French Pangaea members had invited for an informal meeting in beautiful Paris. The plan included visiting the city’s impressive sights at night and exploring the almost abandoned catacombs underneath the streets.
It was also a good opportunity to reflect on past projects, in particular the EcoCamp in Serbia, and discuss the future. We also talked about how to improve our position in order to reach more people. We think that our aim is to inspire people by showing the projects done, to exchange ideas for new/upcoming projects, and to get people involved in them.
At the beginning we were asking lots of questions about the catacombs of Paris. We met our guide late in the evening and after a walk in tunnels and in wastelands in the city, we went to explore the underground of Paris by entering through a small hole in the ground.
What an exploration! We experienced every sensation: warm, cold, wet, dirt, sleep, excitement, loss… It’s incredible to walk in these quarries that were made during the Middle Age, to meet people having their dinner there, listening to music. That was the discovery of another world that is 30m under the city, of new people, of new sensations and of the feeling that we had to trust and follow our guide because he was the only one who knew the path.
When you start the walk 11:00 PM and surface at 6 AM, you feel more alive than ever, hearing the life of the city, feeling the fresh air of the early morning and having one only thought: coming back soon!
“For me it was an incredible experience seeing this amazing sub-culture in the Katakombs 30 meters under Paris. The best for me was the Jump and Run all along the night where we always had to jump from one small ledge on the right side to the other small ledge on the other side so that we don’t fall into the knee-deep water in the middle.” -Marius Wiggert (Africa Selection Camp)
“It is incredible and impressive how the catacombs can exist as such an unkown parallel world to a world metropolis like Paris.” – Ansgar Fellendorf (Nunavut Expedition)
After hours in the dark of the catacombs I was infinitely grateful to finally be on on the earth´s surface again. This experience had challenged me especially mentally. I knew that I would not have found my way out of this gigantic maze by myself. It was an experience that made me appreciate things I usually take for granted. I am happy we all survived! 😉 – Luana Rebholz-Chaves (Magnetic North Pole Expedition)