Sunday, July 21, 2013

Balaklava, It's Not Just A Ski Mask Anymore

During our trip to the Crimea we stopped at the tiny little city of Balaklava which is located on the Black Sea.  During the Cold War the city was closed to foreigners because under this hillside in the port was located a Soviet nuclear submarine base.  

Today fisherman fish on the dock across from the entrance to the base.

Today the base is open to the public and it is definitely a place you should see if you ever get a chance to come to Ukraine.  We were the first visitors of the day as we didn't have too much time in the city and so as we walked along the hallways we were the only ones around.

When Anthony Bourdain visited Ukraine for No Reservations he also took time to visit the base commenting on how haunting it is to walk around it today.

As you walked along the hallway you would come across the odd torpedo now and again.

You could easily loose your way while walking around so they have these lights around the base to direct you where to go.

When it wasn't a torpedo on display they had many models of the submarines and ships that were a part of the Soviet navy.

I liked this anchor symbol on a tiny door that was padlocked shut.  I think the setting of a great horror movie could be located behind that door.

More torpedoes.

One of the more creepy hallways.  Again, no one else in sight.

Here's a great photo of what you would face if the base was ever locked down: doors that were several feet thick.

Towards the end of the tour we met on of the security guards who was very happy to give us a personal tour in English.  He was very proud of his English skills and was even more proud of the base's museums.

He showed us the command consoles that would have been used to launch a nuclear missle.

A radiation suit.

At the end of the tour you come out in the long entry way in which ships could enter and be fixed in the dry dock.  

Yet another creepy moment.  

After walking down that hall and around the corner we came back out into the sunlight and was greeted with the sight of a pile of old torpedoes.  Just another day in Ukraine!

As we continued down the road from the base we found the entrance to the naturally made port that only had one tiny entry point.

And it was obvious why this city was chosen to be the home of the secret base.

We also met a little friend who looks like he's had a long tough life in Balaklava.

No comments:

Post a Comment