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GES229 - Abandoned Apartment Rooftop, Kiev

Our early forays into Kiev were proving fruitless. We'd met up with GE084 who showed us a few places of interest near the centre of Kiev on the first night. He left for his warm home, as GE002 and GE074 and I headed off into the sub zero night. We first looked at an apartment building with a metro vent access on the roof.

It was a modern building with countless small infrared cameras surrounding it, as well as a security desk. Unlike other buildings nearby, it didn't have a handy ladder up to the roof. While checking it out, GE074 spotted someone entering the building, and like a lightning bolt, tailgated them in. This then became the next few hours of the night, as GE074 tip-toed past the security desk, and tried to ride the lift to the roof. Unfortunately his attempts to over ride the lift and lift surf to the top came undone when the lifts all shut down. He had now managed to trap himself in a stairwell between the 1st and 3rd floors. He could only get out at the 3rd floor at a balcony. Panicking, he even entertained the suicidal idea of climbing down from this height. As it was a new build, the windows were set up so that they could only open a few centimetres and were double glazed.

It came to me knocking on the front door and waking up the aggressive woman on the security desk who was in her early fifties. I tried to explain with hand gestures that my friend was trapped in her building. She spoke no English, I spoke no Russian. It ended with her gesticulating towards the door and pressing the release buzzer. I went back with GE002 to break the news to GE074 that he would be sleeping there. However as we were about to walk off, an official looking chap, possibly a security guard or fire officer from the adjoining building came round to wonder what we were doing. Again, the language barrier existed, but we were able to call out GE074, and make it clear the situation. The guard went around to the front of the building and spoke to the security woman. A few minutes later a knackered GE074 popped out and we disappeared into the night back to our lodgings.

I had hoped to be doing lots of metro exploring in Kiev, however it turns out that due to numerous less than careful exploring in large numbers, the system was pretty much on lockdown. Luckily I had scoped out a few places we might explore based on local explorers websites, and so it was after emerging from our bunks, we headed across town. Via a McDonalds to allow GE002 his cheeseburger rations. On popping up above ground, a head turn to the left, and the sight below greeted us. A 30+ storey unfinished apartment block.

Because GE074 wanted a more ninja infiltration experience, he opted to go for one of the neighbouring apartment buildings that was fully live. The idea being to ride the lift to the top again. GE002 fancied the idea, and went along for the ride, excuse the pun. I was content with plodding up the stairs to the top of the abandoned building. I looked around for a quiet spot, and found one. Hopping over a fence into half a metre of snow, and plunging to the edge of the building. I found a staircase and plodded up the steps, trying to avoid being seen by pedestrians on one side, and security guards on the adjacent site on the other. Unfortunately it only lead up 3 floors, so I had to return down and find the main core stairs. The owners had obviously had a few intruders, and put rusty wire mesh on all the entrances to the lift and core stairs area. I managed to climb over a section that wasn't fully up to ceiling height, and pulled my bag through the gaps. The stairs lay around the corner, and I cheerfully started the climb. Coming from London it's rare to attempt  a building in daylight. A few floors up, and another rusty thick wire mesh had been put in place to prevent unauthorised access ahead. However some locals had taken care of things, and I crawled through a hole and continued to the roof. I popped out and looked at the awesome view in the descending afternoon sun. This is one of the apartment towers that is similar to the one I had climbed.

I looked around for my more daring and more infiltration savvy comrades, that had whizzed up to the roof on top of a lift. However I couldn't see them. I was expecting some fun shots of us waving at each other from different buildings. I texted GE074 to find out where he was, but no reply. This is a shot of the Moscow bridge, rising up amongst the tower blocks.

At the top of an open avenue, a church's metal dome catches the light.

I heard a noise below me, and a minute later GE074 popped out his head, closely followed by GE002. Strangely their plan hadn't worked out as they envisaged, and had to settle for my boring and safe way of getting above the skyline. I found that it was possible to get even higher, and continued to climb to the very top. This is looking down a wide avenue with shopping mall in the centre. In the distance is downtown Kiev.

Looking the opposite way up the wide avenue, more shopping mall in the centre, and the suburbs in the distance.

I popped back down, and GE002 tucked into his Snickers bar.

Job done, we headed down, all bounding over a fence together, and then grabbing some booze from a small shop at a bus stop.  GE087 had called, saying we could join some locals in a bunker for a film showing.