Alright, so it’s not like I forgot to post, I just ran out of time on Wednesday and yesterday when I started this post. Wednesday, work was crazy busy and when I got home, I feel asleep at the computer instead of on the couch like I usually do. I suppose I could have written a post during my lunch on Wednesday, but that was spent looking at pictures of abandoned and derelict amusement parks and buildings. Yesterday though, I actually started this post, but I got all distracted looking at more pictures and getting links to said pictures. Last night my SLP and I went to Menards to get some ideas for kitchen flooring, new siding for the house, shingles for the roof and other home improvement things as well as a weed whacker. I thought about finishing this last night, but after Menards we went out to dinner and I got a margarita. Wow.. I hadn’t had a drink with booze in it for a while and that tequila hit me like a ton of bricks and kicked my ass. I got sooo sleepy. Granted, I haven’t been going to bed at a decent time lately, staying up reading or writing or playing Simpsons Tapped Out.
Anyway, I have no idea why, but that stuff fascinates me. Maybe it’s seeing nature reclaim the land that was cleared for whatever is there. Or maybe it’s seeing an amusement park that used to have a ton of happy and excited people pass through its gates now looking so forlorn and empty. I would love for the opportunity to go to an abandoned amusement park to explore and take pictures. It would be creepy and really exciting at the same time.
I came across Michael John Grist’s site while Google-ing abandoned amusement parks. He has taken some amazing and beautiful photos of the places he’s been to. One of my favorite sets is from Nara Dreamland (pictures here), a derelict amusement park that is a knock off of Disney Land. So I’ve been spending most of my free time looking at all the pictures he’s got. One of the sets that made me really sad were the pictures (pictures here) of Oradou-sur-Glane, a village in France. For that one, the pictures on his site are from other people. It’s just a sad story from World War II. Nearly everyone in the village, including three people passing through the village on bikes were massacred by a German Waffen-SS company. The women and children were locked in the church while the men were locked in barns and gunned down with machine-guns. After the men were killed, shot in the legs to prolong the pain of death, the soldiers covered them with fuel and set the barns on fire. The soldiers then went to the church and burned it down with the women and children in it.
Another set of photos that made me quite sad were pictures he took of the Hiroshima A-bomb Dome (pictures here). I’m not going to go into the bombing of Hiroshima here because there are tons of other places that you can read about it in more detail. The dome was originally the Hiroshima Trade Promotion Hall and was only 150 meters away from the blast hypocenter. Per one of the captions under a picture it says “The Genbaku Dome was originally scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the ruins, but the fact that it was mostly intact delayed these plans. As Hiroshima was rebuilt around the dome, it became a subject of controversy; some locals wanted it torn down, while others wanted to preserve it as a memorial of the bombing.” There is also a peace museum as well and documents the aftermath of the bombing.
In the film Hannah (one movie I will always watch if it’s on tv because I love it and the music in it), part of the film takes place in the abandoned Spreepark in Berlin. Spreepark started out as Kulturpark Plänterwald in 1969 and in 1989 the name was changed to Spreepark Berlin. In 2001, the park closed and in 2002 the park owner moved to Peru to set up another park there called Lunapark. The owner failed in his attempt to run the new park so he moved back to Berlin and tried to smuggle 180 kg of cocaine from Peru to Germany in the masts of the flying carpet ride. Apparently, since 2011 there have been guided tours of the park at restricted times. Pictures of Spreepark
Something else that has always fascinated me is the town of Pripyat that is within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (pictures here). That is just another massively sad story of what happened at Chernobyl and the people of the town. A message on local radio was that an accident occurred at the plant, but made it sound like the damage and radiation was localized. Another thing I’ve recently read about Pripyat was that the Ferris wheel, for many years was thought to be unused, may have been as pictures have surfaced somewhere showing it being used. Like the caption says for the picture of the Ferris wheel on the page I liked in this paragraph, the Ferris wheel may have been used in the 36 hours between the incident and the evacuation to take the focus off the plant while they were assessing the situation.
And now because I’m massively lazy, here are a bunch of links to other sets of pictures from abandoned places and other awesome things.