Sunday, September 30, 2018

Torpedo launch station

  There's places you just need to go to when you hear of them. One such place for me has been the abandoned torpedo launch  station in Rijeka. Built in 1930's and now just falling apart, this is just an amazing place to visit. Sticking up from the sea like some kind of a skeleton, it somehow feels a bit creepy. Then when you know that it wasn't just an ordinary warehouse, but a place where they used to test torpedoes, weapons meant to destroy and kill, it just ads to the feeling some new dimension. If you want to go there, just use Google maps. We left our car in a nearby shopping mall, but it definitely would have been better to drive there as close as possible, we definitely would have saved a lot of time. This time I hauled quite a bit of equipment with me there, and in the end I just ended up using one camera, one lens, no flashes, tripods or stands, just and only natural light provided by the setting sun. I just didn't want to make it an urbex or architectural shoot, so I asked my lovely wife to model a bit. Despite of the mosquito, she did a wonderful job. Here's a few pics...


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Katarina naval base

  I guess for a change I should be blogging about something else than Urban exploration and abandoned buildings, but because I love to combine things I love, in this case photography and UE, please forgive me, one more text and a few images of decay...
  As I told in a my last post, to find places to explore internet and Google Earth are good tools. For a while ago when checking out if there would be something interesting to explore near Pula, I came across this former naval base somewhere near the town. Just opened Google earth and started scouting. Established somewhere in mid 19th century and abandoned in the late 20th century this place have probably seen lots of things going on. Austro-Hungary, France, Italy and finaly Yugoslavia have been using this base for their military purposes. The area is huge, and to be honest I could have spent some more time there easily, but the clock is usually ticking and you have to know your limits. ("The kid is healthy when it plays, but sick if it don't understand to stop", that's what they say back home.) All the movable stuff is gone and the place for sure have seen pretty much vandalism during the years it have been abandoned, but there still is that pretty light, interesting colors, windows, stairs, some interesting communist era murals, paint that's cracking and that "you never know what's lurking behind the next corner" feeling. You can access the place by car if you don't want to walk too much. Everything is open and it seems that no one cares if you enter the buildings, so no fear of someone popping up and making inconvenient questions. So if you ever visit Pula and you are interested in abandoned places and history, why not to take a walk in Katarina naval base.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sarajevo (Part 2)

  If there's lots to see in Sarajevo for the ordinary traveler, so will there be for the one who's interested in urban exploration as well. The city and surroundings are full of cool abandoned places. I had the possibility to visit a couple, and I can tell that there's so much more to see, but the clock is always ticking and when traveling with others who are not so much into urban decay and abandoned buildings, you know time is just limited for fulfilling your dreams.
  When I search for places of interest I rely heavily on internet. Google the city name combined with "urbex" or "urban exploration" and most likely you'll find at least some place where to go. In my case mt. Trebević came up, and most probably if you ever visit Sarajevo or did it already, and you are into forgotten and ruined stuff, you'll end or ended up there at some point. Mt. Trebević is the place where the winter Olympics were held in 1984. So a must see thing would be the abandoned bobsleigh track. While there you could also walk to the Bistrik kula or as it's called too, Čolina kapa observatory. It's just a couple of minutes walk from the bobsleigh track. Two interesting towers, one from the Austro-Hungarian period and one a bit newer, both which have been used as observatories. Cool abandoned buildings and the view down to Sarajevo is amazing. On the way up, by the road there was this abandoned hotel, so I stopped my car there, entered the building and made a few images in there as well.
  An other tool I frequently use is Google Earth. Scrolling over a city with a help of a satellite map can reveal some interesting spots. Of course it's not always guaranteed that you'll have the access inside the building when you finally arrive to the location. In my case there were two spots I was interested of. In the satellite map they seemed just perfect, but in the real world they both where some kind of military related places and guarded by soldiers. Both places where a mess, I definitely would have loved to get inside, but as I'm happy with the holes I'm born with, I thought better not get any extra  from a gun, so I decided to vanish from these places quite fast. So no images from these places.
  A third method for me to find places of interest is to keep my eyes and ears open. When driving here and there you see possible places where you could go. Sometimes when speaking with locals they may know some good spots. While driving one day a former resident of Sarajevo who was travelling with us showed an abandoned complex on the other side of the road. He told that it had been build just before the war, but now it's completely desolated. For me it meant a place of interest, and after two disappointments with the "military bases", this was a perfect spot. No guards, easy to enter and so I went there.
  Then just one more thing! There's lots of abandoned warehouses and larger buildings in Sarajevo, but just don't overlook the smaller houses. They used to be someones homes, places for families wanting to live in peace with their neighbors. Today they are a sad reminder how fast everything can change.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sarajevo (Part 1)

  Last week I had the opportunity to visit Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The schedule was pretty tight and then I caught flu, so the photography part was quite minimal, but I tried to do my best to make at least a few images and to visit a couple places of interest. I'll divide this post in two. This first with some cityscapes and details from the city, and the second post with some urbex and images of urban decay.
  First I'd like to tell my impression of the city. I loved the variety of old and new. Lots of modern glass covered buildings and then many old houses with that beautiful 19th century architecture. Mosques here and there, and specially those minarets made me feel a bit like being in some Middle-east country even if I were in Europe. Visited the old town only once. Lots of tourists around and then the place was crowded with shops selling the same souvenir  stuff shop after an other, so even if it was in someways interesting I didn't find it very authentic, but maybe someone else finds this Bazaar kind of a place very attractive. As a starting point for the WW 1, a must see place is the spot where Gavrilo Princip killed the archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Latin Bridge isn't large, it's built in Roman style, so the architecture is pretty, as an added bonus because of what happened there, you definitely can feel the history alive. There's also lots of small alleys which can be nice for immagination and inspiration. And then there is always the sad reminders of the Bosnian war. Everywhere in the city you can see bullet holes in the building walls, and some bombarded houses here and there. Sad reminders of what people can do to each other. There's much more to see in Sarajevo, I feel I just touched the surface but as sad it is this time I didn't have time for more, maybe next time. Here's a few images...   

Then a couple of landscapaes from the beautiful countryside not very far from Sarajevo...

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Empty and abandoned

  "Abandoned" is in my vocabulary synonymous to "interesting". To enter a building to explore it is almost always a thrilling experience. During the last couple of weeks I've visited two locations from which the first one I've been in a couple times before and the access is very easy,  just walk in. It's an old coal mining factory building in quite a few floors. There's lots of holes in the ground so you just have to watch where you step. Like the case is so often the machines and equipment have been removed long a go, but the space is amazing with some pretty nice light if come there at the right time.
  The second place was also an abandoned factory, and as well pretty stripped of all machines and props. Unlike the other factory I visited, this wasn't so easy to enter in. First, the building is located quite near the center of the town and that means there's always people around, and as you will be trespassing, you don't want too many people around watching. As a second a bit annoying thing is that the main doors are closed and locked and the only quite easy point to enter is a broken window on the facade side, so the before mentioned risk of being seen by others is pretty high. Even if it was struggle to get in, it was still worth it. Here's some images from the both facilities...