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The_Raw

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Everything posted by The_Raw

  1. The history of the Albanian Navy dates back to 1925, following the creation of the Albanian Republic. Albanian naval forces operate out of two main bases; Bishti-i-Palles in Durrës, and Pasha Liman in Vlorë, with four reserve bases respectively in Shëngjin, Porto Palermo, Saranda and a submarine base on Sazan island. The vessels of the Albanian naval force are mostly patrol craft and support craft as well as four whisky class submarines (Soviet Union built in the early Cold War period) which have been taken out of service at Pasha Liman. In Shëngjin a Soviet built minesweeper M-111 and an AFD-115 gunship remain abandoned at the entrance to a bunker. The Albanian navy still operates out of Shëngjin in a low capacity so it's still an active military zone but you are allowed to drive through it to reach a beach resort on the other side. Handy for us! Visited with adders, extreme_ironing, otter and reenie. Here's what we found.... AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M-111 - A mine warfare ship designed for the location of and destruction of naval mines which combines the role of a minesweeper and minehunter in one hull. Minesweepers are equipped with mechanical or electrical devices, known as "sweeps", for disabling mines, so waterways are maintained clear for safe shipping. This one appears to have been disused since 1996 (the date of a calendar on board), just prior to the Albanian civil war, when many vessels of the Albanian navy were seriously damaged. Behind it sits this half-submerged AFD P115 - Albanian Navy gunship (Chinese type 62 "Shanghai-II") which has had its 57mm gun mount removed They sit in front of the entrance to a navigable bunker which was inaccessible. Another entrance parallel was also sealed although we reached the blast door for that one The AFD Mujo Ulqinaku M111 was named after Mujo Ulqinaku, an Albanian sergeant of the Royal Albanian Navy, known for his resistance to the Italian forces during the Italian Invasion of Albania in 1939. Armed with only a machine gun, he was placed at the centre of the defense line and fought uninterruptedly until he was eventually killed by an artillery shell from an Italian warship in the last hour of the battle. He was given the People's Hero of Albania award posthumously. On board the AFD - M111 An old gun at the front You can see an active patrol boat moored up on the left of the shot Inside the AFD - M111 Communications cabin A small engine room Hatches and squat toilets Kitchen All the cabins were locked except for this one Some old military posters Back on land, this AFD S104 - Huchuan class 'motor torpedo boat' is waiting to be scrapped. Powered by Soviet-era engines, these hydrofoil-equipped boats are capable of 50 knots (93 km/h; 58 mph) and carry two torpedo tubes for torpedoes, with some known to be armed with naval mines. A few dilapidated buildings remain nearby This building to the left was manned but we were just out of view so we took a quick peek at these old military vehicles Some rusty torpedoes lay on the ground alongside one of them A couple of old trucks overgrown by vegetation above the bunker. We were aware of someone from the base heading in our direction at this point so we hopped in the car and made tracks We made it to the beach resort on the other side of the military zone where unfortunately the pigs were waiting for us. Thankfully they just grunted a bit and we were on our way ? Just in time to catch the sunset! Thanks for looking
  2. Aha good old cloud house. I quite enjoyed it in there
  3. That's pretty cool mate. Glad they're doing something with it
  4. What an epic building. Reminds me a bit of Terry's in York from the outside and with the glass dome. Your lens needs a wipe though m8 😉
  5. I quite like that mate. Some nice features in there even if it's a bit knackered
  6. That's cool. I like the weird shaped mirrors on the outside in pic 4
  7. Very interesting. Where does the entrance lead to?
  8. That's nice Mikey. Quite a lot of stuff on offer at that site
  9. Cheers, I've edited the title for you. Looks like a great location for a party
  10. Tkvarcelli was an important coal mining town in the war torn region of Abkhazia, a de facto independent republic which remains internationally recognised as part of Georgia. During the Abkhazian war (from 1992 to 93), Tkvarcheli withstood, through Russian humanitarian and military aid, an uneasy siege by the Georgian forces. As a result of the war the town's industries all but stopped and its population has since decreased from approximately 22,000 to just 5,000 people. Abkhazia is on the list of places where the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advises against all travel. There is no UK consulate support if anything goes wrong so if you were to lose your passport for example, you'd be pretty fucked. With that in mind, and having read a few horror stories of tourists being aggressively robbed around Tkvarcelli, we were pretty skeptical about coming here. Thanks to some advice from @Olkka, who visited earlier in the year, we chose to hire a driver who knew the area well and we didn't encounter any problems. Top tip of the day - take a bottle of vodka for the guys demolishing the power plant and you'll be reet. Tkvarcelli power plant has seen better days. On the upper levels there were holes in the floor everywhere, hidden by overgrown plants and moss. We tried to be extra careful although it was difficult to tell if any structure we were standing on was safe. There were workers actively demolishing the roof above one end of the plant as well so we had to stick to the opposite end. Thankfully that's where all the good stuff was. The only other obstacle was the squatters but they didn't seem to mind us being there. Workers were sporadically dropping huge sections of roof onto the ground from above Much has been dismantled The Squatters Manoeuvring around this building was so sketchy These stairs were clinging on by dear life. We went up these but the stairs above were completely mangled Nope Coal conveyor chute Control Room. Pretty battered but I loved it in here The central turbine. I may have got a bit carried away photographing this. It would be amazing to have seen this in its hey day. Akarmara was a nearby mining town. Wars and economic change have emptied the town of the 5,000 people who lived there in the 1970s leaving it pretty much a ghost town. Now it is estimated only 35 people remain. It's completely cut off except for a rocky road full of potholes that takes around an hour to navigate. On our arrival we were greeted by some strange looks from the elderly locals, although the local children seemed fascinated by us and one accompanied us for our whole time there. It's a very surreal place where buildings that have a light outside signify that they are lived in. This is to ward off any looters. None of the buildings look lived in otherwise as they are all falling apart. The train station has been completely reclaimed by the forest. This building was completely trashed except for one flat in the middle inhabited by a young family. Thanks for looking.
  11. No we hired a driver for the day and he was from Tkvarcelli so we had no issues. If you stay in Sukhum city hostel the owner can help you
  12. The_Raw

    Busting

    I don't see what point you are trying to get across other than the fact you are cool with people vandalising derelict buildings, which is a strange thing to come out with on your first post. I can't see you making many friends on here if you think like that
  13. Very enjoyable reading your reports TBM. Good to see you getting back on it
  14. Blimey that's an impressive house. Great report mate
  15. Some great pics there mate. Need to get myself a film camera some time
  16. That's pretty nice. The radio collection is amazing!
  17. Wow that's pretty awesome. Lots of stuff like this in Wales
  18. That's amazing Andy. I've not seen any photos from here before
  19. Looks like the perfect place to smoke some crack ?
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