September 7, 2019

Tour Report: Command Post W43

Over the past couple of years, my wife and I have established kind of a tradition to take a week-long vacation at the end of November. Due to the Christmas season, it's the last opportunity in the year for her to take a couple of days off.
In November of 2017, we were going to take a trip to visit our friend Petra. We had planned to stay at her house for four nights, spend the evenings cooking and drinking together while my wife and I were going to go exploring during the day.
The first day of our tour was a Wednesday. Since it was the travel day, and we wanted to arrive in daylight, we had only planned to explore two locations along the route. Both of them were command posts built by the former East German People's Army (NVA).
We left home at around ten in the morning and drove about two hours before we got anywhere near the first location. Judging by the coordinates, it should have been easy to reach the place - there were, however, some one-way streets that the GPS didn't know and in addition to that, there was some construction being done on other roads, so it took us about ten kilometers to get to a spot only a few hundred meters away...
As we arrived, everything looked good at first, but when we got closer, we saw that we weren't going to have a chance at entering.
The area had been split in two parts - one was being used as a paintball range, and the other part was guarded by dogs. I called the owner of the paintball range, but he didn't want us to enter his premises, and he also said that entering the dog kennel next door wouldn't be wise...

So we left this place somewhat disappointed. At least we knew that e didn't have to return to try again.
And there still was the second location we had on our list.
That one was going to get tricky. We only had vague coordinates, and the bunker itself was buried underground in a forest area. As we were on the way, it started raining. And it didn't look like it was going to stop.
Based on the coordinates of the bunker, I had checked for a place to park that was somewhere near what I thought was probably the former access road for the command post. As we arrived, we found the parking spot right away - right opposite an old barrier that blocked the old path.
The rain hadn't stopped, so next to our gear, we took rain capes and umbrellas with us to at least try to stay dry.
Since we didn't have a clue where exactly the bunker was, we tried to proceed systematically and first tried the visible paths that we could find. They all led nowhere, and we had to take some detours, because it had been raining the days before which had turned parts of the forest into a muddy mess.
While we were still searching, the rain got worse, and we were about to give up. I just wanted to try the last path that we hadn't checked yet.
After a few hundred meters, we discovered a first small bunker which was either used as guard post or to accommodate part of the personnel.

We regained hope - in spite of the ever-increasing rain...
As we proceeded, a shape began to emerge between the trees. We had found the main bunker! Now we only had to find a way in.
The whole thing had apparently been sealed at some point in the past, but copper thieves had removed the earth covering the entrance, so we were in!!

My wife was a bit skeptical regarding the entry, but the fact that she'd have to be standing alone in the rain until I'd finished the explore convinced her after all, and we entered.
At that moment, I realized that I had forgotten my tripod. I was carrying the umbrella, so there was that familiar feeling in my hand, which is why I hadn't noticed until the moment of truth, so to speak...
Well, no HDR photos, but I didn't care. We had found the bunker after about one and a half hours of searching the forest in the pouring rain - I was happy as a clam.

To find out more about the history of this place and to check out all the photos, click the button below.

Here's a short video we made of our explore of this interesting relic from the cold war:

And here are some of the photos I took. Remember, it was completely dark so we had to work with flashlights :)

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