Also of interest on Utö was a massive labyrinth of abandoned bunkers that we stumbled across on our last day of the island…
The shoreline housing the bunker complex:
A view over the bunker complex looking back to the interior of the island… You wouldn’t know it, but beneath the surface is a vast network of tunnels:
One of the roads used for maneuvering within the bunker complex:
A view down Utö Island showing the more overt string of bunkers lining the coastline:
The entrance to one of the bunkers pictured above:
And the gun emplacement within:
The view out the firing port of the bunker… Next stop in this direction is Finland and the (at the time) Soviet Union:
One of the machine gun nests that formed perimeter security for the bunker farm:
One of the entrances into the interior of the bunker complex:
Another passage leading within:
This is as far as I could go with my camera… I didn’t have a flashlight with me and so my pictures from the inside were just pure blackness (which was an accurate depiction of the interior since there was no light in there whatsoever).
After nearly falling down a tunnel leading to god knows where and tripping over two separate filing cabinets, I started to question whether it was prudent to proceed with trying to feel my way through the tunnels. When a mysterious (and large) animal brushed against my leg in the pitch blackness I rather abruptly decided to end my fumbling exploration. But, as usual, I gave it my best shot:
Speaking of shots, did you notice the blast and bullet damage to the bunker in the above photograph?
I have no idea if it is connected or if the guy was full of shit or not, but a drunk Swede we met at a small cafe next to our cabin, that had lived on Utö for all of his life, said some interesting events had taken place on the island during the Cold War. He spoke very crptically of unusual experiments and military operations. And when I saw the above, I thought about what he had told us. However, there may be a far less interesting and simple explanation as well.
Some of the extraordinary amount of expended ammunition strewn about:
An entrance (or exit?) to the bunkers that was hidden quite well in a stand of thick brush:
This is the interior of what I presume was the command bunker… It had the best view of the area and was filled with the most amount of decaying electronics and communications equipment:
The view over the area from what I presume was the command bunker:
And the view from a passage down into the interior of the complex that I described trying to explore earlier:
Although there is no end to the enthusiasm for horrible places on the part of The Velvet Rocket or its staff members, we do endeavor to visit “normal” places from time to time to provide a little balance.
Utö, and Sweden in general, were expected to be a part of that.
However, as is so often the case, the line between what is “normal” and what is preferred The Velvet Rocket territory can be quite blurred.