Archive for August, 2012

Torres Pinto S.A. – Faro, Portugal

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Portugal

Not far from the city center a huge area of abandoned buildings provides a perfect scenario for each lover of industrial archaeology. The company Torres Pinto S.A. was based in these grounds in a neighbourhood named Bom João, located between the marshy area of Ria de Faro and the town. The complex of storehouses, offices, raw materials processing and shipping facilities had a building area of 20.300 sqm, in a total area of about 55.000 sqm. The main activity of the factory was the processing of raw cork.

In 1996 a state of bankrupcy was declared and the work came to a halt. Finally, in early 2010 the property was brought to public auction (I couldn’t find data regarding the outcome of the auction).

I found this place by accident, while trying to get to a nearby supermarket.  I can add that there is a second abandoned factory confining with Torres Pinto, offering equally interesting features.

The place has some unpleasant inhabitants. Homeless and gipsies. Be careful and aware of risks. This is not totally harmless people. Otherwise entering the facilities it’s easy, the gate is wide open.  Coordinates of the entrance: N 37° 00.883 W 007° 54.998



From Wikipedia:

Donax is a genus of small, edible saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks. The genus is sometimes known as bean clams; however, Donax species have various common names in different parts of the world.

I agree this is not proper urbex. There is a boat, a beach… not exactly nothing urban on the scene. But definitely something very explorable!

Donax is a boat, an old fishing boat which was being used by IPIMAR. What the hell is IPIMAR? Here:

The IPIMAR is the Public Research organisation in Portugal in the area of fisheries and is the institution responsible for managing research and giving advice in relation to the fishing policy on behalf of the Portuguese government.

So, what happened to Donax? The story goes like this… IPIMAR got a new boat, someone bought the old one, Donax, for a ridiculously low amount. The idea was to use the boat in touristic trips… diving tours, fishing, wildlife spotting, etc. But something went wrong along the way… it could be lack of funds, or the damn bureaucracy. Truth is the guy who invested in the boat quit the project. So he left her there, on the beach, alone and abandoned. There is an old sign saying “For Sale” but it’s broken and barely readable.

Being a small boat, it won’t take much of your time. No more than 15 minutes to fully explore. But it’s a great visit. Extremely picturesque in small scale. You have the navigation devices and the radio still in the captain’s room; you have the bedroom, the engine room, the toilette room. And the colors, and the rust, and the surrounding beach. Fun, fun, fun!

Of course you can combine a day on the beach with this visit. To get to the place, you will have to get a ferry in Olhão.  Donax is located in Armona islet. There is a boat leaving every hour. In 2012 the cost of a roundtrip ticket was 3,60 Eur. I am not even going to bother providing coordinates. Donax is bout 200 meters East of the ferry pier.

SAM Base, Sevastopol, Ukraine

Posted: August 12, 2012 in Ukraine

Hey! Don’t be fooled by the title of this entry. To be honest, I don’t know if this site used to be a SAM base. But accordingly to my observation and experience, I am almost sure. The underground bunkers are just like the storage spaces I observed in other places of the same kind, namely in Czech Republic, and I could see two platforms which would be perfect for parking mobile SAM launchers and supporting equipment.

Then, of course, there is a number of assorted buildings and smaller bunkers, perfectly suitable for accommodation of garrison, command office and so on. Sadly most of the structures are strongly damaged and defaced by graffiti. Not specially exciting for me, as I am so familiar with these small Soviet made facilities, but for the newcomer it might be of some interest.

Still about the possibility of the place being a SAM base, it just makes sense. A place like Sevastopol should be protected by any air attack, and this place has the perfect location to cover, at least partially, the approach route to Sevastopol.

It’s not hard to find the way there. It will involved some driving in dirt roads, but a normal car should be able to make it. These are the coordinates: N44 31.731 E33 28.473

Now pay attention. If you wanna see something interesting, even if from a certain distance, keep driving until you reach  44° 31.363’N  33° 28.945’E. Preferably leave your car about 200 meters before. Approximately in those coordinates there is a gate. Do NOT even think about trespassing. These are military facilities still in use and you will be able to see some tactical missiles mobile launchers parked there. Awesome!

The gate! Do NOT trespass this one!

Military Hospital in Sevastopol

Posted: August 6, 2012 in Ukraine

Not much to say about this one, really. In the day of my arrival to Sevastopol my host brought me (and a co-hosted Russian traveler) for some sightseeing and urban exploration. After visiting the submarine facility in Balaklava we proceeded to this spot, which I had previously identified and located on Google Earth.

We brought the car just because… well, why not… but otherwise, if you visit Balaklava it’s easily walkable although it’s uphill. Just follow the road leading the the submarine base museum, and start walk up. This abandoned building will be on your right. Please consider that once in there I noticed a similar building just in front, but I had not the chance to explore that one. My fellows were not so excited about this place so I didn’t even mentioned the other one.

I know nothing about this building. I found it in another Urbex website (sorry, forgot which one) and there wasn’t much info there besides the reference of being a former Military Hospital. Which makes a lot of sense, considering the location and the layout of the building.

The structure it’s easily accessible, offering great views over Balaklava and surroundings. Access to the attic is possible. I wonder why the basement was blocked by a brick wall.

Coordinates:  44° 29.741’N  33° 35.382’E

Oh! Meanwhile I found my original reference, where you can watch further pictures of the place: