Before heading to the Villa Albanaise we decided to check out the Chateau du Foret. We parked the car in a village 2km away and walked there. After criss-crossing the forest for 10 minutes we arrived at the back of the chateau. Built in 1860 in the Neo-Tudor style, and formerly owned by a Belgian Royal, it has been empty for over 10 years, while the heirs battle it out in the courts.We took a few shots, then, as we headed round to the front entrance we heard voices. We peeked over the bushes. Two cops were standing there. Did they know we were coming? Back into the undergrowth quick, I leapt over the most evil smelling ditch of stagnant water and plowed face first into a pool of nettles. As we approached the road we spotted a police car slowly circling the perimeter. We ducked, waited. Then jumped over the fence to safety.

Or so we thought. It turned out the cops had parked up ahead, scouring the forest. We innocently walked past them. But they decided to follow us. Two non-French speakers with cameras in the middle of nowhere, the excuses just weren’t good enough. They searched us, the car and checked the passports. In the end, they let us go. Apparently there had been a burglary that night. Who knows!

Villa Albanaise.

A large Albanian family lived here for 30 years. In 2007 they moved out and put the Villa on the market. It is still on sale, but the asking price is too high, so no buyers have come forward.

After the squatters left the pigeons arrived, now they too are moving on....

The smell...

All in all the trip was a bit of a fail:

Villa Onder Ons (Occupied)
Chateau Grand Ferrand (Recently secured, didn't find an entrance)
Villa Wallfahrt (Good explore)
St Hilarious (Being converted into retirement flats)
Chateau du Foret (Police!)
Villa Albanaise (Trashed and almost empty)
Villa Denis (Converted)
Chateau Rouge (overrun with paintballers)
Atelier Decor (It's still there, but not much left inside)