Sunday, 28 February 2010

cottonwood, military spy bases, and nazi schools

lets get married down by the cottonwood

lets get married down by the cottonwood

lets get married down by the cottonwood

lets get married down by the cottonwood

I have been sick all week and then some with a nasty cold. I couldn't go to work and I basically had to stay in bed all day, which is pretty relaxing and fun for the first day or so, but after that it feel like a tedious form of punishment. So when Luke suggested another day trip this Saturday to Teufelsberg in Grunewald, it was all the excuse I needed to get out of the house.

Perusal our destination looked very clear on the map but when we got there, we wandered vaguely in the forest for what felt like hours before we finally stumbled upon this place. The steep path up was canopied by ethereal cottonwood and felt very much like another fairy land. We were the only souls about.

Finally we saw the white domes and knew we had found the compound. Hidden in the middle of this dense forest is Teufelsberg, an abandoned spy base built by the US military to keep tabs on the former GDR. If that weren't intriguing enough, it was built on top of a man made mound of old World War II rubble, and at the very base is a former Nazi technical college that was too hard to destroy so they just built up. As a result, they created the highest point in all Berlin (the better to spy on you with, my dear).

abandoned army base in Grunewald berlin

abandoned army base in Grunewald berlin

The site has been abandoned for years and in a vain attempt to keep people out, it is surrounded by three fences topped with barbed wire. These measure are still not enough to keep out vandals, tourists, and other interested parties who are not afraid to use wire cutters and the cover of darkness to get in and do some real exploring. There were hundreds of cuts, and repairs to the fence that it began to look like a piece of war rubble as well.

abandoned army base in Grunewald berlin

We walked around the entire fenced compound for a long time, but did not go in. Luke did some sound recordings of the canvas on the domes flapping in the wind. Birds were singing, the sun was out, and the cottonwood swayed in the breeze. It was beautiful.

I hope you have some adventures this weekend too.


Chavah said...

I'm sick as well, resting today for the busy week ahead. What a great find, love the photos.

lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts said...

Wow, that was one place we were told we must visit while in Berlin but didn't make it there. The people we stayed with go up there and break in all the time- and have some amazing videos to show for it. I am more than jealous Kimberlee!

sonya said...

It looks and sounds amazing Kimberlee, so filmic. Hope you're feeling better now x s

victoria said...

That tree - I'm assuming it's called cottonwood - is so very beautiful. I would love to see one in real life.