In August 2013 I boarded a plane at Luton to go and meet with Lauris and Alex in Latvia. It was an 8 day trip and we drove many many miles through Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, photographing a tonne of amazing abandoned building’s for my book Soviet Ghost and we had much fun along the way. it was the last trip for my book, so I was excited to be capturing the last images for my book Soviet Ghosts.
Alex and Lauris were totally awesome and fun to have an adventure with, I’ll never forget the chicken and Lauris’s tantrum in the middle of the supermarket in Latvia and the tactical ways of getting into some of the buildings. Alex was so happy we used his rope ladder to get into the Laboratory which we had to descend from the first floor to the ground from an outer door as the entire floor was missing and there was no other way in because of sensors everywhere. Also tactfully sneaky past the guardian of Skrunda to get in and spend hours of amazing exploring, a totally awesome day we had there.
During the Cold War this secret location was closely guarded, and in time grew into a full, residential town. There were over 60 buildings in the complex, including a school, apartments, barracks, a shooting range, a gym and a theatre. Once Latvia had gained back its independence however, the Soviets were given four years to dismantle the radars. The entire town was sold at auction for just 17,000 Lats (around £20,000) but as of 2013 nothing has yet been done with the site.
Skrunda is a former secret town, where an important Soviet radar station was once located. The installation was of great importance to the Soviets as it covered the whole of Western Europe. Here they were able to listen to objects in space, as well as tracking incoming ICBMs.