When we were kids we loved playing where it was forbidden – in dark abandoned buildings with ghosts from the past, in dangerous construction sites with falling objects, in dusty Industrial ruins. Out of curiosity, we also risked injuries, only to reveal hidden secrets. The little detectives and archaeologists who took this adventurous spirit into adulthood practise urban exploration also known as urbex. Their main mission is to document the history of abandoned buildings with photos and videos.
I would like to introduce you to Linda Lu and Ltblue who belong to the urban explorers’community. Linda has been involved in such city exploration since September 2014 and discovered Urbex when she found herself in a deserted train station in Belgium after a photography class. Then she researched on the Internet and was so fascinated by the phenomenon that a week later she visited an abandoned castle for the first time. Ltblue was infected with the hobby as he accompanied his girlfriend during a film production in an empty factory.
My interviewees look so excited when they talk about their hobby.
“I lоve to observe how time and nature transform the abandoned buildings and I imagine how the places used to look like, coming up with different stories and characters, “reports Linda. “It’s like an adventure, like a teleportation to another world and you never know what to expect. We gain insight into something that many people will never see “, says Ltblue.
How can you prepare for urbex trips?
Most places are easy to find on the internet – especially public buildings like old hospitals and factories. “Google is my best friend,”advises Linda. “With a little luck, you’ll get clues from other photographers, but it’s better to know and trust them. Sometimes it is also possible to accidentally discover a deserted place while driving, “shares Ltblue. In their explorations, the two adventurers have their cameras, cell phones, respirators, a bottle of water, first aid kit, gloves, flashlights and sometimes also door handles.
Linda and Ltblue also warn that Urbex people need to be sensible and careful not to endanger their lives.
“One should know the associated risks when entering a building. If you are not sure, then you should not enter the building! “says Linda. Ltblue also adds that you can easily forget the dangers by focusing your attention only on the mysterious items.
Creepy and funny
Regardless of whether you are focused or not, the dangers lurk from every corner. “I visited an old military base in Croatia, which is located on the border with Bosnia. I was already on my way to the entrances of the base when two police cars stopped. The officials told me that I should leave this place immediately because it was bombed in the 1990s and there are still mines in this area. That was a warning to me and now I’m much more cautious, especially abroad, “says Ltblue.
Such city explorations do not only cause anxiety, but above all funny stories to tell.
“It’s very funny that I always go the hard way to enter a building, although there’s often a simpler solution – that was the case with an old farmhouse in Belgium. My friend and I climbed over a small kitchen window and found out a few minutes later that the front door was open, “reports UrbexLinda. She also recalls how she climbed down into the basement of a theater in Germany while all the windows and doors on the other side of the building were open.
The funniest, but also the scariest thing that has happened to Ltblue so far, took place in an old air raid shelter.
“I walked around the corner, slowly moving my flashlight around the room and suddenly saw someone sitting next to me. Of course, I screamed and ran back to my friends. We gathered our courage and went back. On closer inspection, we noticed “only” a large puppet sitting in the chair, “says Ltblue laughing.
The encounter with the past
The motto of the time travelers is “Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints!”. My interviewees agree that they also wanted to break this rule but they have never taken anything out of the abandoned buildings. “Once I found on the floor a small photo book with very old pictures of a castle in France, which I would have liked to take with me because I liked it so much. However, my conscience told me that I had to leave it, “says Linda. Ltblue adds:
“Last summer, I found old technical instruments and straitjackets in an abandoned asylum. It really is a weird feeling when entering such a space. “
Urban exploration is increasingly turning into a trend. In Berlin , for example, some abandoned buildings, including former bunkers or old airports are accessible to tourists for a fee. However, the authentic urban explorers disapprove.
“The trend has reached its peak and I hope the whole thing will end soon. There’s too much hype about it and that’s never good for something that was once underground and unique, “says El Partisan.
Timeless Seeker adds: “I want to keep the places a secret and practice the hobby far away from the masses that are destroying the places. I do not like the trend and I do not want to participate in it. “
From a legal point of view
Urban Exploring, legally speaking, is a gray area. There is no trespassing as part of the trips – after all, no one lives there anymore. The adventurers do not access the building violently. There is no property damage. Nevertheless, it could lead to complaints from homeowners or the municipality regarding possession disorder.
By urban exploration you get to know the environment from a completely different perspective. “I see the architecture in cities in a completely new light. Now I see not only the abandoned, damaged buildings, but also the ones that are still standing, “explains UrbexLinda. Ltblue summarizes his fascination with Urban Exploration as follows:
“I think the best thing I’ve learned from Urbex is to consciously perceive things. It’s just beautiful walking through the corridors where there’s no noise or stressed people, just silence and a small beam of light through the old, nailed-up window.
Well done, guys! Thank you for reaching the end of my first post. Do you find the look of old abandoned buildings creepy, awful or beautiful? Please let me know in the comments.