When watching those colorful American movies about Summer Adventures & co. one does never really believe to them, doesn’t he. So when the second afternoon of July I headed to my best friend house to finish up a poster for another friend of ours’ birthday, I did not imagine we were actually heading to a lets call it adventure.
Summer gets awfully hot around here, and locked up in a room 3 meters × 3 we could feel the heat way too well. So we decided out of nowhere to go and explore the surroundings, since we had planing on doing it for quite a long time. I luckily had my camera with me, so we only had to fill two bottles of water to the top and step out in the scorching sun.
Just across the road to my friend’s house lays an abandoned fenced villa equipped with the snazziest tower one could imagine. We just wanted to climb the fence and take a look, hoping to snatch some cool pictures -I mean we are just kids messing around on one bloody hot July afternoon, doing no harm, and since the police is never around we just seized the day.
Unlucky as we were, the fence was way too high for us to climb -at least from the front.
We decided to take a walk around and see if a gap was available somewhere. Walking around in the early afternoon heat was not so unbearable as we had thought, and no one was in sight. It was just as and the cicadas, fighting with each other to affirm oneself to be the loudest.
Alas, we found no way in even on this side of the building, so we just walked around once more to the back door. We were lucky this time: the fence was not so high and not so well-kept, allowing me to climb up to a windowsill and blindly jump in the weed maze the backyard had turned into. Sadly enough there was nothing much to see here but cracking plaster and a dusty glass door leading to an equally dusty hall. Oh, and a dead bird on the staircase.
Even though laying in plain sunlight, it left me a heavy eerie feeling I couldn’t seem to shake off, and when my friend proposed to go and finally visit the Ex-Fonderie to top our adventure day with the forbidden cherry, I agreed with a sense of uneasiness shivering down my spine. But since the alternative was rotting in a boiling, suffocating room I followed on her heels.
Walking briskly up and down the over-bridge, on our right laid the huge building now in ruins, red bricks glowing dimly in the sunlight. Tree and overgrown weeds seem eager to take back what once was theirs, and the park is today just a confused green cluster.
A red net with the writing under construction encircles the whole area, adding to the sense of uneasiness that still stuck to me.
My friend led me to a whole in the net, where obviously many people before us had trespassed already, and more than once.
Approaching the dark arches that would lead us inside, I felt my stomach clutching: I have never been much of a brave folk my entire life, and knowing what people whispered about the place made me shiver in the heavy, thick July air. And yet I knew many of my friends had been there already and came out safely without a single scratch, so why was I worrying that much.
So I took a deep breath, and finally stepped in.
When my eyes got accustomed the darkness lurking inside the ruins, much welcomed after hours of bright beaming sun, my discomfort seemed to ease just a tiny bit: in front of my eyes laid what would have made a perfect post-apocalyptic scenario, nature winning over man and plants claiming what humans had once built.
I was still frightened at first, minding every step of mine, so certain someone would jump out of a corner and beat the two of us to death: luckily enough I was wrong, and after just a couple of minutes I was laughing with my pal, reading graffiti and snapping as many pictures as I could. Plants were everywhere, claiming every inch of land they could get to, and rusty ruins hanged precariously from the ceiling over our heads.
We walked around for quite a long time, not daring to look for the stairs that would have led us upstairs: my friend told me she once got there with another girl, but they had found much to their distress, that the staircase laid in almost utter darkness, and that at some point it had collapsed and that if one wanted to proceed, he would have to jump in the dark.
So I just said a big no way and went on exploring the ground floor.
We ventured down an aisle with almost no ceiling left to shield us from the sky -that was turning blue again- and rows of pillars both on our left and right.
I did feel small and as though we had been thrown into a different reality in which some apocalypse had happened and no humans were left walking on the Earth.
Hidden in a small, shielded room we found what looked like the refuge of some junkies, featuring some used syringes, matresses and snack plastic bags.
The sun was out again and it was getting rather late: scared bysome voices we had heard and by the stories -now proved real- of junkies and toxics assembling in there once the night would come, we quickly made our way to the exit of the place.
In conclusion, when stepping out in plain sunlight again, surrounded by the honks of angry drivers and motorcycles passing by, I had to agree being brave for once had been A+ cool and totally worth it, given the things we discovered and the fun we had had exploring such a striking site.