Boozeland is a place where you don’t have to take the alcohol with you – everything is already there. One of the best places ever!
UPD. 28.07.2018. Pics reedited, resized and epic story added!
It may be about time to tell the story around Boozeland. Epic as it was, we did it back in 2013, right before the war broke off in the region. As far as I know, the city took an active part of it, and even for a short period of time this booze was sold in Moscow supermarkets. Even though, with a certain intent, it’s possible to find the exact whereabouts of this location, the context may suggest that it’s not worth visiting, they’re kind of very nervous there now. Like you may be shot as a saboteur before they find out that all you have is cameras and lenses.
That late autumn evening the crew was taking a night sleeper train. The crew consisted of S and T, who denied (fully or partially) excessive alcohol consumption, and me, Horse and E. We all grouped up in one compartment, sharing vodka bottles (probably, mixed with Schweppes). Quite soon the future Boozelanders noticed that it was waaaay too hot, and the window wasn’t even made to open. Fuck that, we thought! E. didn’t decide to participate, but Horse and I went and squeezed through the rubber between the cars and climbed the rooftop. Sipping the vodka on top of the train, everything else seemed to disappear, except for the wind in the hair, high-tension cable above the head. The sky was cloudy, no stars could shine through. The charming endless pitch-black darkness of the [region name] night was disturbed only by the pale-yellow lights of the train.
The magic collapsed as the train rolled into a station. Lights, people on platforms, we ducked, but someone spotted us and started shouting. Hell. They’d be quick to come for us. I nearly fell off when we promptly squeezed back into the train and ran as fast as possible and closed up in the compartment.
They won’t find us. They won’t expect bullshit from second-class passengers, they didn’t really see us well enough to recognize later. Sure, this little adventure can do no harm.
It didn’t stop being hot though. The next events came strikingly quick and unexpected. Of course, we were already quite drunk, and it felt so uncomfortable in this overheated compartment. Soon after the train took off, Horse lay down on a bed, raised both his legs and just kicked the fucking window out. Cold wind, shards of glass. I was cold and hid under the mattress and quickly fell asleep, only once woken up by cops. The boys didn’t have a good night though. Paying the fine, a new window, bribing the fuckers so they don’t take Horse away. They went to sleep around 3 AM, and the train arrived at around 7.
The morning was cloudy and pretty grim. A statue of a dead revolutionary,The boys brutally punished Horse – he obviously had a hangover, but was denied beers. We took a bus to the nearby city, where we met V, a local. The city greeted us as usual, as any post-soviet city would greet. A statue of a dead revolutionary on a big square, dirt-covered roads roads with ditches around the bus station, over and over again streets named “Peace”, “Lenin”, etc.
Well after lunch, we walked off in the direction of a quarry. The road ended and we came to a forest. V quickly lead us in, and we cursed as we climbed through the bushes. Eventually, we got to the entry and pushed our bags through a hole.
It was magnificent, one of the coolest places of the sort that I’ve ever seen. And even better was just ahead.
We crawled out of the quarry well after midday. We left our stuff in the quarry and hunted a pizza, and later on went for the entrance to the desired land. We didn’t clearly know what it is going to be. It was a bit closed, so we were just in time to get to the nearest shop to buy a hacksaw. Moreover, since we had to abseil quite a bit, our little alcohol fan club was officially denied drinking. So, unable to get beers or vodkas, Horse and I headed for the pharmacy. Whoever may assume what the hell could we need there will be wrong – our intentions were as pure as the bottle of medical ethanol that we bought! We poured it into a big schweppes bottle, and the night suddenly became cheerful.
It was late in the night that the entry was cut up, and the ropes were installed. E and T went back to the quarry, while the rest of the crew started the descent.
A happy cry from the bottom told us – “There’s booze!”
I went down and saw the amazing views that are on the photograph below. Bottles, lined up in rows from beginning to end of multiple rooms… Bottles everywhere. Am I in heaven?
We walked around everywhere we could, borrowed a few more drinks. The morning was coming and it was about time to crawl all the long way back up. We were tired and wanted to sleep…
When we came back to the quarry where we left our stuff, we heard some strange noise, something that was not supposed to be there…We approached and saw sparks of cut and welded metal coming through the hole. The quarry workers noticed the entrance and were closing our hole! FUCK! With all the sleeping bags and everything inside!
At the same, on the surface, time some noises started appearing at the opposite side of the forest. Is it someone looking for us?
We ran deeper into the forest and sat in silence. This forest, clinging on us with its branches, with its chaotic pathways and random meadows has already become like home, a place that I knew pretty well. I could already run around at night without using a torch, the light of the dull moon already seeming too bright. And now I piled up the fresh yellow leaves, lay down on them and watched the new day’s blue sky until I fell into a wary light sleep.
Meanwhile the boys came back from scouting and announced that it was not security, but a goatherd with her goats! Hell. Then no one’s looking for us! We relaxed and made it back to town. The miserly late autumn sun was quite warm and bright on that day.
This story was over, but others began. Another night in the forest, an attempt at another place, train back, vodka all day, metroes, drunk on the tracks, broken lens and night on the rooftop. Pictures on these memories change as images in a video put on fast forward, whose only hope is not to be forgotten. And the party goes on.