Thursday, January 26th 2017
Hi guys! It’s been a long time since my last post! I just feel uninspired lately but the blog hiatus is over now since I’m back on the road again! I’m writing this on the train on my way to Prague, Czech Republic. Can’t stop looking out of the window to the miles and miles of woods covered with snow and the sun setting on my window.
So basically, I’ve just finished my adventure in Berlin. It’s been a good time and I had a proper adventure yesterday. As you may or may not know, Berlin is a very hipster city. There are graffiti everywhere, old and abandoned building scattered all around the city. From abandoned theme park to abandoned airport to abandoned hospital to abandoned spy station! You named it! This city was pretty messed up by the war and for that it becomes heaven for urban explorers.
One of the abandoned building is called the Teufelsberg a.k.a the “Devil’s Mountain”. It was an American NSA spy/listening station located in West Berlin at Grünewald Park. They used it in the Cold Ward and had been abandoned since the fall of East Germany and the Berlin Wall in 1989. Imagine! This place is in the middle of nowhere, up in the hill, and has been abandoned for almost 30 years or something! Oh well, there must be a lot of ghosts in there, I reckon!
I first saw this place on the Internet and though “Wow! I’ve never seen a place like this before!” The architecture is very interesting with several balls/domes on top of it. Very very cool! As an action/spy movies junkie, of course visiting abandoned spy station seemed to be a brilliant idea by that time. And since I was already there in Berlin, and don’t really know when I’ll get the opportunity to come back, as you may guess, I ended up went there by myself. And to be honest, it’s not quite brilliant and probably not a good idea to visit it in middle of Berlin’s brutal winter.
I took the S-Bahn (the train) to the nearest station (Grunewald) and just relied on my Google Maps to walk through the woods. It’s still bright outside so I didn’t get scared or anything and thought I can just come back if I feel something’s not right and abort the mission immediately. I’m not sure though, but the woods track seems very easy and flat at first, even though I still walked with something that feels like 1 km/hour speed due to the slippery track. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that slippery, but man, I live in a summer paradise all my life, never seen the snow nor walk in the ice before!
After probably 20 minutes or something walking with no sign of any other human being, the maps told me to cross a big street and then I know the real game has begun. There’s a hiking track up to the hill, pretty steep, I’d say. Teufelsberg is the highest point in Berlin anyway. I don’t normally like hiking and am very clumsy as well. To hike the snowy icy slippery track, you know, it really pushed me out of the limit but there’s no way I’m gonna walk away and not seeing anything!
Thankfully, my boots seems like it’s quite proper, even though I was still slip and sliding along the way. I felt confident enough I can get there, until… It’s there! The fence is literally one meter away, it’s the end of hiking track, and the track was very very slippery, I fell down on my stomach! It didn’t hurt or anything because I wore a hundred layers of clothes, obviously. The only thing hurts was my ego. HA! Thankfully, nobody saw it! I spent like a good 10 minutes sitting there in the snow trying to figure out how to get up because it’s just so slippery. I didn’t get up, I just couldn’t, I dragged my butt up, it’s the only way, and apparently it’s working! Unfortunately, I had to walk around with wet underwear for the rest of the day. Alright. Fair enough.
We need to pay €8 to get in there and explore the building. So I was in and quite surprised that there are some other people in there. I thought it was just me who crazy enough to go there on those kinda day. The place is amazing and super creepy. Random things scattered everywhere! There were bathtub and sofa and speaker and broken car and bicycles and tent and so many other random things in the yard, it’s just insane!
Graffiti are everywhere both outside and inside the building. Apparently there are some talented people out there making this place their canvases! Cool!
I went in and upstairs to see the balls/domes. Some guys were up there as well. They went up to the highest dome where you can see awesome graffiti and make really cool echoing sound. I didn’t go up because it’s just too much, the stairs room is pitched black, it’s too high, and I was tired enough after struggling with that stupid track!
Just as I finished taking some pictures, they finished at the dome as well. My phone battery is draining because I used the maps so much and there’s no way I can make it back without the maps. So I asked them if I could follow them back to the train station. They said yes. I though they were finished and about to go back down the hill. But oh well, boys are boys. They’re not finished just yet. They opened every door, entered every room, touched everything, jumped in, climbed up, and very curios about everything.
I’m pretty sure I almost dislocated my shoulder (again) when one of the boys helped me climb something up. Thank God it didn’t happen because I’d be so pissed if that happens again! I’m glad that they made me see and explored the most of the place, though. So thanks to AJ, George, Matt, and Rob for showing me the proper adventure!
We spent about an hour exploring the place. Just as we’re about to leave, we saw a bunch of people, approximately 20 people had just arrived with a bus. Every of them was holding a weapon, either it’s knife, sword, cleaver, gun (maybe), or any other kind of weapons. Not sure if those are real or fake, but it felt quite intimidating. I was sooo confused and we were like “What’s going on?” Well, we have absolutely no idea. Thank God they didn’t attack us or anything!
What happened next: I fell again, this time with a bunch of people watching (damn it!); we went back to the S-Bahn Station through the woods; made our way back to the city center; AJ debated with a weird man in the train about which is better, burger or döner; we ate döner eventually while talking about gun ownership (very random); we saw the amazing Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz. After wandered around the area a little bit, we parted apart. It’s true what people say, that one of the best parts about traveling is the people you met along the way!
“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures” – Lovelle Drachman