One sunny May morning I went to Mažonys (Lithuania), a village which is so small that even a bus driver didn’t know where exactly it is situated. Just another settlement far from big cities, and at first sight seems that there’s nothing extraordinary about it. However, one of the houses there is so unusual that I simply couldn’t not go there.
I never miss an opportunity to explore pet cemeteries. What I like the most about such places is their specific atmosphere—kitschy and sentimental decorations together with the purpose of these sites turn them into something weird and beutiful—in their own way. After visiting pet cemeteries in Lithuania, Poland (the old one as well as its new part) and Moldova, it was time to visit the one Prague (Czech Republic). Despite the official name ‘Psí hřbitov’, or ‘Dog Cemetery’, there also other pets buried there, even cats—the eternal enemies of dogs. The area is rather small, however, it’s full of graves, and the rest of it is overgrown with trees and bushes. This composition of nature and kitschy decorations as usual turned the place into something extraordinary and inviting to explore it.
The more I travel, the more often I realise how big is the influence that time of day can have on particular site. When I went to Moldova, one of the places that I wanted to see was Țaul, a village located in the northern part of the country. However, as I didn’t find any transport going there, the only reasonable way to reach this site was taking a night train to Tirnova, another village situated a few kilometres away. Having no other choice I did that and finally ended up waiting for the sunrise under one of the very few (if not the only one) streetlights in the settlement. No matter how weird it seemed to be at first sight, it really was worth to go to this place while it was still filled up with thick darkness. Just an hour of waiting, and early sungliht chased away the night covered the area around with the stunning shades of sunrise.
Not each place is worth more than one visit, especially if it’s just a small abandoned village house. However, I visited this decaying cabin three times and being in the area wouldn’t miss an opportunity to go there again. So what makes this site so special? Still cosy rooms coloured with the shades of decay? Lots of furniture inside letting imagine the life there? Or soft curtains of cobwebs which seems to be trying to hide the gloomy interior from the brightness outside? Let’s stop torturing our curiosit and open the old wooden doors.
My plan on that early October morning was to walk from Pouzdřany, a village in the Czech Republic, to a huge water reservoir nearby and see the first sunshine reflecting on its mirror surface. Not that much divided me from that—just a few kilometres of the forest. However, darkness was too thick and a path crossing it too twisted, so I had to look for another option. I decided to stop for a while to wait for night to fade away and that appeared to be the best idea—early October sunlight and mist turned the area into something breathtaking.
Just another unknown village that I would probably never go if not one famous abandoned place situated in the area. Štědrá is a small settlement situated far a away from big cities, and first thing that you can see there after leaving the train are a few old buildings covered with a shade of decay and emptiness surrounding them. However, despite the gloomy impression they create, it is still worth to stay there for a while and explore the area around.
It is difficult to explain what brought me to the most popular abandoned place in Romania, considering that the main purpose of the trip was exploring the least known part of Europe. The great abandoned casino on the seaside is definitely the most often visited by photographers and explorers site in the area and that let assume that there is already nothing undiscovered about that place. However, the elegant significantly bitten by time construction of the building has some specific charm which can make you go hundreds of kilometres just to see this pearl of decay.
It was just another abandoned church hiding in some village in the Czech Republic. The same as in case of other forgotten sacral places, there was a beauty flowing from its bitten by time walls and decaying interior. However, this decaying temple had also something more—a detail that made it stuck in mind for a long time after leaving the site.
After visiting a few pet cemeteries in Poland (the old one as well as its new part) and Lithuania and finding so much of weirdness there, it was a must for me to explore also the one in Chișinău (Moldova). This place was not that easy to find, as the mentioned graveyard is not official one, thus it has no website with directions, maps and other information that would help to get there. Luckily, thanks to a few fairly reliable details about the site I managed to define the exact location of the cemetery. So, being in Chișinău, I left the city centre and followed the path leading to the weird graveyard.
A decaying family chapel on the cemetery in one of the big cities in Moldova appeared to be much more impressive than it seemed to be at first sight. It was definitely worth to enter the old graveyard and follow the track leading to a significantly bitten by time building.