history, Russia, traveling

(Not-So-)Urban Exploring in Russia.

This is the story of a quick exploration into the forests somewhere in Russia in order to search for forgotten ruins of a farm that a friend’s family used to own back in the beginning of the 20th century.


As the old story goes they used to own a farm located nearby where this road nowadays goes.

This is where we stepped into the wild…

With the help of a map drawn by an elderly relative of my friend (and a couple of more maps in actual books) we were able to locate the exact place where we should stop and park the car in order to hop into the forest.

And indeed – we did found something!


Could you believe that there used to be a proper cellar in the middle of where this picture was taken? Maybe I just don’t have the eye for archaeology but I probably couldn’t have spotted the place. Luckily my friends were more of an experts than me!


The farm used to be a small-scale lemonade factory back in the days in the 1930’s. This is the old well where they (and apparently some of their neighbours too in the time of droughts) got their water from.


No wonder this particular area of the forest was FILLED with mosquitoes which tend to like dark and moist places. In the picture above you may distantly see small ‘canals’ that were used to getting the water where they wanted. The terrain might look quite flat but in reality the bottom of the canals were all deep and muddy – clearly still regularly filled with natural water at a times.


The last site that we were able to locate was the place where the main house used to be. The old grandpa had a memory of ‘blue flowers’ blossoming right next to where one side of the house was built. My friend was quick to notice the plants (Aconitum napellus) growing in a surprisingly straight line just next to the spruce trees.


After this trip, I was left to wonder about all the forgotten historical places where people might have one day lived before having to flee because of war or move to a better place; perhaps a bigger city with better working possibilities. Sometimes the species of plants once gardened by humans may be the only remains marking the settlement after the man-made structures have collapsed, rotted and taken over by wild plants.

With the help of my friend, the harebell plant (Campanula rotundifolia) above, I wish you a mysterious and most inspiring day!