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Urban Exploration: School’s Out – Forever

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This spring hasn’t left too much time for adventures our outdoorsy stuff, but finally we got the cabin season open, and I managed to get a pleasant urbex trip done to top it off. Last year wasn’t that active for me with domestic exploration, but I guess the Chernobyl trip balanced that, and more.

(Check out the full Flickr photoset for more photos)

Time to go home.

The weeks before Cannes have been kind of heavy, and the week after Cannes wasn’t any lighter, although it was pretty interesting in several regards. Susi and I had thought about driving to our cabin on Friday, but got a lift from Susi’s mother – who arrived from Berlin at two in the morning. The evening got a bit of a melancholy end, in the form of one dead pet rat. At the feeding time they were super enthusiastic in getting the falafel leftovers and managed to get a hold of the styrofoam container and rip out a piece. One of them got a piece of it lodged on its windipipe or gullet, and it essentially spent 20 minutes slowly choking to death. The rat-Heimlich tips we were given didn’t help, and there was nothing much you could do in the situation. Well, the rats have had a good run. We’ve had them for six years, when a pet rat usually conks because of tumors after two years. It’s just a shame that this one wasn’t the rat that had finally got the first budding tumors…

We arrived at the cabin at six in the morning, when the sun was just rising and the lake was dead calm. We buried the rat and caught a few more hours of sleep, and when we woke up, the wind had picked up.

With the peeling paint and the murals, this staircase looked weirdly... tombish.

When I was sitting in the cabin, just enjoying the countryside and the peace and quiet after so much chaos, I got a sms from a colleague who’s been bitten by the urban exploration bug. He said that there were a few locations he’d like to check. I told I didn’t have a car, but he offered to pick me up, and I gratefully accepted. The first one on the list was an educational facility that had quit, but parts of the building were still in use and under camera surveillance, so we left that one alone. The second one on the list was a majorly big school building that had been thoroughly vandalized. I don’t think there was a single window intact, and the wind kept ripping out the bent and broken metal blinds.

There were a couple of guys with a car and a trailer carrying stuff out, and we weren’t at all sure if they were there legally, or just looting the place. We just decided to steer clear of them and try and find an entry from another part of the building. In the courtyard I found a broken window which I could step through, but not my companion, who stayed outside to take photos.

Long streamers of magnetophone tape were rattling in the wind.

Inside the school was totally gutted, and I couldn’t really imagine what kind of stuff the guys were after. There were long corridors lined with broken windows, the wind was blowing through the whole building through the broken windows, and it kept rattling the blinds and making doors sway. There were books, papers and long streamers of magnetophone tapes rattling in the wind, an occasional tinkle as a piece of a broken window fell off, and bangs and crashes that were mostly doors slammed around by the wind, but at times the guys in the building.

No, this didn't startle me at all, why?

I got back out and we walked around the building, only to notice that the guys had done the same thing, and they were busy opening the door had come through with a crowbar. We both got to explore the main building, including the large very desolate gym, before we called it quits. When driving away, we both got second thoughts about not having gone to the highest floors, but not bad enough to turn back.

The weather hadn't been kind to the music class walls, but the seats were still in good shape.

Our next stop was an abandoned canalside hotel, which seemed to still have a lot of the old furniture intact. The hotel was locked tight, so we just walked around it, snapped some photos and headed back, in my case for a dinner, sauna and a relaxing evening. This was followed by an even more relaxing Sunday at the countryside, featuring lazy reading in the sunshine, yardwork and catching a train home in the evening.

I’m guessing this will be a summer of UE for me. There’s not that much money to travel this year, but why go far, when there’s interesting stuff to see closeby, if you just know how to look.

(Check out the full Flickr photoset for more photos)

There was no way in to the abandoned hotel and we weren't about to make one: leave only footsteps, take only photos.

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