We had just gotten out of one of the most difficult locations we've ever done- an enormous steel mill surrounded by razor wire and patrolled by a crew of security. The process of getting in, exploring and climbing all around the massive halls, and getting out lasted from morning to around 5pm. So how did we decide to spend our evening? By checking out another insanely large steel mill of course!
Fortunately this steel mill was significantly less secure than the last one. It also contained a blast furnace, something that has been at the top of my urbex bucket list since I was a nooby noob.
We approached through some vegetation and got closely acquainted with a plant known as stinging nettle. Then we scampered down some active railroad tracks, and after some more climbing and navigating a few bits of razor wire, we were in.
We decided seeing the blast furnace should be our first objective, and conveniently our entry placed us right near the base of it. After a few minutes of figuring out which staircase would get us to where we wanted to be, we ended up here:
Amazing, it's everything I hoped it would be. Seeing the complexity and scale in person is mind-blowing. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly in perfect shape due to metal scrappers, but it was more than enough to satisfy my blast furnace craving.
Next we wanted to gain some altitude. As we did, it became apparent that coming here in the evening was a really good call.
As we continued up, the stairs started to get a little bit sketchy. Nothing too insane, but I recall a few loose steps here and there.
This conveyor would have lifted iron ore and coke up to the top of the furnace and dumped it in. By the way, we also explored an iron ore mine, a coking plant, and a giant coal excavator on this trip. Felt like we were on a steel industry themed trip half the time. But it really was a learning experience, you pick up things that you would have never figured out or paid attention to from just researching.
And just as I'm talking about how much I've learned- I completely forget what this building was. I knew at one point, but I can't remember now.
This was the view from what was nearly the top. Years of staring at a google maps satellite image of this place just could not compare to seeing it with my own eyes. I remember getting goosebumps right here, which actually has never happened to me before while exploring. I just couldn't believe I finally made it here. I thought about the past few years of my life and everything leading up to this moment. Not too long ago the idea of flying all the way to Europe just to check out some rusty old factories sounded absurd and impossible to justify, but there I was doing what I wanted to do all along. Man, it was such a beautiful hyper-surreal moment.
We actually didn't go to the tippy-top since the combination of rusty stairs and swarming wasps was a bit off-putting. If it was just one or the other I probably would have went for it, but eh whatever. No real regrets about that one.
By this time it was starting to get dark so we headed out. We both agreed though that we definitely needed to come back another day of the trip to see the rest.
On our second day there we tried a different route to get in thinking it would be faster but it ended up not working out. We had to re-trace our steps and ended up wasting a good chunk of time. The railroad tracks pictured here are active and run right through the factory, which I thought was really cool. We'd hear trains pass through about once every 30 minutes.
So many conveyor belts. They really made the place feel like a multi-level labyrinth, which just added to the fun of exploring it.
Eventually we found our way to a rolling mill. It was probably the single largest enclosed building on the property.
Bye HFB, thanks for the awesome time. I hope they don't demolish you anytime soon...
There's a lot more to the place than what I have pictured here, but I don't want to spoil everything. If you've never been here and you're into industrial locations, it's worth the trip, no matter where you are. It's the ultimate urbex playground.