Monday, 5 September 2011

Tale To Tell

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Tale To Tell ~

Tale To Tell, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Talk about the road to hell; Chris Rea eat your heart out!

There I was, trying to get from the south west suburbs of Paris to the south suburbs of the same, without actually going all the way into the dreaded périphérique, when what do you know, we start seeing signs to a mysterious, hitherto unknown entity to us: the brand new 'Périphérique de l'Ile de France', otherwise known as the Superpériphérique.

Boy, is that some creepy mother...

This tunnel was only completed in January 2011 (yep, a few months ago), and in fact there are two: one for little vehicles and one for big. The latter is a pretty normal, two-way affair, but the one for cars is another thing altogether.

In fact, the two directions sit one on top of the other. And with only a 2-metre height clearance, and thanks to the time of day (evening) and the toll due, an empty road, it's like you've entered the Twilight Zone (I'm NOT kidding).

Or some sort of freaky video game where you're not sure where reality stops and weirdness takes over, like in eXistenZ.

For a start, the whole thing takes you by surprise, especially the sinister great balled poles hanging from the entrance to stop trucks and stuff getting in. Then there's the inescapable toll gates and so it starts. The GPS dies immediately and presents a nonsensical screen you've never seen before.

And the tunnel stretches out before, you have no idea what the speed limit is, there's no-one around, no relief for the eyes, and worst of all: the ceiling. You'd be surprised how quickly a two-metre ceiling can get stiflingly oppressive in the stated conditions. No panels. No indication of where we were going, nor how long the tunnel would last that we could see.

If someone had told me I'd entered a modern day Jules Verne novel and that we were well on our way to the centre of the earth I wouldn't have been overly surprised.

We got out in the end and here I am to tell the tale. 10 kilometres of the thing! So be warned. Be prepared. And above all, be short. Definitely not recommended for Swedes or basketball players. Or people with a tendency to slip into the realms of uneasy fantasy from time to another. Probably the main reason it freaked me out so much.

Assuming I am actually back to reality, that is. Or perhaps I was never part of it...

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Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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