Archive for January, 2012

 

There isn’t much to say about this place. It’s abandoned. It used to be a wine packing facility. It is located close to the place of a friend of mine where I was staying when I did this exploration. It’s easy to get in. It’s interesting, in my humble opinion.

 


 

Just drive there. Directly off the main road there is the security check house. That’s where you can park your car and enter the premises. From there to the first building is a short stroll of about 200 meters. There you will find what I believe used to be the main storage building, for packed wine. Outside, the best bit: about 25 wine silos, now empty. Try the echo there. It’s awesome.

 



 

There are several smaller buildings in the area, but of small interest. No harm to explore them too though. I loved to find on the floor labels of well known brands of wine, some of them amongst my favorites. Obviously they were being packed here.

 


Entering spot at  41° 4.702’N   8° 31.815’W


As we know, Sarajevo is a little paradise for urban exploration. The scars of the war which devastated the city in the early 90’s are still visible and many buildings which were destroyed are still there. During my visit I was hosted by a friend in the surrounding hills, namely in Trebevic, which was one of the fire positions used by the Serbs during the long siege of Sarajevo.

I was devastated when I learned that the guide I had pick to take me in a “war tour” was not available for any of the four days I stayed in Sarajevo. Well, in the end it didn’t made such a difference as I managed to visit a few impressive locations. Of course, in usual conditions I wouldn’t hire a guide but then there were two factors here:

1) I don’t like to poke around when there are land mines involved. Somehow I fancy ending my days with two legs in they rightly places. And mines are still a threat in Bosnia, even around Sarajevo.

2) My GPS died one me during this trip and I lost all the data I had gathered, namely trail heads and all waypoints  for urbex.


 

Well, it was a good surprise to find that one of the hottest spots in the list was a few hundred meters from my place in Sarajevo. I had no hopes to visit this police club, which saw plenty of action during the war. And then, there it was, 5 min walking from home. Wow!

So I went there one morning. The dog of my friend escorted me there. Literally speaking as obviously she felt responsible for my safety as a guest, and, being a small animal, didn’t hesitate to attack three wild dogs which were in the grounds of this building. Amazing! The sweet dog showed me around, waited patiently when I wanted to observe something in detail… it was the perfect companion.

Now, attached to the Police club, there is an old Turkish fort, or at least its remainings. Sadly I can’t find any information about the fort, and actually, not much regarding the police club. I’m not even sure it was a police club. That’s what I read online, but then my host told me it was a high security prison for political prisoners.  Never mind. Whatever it was, it hold a bunch of fire during the war. Being a strong structure – bunker like – it didn’t collapse, but a high number of direct hits is visible, not to mention all the holes from light weapons. A great spot with awesome views over Sarajevo and lots of stories to tell.

Here, these are the coordinates: 43º  50.613 18º 24.793.

It’s possible to walk from the center. It’s quite a walk, as all the way is extremely steep. I made it almost every day, but it’s not pleasant. Plus, the streets are a bit puzzling. Taking a taxi might be the best options, especially being them so cheap. Expect to pay no more than 2 Eur from downtown to this place.

Vrmac Fortress, Kotor, Montenegro

Posted: January 4, 2012 in Montenegro

This post starts with sad words: I just found out the folder with the pictures of one of my best days traveling through the Western Balkans just vanished. And this place was what made such day so bright! This means the included pictures aren’t so good and diverse as I would like, being taken from the post of my traveling blog.

I found this fortress while walking on a hiking trail which departs from the nearby town of Kotor. The fortress is currently abandoned and it can therefore be thoroughly explored. There is a single entrance spot, the window next to the main gate, which had its iron grid taken.

Kotor, then Cattaro, was a part of the Dalmatian province of the Austrian, and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until the end of WWI. It was an important naval port with strong fortifications.

In the ground floor there are basically dormitories and storage rooms; then, on the first floor, the gun emplacements. I don’t know what kind of guns used to be there but I counted 6 or 7 emplacements, with some plates from Skoda factories. Last floor, which is basically an attic, has several machine-guns emplacements and an exit to the roof. All of this is in perfect conditions and can be explored, as I said.

There are rumors that the whole place was bought but so far no word regarding future plans. I guess I have to rush and return there for another set of amazing pictures. I can’t live with the idea of my pictographic loss!