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December 2000
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Atlantic Wall - Hoek van Holland
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Atlantic Wall - Hoek van Holland
Saturday, December 09, 2000; posted by Paris

Today it was sunny and Lisa and I drove to Hoek van Holland to shoot some pictures of factories or loading docks or whatever. As we drove along the road that parallels the North Sea, I noticed behind a barbed-wire fence two WWII bunkers on the hillside. Above them on the hill was a communications relay station. All perfectly good subjects for film.

We parked the van, and walked up the hill on this very windy afternoon. Got a few nice shots of the relay station. However, I had hoped the road we were on would continue behind the bunkers. It did not. We went back to the van and drove to where we first saw the bunkers. Part of the barbed wire fence was cut, so we entered and climbed up the hill, through the prickly bushes and thorny trees. We made it to the edge of the bunker to find another barbed-wire fence. After some searching, we found a hole and crawled through. On the other side we were free to walk up to the bunker. Also on the other side was a nice little trail that is used by many people; and it terminates on the roadside about 100 feet from where we parked the car. At least the walk back would be easy.

Lisa and I walked around three bunkers, and in one of them. The middle bunker was completely sealed, save for a few ventilation stacks. The southern most bunker had been bricked up, but had a hole in the front which permitted entry. We enter this one in the future (when we bring our flashlights). The northern-most bunker was really a series of bunkers, tunnels, and other fortifications - all part of the Atlantic Wall, created by the Germans in an attempt to hinder an Allied invasion. Guard posts, ladders, ventilation shafts, stairs over grown with shrubs and large circular areas where the anti-ship guns rested are all visible.

Amazingly, the fortifications on the north side were easily accessible and we entered. It was too dark to see (the flash on the camera made these scenes visible) so we did not go too deep inside. Damp and musty, filled with sand from the dunes - remnants that are much more interesting than any old cement factory I have snuck into. This site has history.

Here is the bunker on the north side. On top were areas where anti-shipping guns rested. Behind the bunker there are many tunnels and underground rooms.

This seemed like an entry way. To the right and left are tunnels that seem to go around the perimeter. Go straight ahead and there are rooms and halls.

One of the halls in the north bunker. Pitch black, so we did not go in.

Me beside the north bunker to provide a sense of scale.

This is the hall that leads to the room in the image below.

I put the camera in one of the gun ports (at the end of the "entry way") and got this image of a room. There are others like it. Beer bottles and remnants of fires litter the place.

Here is the relay station I noticed from the road.

This image was taken by sticking the camera in the hole (seen below) in the bricks in the southern bunker. Lots of rooms and spray paint. Will explore this later.

Outside the southern bunker. You can see the white bricks and the hole smashed in the bottom right side.