Thursday, April 24, 2014

touring underground

Summer is approaching in Europe and as the skies become bluer and the sun slightly warmer, some of us are dreaming of holidays trips in places a little cooler and darker: the underground.

For centuries tourists in Europe have been fascinated by the underground. In Notes on the Underground, Rosalind Williams writes of popular destinations for 19th century travellers such as caves in Belgium and sewers in Paris. Along with the Magic Underground Tunnels, these subterranean honeypots are also on my travel wishlist, especially the Les Grottes de Remouchamps in The Belgian Ardennes, the Musée des égouts (The Museum of the Sewers) in Paris (thank you Melissa!), and the watery labyrinths of the Dutch city Den Bosch.

For pneumatic tube enthusiasts there are a number of underground tours, such as the Berliner Unterwelten, which has previously run special tours of the pneumatic tube system such as for students of the MA Historical Urban Studies program at the Centre for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin, and annually Atlas Obscura often runs a tour of the Stanford Hospital pneumatic tube system.

Images from Berlin underground tours from Toni Escuder's, escpeapalumni and Maha's Flikr pages.

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