Ready for a subterranean French adventure? Tucked away in Eastern France lies the Maginot Line, a series of decommissioned military fortifications, now left to the sands of time. Grab your most powerful flashlight and summon your courage as we explore France’s most-Favorited Mystery Cache, Raiders of the lost place II (GC3YFB5).
No matter where one calls home, the discovery of a brand new place provides a special and unique joy. Each new region, city, or destination we observe expands our understanding of the world. It enhances our human connection–but what about when the discovery takes place right beneath your feet?
Welcome to Bréhain-la-Ville, a French hamlet that witnessed a flurry of rapid construction in the 1930s and 1940s to build military fortifications for an impending war, World War II. These intricate underground bunkers and tunnels constructed across Eastern France remain today, decommissioned, and a source of immense intrigue by explorers everywhere.
To find our Geocache of the Week, you cannot be just a mere puzzle expert or terrain specialist. Instead, you must be a geocaching jack-of-all-trades—or bring your entire geocaching crew! Your mission is to decipher the cryptic clue provided by the cache owner, Saarfuchs, navigate intricate passageways and tunnels, and locate the beloved cache amongst military remnants. Once you decipher this complex puzzle, it’s time to submit your answer, head to the coordinates, and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime!
Wait! Before you head inside, be sure you have the right gear to traverse the tunnels and ensure a triumphant return:
- Flashlight and headlamp
- Sturdy boots and gloves
- Research about the tunnel system
- Pen and SWAG
With all your supplies in order, head toward the bunker entrance. The unassuming entry, a tight square opening, is your portal to another dimension. Notice your anticipation build until your courage takes hold. Onward! The outside light fades with each step away from the entrance, blanketing you in thick darkness. Thankfully, your robust flashlight can parry the darkness’ intense grasp.
The interior of the tunnels consists of vast networks of concrete, stone, and piping. As you observe this seemingly forgotten place, you can feel yourself transported back to a snapshot in time, over a half century ago. Observe your surroundings using even more than just your sight; the hollow echo of your voice, the musty scent of the stagnant air, and the coarse texture of the interior invite you deeper into this unfamiliar maze.
Proceed down the main corridor and into the main lower gallery. The labyrinth-like tunnels spread out in each direction without any apparent rhyme or reason. Each new path offers you a compelling decision: stay true to the destined course or venture into a potentially undiscovered crevice? A pick-your-own-adventure in the best sense, there’s no way to go wrong, but there’s only one way to the geocache.
If you enter the labyrinth determined to stick to the plan, you’re in luck! Numerous prior explorers marked the way. Colorful arrows calm your senses and carry your bravery even further than imagined! Follow these helpful cues as you carefully keep track of your path; there are few things worse than the sense of being lost halfway through a once delightful adventure.
At last, you reach the cache! Take a final peek at the map to ensure that you haven’t overshot or strayed too far from the designated path. Hidden among the retired munitions, a small geocache container lies waiting for you to discover.
With great care to not miss something vital to the hunt, you spot a small container that stands out as a recent addition to the tunnels. Eureka, it’s the cache! As you click your pen, you add your name to a logbook spanning ten years of geocaching in these tunnels. Just think, your hard work and dedication has paid off—France’s most-Favorited Mystery Cache is in the books!
Not so fast; there’s still work to be done (mainly your escape from the bunker). As you retrace your steps, a smile slowly appears on your face. Your sense of accomplishment is palpable as you begin to recognize the various hallways and rooms. These spaces, which may have initially frightened you, are now confidence-building rooms to walk through and admire.
As you push your head out of the square hole through which you entered, the sheer brightness of the outdoors blinds you. An unusual geocache in nearly every way, this cache is likely one that you won’t forget any time soon. Congratulations!
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.