Bunkering up

6 09 2010

Open door into HC Sländan

Open door into HC Sländan

Why do we like derelict holes in the ground especially if they have a military connection and usually in the middle of inaccessible forests populated by blood thirsty mosquitoes? I have no answer to that, other than there is some primeval urge to dabble on the fringes of what is not allowed without crossing the boundaries. As a foreigner in Sweden, albeit a friendly one, I have been prohibited from travelling into many parts of the country because there is some activity or installation that has national importance. For example, when I first came to Sweden 35 years ago I was not allowed to travel on the road between Bönan, which is a quaint fishing village with lighthouse just outside Gävle where I live and Utvalnäs a few kilometers further along which also has a small fishing community. I had no idea why but I followed the rules. Now I can travel on the road and even wander in the forest among the remains of a military installation. No big deal. Check out GC1YW2E Gråberget

Its the same with bunkers. The first one I found GC48EA Down in the bunker was on my list of interesting caches for 4 years before I made the trip up there and found it. When I got there I still didn’t see the old radar station just across the road but if I had travelled a further 300m I would have done. I found out at a later date that I had travelled on that road many times before and had noticed, but not paid attention to, nor even realised that I had seen the radar station on every trip past it. So much for that. The whole area has now been restored to it’s original state so there is nothing to see other than forest.

Now there seems to be a proliferation of bunker caches. In Gävle the first one to appear was GCP194 Handgranate bunker and then in the same area a multi with a visit to two similar bunkers GC2VT0 Logic Puzzle. Last summer I spent a day in Falun caching and went underground at GC1EYQN The Hatch and GC1EYQZ Finnbo. Just around the corner from where I live is GCVT82 Järvsta, hill of secrets which is not in a bunker but on top of one. I made a visit to the bunker on an official open day last year as the place had been sold to a data storage company. See my gallery. This weekend on my way to Dalarna I popped in to GC2BF4N Fort Engelfors just by the main road between Hofors and Falun. Actually it was originally sited by the old road and apparently has a twin nearby but with no cache. Why was it there? There are not so many main roads in Sweden so at certain strategic points bunkers were built. In this instance in case the enemy from the east (the cold war days) was expected to look for fuel, that was stored in one of the many underground stores that Sweden is so good at building. Again, that is all closed down and returned to nature, or is it? The plot thickens.

Anyway, the latest bunker cache on my list is GC232JR Försvaret. The bunker in question is a civil defence bunker, again from the cold war and known more commonly as HC Sländan. It’s immediate siblings are HC Björnen, HC Vargen, HC Vesslan. All are named after animals and are located all over Sweden. As far as I know there are no caches at the others but if there were….

As entering underground bunkers has a certain risk element involved I prefer to have company so this weekend I took a willing friend with me and we entered into what was a creepy yet fascinating piece of underground cold war history. See my gallery for many more photos. They say more than what could be written in this blog, and yes we found the cache, which let me tick off a blank cell in my difficulty/terrain matrix. Only another 9 to go before I reach my target for 2010.

The first corridor on the bottom floor

The TV program Hemliga Svenska Rum had also been here

Mould on the floors

Mould on the bunk beds. This was really gross.

A bookcase full of secret documents

All the rooms looked pretty much like this

There was all kinds of communication equipment lying around decaying

This was a really serious growth of mould

A silent radio

No-one rings me any more!

Colourful books




One response

9 09 2010

Interesting topic and great post. Wish there were more like this in the UK to explore. WWII pillboxes are much less sophisticated!

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