I Would Like A Ticket Out Of Here Part II

This could as well be renamed the house of wrecked ovens. Even the one in the pink room had been smashed.

There were so many rooms, that I think that in addition to the postal room, office room and waiting room there might have been an apartment in here.

The floor was interesting. I couldn’t really figure out from under all the dust if those were tiles or a plastic floor.

And this is probably where the apartment was. There’s at least one oven, which they hadn’t managed to smash.

Another oven. This hasn’t been a one night project. I mean someone has probably spent many nights here just destroying them.

Several layers of wallpaper here, too.

Yes. This probably has been the kitchen of a two room apartment, where the station manager used to live back in the days when there still were such unicorns.

So now for the porch.

There was also an upstairs, but I wasn’t really sure about the state of its floor, so I passed.

I’m not even sure whether I’ve featured this destroyed oven yet or not. There were surprisingly many for such a small building.

Now I guess I wasn’t telling the truth earlier. The previous doors led to a back door. This one leads to the porch. And there has most definitely been someone living here, as the door is more modern than the station. Probably someone still lived here after passenger traffic ended in the early 1980’s.

The walls on the porch were of a really nice green color.

The previous color was not so nice.

But so much for the station building. There’s more, though.

There was a small warehouse next to the old station building.

Unsurprisingly it was all open doors there too.

This place was much less interesting than the main station, although it seems that somebody has lived here, too. The shack doesn’t provide much shelter, though.

This was a surprising find: a storage of smashed berries. Probably the one sleeping on the mattress shared a room with some birds.

There was also a smaller storage room.

But so much for this place. The city finally had its way and the end of the line of the station and the warehouse came in November 2020, when they were both demolished.

I Would Like A Ticket Out Of Here Part I

At the end of an overgrown small road was a badly bashed building, the railway station of Noormarkku. It was built in 1933, when a railroad was built between Pori and Haapamäki in Central Finland. Haapamäki we’ve of course already been to.

According to public sources the station contained a waiting room, an office room and a postal room. Passenger traffic ended in 1981 and the entire track to Kankaanpää was closed in 1985. Since then several bridges along the track have been demolished and it can’t be operated anymore.

The station building was protected at the time of my visit, but due to excessive vandalism the city wanted to demolish it. So far things hadn’t really advanced.

It really has been a while since trains have run here. But actually a few stops away is a place where you can rent a handcar and drive the track with it.

The station as seen from the platform. This is a typical 1930’s station building. Several have been built for example between Oulu and Kajaani or the Karelian track in Eastern Finland.

The doors weren’t just open. They had completely disappeared. One seems to be hiding behind the corner, though.

Ok, the ovens are destroyed. But what on earth is that chicken coop doing in the middle of the waiting room?

I actually wonder, if this has once been the ticket counter. Back in my youth at a very old railway station there was a glass between the ticket clerk and the customer. The customer placed their money on a tray, the clerk got it from under the glass and slid the ticket and the change in return.

Free hugs? I really could use one!

Despite serving passengers for only a couple of decades, the building seems to have undergone several renovations, where the colors of the walls have been changed and doors relocated.

The chicken coop still puzzles me.

As does the fate of the ovens. Who in the world would want to do that?

So this is the room where free hugs were promised. I don’t see any.

The oven here had met the same fate as the previous two. Those egg cartons actually make me wonder if someone did have a chicken coop here.

It seems that someone has lived here at some point. Or just dumped a bed inside.

These doors, I think, lead to the porch in the first picture.

All rooms in the building were accessible, but at this stage it was impossible to guess, which one had been the office and which one the post office.

Another destroyed oven. They really had smashed them all.

Another room with pink wallpaper.

One of the windows, through which light still came in.

More photos will follow in the next post.

A Total Waste

As you can see, I was starting to be in a hurry. I still had 210 municipalities of the 571 to visit, and time was running out. It was strictly one shot per location, unless I was able to enter.

This is a former municipal hospital built in 1938. Its location on a hill guarantees that it is a local landmark. Originally featuring all the aspects of health care, it served as a dental care unit during its last years. It has air quality problems, water damage and is in the need of a large renovation.

The answer by the town? Demolish it. I hope that’s not going to happen.

Found The Opening

Welcome to Satalinna hospital, the local tuberculosis sanatorium in the area. It was built in 1925 and gradually expanded during the following years.

Since the 1960’s tuberculosis has been largely eradicated from Finland. The hospital got more and more wards for other uses and since the 1970’s served as a regional hospital.

During its final years as a hospital, it specialized on rehabilitation. It was closed down in 2015 and for the next year served as a facility for hosting asylum seekers. Nowadays it hosts a hostel and several small businesses.

So why is it featured on Deserted Finland?

Well, apparently between 2018 and 2021 it was more or less abandoned. I happened to arrive just in the right time frame, and this probably is one of the few photos of the place while it was abandoned. I however can’t express how happy I am that such a beauty has found new use.

Can You See The Signs?

This is a former leather factory. It was founded in the late 1910’s and its buildings have been built in several phases between the 1940’s and 1960’s. It first declared bankrupcy in 1997 and closed for good in 2003 after which it has been abandoned.

This is the prelude for one of the most personal posts in this blog so far. Perhaps the most personal since the story with The Place Where My Nightmares Were Made.

In recent years I’ve been wondering a lot about one question. If you let a child express themselves, can you guess, what they want to do with their lives when they’re adults?

Back when I was in kindergarten in the early 1990’s and we’d go on a holiday with my family, I would spend weeks after our return drawing autobiographical comics. I managed to complete I am in Spain, parts I-VI and I am in Helsinki parts I-IV. I apparently wasn’t satisfied with the second series, as I began it all over again only to state after part two that I had ran out of memory. My most detailed drawings were always about cars or buildings, people were very crudely drawn.

A few years later I was in primary school. We were visiting a family friend, who had a daughter about my age. I was 7 or 8 when we decided to start making newspapers using WordArt (90’s kids remember). She made the horoscopes, pet news and entertainment, I wrote about crimes, politics and polls, as I was already reading daily newspapers at that age. We printed the newspapers until the printer ran out of ink (back then it was extremely expensive) and sold them to our parents.

Flash forward to the date of this picture in August 2020. I am a foreign affairs journalist in a nationwide newsroom, who drives around the country in a carefully selected car model photographing architecture and abandoned buildings. Doesn’t it really look like I had this coming as a kid?

Now what does this have anything to do with the factory in the picture?

This is the village our family friends lived in, the very same place, where we made the newspapers more than 20 years ago. They moved away in 1997 or 1998 and I haven’t visited since except for one time. But I still remember that building. I was really fascinated by it as a child, when it was still functioning as a factory.

And I sure would like to visit it one day.

Kindergarten Stories

I would never have heard of this place had it not been to one of my most active Instagram followers, who sent me a link to a news item. It was about two 14-year-old boys seeing smoke rise from an abandoned building, running to a nearby store and buying water bottles to put out a pile of newspapers, which someone had lit. Their actions probably saved the building.

Built in the late 1940’s as the kindergarten to the kids of the workers at a nearby factory, the building has been sketched by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, though he didn’t design it. After its kindergarten years it served as a community centre before being abandoned in 2012. It is listed as a valuable building, while everybody is wondering what to do with it.

Meanwhile I was wondering how to get in, but couldn’t find a way.

The only thing I managed to find was someone’s underwear.

That’s A Lot Of Wood

It was day four of my summer vacation. I had already left the Åland Islands behind and was now zigzaging smaller and smaller roads to collect all municipalities in Finland. I had slept at a parking lot and been so tired, that I hadn’t woken up, when a truck had parked its trailer right behind my car and some road paving work started right next to me.

It was now almost eight am and the roads were getting smaller and dirtier, when I noticed something of interest.

A former cow shed. Or what remains of a former cow shed. But where there’s a shed, there usually has also been a house.

Bingo! A very old farm house, which had been enlarged at some point. Again judging by the style in the 1950’s or 1960’s.

Probably not in active residential use, as the yard was completely overgrown, the stairs were growing moss and all the windows were missing.

The wall panels were in a very good shape, the floor was worn out and the living room was full of lumber. Didn’t see this coming.

In fact I could only access the hall, as there was lumber everywhere. It looked once again like somebody had started renovations and then just given up.

One final look at the place before I returned to my car and went on towards new adventures. This exploration took me around six minutes.

Approaching The Final Frontier

Mid-August was close, and the evenings were getting darker and darker. My three week summer holiday, which I had saved this far, was just around the corner. Before that I had one more special adventure to go.

My friend, who had followed my social media all summer, told me, that she had never been to an abandoned house, so I promised to take her. We first tried the very first mental asylum I found in May, but that was again a no go. Next we ended up here.

This is of course the nursing home I found soon after the mental asylum. Another no go.

Somehow that didn’t seem to bother her.

Final try, as it was already ten pm and getting dark: The Sleigh Ride Cottage. That light over there is not the setting sun, it’s a street light.

And she’s inside! Everything, absolutely everything is in the same place as it was some three months earlier.

But here a chair has turned. Somebody has been spending their time here while I’ve been away.

It’s rather fitting, that I would enter one of the first abandoned homes I entered that summer, at this stage. This was the point when my tour was reaching its grande finale.

Amazingly enough my 700 euro summer car had lasted for this long. I had planned to spend the final three weeks of the summer by driving through all the corners of Finland I yet hadn’t visited. I would start on a Friday afternoon by touring the Åland islands, then drive straight up North by the West Coast, ride through Central Finland, Northern Ostrobothnia and finally reach Kainuu and Lapland.

Three weeks of intensive driving and many abandonments lay ahead.

The Fish Finger School Part X (With Some Extra Fish Fingers)

As our previous adventure with the Vantaankoski school ended so abruptly, we agreed to meet again and go finish our exploration with my friend. And soon enough, less than a month later, we were back at the scene.

Things, however, had changed.

There was a large truck bed with stuff on it. It looked like the clean up of the area had started.

There was another one on the other side of the Language House. Even a door was now open. We decided to go around the whole area again to make sure there was nobody around.

The area around the old main school looked like it used to be.

The main entrance was now open but we couldn’t enter through it. The amount of debris in front of the doors was too large. From here the destruction inside looks even worse than the one in the language house.

This was when we heard voices. While going around the final corner of the property we saw a car parked on the driveway and two men around the school. We knew that people had been fined for entering, so we decided to go look for other locations. Luckily I knew some.

Here we have on large old house, which unfortunately wasn’t accessible.

And finally we got to this one. It’s the very first building I tried to explore after moving to the Capital Region but someone had closed all windows and doors with plywood after my previous visit.

By now it was raining heavily. So this interior shot of an abandoned Range Rover was all I got from this trip. We got some Chinese food, went to my place and promised to try to enter the school soon again.

When Service Still Meant Service

Another location, which I had passed by some time earlier and only now was able to go take a closer look.

This is a former Shell service station built in 1964. Fuel was sold here until the early 2000’s, and since then it has hosted an earth moving company, at least according to Google Maps.

A few years before the shelter above the fuel pumps had been removed and contaminated soil removed from where cars used to refuel. Now the building sands kind of lonely.

But it definitely is a Shell. Their old service stations were white with brown stripes high up the walls.

As I said, service station, not petrol station. There had indeed been service available at some point.

They hadn’t really put in much effort to make the back side of the building nice.

The sign says private, but it hasn’t prevented me before and won’t now.

The large windows of the former café were painted with a huge graffiti, but weren’t broken. There was no access this time.