The SF team have been all over the Abandoned Berlin vibes this summer, the sunshine in this city is to be taken advantage of and these are not places so easy to access when the dead of winter kicks in. We might have been getting to the point of saturation, they’re cool and all that but there is only so much smashed glass, tags, graf and general mess that you can see before you need to go to a nice sanitary gallery where they have electricity and the glass is fully formed.
A change to this is a much less well known place in Neukölln, one that is relatively new and one which is a sight to behold in the later summer sunshine. Blub (Berliner Luft und Badeparadies) situated just off of Buschkrugalle was first opened in 1984 at a cost of over 44 million Marks, and over the years was added to and changed around, but the main gist of it is an indoors (and a little outdoors) aqua land. It boasted huge swimming pools, a wave machine, water slides, fountains, steam rooms, saunas, water dooms and much more besides.
SF can only imagine what this water world would have been like in its pomp for a kid of 14 years of age. It was taking over 600,000 visitors a year at one point, but then the tide turned. It begs the question as to why it is not still open today? Well according to my research (limited to Wiki and a bit of random blog searching) it was down to two things.
Rats, apparently it became unsanitary and overrun by the little disease carrying fuzz balls. SF is guessing that neither are conducive to a nice family day out.
Blub is hidden nicely off the road, the wooden elevated walkway entrances look like something from Hook, you expect Rufio to swing in at any minute.
All around the building is covered with greenery, tress, plants and bushes that hide the building, so on arrival you would be forgiven for thinking it was a bit piss-poor-small. Guess again this thing is huge and once inside you can get an image in your head of what pandemonium went on. It is also right by Teltow canal, there lies the problem, those pesky rats venturing away from their water and taking over the human space. By 2003 some parts had to be closed because of the infestation. The places is getting a little less attractive now.
Added to this the kiddie turf war, bombing and aggressive splashing (assumption) was rife, some kids even resorting to water bombs (probably). Shit had got real and the only solution was to bring in security, yup water henchmen. Big dudes in black wraparound glasses, goatees and living on a diet of roods and Red Bull, patrolling the pool to keep the warning mini factions apart.
From 2002, slowly but surely areas were closed until in 2012 everything was shut. Apparently the area has been sold for flat redevelopment but until then it is worth a visit, it is certainly getting better known now, on our second visit there were hoards of Turkish kids running riot and skaters from 14 to 40 dropping in to the swimming pools.
Some of the artwork adorning the walls is pretty impressive and you will likely see some artists underway if you visit. It is as always a little bashed up, but not totally…. yet.
SF even managed to get a souvenir. The original price board which had not been tagged or smashed, well we figured we might as well save something from the looters.