“The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.”
The Saturday before Easter, one of my best friends was taken from us without warning.
I first met Jens back in 2013 on a spontaneous visit to "his" abandoned sanatorium - a lonely place on top of a mountain where he had chosen to live with his pack of sleigh dogs. He offered us coffee, showed us the place and told stories. The little time we had just flew by. This first meeting was special. We had immediately connected on a really cool level, and my wife and I only reluctantly left that evening. We returned a few months later, and then again...and again. Over the years, a real friendship developed. Jens and "his" mountain became the place for us to be grounded, to meet new people, learn new things - and have barbecue ;)
We felt at home there, and Jens was the reason for that.
I still can't believe that he is gone and that I won't see him anymore walking quickly over his premises, feeding his dogs, riding the sleigh or building something new.
What remains are the great memories of adventure, of long talks by the campfire at night, the hunts for trespassers trying to jump the fence and of surprising visits to cool places that nobody else knew of.
And what will remain are the friendships that developed with the people we met on the mountain. That is Jens' legacy - he brought people together. People of different ages, religions, political views. People that came because of the dogs, people that came because of the sanatorium - in the end everyone came for Jens and for all the things that made this place so unique.
Thank you, Jens, for your friendship.
Thank you for everything you gave us!
We'll meet again by the great campfire in the sky!!!
There is no verifiable information regarding this building in the Northeastern part of Germany. It used to be the officers' casino of the local Soviet garrison that had been stationed there since the 1950s.
The type of construction shows that it was not an older German building that had been reused but was probably built by the Soviets themselves.
The garrison was abandoned in the early 1990s, and after that, no use was found for the old building.....(more)
This area was a part of a large military site that existed since 1913 and was in operation until 1990. Originally founded as a base for navy aircraft in 1913, the place became one of the main starting bases for the "Operation Weserübung", the attack on Denmark and Norway, in April of 1940.
After World War II, the buildings were used to accomodate refugees until in 1954, planning began for a base for the East German police (Volkspolizei).
In 1956, the naval polive was integrated in the East German Army, the base was expanded with living quarters for the soldiers and ...(more)
Only a short while after my first visit to this place, I got the chance for a short revisit. My niece worked for a German radio station at the time, and they had her do a short piece about urban exploring. So we drove up to Denmark, so I could show her the abandoned house that we had discovered a few weeks earlier.
My niece had been on tour with us once before, so she wasn't completely new to the hobby of urban exploration. We parked in the same spot where we had parked for our last visit, walked around the house, and the window was still open. My niece was recording everything, asking questions and ....(more)