October 29, 2015

Children's Sanatorium E.

Only three days after touring the East of Germany for an old hospital and an abandoned paper mill, my wife and I met up again with Nordgriller Urban Exploration for another tour. Only this tour was going to be a quite a bit further than the last one. For a one-day-tour anyway.
We had planned a tour of overall about 800 kilometers with two fixed locations along with a couple of alternatives.
We met up relatively early, and after the mandatory coffee and cigarette we took off to pick up another friend who was with us on this tour.
We reached our first destination shortly before noon, found it and parked the car. We checked out the surroundings first and looked for the most opportune way to enter.
The old children's sanatorium lies right in the middle of the town on top of a hill surrounded by trees. The street runs right alongside it and across the street are houses and apartments. It was Sunday and the weather was really nice, so there were a lot of cyclists passing the area. Eventually, we took the most obvious, but also quickest way in to be out of everybody's sight as quickly as possible.

Looking back, this sanatorium is one of my favorite locations, possibly due not only to the location itself, but also due to the weather and the great crew I was with once again. We took a lot of time to give the entire area a thorough exploration before we moved on to the next place.

Here are some photos to give you an impression of the 140-year-old sanatorium. To find out more about the history of the place and check out the entire gallery, click on the button below.

October 25, 2015

Paper Mill M. [Revisit]

This paper mill was kind of an emergency solution on that tour. My wife and I had been there once before and since it isn't the most spectacular place, it wasn't on the list for this tour in early April.
But since our plans had been overthrown and the tour together with Nordgriller Urban Explration was cut short by an inaccessible location in the morning, we had some time left after visiting the strangely surreal general hospital, we decided in favor of our friend's hunger for industrial ruins.
The location is conveniently situated right next to the autobahn exit, so it wasn't even a detour.
Even the way in was a easy as my wife and I remembered from the first visit. Just walk right onto the premises, nothing is there to stop you.
It had rained for some days before, so the way towards the building was really muddy, and we had trouble keeping our feet dry, but we somehow managed :)

The weather was great and so the afternoon sun gave a nice light to some of the rooms in the old paper mill.

Press the button below to get to my website for more photos and to find out more about the history of this place.

October 22, 2015

General Hospital R.

This is probably the most run-down location I have ever been to. Looking at so much senseless destruction gave the entire scene a kind of surreal feeling.
But let's start at the beginning.
It was a Saturday morning at the beginning of April, and my wife and I were picked up for the tour by our friend Nordgriller Urban Exploration. After a coffe and a cigarette at our place we had decided for the locations of the day and headed east.
The first stop was an old villa that is direkty connected to a large public indoor pool. It lookd fantastic - at least from the outside. After about 200 kilometers we got there only to realize that we should have gotten there before sunrise to get a chance of entering. The place is right at the boardwalk next to the beach and since it was a sunny day, a percieved billion of people were walking up and down in right in front of the location.
So after deciding not risking to get caught we drove on to the next location.
This abandoned hospital used to be a modern medical facility.
But not anymore. Nothing, really nothing, hints towards the former use of the big building complex. About a decade of being unguarded right in the middle of a problem district of an Eastern German city has taken a serious toll on the hospital.
It seems as if generations of unattended children, frustrated teenagers and drunken young adults all had their share of violence towards the walls, the ceilings, the doors and the windows.
Seriously, no single room has been left untouched!

Seeing so much destruction in one place made for an eerily surrealistic atmosphere.

For more photos and historical info on the hospital, push the button below.

October 18, 2015

Lightbulb Factory S.

On the way home from our short vacation in March, my wife and I opted for an abandoned lighbulb factory as our final location for the tour.
It was located conveniently near our route, so no long detour was necessary.
We didn't have the exact address, so we had to look around a little, but we eventually found it.
It was Monday around noon, so there were lots of schoolchildren on their way home walking about - and the factory itself was surrounded by a construction site.
Obviously, the buildings surrounding the original factory had been demolished and the area was being cleared for new houses.
The original factory however was still standing. But how to get in? There were construction workers everywhere. Not really close, but close enough to be able to spot us without effort.
So I decided to take my usual "impudence wins"-approach and just walk around to the back of the building, and there it was - an open door! We had to take a large step across a ditch and we were in.
I don't know if anybody had seen us, but no one bothered us, so thei either hadn't spotted us or they simply didn't care.
The factory itself was nothing spectacular, but the sunlight made for a nice mood and since this was no extensive exploration, it was a nice finale for our tour.

For more photos and historical info on the factory, push the button below.

October 15, 2015

Embassy of a Non-Existent Country

To me, this was one of the cooles places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It wasn't spectacular in terms of architecture, interior or remains, but the historical aspect mad this one a real treat for me.
My wife and I got lucky that day in finding access to the famous Villa Woodstock, and after we were finished there, we decided to drive further south to the former capital of Germany.
I had heard that a lot of the embassies that were moved to Berlin soon after the German reunification still are abandoned today. And to be able to check out the embassy of an abandoned state - in this particular case the embassy of an Eastern Block state that does not exist anymore today- seemed quite unique to us.
If you've ever been to an embassy, you know that they are usually placed in a rather luxurious neighborhoods, which in this case really didn't make things easy.
This embsaay was literally a sitting duck in terms of accessibility. Right in the middle of the most luxurious quarter of the city, between some really nice houses and opposite the offices of a large company, this was a tough one to decide if we should risk trying to get in.
We voted "Yes".
It was Sunday, so there were a lot of people walking around, and we really did have a hard time to find the appropriate moment with no cars or people nearby and no one looking out of the windows next door.
We jumped the fence and ran around the building, halfway across then lawn towards the embassy's underground car park, spotted a broken window right next to the garage door and took a leap through the torn window screen. We were in.
Obviously, the basement had been flooded during a recent high tide of the Rhine, so we tiptoed through the puddles towards the stairs and were rewarded with the sight of a completely unvandalized location.
Relics from decades of diplomatic cold war were lying around, files about the embassy's employees - and there was even a bug-proof room in the top floor.
A great place that really was worth the trip!

October 8, 2015

Villa Woodstock

What a great place this was! Beautiful architecture and colors! I had seen this on a bunch of photos and when my wife and I were in the area, of course we had to try and go for a visit.
This was actually the second try. Two days before, we met up with a friend and wanted to pay a visit to this old villa, but there was no chance to get in - even the old "it doesn't look like it's open, but it is"didn't work. So at the time, we opted for a different location - the Cookie Factory.
The first attempt was on a Friday, so I said to my wife that we should try again on Sunday, because between Friday and Sunday is - exactly - Saturday! And it seemed to me like a fairly safe bet to assume that sometime between Friday and Sunday someone eventually was going to "find" an opening.
And I was right. We returned early Sunday morning and found an open window through which we squeezed into the basement.
We were not disappointed, the place was really beautiful and at the time completely free from vandalism.
At first, we were alone and had the building for ourselves, but after a while, another group of photographers came along. They told us that on the balcony of the neighboring building a guy was standing and filming everything and had yelled at them for trespassing, but no police came and we continued our eploration.
After about two and a half hours, we left the beautiful old villa and drove on to our next adventure...

October 4, 2015

Cookie Factory H.

As the fifth location of our tour in March, my wife and I had opted for the famous "Villa Woodstock". So we got up early and drove South to meet our friend Ruhrpix who had visited that place before. We met up almost right in front of the location, only to find that all possibler access routes into the building had been blocked. There was no chance to get in.
What to do?
Another spot my wife and I had on our list wasn't too far away - an abandoned cookie factory. This place also had been visited by Ruhrpix before, but he was kind enough to offer giving us the grand tour - an invitation we gladly accepted.
So we hopped back into the cars and drove for about an hour to the location, found a place to park and met up at the location.
The complex was huge, it took up one entire city block on each side of the street. The factory had its own railroad track, and both blocks were connected by bridges spanning the street.
Ruhrpix laid out a little exploring plan for us. We entered the factory on one side and made our way through almost every room, then across one of the bridges into the other part of the production plant.

The sheer size of the place is enormous. There are huge production halls, deep stairwells, beautiful long window fronts and even some of the machines are still in their place.
Of course, there has been massive vandalism. Last year, an old train that was parked on the factory's tracks was set on fire by a bunch of teenagers and a large part of the building was damaged by the flames.
Still, this was one of the cooler explores I've had up to now, there was so much to see! And it was a long exploration; we spent about six hours inside.
Towards the end of our tour, we were shooting a couple of us with gas masks and welding goggles, when a group of kids walked in on us. They must have gotten the scare of their young life when they saw us, because they ran away screaming like hell :)

On our way out, we noticed that there were two workerstaking apart the remains of the old train that fell victim to the big fire in 2014. After a little consulting, we decided that impudence wins and just walked past them, uttered a friendly greeting and got one or two evil looks as we walked away.

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