October 14, 2020

Tour Report: Grinding Shop II [Revisit]

 When we arrived at the car after exploring the cave, we had a quick snack before heading to the next - and final - location of this tour. It was a drive of about forty minutes along the western flank of the Harz mountains. The sun was shining and we enjoyed looking at the beautiful  scenery - after all, it was the middle of May and everything was green and beginning to bloom.

As we got to the location, we parked on the same public parking spot that my wife and I had used the first time a few months earlier. We got our gear out of the trunk and walked over to the about 120 year-old building. Since the place is pretty visible from the road, we hurried to get inside - luckily, the access was still the same as the first time.

I was amazed to find that nothing really had changed in the months since our first visit - something that has become increasingly rare over the past couple of years.

Our friends North Urbex and Lichtbeschatter hadn't been to this place, so they took their time to get all the shots they wanted, and I used the opportunity to get a few shots of details that I'd regretted not to have photographed the first time.

In addition, the sun was a welcome change from the last time, when it had been raining the entire day. The afternoon sun made the colors so much more vivid, and the plants outside emphasized the green moss and paint on the old machines.

Although the place is pretty small, we were in there for well over an hour before heading back to the camp to wrap up our trip :)

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

October 3, 2020

Tour Report: Heaven's Cave [Revisit]

The birthday barbecue had been a complete success. I can't recall how long we sat at the campfire, and we hadn't planned anytjing specific for the following day, so it really didn't matter :)
We got up pretty early anyway. When there's a pack of Greenland dogs howling at six in the morning, it's hard to stay asleep...
I think we got up at around eight in the morning for a nice breakfast on the campground. About an hour and a few coffees later, we left for our first location of the day.

A few months earlier, my wife and I had explored a small cave in the mountains, and we thought that this would also be a nice spot to explore together with our friends North Urbex and Lichtbeschatter.
The drive was about 45 minutes, and after that, we had to walk another 30 minutes or so to get to the entrance. My wife and I had taken the long way through the tunnels, but since one of our companions was a bit tall, we chose the easy way in and went through the door in the railway tunnel to get in.

The cave isn't really spectacular, but still an amazing site for someone who doesn't get to explore something like this very often, so we did spend about half an hour there to walk around take photos before we started our way back to the car.
There was one more location to explore before we concluded this tour...

To find out about the history of this place and to check out more galleries from abandoned places, click the button below.

September 19, 2020

Tour Report: Sanatorium J. [Revisit]

The old sanatorium had been our "home location" for years, and it also became the final location on my birthday tour in 2018.

My parents had decided to join us for the birthday party on the mountain, in the camp next to the abandoned sanatorium. We were so happy that they finally came to visit and see for themselves what over the years, my wife and I had come to love about Jens (our good friend who lived there), this place and the people here.

And of course, Jens gave my parents the tour of the sanatorium, showed old photographs of the rooms and told stories about things that he had researched over the years. Being a pharmacist, my father was especially fond of a bottle of "Carbol" (i.e. Phenol, an obsolete disinfectant) that Jens had found somewhere on the premises.

While Jens was showing the place to my parents, I took the opportunity to get a few shots with my camera. It was late afternoon, and the light was really beautiful. This time, I also took a couple of photos of the walls, because I really liked the colors and textures of the decay.

Jens took his time to show my parents around, and when we were finished walking through, we went down to the campfire, and we began a really great evening with barbecue, beer and good friends! It was the perfect birthday.

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

September 8, 2020

Tour Report: Sanatorium "High Pines" [Revisit]

In terms of decay, this is one of my favorite locations to explore, so it seemed logical to pay another visit to this beautiful place on my birthday tour in 2018. Our friends North Urbex and Lichtbeschatter, who were with us for the weekend, hadn't seen this place before, so it was a new spot to them. Additionally, it wasn't too far from our "home base", so we'd be back in time for barbecue and beer :)

We took the same approach as the first time we were there - find a place to park, and just walk right up to the place. It had worked the first time, and it worked nicely this time as well. We found a parking spot a bit down the street, got our stuff together and walked up to what was once the main path through the park-like surroundings of the old sanatorium.

Since it was the middle of May, the bushes and trees were full of fresh green leaves, so you at first, we couldn't even see the building. Only as we stood almost right in front of it, we could see the majestic half-timbered structure standing between the trees. It was a beautiful sight.

The front door was open - just like the first time - and we started our exploration. The building has been subject to heavy decay, so only the central strairwell and the main corridors are relatively safe to walk on. The half-timbered walls were starting to bulge more and more, and I was under the impression that - after all, our last visit had been almost two years prior to this visit - the floors in some of the rooms were a few centimeters lower than before. One or two rooms at the side of the building had even collapsed completely.

We proceeded with the necessary caution as we made our way up through all the floors until we had seen every accessible room and taken every shot that we wanted. So with a lot of nice shots in our cameras, we went back to the car and got on the way to get ready for the evening program :)

But there was one more location to pay a visit to...

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

September 1, 2020

Tour Report: Hotel "Porphyrite" [Revisit]

Over the past couple of years, it became a tradition for us to celebrate my birthday by exploring a few abandoned places. On my birthday in May 2018, we were accompanied for this tour by our good friends North Urbex and Lichtbeschatter.

We had met the day before at one of our favorite places (actually THE favorite place), and we'd had a great evening with a few more friends as well as beer and barbecue. The next morning, we started with a hearty breakfast, and then we drove off to do some exploring.

Since we didn't want to drive too far, we had opted for two locations that my wife and I had visited before, but that were nice enough to go for a revisit.

The first location that we visited, was an abandoned hotel. My wife and I had visited it about ten weeks before, but at the time, it was raining cats and dogs, so we were happy to get another chance while the sun was shining - and shinig it was; it was the perfect weather for a birthday expploration.

Since my wife and I had been to the place before, we had no trouble finding an inconspicuous place to park, and we knew how to get in. The access was still the same, but it felt a bit more unsafe than the first time, because more of the floors had collapsed and were hanging loosely above us during our entry...

Still, a lot of the place was still in good condition and offered us a lot of nice photo opportunities. Our friend Lichtbeschatter does love detail shots, so it took a bit longer than the first time until we had walked through the entire place, but it was really worth it.

I think that we will be returning at some point to check out how the decay has developed in the two years since our visit - I can't wait :)

To find out about the history of this place and to check out more galleries from abandoned places, click the button below.

August 23, 2020

Tour Report: Villa "Roadside"

Since late 2013, I had tried to find a way into this abandoned villa at least once or twice a year - yet everytime I was there, there was no access, and we had to go home or drive on to the next location. There had never been any photos on any platform that I know of - it seemed like this house was never going to let us in.

I'd made the same experience with another location closer to home. That one as well was inaccessible for years - until a certain group of so-called "urbexers", that gained (a little) fame by promoting unspectacular locations with (mostly more than exaggerated) spectacular stories, had suddenly "found" a way in.

Normally, I wouldn't find this suspicious, but that one was only one in a small series of locations that had been known to be inaccessible for years and - possibly by pure chance or fate - everyone of those houses had a broken window or door just as soon as these guys went to "check it out".

The abandoned villa was no different, and I do find it suspicious if people check the place out for five years - and then the "lucky guys" show up and oops! there is a broken window....

It's an ambivalent thing - on the one hand "real" urbexers are depending on vandals, copper thieves, squatters etc. to generate an access - but on the other hand, a real urbexer would never use force to enter a building.

In this case, I do think that the guys I'm talking about are using force to get into the buildings in order to be able to keep up a regular flow of "spectacular" videos on Youtube. In fact, they were sued for illegally entering an "abandoned" airport - only it wasn't really abandoned... After that, they posted various videos explaining themselves and saying (almost) nothing they did was illegal etc. etc.

I am sorry; this post was not supposed to be about the idiots that are spawning around the hobby of urban exploration, but I had to get this off my chest.

We visited this location together with our friend Pixelcracker in March of 2018. We had already explored an abandoned hotel that had formerly been a garrison of the East German border troops and since I had seen that the aforementioned "guys" had been to the villa by the road, I thought, why not check it out.

And I was right - there was a broken window at almost the exact same spot on the back of the building that I had found in the other villa which had no access for at least five years - what a surprise! But we were in. And I was happy that after five years, I finally got the chance to check the place out, even though there was sort of a bad aftertaste...

Since it hadn't been accessible for long, the vandalism and decoration hadn't really started yet. But we got a first-hand look and feel what happens when a location is "open". Towards the end of our explore, two guys came togehter with a "model", behaved like they owned the place and as we left, went upstairs and began rearranging the furniture. 

Over the more than two years since our visit, I have seen more photos from this location pop up over the internet, but they mostly looked like threre hadn't been too much vandalism yet (although a few things have apparently been stolen), and I truly hope that it's going to stay that way and that someone is going to rescue the place!

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

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