October 31, 2020

Tour Report: Air Raid Shelter below Berlin (I)

It was a pretty spontaneous decision. In June of 2018, we took a few days off and headed to Berlin for a bit of exploring.

We met up with our friend Toeppi from "Fotodokumentationen zu verlassene Pl├Ątze" who had a few fascinating locations for us to check out. Toeppi is an expert regarding the Berlin air-raid protection during World War II and has access to some bunkers that are otherwise inaccessible to the public, and so the first two spots were air-raid shelters in residential areas.

We'd never have suspected a bunker behind this small new metal door in a new brick wall next to a freshly renovated apartment block somewhere in Berlin. We waited there while Toeppi went into the office of the house management and came back out with a key. He unlocked the small door, opened it, and the familiar smell of stale, humid air filled our noses as we looked down a concrete flight of stairs into the darkness.

The bunker seems to have been used as a storage space after the war, but as far as we know, it has remained untouched for the largest part of the last sixty years or so. The old writings are still on the walls, and even the fluorescent color still worked after all these years.

With the knowledge of the intensity of the battle for Berlin towards the end of the war and the thousands of tons of explosives that were dropped on the city, it is impossible to imagine the horrors that the people had to endure when they were crammed together in tiny dark rooms a few meters below ground while they could hear the bombs explode above them.

When we came out, we were relieved to be back above the ground and in the sunlight. But the next bunker was already waiting for us.....

To check out all the photos, click the button below.

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.

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