June 6, 2021

Tour Report: The Medical Train

Towards the end of our summer vacation in 2018, we were more or less on our way home - only one more overnight stop at a friend's place was scheduled - and we decided to check if we could pay a visit to the so-called "Medical Train".

The "Medical Train" was a kind of mobile hospital in the GDR and was used especially during major military maneuvers under the Warsaw Treaty. It is kept by the "Eisenbahnfreunde StaƟfurt" and can be visited legally.

It was Monday, so we didn't really think that we'd get the chance to even enter the old railyard/museum where the trains are kept, especially since we knew that it's better to make an appointment in advance, but since it was on the way to our destination, we tried it anyway.

As we arrived, we were surprised to find the gate open, and we started looking around. Inside the engine shed, we found a couple of guys working on various old locomotives, and we asked them if it was possible to photograph the Medical Train. Since they were working, the asked if we could make an appointment and come back on the weekend, but when we explained that we were almost five hundred kilometers from home and that it was more or less the last day of our vacation, they made an exception and started looking for the key to the train. It took some time to find the key - and also to find the door which the key unlocked - but at some point, we were inside the train and started taking photos.

Of course, I had seen plenty of photos from the train in the past, but it's always different when you're finally there for yourself and have the chance to look in every corner for yourself, so we took our time to explore the train from front to back.

After we were finished, we said a big thank you to the guys that had let us in, and we left a donation, so this amazing place can be kept up for future visitors, and I'm sure that we will return sometime in the future to check out all the other trains that they have there.

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

May 24, 2021

Tour Report: Soviet Garrison "Camp III"

I've always found the relics of the Soviet Army in Germany very interesting places to explore, so when the opportunity came up to explore the huge garrison that had originally been built by the Wehrmacht from 1934 under the name "Camp III", of course we had to go and check it out.
It was only a few minutes from the hotel that we had used as our base of explorations for a few days during our summer vacation in 2018, so after a short breakfast, we loaded our gear into the car and drove to where we expected the best access point into the area.
We tried to park inconspicuously enough, which meant having to walk about 15 Minutes from the car to the main entrance of the garrison. On the way, right in front of the old barrier that blocked the road, we saw a small car, which we assumed belonged to some other explorers that weren't as prudent with their parking as we were. As we reached the main gate, there was a large hole in the fence (one of many, I presume), so the access was easy enough, and we started with our exploration right away. 
A few minutes later, we could already see a group of young people with a drone. They were rather loud and running around - the kind of behavior that lots of times will get you caught in locations patrolled by security...
It was a very hot day, so we moved slowly and tried to stay in the shade, taking little breaks every now and then to drink some water. About an hour after we started our exploration, the security guard found us. All of a sudden, a white car was standing right in front of us with an older man sitting at the wheel. It was too hot to run away, so we did what we always do in these cases: Smile, wave and say hi. I think that the guy was a bit surprised that we didn't run away and told him that he got us and we knew that it was forbidden to be there, but we still wanted to explore the place.
The security guard looked at us from top to bottom, saw our gear, safety shoes and everything and said, "I can see you're not doing this for the first time, are you?".
We answered truthfully, told him about what we're doing and for how long we've been doing it. We had a really nice talk with him for about half an hour. He asked us if the small car in front of the barrier was ours, and we said that our car was parked about 15 minutes away. The security guard said, "Well, at least you parked correctly, and the small car belong to the other crew I've seen running around here."
He even told us a few tricks he uses to catch explorers. For example, he takes off his security jacket, takes a small camera and asks groups of explorers how they got in, and after they tell him, he shows his ID and escorts them off the premises.
Well, to cut a long story short, in the end the security guard told us where in the garrison we could find more interesting buildings before he left us and let us go on with our exploration.
I can tell you, this was one of the most pleasant encounters I've ever had with a security guard!
We spent a few more hours exploring the garrison, and as we left, we crossed paths with the security guard again. He had caught the other guys (the ones who had parked badly) and was giving them a rather angry lecture.
When he saw us, he turned around, waved and wished us a nice day - so there's the difference between running away from security or staying for a nice little chat. Well in some instances anyway ;)

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

May 11, 2021

Tour Report: Military Hospital J.

The weather that had irritated us a bit on our exploration of the Soviet nuclear weapons depot, calmed down a bit as we were finished there, so we decided together with our friend Torsten from North Urbex to explore another location.

We had an abandoned military hospital on our list, a place that we had planned to check out once before - a plan that at the time was foiled by a patrolling security service on the premises. This time, we weren't going to give up that easily. We checked the area for inconspicuous parking places and found one a little bit remote from the hospital, so our car wouldn't arise any (or not too much) suspicion.

After parking, we started looking for a path through the patch of forest, which we found rather quickly. There were hardly any fences, and the ones that were there had been vandalized and were hardly recognizable anymore. Finding access into the buildings was easy; after all - this is a pretty well-known and much frequented place, so many of the doors and windows were open.

The building was beautiful. The afternoon sun brought a magic light and the colors of summer into the rooms, and cast beautiful shadows on the floors. There were even a few relics to be found - the dentist's chair being the classic scene for this particular location. Another thing that made this place worthwhile was the fact that there were hardly any graffiti to be found. Of course, the copper thieves have had their share, and the vandals have broken most of the windows - but aside from that, it was just natural decay!

We took our time and explored most of the place, until we decided to call it a day and drive back to the hotel for a well-earned beer and a nice little dinner - after all, Torsten still had a rather long drive home ahead of him, and my wife and I needed to gather our strength for the next Soviet military site that we had planned to explore the following day :)

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

April 30, 2021

Tour Report: Soviet Nuclear Weapons Depot B.

As you may have seen on the photos in my last post, the weather on our tour in summer of 2018 together with our friend Torsten from North Urbex was a bit erratic. It couldn't seem to decide between sun, clouds and rain; so it gave us all of it in varying intensity.

It wasn't the hottest day of the summer, but it was still pretty hot as we started our walk down a long road that led us from the airport's garrison past a small guard house towards a hidden facility deep in the woods - an abandoned special weapons depot of the Group of Soviet Armed Forces in Germany. Here, the Soviets stored free-fall nuclear bombs for the 911th Fighter-Bomber Regiment. This place was our main objective for this first part of the tour, and we knew that it was going to be a pretty long way. Unfortunately, the weather apparently thought that it would be nice to play a little game with us and give us a nice little mix of sun and showers...

Heavy backpacks, hot and humid weather and the occasional rain shower - we had quite a nice walk through the woods, before we finally arrived at our destination. We took a little break to have a snack and "recover" from the walk, while we checked out the area and looked for a way into the warhead storage bunker.

There was one, and it was pretty small and full of spiders, so my wife decided to keep enjoying the weather outside as Torsten and I snaked through a tiny access and into the handling bunker that made up the front part of the storage facility. Coming inside from the heat, the cool (but stale) air was rather enjoyable, and we took or time to explore the bunker and take our photos.

Bunkers don't usually offer spectacular views in terms of photography, because they're mostly concrete, have no revolutionary architectural features, were raided by copper thieves, and if you're hoping for beautiful available light - forget it. This bunker was a little different, because - even if lots of things had been removed - it still had a lot of the metal in it, so we could actually get a pretty good idea of how various things were operated. In addition, I had never before had the chance to check out a bunker of the 'Basalt' type, and I was truly amazed at the sight of the huge steel doors that separated the handling bunker from the actual storage bunker.

After checking out the main parts of the bunker, we moved on to explore the technical parts inside the bunker, and even here, many relics were still there, so Torsten and I had a lot to see before we crawled back out and finally saw daylight again :)

After another short break, we went on to also take a look at the buildings surrounding the facility, but they were mostly just ruins, so we began our walk back to the car - after all, we had another location on our list for the day....

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...