THE URBAN EXPLORER

Welcome to The Urban Explorer blog! We have stories about urban exploration from around the world, from interesting public places to hidden, exploded bunkers with rebar pointing all the wrong ways.

More urban exploration-related articles:

Ruins of the Bemböle Watermill
Can you drive by something for 20 years, and not be aware of the wonders just few meters from the road? You can. I had not heard about the Bemböle watermill ruins.
Full story

June 2017, Bembölen vanha mylly, Espoo, Finland
Urban-Exploration (Ruins); Caving (Man-Made)

Dead Cat Margarine
Dead cats were blended into margarine and fed to humans. We're going to a secret, abandoned tunnel to meet the ghosts of the cats. But it won't be easy to get there.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017, Undisclosed Finnish location, Finland
Urban-Exploration (Tunnels); Caving (Man-Made)

Abandoned railroad tunnel
Today's evening excursion was to an abandoned railroad tunnel. The tunnel is 600 meters long, and in the middle of everything, at a place I've been many times, but I had never heard about the tunnel before.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

April 2017, Undisclosed location, Helsinki, Finland
Urban-Exploration (Tunnels); Caving (Man-Made)

Hvitträsk Rock Paintings
Lazy Saturday, and all nearby caves have already been visited! Janne and I decided to visit a rock painting in the lake shores of the Hvitträsk lake in Kirkkonummi.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

November 2016, Hvitträsk cliff, Kirkkonummi, Finland
History; Hiking; Urban-Exploration (Historic-Sites)

Monttukrouvi
This lazy Saturday's program for me and Janne was to visit some of the bunkers and moats around Helsinki's WWI defence structures. There are plenty of these structures, sadly all slowly rotting away. Historic sites, officially almost forgotten and certainly not cared for.
Full story

September 2016, Pirkkola, Helsinki, Finland
Caving (Man-Made); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

OpenStreetMap
When skiing or hiking at a new place, suitable maps are essential. These maps can be hard to come by, however, and most GPS maps do not contain information about walking paths, ski slopes or lifts. OpenStreetMap, however, has a lot of good information, and I have been using it in off-piste skiing, finding ski areas, and hiking around the world.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2015, Los Arenales, Araucania, Chile
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts); Climbing (Mountain); Urban-Exploration (Ski-Lifts)

Bunker Bouldering
A blown-up bunker. Debris. Darkness. Bats. Concrete rising to the heights. Walls hanging where they should not be. An ideal climbing place, if it wasn't for the grim past of this place and the morbid pictures of soldiers.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2015, Humboldthain Flaktürme, Berlin, Germany
Climbing (Wall); Caving (Man-Made); Urban-Exploration (Bunkers)

London Ice Climbing
Have ice axe. Will travel to London to go ice climbing. My cab driver thinks that is the weirdest thing he has heard his customers do. I think that if it is true, then his rides have been pretty boring.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

May 2015, Vertical Chill, London, United Kingdom
Climbing (Ice); Urban-Exploration (Buildings)

Skiing Africa... by Mule
Avalanche pack, check. Skis, check. Mule, check. I am sitting on a mule, on my way to the ski slopes in Oukaïmeden in the Atlas mountains of Morocco.
Full story
(TGR version)
(Suomenkielinen versio)

February 2015, Oukaïmeden, Morocco
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts); Climbing (Mountain); Urban-Exploration (Ski-Lifts, Buildings)

Middle Earth
Desperation, n. Travel to the end of the world in search of snow, and then find none. Lose your favourite tools, the skis. So desperate that you consider taking up heli-biking, but end up gliding on your butt in an imaginary world instead.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2014, Hobbiton, Middle Earth, New Zealand
Sliding (Grass); Urban-Exploration (Amusement-Parks)

Ich bin ein Berlin(ski)er
The Berg - a creation by architect Jakob Tigges - is the latest source of pride for Berliners. This artificial mountain covers almost the entire Tempelhof, an old airport. A park like no other. And I am in Berlin to make the first descent!
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2014, Tempelhof airport, Berlin, Germany; Arkko summer cottage, Teisko, Finland
Skiing (Outdoor, Substance-Other); Urban-Exploration (Airports)

Volcan Copahue
So close, yet so far. I wanted so much to ski down from Volcán Copahue (2953 meters), but despite trying very hard it was not going to happen.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

August 2012, Caviahue, Argentina
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts); Climbing (Mountain); Urban-Exploration (Ruins, Buildings); Swimming (Outdoor, Thermal-Bath, Water, Waterbody-Lake)

Midnight Sun at Riksgransen
Many of my friends are regulars at Riksgränsen. But I had never been to this place that calls itself "Sweden's most legendary ski area". The legends are true. It is an amazing place. For starters, we were there in midsummer, skiing at midnight. In bright sunshine! The ski area is far above the arctic circle, and for about two months in the summer the sun does not set.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012, Riksgränsen, Sweden
Skiing (Outdoor, Snow, Lifts); Afterski; Sauna (Normal); Urban-Exploration (Buildings)

Ice Climbing in Espoo. In June.
It is Sunday, +10 degrees, raining heavily, and it is the middle of summer in southern Finland. What should I do? Go ice climbing in Espoo, obviously.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012, Mankkaan lumenkaatopaikka, Mankkaa, Espoo, Finland
Climbing (Ice); Urban-Exploration (Landfills)

Venice. Fail.
It is the first time this has happened to me, honestly. I am embarrassed. I failed to find skiing on a trip.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012, Venice, Italy
Travel; Urban-Exploration (Bridges, Skating-Rinks)

Two Feet High
We went to Matinkylä, southern Espoo today. One of the largest shopping malls in Finland, Iso Omena ("Big Apple") is located in Matinkylä. But they are also known as the site of M2, a mountain with icy slopes even in the middle of the summer. The steep slopes of M2 rise a whopping two feet above the surrounding landscape, scaring skiers and mountaineers alike. Indeed, very few climbers have climbed it.
Full story
(Suomenkielinen versio)

June 2012, Matinkyla, Finland
Skiing (Outdoor, Imported-Snow); Urban-Exploration (Skating-Rinks)

This is the 10th set of articles. The previous sets were set 1, set 2, set 3, set 4, set 5, set 6, set 7, set 8, and set 9. The next set is set 11.

The Urban Explorer articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, climbing, cycling, caving, flying, swimming, and saunas.