln County was sold to the government of Thailand under the terms of the Military Assistance Program. Se was renamed Chang LST-2 and remained active in the Royal Thai Navy till 2006.
The Boat was then turned over the island of Koh Chang in mid 2012 to be sunk near the island.
As for now the sinking hasn’t happened yet but is scheduled for the beginning of December.

After serving in Three major conflict, the old Lincoln County will be laid to rest at the bottom of the ocean and will become the largest diving wreck of Thailand. What a hell of an attraction!

Archive photography of the glory days of The USS Lincoln County.

Towing of the rusted Chang LST-2.

My vision of the boat on this gray afternoon.
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One the seat of the crow’s nest close to the flying bridge.
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Nov 8, 2012 - France, Spain    No Comments

Pays Basque

Hi there, long time since my last update. Damn I got to get my sh*t together and come here more often. I worked on my photographs yesterday and processed 6 plus pictures for you guys. So hopefully the blog will get updates more often in the next weeks. And I finally see the end of the tunnel with the renovation of my new house. Means that new adventures are coming in the next months!!

Pays Basque

Two weeks ago I spend a weekend with my beloved girlfriend in the pays basque (Basque Country), South West Coast of France. The weather was really good and we had a wonderful time. Even though it was a romantic escapade, I couldn’t resist to take out my camera from the trunk of the car and snap some photographs on our way to this nice little Spanish village of Zugarramurdi. The town is home to the famous Witch cave where, every year, people gather to celebrate the summer solstice. At that time, blazing torches and fires are lit to illuminate the cave and commemorate the “supposed” witches that were burnt alive and torture by the Spanish inquisition during the Basque witch trials somewhere around 1610.

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