You May Look But You May Not Enter

The summer was over, leaves fell and darkness poured to Finland. I returned to my studies and the days were now so short, that you really couldn’t consider any photography realated adventured at all. Not that I had anything to photograph. My friends hadn’t tipped me about any new abandoned placess, and the ones I found myself were inaccessible.

For one reason or another as a part of my strange adventures I ended up becoming a group leader for a theatre party’s tour to Eastern Finland, an area, which I rarely visited. All in all the visit was close to a catastrophe: there was drama among the group members, who barely spoke with each other by the time the show was about to start. Two performers fell ill, nobody had signed the bills for the accomondation and meals, and nobody in the party was authorized to do that. Oh, and we also had to guard one of the performers so that the person would not behave too unprofessionally.

Apart from that it was a nice getaway from my hectic everyday life. We stayed at a very beautiful old building, which had been a municipal home for elderly people and was now rented out for tourists. We got there late in the evening, had dinner and while the sauna was getting warm, our host wanted to take us for an evening walk.

”There’s something nearby you might like”, he said, and led us into darkness. We walked some way along the highway before turning to a dark alley surrounded by trees.

At the end of the alley we found this. A long two-storey building, which, our local guide told us, was a former mental asylum. Built in the 50’s it was closed down the previous year, and was looking for new owners.

The blinds were shut and the place was clearly empty. But there was still electricity running, signs were warning about camera surveillance, the doors and windows were intact and it was too dark to explore an abandoned building. Besides it was late and we had a performance the following day.

These photos and a third one with our group at the main door were the only ones I took this time. But a thought crossed my mind: Maybe I should visit Eastern Finland more often.

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