For a week I had been driving past this location, monitoring activity of security. I was desperate to get back inside these surreal rooms.
I had been once before, alas without my camera gear. Since then I had been looking for just one opportunity when I could slip through the small steel hatch unnoticed. This was the night and I was accompanied by Aquaba, Grasshopper and Spoz.
This is what it's all about; something as innocuous as a small steel hatch leading on to something completely beyond the comprehension of the every-day passer-by. And trust me, there are lots of passers-by of this place.
From a photographic point of view, I fell in love with this place the moment I first saw it. (I have since gone on to find other photos of this very same site by more talented people than myself). I love the way this place is basic and simple yet it has amazing shapes which can be captured quite nicely from the right angles. Additionally, it had its own source of lighting which made for easier shooting.
There are tens of dozens of these parallel 'tubes' and given their function, one would expect each of these tubes to be identical. However, each is in fact different. For example, in some tubes you walk the curving slope of the ground until you reach a bulkhead which you climb via stairs, ladder or scaffolding. On others you walk along a suspended walkway above a floor that drops away beneath you. One tube has trapped pigeons awaiting their inevitable deaths. Another has pigeon carcasses and feathers.
Upon reaching the end of any one of these tubes, you are greeted with a wall signifying the end of your journey, a room linking all of the tubes together, a steel ladder, an exit not for the faint-hearted (i.e. we did not exit here but went back through another tube) and a nice photographic opportunity.
The sound that this site makes is particularly eerie. Outside noises add a certain ambience and the echos from one's own voice complement it. Listen to the sound clip below to hear all of us mucking about. Crank up the volume for a lesson in prehistoric dinosaur noises and general uber-creepiness. Listening right through to the end will leave you flabbergasted at Aquaba's extraordinary vocal abilities.
All in all, we spent way over two hours enjoying (and walking the distance) of this place. Time well spent, methinks. Although we were kinda tired, we went on for another 7 hours throughout the city and environs. Stay tuned for those stories, which left us cold, damp, annoyed and scared.