I am a fledgling urban explorer. Urban exploration, or urbex in shorthand, is the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment. Photography and historical interest/documentation are heavily featured in the hobby and it may sometimes involve trespassing onto private property (thanks, Wikipedia!). Urbex is becoming more and more popular as a mainstream travel interest, evident by this year’s induction of cultural industrial complexes to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
My interest in urbex started with our visit to Chiatura in Georgia last year, and is largely intertwined with my interest in Soviet/Communist era brutal (and largely abandoned) architecture. The former Soviet states are an urban explorers dreams, with many former Soviet military and government buildings empty for the exploring. So when we (let’s be real, when I), started planning our Baltic Road Trip Honeymoon™, I knew urbex would figure prominently into our plans. You can read posts I’ve written on urbex in Estonia in Tallinn and in the nearby Lahemaa National Park. Read more