I had seen the notification by #Flickr that my Pro account was expiring. The single mail of notification linked to a FAQ page http://www.flickr.com/help/limits/#73 mentioned that photos above the 200 free limit would be hidden. I made the mistake to believe that that meant that the extra photos would simply be hidden from public view.
Instead, when your account expires, not only the public but also you lose access to any photos over the 200 limit. This means your photos are now hostage to Flickr, which gives you a supposedly funny notice when you login, informing that your photos are "safe & sound". You just have to pay to see them again.
I can't seem to avoid thinking there was a reason why they only send a single notification mail about the account expiration…
So what are my options now (if any?) except from paying Flickr #extortion money?
1) describes the situation also here (nice photo :)) http://techcrunch.com/2011/04/08/i-wont-use-flickr-until-they-release-my-photo-hostages/
2) It seems that if you delete some of the most recent photos, Flickr will show you some of the older ones… An still no official way to massively download your photos. Thankfully most of my photos are also stored locally but I don't have them properly categorized in all cases.