December 18, 2022

Tour Report: Abandoned Barges

In April of 2019, we undertook a short tour to visit a friend in the German state of Lower Saxony, and of course, we had a few locations on our list of possible explorations. The first one was an easy task - just two abandoned gravel barges that have been rotting on the bank of a flooded gravel pit near a river.

There was a public parking lot near the dike that protects the inland if there is a flood that pushes water over the riverbanks. From there, it was only a twenty-minute walk to get to the former gravel pit. The barges can be seen from the trail, and there was even a small beaten path through the reeds that made it even easier for us to reach our target. The barges are in water, but the surrounding area has silted up, so we could reach the rusting hunks of metal without getting our feet wet.

The weather was beautiful - it was pretty windy, but sunny and warm, so we took our time to stroll around and take a bunch of photos. It was one of those explores that are unspectacular regarding the target, but are made memorable by the setting in general - weather, accessibility, company, potential historical relevance etc., so we really enjoyed ourselves.

The day ended with a nice dinner and a few drinks with our friend Petra at her parents' place, while we were already pondering what to explore on the next day...

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

December 11, 2022

Tour Report: Estate House No.11

Towards the end of our tour through Eastern Germany in April of 2019, we had one more abandoned building on our list. It was an old estate house in a small farming community far away from any larger cities. As we drove up, we didn't have high hopes, because first of all, the only possibility to park was right down the street, which in these small villages is always suspicious - if you have a license plate from any place farther away than a 30-minute drive. Secondly, we could see the neighbor working in the garden, so it would have been impossible to enter the abandoned house unnoticed.

So we did what we mostly do in these case - walk up to the neighbor and start a friendly conversation. It worked perfectly! We introduced ourselves and asked him if he could tell us something about the "beautiful old house" next door, and he did. He didn't have much historical information, because he hadn't lived in the village for more than 20 years or so, but at least he knew something about the current owner. He also told us that he suspected that the place would keep deteriorating and eventually collapse at some point.

In the end we asked him, if it was okay with him if we strolled around the place and checked inside to take a few photos, and he said that he was pretty sure that the owner wouldn't mind - but he demanded that we be extremely careful due to the ramshackle condition of the house.

We promised that we were going to be careful and to tell him when we left that we were all okay. Then we started walking around the old house. We quickly found an open door, and the neighbor was right - the place was in pretty bad condition. Parts of the walls and ceilings were already collapsing, and walking on the wooden floorboards on the upper floor somehow didn't feel right. We still managed to check out the entire place. It wasn't spectacular and looked more like a farmhouse, which isn't uncommon for estate houses in smaller villages - especially because these houses were frequently used by farming combines under the socialist government of East Germany.

I still really liked the place. On the one hand because there still were some nice shots to be taken - the colors and the decay were nicely accentuated by a beautiful afternoon sun. On the other hand, the place showed once again how far you can get with a friendly, open nature and an honest interest in the stories other people have to tell.

Before we went back to the car, we made good on our promise and told the neighbor that everyone had left the building without any injuries :)

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

December 4, 2022

Tour Report: Community Center P.

Early in April of 2019, we embarked on a short tour to Eastern Germany to check out a few abandoned places. The first spot that we explored that day was an abandoned community center. It is located right next to an abandoned castle, which we had already visited a few times in the past. The community center, however, somehow eluded us for a couple of years - until that one sunny Sunday morning.

The place was easy enough to access - after we had parked the car, we just had to cross the street and walk into the building - no signs or fences tried to keep us out, and the door was open. Inside, we were greeted by a typical hall from socialist East Germany. The most striking feature was of course the old piano on the stage. We were surprised that it was still there and in - relatively - good condition. Generally, the place looked alright for at least two decades of abandonment. Of course, the vandals have had their share, but there weren't too many graffiti, so we were actually able to get a few nice photos.

Next to the main room, there was only the restroom and a small hallway, so we didn't need too much time to check everything out before we got back to the cars and drove off to the next location.

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

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