Soviet Tank Cemetery Olomouc Czech Republic
I woke up a little gingerly a few mornings ago at the Poets’ Corner Hostel in Olomouc, Czech Republic. I was starting the day early and my previous night was ended late. “Are you coming?” asked a Bull Moose of a Canadian as he walked up behind me.
“Huh?,” I muttered as I began pouring myself a bowl of muesli in the kitchen of the hostel.
“To the tank cemetery, on the outskirts of town. Are you coming?’
I did not have to think about this.
“Yes, of course I am coming,” I said as I slopped down my morning muesli with leaps and bounds.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Olomouc, Moravia, Czech Republic- June 22, 2008
Travelogue — Travel Photos
Tyler from AbroadandBeyond.org had previously found a hole in the fence of the tank cemetery on his walks about Olomouc earlier in the week. This morning the plan was to get inside and take some photographs.
So Tyler soon joined the Bull Moose Canadian and I as we ran out of the hostel and on to the military storage area just outside the city. We wanted to get there as early in the morning as possible, so that we would have enough daylight for photographs without risking the personal exposure of a mid-day entry.
As we hopped ticketless onto a city tram, I remembered the words of a friend in Prague who told me that, “Anyone who buys a ticket for the train early in the morning is either stupid or a tourist.” Not wanting to count myself in either of the above categories, I jumped into the back of the train without shedding a dime. Tyler did too. Soon we were rolling right out of Olomouc and onto the military installations that dot the outskirts of the city.
We arrived at the fence that surrounded the tank cemetery just to find that the sought after hole, which had been cut open by some previous trespassers, was all wired shut. Tyler and Bull Moose begin taking photos of a few tanks through the fence. This was not acceptable for three travelers on a mission.
I fiddled around with the bottom of the fence and pried it up off of the concrete.
“Lets just go under it!”
Tyler and Bull Moose agreed. We did not wake up early in the morning and ride all the way out of town to take photographs of a chain link fence.
So I slipped underneath and Tyler quickly followed. Bull Moose hesitated on the safe side until he realized that we were probably not going to be shot by some angry military guards.
I then ran into the masses of tanks that were laid to ruins upon a sad empty quarter of a antiquated military storage lot. I felt a little sorry for these large beast of wreckage, as they were once so strong and powerful, but now were reduce to big dopey hulks of sedentary metal. I petted a tank gently and took my own photo in front of it.
I then joined back up with my friends and explored and photographed the rest of the tank graveyard to our satisfaction. We then casually made our get away under the same fence that we had entered through. Our little escapade did not ruffled any of the feathers of the military storage powers that be – we broke in, photographed to our delight, and casually walked out – and I began to feel as impotent as the unused tanks that were the object of our search.
Adventure only happens when things go wrong. Richard Halliburton knew this little adage well, and he sank for it.
Our visit to the tank cemetery went as planned, nothing went wrong, and I can only leave you, dear reader, with these photos:
Tank cemetary in Olomouc Czech Republic.
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