Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Abandoned Ufa Observatory

This post was definitely one of my most favorites to write! The weekend of March 5-8 I had a four days off of work. Anton, Katherine, and I had plans to go to Yekaterinburg, and I was so excited! We had our hotel booked, bus tickets reserved, and we were packed. Then, at 10:30 p.m. on March 4th, the bus company called and told us they cancelled the 7 a.m. ride to Yekaterinburg. I was devastated, and it was too late to book another ride. I was so mad, so mad in fact that I'm extremely embarrassed about how I acted because of it. We won't talk about that. :)

The next morning I was trying to figure out something to do because I didn't want to waste the weekend. I love finding off the road or abandoned places. Actually, I love just finding and photographing things that aren't really popular or well-known. I like to do the touristy thing, but I get so much more excitement hidden places. I decided to search for abandoned places in the area. The only thing that came up was this observatory but from the one picture I could find I had no idea where it could be. At almost the same moment I was about to ask Anton if he knew he came into the room and asked if I wanted to go to an abandoned building he knew about. When I showed him the observatory he said that was the building! It was such a crazy moment, like we were connecting through brain waves. Is that what makes a good significant other? ;) I've tried looking for information on the observatory to get some history of it, but I haven't been able to find anything on it. Of course, all my searches are in English, so I should probably work on my Russian so I can learn about it.
As we were walking we passed these old houses that had been burnt at some point. It would have been so cool to get closer and take photos, but there was just too much snow. When I was finished Anton pointed to a house across the street. He thought it was funny because it looks like there are four different houses that someone put together to make one. I laughed because it does. Then he told me I should take a picture of it. I kind of wanted to anyways because it was so colorful.

Poor Anton. I bet he was thinking, "This girl is making me hold her purse, dragging me through this snow, and won't stop taking pictures of me." When I was done we walked towards the observatory but literally had no idea how to actually get to it. We came to a fence but figured their had to be an easier way to get to it so we back tracked a bit and walked down a road.
When we came to the "road" that looked like it could get us there we were greeted by four dogs who then started barking at us. I was so scared someone was going to come out and yell at us for being on private property or that the dogs were going to kill us. I think those things only happen in America though. When we got to the end there was no path just a giant pile of snow. I was contemplating what to do when Anton said we should just climb it and go. When we got to the top of the pile we saw a lot of foot prints leading to the observatory so we felt good. The 20 feet from the pile to the observatory was like a game of Russian roulette because you didn't know if the next step would send your foot down knee deep in snow (see what I did there?). When we finally got to the observatory there was no snow around so it was easy to take pictures.
I was super nervous to get close because I had watched American Horror Story: Asylum a few months ago and I thought something would jump out at me. This is why I don't like scary movies. I think Anton even asked, "Why do you like creepy things like this?" That's not a direct quote. It was just so cool to take photos of it though. Inside you could see trash and old blankets like people either lived there or stayed there over night. All the floors were either removed or were rotted out so the observatory was basically a shell. There was no door but there were large gaps in the window where you could enter. I was too afraid to go inside even though there really wasn't anything to be scared of since you could see everything just by looking in. The view from where the observatory stood was amazing as well.
As we were leaving we spotted one of the dogs just hanging out on the snow pile. It was so cute and looked so gentle. He even let me take his picture. After we visited the observatory my mood was 100x better. I can't even explain how much better I felt. Is it weird that I got so much joy from looking at something so dilapidated? I hope to find more awesome places like this before I leave! Sorry to all my friends and family who wanted pictures of culture and food, I guess I'm not the best person for the job!


  1. I love this. Fun random adventure!

  2. Talk about a silver lining :) Very cool how everything worked out for you that weekend! And that friendly snow dog at the end- so adorable...

    PS: Here's a post you might enjoy: ex-Moscow blogger + abandoned buildings-

  3. Sorry to break it to you so many years later but it's an old water pump, not an abandoned observatory :-(

    1. Didn't I mention that? I knew it was that but then I thought they tried to make it into an observatory.


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