!/~tuupola/oldimages/33t.jpg (Outside Paldiski nuclear submarin training center)!:/~tuupola/oldimages/33.jpg Walking inside abandoned nuclear submarine training center can give you the creeps.
Few days ago we made a trip with two friends to city of Paldiski. Paldiski became Soviet nuclear submarine training center in 1962. Whole city was closed and surrounded by barbed wire until 1994. It was inhabitated by aproximately 16000 Soviet military personnel. Today number of inhabitants is around 4000. Most of them russian speaking. City has been in state of decay for a while. With recent development things seem to look better.
!/~tuupola/oldimages/34t.jpg (Corridors inside Paldiski submarine training center)!:/~tuupola/oldimages/34.jpg First we tried to find the old nuclear submarine training center. It would have been really obvious building. Still managed to miss it. Instead we found the two old small experimental nuclear reactors. They served as training center for prospective Soviet submariners. Waste produced at this facility was stored on sight and at a remote sight near Saku (27 km from Tallinn). Reactors were shut down in 1989. Today, with help of European Union, they are building sargographs to keep the radiation levels down. We could not get in the reactor area. Instead the helpfull guard told us where the training center was. Note to friends and relatives: I am not glowing in dark.
With second try we found the training center. Parked our car next to it and started the journey. Comparing to old photographs it seems half of it has already been torn down. Still, the complex was huge. I guess the buildings were closed but it was easy to get in. There was broken glass in huge stairways and long corridors everywhere. I was not quite sure if someone lived there. Some fresh cigarette stumps and smell of urine suggested we might pop into someone.
!/~tuupola/oldimages/35t.jpg (Posters found inside living quarters)!:/~tuupola/oldimages/35.jpg After wondering pointlesly in first building we moved to second. You could only hear wind and pigeons flying. Opening a door made authentic scary movie sound. Second building was only two storey building. Maybe living quarters for more privileged people. Maybe officers? One room still had some posters on the wall.
Third place where got in was school area. Old teachingrooms still had signs on the door. By closing our eyes we were able to imagine how this place was vivid and full of students before. One room had deep swimming pool. Perhaps underwater operation training?
This place was a new experience to me. It is not hard to imagine how the area looked in 80’s. Can’t wait for the next adventure in abandoned places. Next stop outskirts of Narva… Thanks Vidrik and Kulla!