Boy, did we have some nice locations planned for the second day of our tour with Lichtbeschatter Photography in the middle of July of last year.
The list looked cool - a command bunker of the East German secret police, a command bunker of the East German People's Army, a depot of the East German army and a castle that offered the opportunity of a legal visit.
It started with rain. Not the best way to begin a successful day of exploring, but we started anyway.
The first location lies near a prison facility, so the first thing that happened that we got yelled at by some police officers for driving on the wrong road.
We tried to be nice, but I think that guy was pissed that he had to work on a Sunday. We drove on and found a parking spot near the location.
After we had put on some appropriate attire for the rain we walked for about a kilometer until we got to the place.
What we found was something like a small business park. Damn. Whatever it was - if the bunker still existed, the building on top of it was in use and the area was fenced off.
So it was a nice walk in the rain for nothing.
So next up was the army command bunker. We found it quite quickly, but it didn't look promising in terms of a way in. I decided to check it out while the others were staying in the car.
I found an opening through the surrounding fence and made my way to the bunker. The front entrance was sealed with concrete, so my only hope was to find a way in through an emergency exit. So I climbed up the hill, walked through really tall, wet grass and found...a sealed emergency exit. This was getting frustrating.
Between the second and fourth lcoation we stopped at another possible location. The abandoned brickyard looked pretty much destroyed, but still somewhat interesting. The it started raining heavily and we spotted the video surbeillance...
The fourth location we had on our list was a so-called "Komplexlager" (complex depot). The East German army used these depots to store everyrhing that is used for the operation of an army - clothes, weapons, food and otehr equipment.
it had stopped raining, but as we approached the depot, we could already see a huge sign that said "PRIVATE PROPERTY!" and as we got closer, a huge dog started barking.
So there was no opportunity to get on the property without asking.
There was a house right next to the depot which was also fenced off, so we started yelling hoping that someone would hear us. The dog went totally wild as we kept yelling, and after a couple of minutes a man came up to the gates and greeted us nicely.
He said the old depot belonged to his son-in-law and we'd have to ask him for permission unfortunately, the said son-in-law was not home at that point, so we had to leave yet another location without photos.
We did go back to this place on another tour later in the year and did in fact meet the son-in-law. But that's another story...
So only one location remained on our list. A beautiful castle which has no access, but there is the possibility for a legal visit. An urbex colleague gave me the phone number of an old lady who is apparently the caretaker and offers to give people the opportunity to explora the castle and take photos.
So I called her up, and she picked up the phone. She was really friendly and said she'd love to let us explore the castle, but today was a really bad time because her husband just had gotten back home from the hospital and the whole family was there for cake and coffee....
It was getting late, we still had a lot of kilometers to go and we had no more backup locations.
In our desperation and hunger for exploration, we decided to play it safe and went for a revisit in the old paper mill. Conveniently located right next to the Autobahn home, easily accessible and actually a nice little spot.
Even the sun came out as we got there, so the end of the day was somewhat conciliatory.
This was without a doubt one of the most frustrating tours I've ever been on, but it was also one of the most adventurous and I'm glad that I got to share it with a great crew.
To find out more about the history of this factory and to check out all photos from this beautiful place, click the button below!