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Eurotrip 2013 English version

Hello everyone! Today I want to tell you the story of our month-long journey across Europe. From this post you will get to know about all the difficulties we had to face and pick up tips on unusual travel in the biggest European cities.

1. Heading to outer space.

For years I’ve had the idea to travel the entire European continent. I wanted explore its main attractions, but from a different point of view: in unusual way and without being crowded among the other tourists.

My travel partner Vitaliy Raskalov (raskalov_vit) and I decided to organize the trip together. The idea was to go from Sweden to Portugal and to visit 12 cities on our way. As in our past journeys (e.g. Cairo and Dubai), we looked for roofs, dungeons, etc.

This idea of extraordinary tourism seemed interesting to the guys from the mobile company TELE2 and so we happened to have a cool sponsor. We were testing the quality of mobile connection during our entire trip: we broadcasted live on the radio, called family and friends.

Even before I finished my post, British Daily Mail and The Guardian has already written about our adventures, picking up the story from the Russian mass media. You are to judge how interesting our journey turned out. So let’s start.

2. Vitaliy on the roof in Stockholm.

We were going to visit twelve cities: Stockholm, Warsaw, Prague, Frankfurt-am-Main, Cologne, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Benidorm, Lisbon, Porto. And we had to fly back home from Madrid. For all that we had just one month, so we could spend only 2 or 3 days in each city.

Our first stop was Stockholm, and there were two reasons for it. First, Sweden is TELE2 home country, and second, a local journalist wanted to write a story about us.

Stockholm is a beautiful but boring city. It didn’t match our purposes at all: The city itself is low and doesn’t have many tall landmarks. And those that do exist are equipped with viewing platforms, opened for everybody.

3. Stockholm subway.

Since we didn’t get lucky with the roofs, we decided to try to get to the underground tunnels. Stockholm subway is really unique. It turned out that there is nothing easier than to jump off from the station platform and get into the tunnel. Cameras? It seems that no one is watching the stream.

4. Inside of the tunnels.

5. Later I’ll blog again about the Stockholm Subway.

To tell you the truth, after Stockholm I feared that the entire Europe will be like that, that we won’t climb anywhere, and we won’t have any fantastic pictures to bring back. But the next city was Warsaw, and there things were far simpler and interesting.

6. Vitaliy and I on the roof in Warsaw city center.

I don’t know about the other towns in Poland, but Warsaw is very similar to Russia. There is its own Stalin skyscraper, Russian-speaking bums, and old ladies at the markets. However the streets are well-groomed in a European manner.


Our first roof in Warsaw was of the building under construction near the Stalin skyscraper. There was no fence so we just walked inside. Then we found an elevator, got to the top floor. And when the elevator doors have opened, we saw a bunch of workers. “Panovie, panovie” – they shouted but we don’t know Polish, so we just went up to the roof without paying any attention to them. On the roof we found a construction cradle and safely hid there. For about an hour the workers together with security guards were looking for us all over the top floors, cursing – but to no avail. Soon it got dark and we shot some night views. And that’s how we get to the roofs, sometimes.

8. The Palace of Culture and Science - Stalin skyscraper, a gift from the Soviet Union to Poland. This building is the tallest one in Poland.



We were interested in the Stalin skyscraper, we wanted to climb it, but we did not succeed. First, because there is an observation desk, and second, because the spire of the building acts as a transmitting antenna. So nothing except hard-boiled eggs waited for us at the top …

11. Office plankton.

12. Cable-stayed bridge over the Vistula.


14. Warsaw's Old Town.

The most popular tourist destination in Warsaw is the Old Town, based in XIII century. This place was destroyed by the German bombs during the Second World War, but after the war, it was fully restored. Now the Old Town of Warsaw is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We were lucky: the largest church in the Old Town was covered with scaffolding, so we were able to climb to the very top, to the cross.


After Warsaw we traveled to the capital of the Czech Republic. We had very little time in Prague, only half a day. Prague was awesome, but stuffed with tourists. We were surprised to see many Russians and Ukrainians.

After a mug of delicious dark beer “VelkopopovitskyKozel” we embarked on our adventure.

16. We visited several observation decks the first day.

17. On the second day we saw this cathedral and realized what we want to do in Prague.

After we saw the St. Vitus Cathedral, we decided that we don’t want to go to Frankfurt or anywhere else. And yes, they do have an observation deck on one of the towers but we wanted to conquer the others and also to get inside.

Climbing the St. Vitus Cathedral is the main fail of our trip, but we leave with no regrets. This cathedral was partly covered with scaffolding. We didn’t have enough time to wait until it gets dark, so we had to climb in the middle of the day. Luck doesn’t always work in these cases.

Thirty minutes after we climbed to the top of the Cathedral we saw military and police officers on the roof. It’s not too hard to guess who they were looking for. Unfortunately, all our attempts to hide were unsuccessful and shortly we got arrested and escorted to the police station.

18. St. Vitus Cathedral, the view from the central tower.

19. The Cathedral is located on the territory of the Old Palace just next to the Parliament building.

Local policemen didn’t know what to do with us because it was the first time something like that happened there. Climbing this cathedral is similar to climbing St. Basil’s Cathedral on the Red Square and waving to Putin. But policemen turned to be really nice and they even knew a little Russian (from Czechoslovakian period of history). This ended with a warm conversation and we were able to avoid jail and big fines.

Hello to everybody from the police station!


Then came a huge man with a suitcase to make sure that weren’t terrorists and didn’t want to blow anything up. The suitcase contained some tricky device which, according to what the policemen said, was the only one in Europe and this guy was its only owner. The device spitted out some sheet of paper, with which we had to wipe our hands and backpacks. Then the paper was shoved back into where it came from. I was scared, trying to remember if I touched any TNT recently. But no, all was ok, the suitcase beeped and turned green. The policemen smiled and decided it was time for us to go to Germany. With receipts for 500 crowns in penalties for each of us in our hands, we happily headed to the bus station.

21. Frankfurt-am-Main.

We expected a lot from Frankfurt. The city is full of tall buildings so we thought it would bring us a lot of great shots. It didn’t. In fact, the majority of the skyscrapers were the headquarters of banks, and climb a bank is as unwise as to get into the bank itself. So many viewpoints were excluded from our list from the beginning.


The city of Frankfurt is teaming with immigrants from Turkey and Russia. Construction noise everywhere, many roads are under maintenance – it was unpleasant to walk around the city.

At one point we had to walk past a gathering of homeless people. Fifty bums stood there, gesticulating and exuding strong odors.

23.  Frankfurt stands on the river Main. The city is the financial and transportation center of Germany. Also, it is the largest financial center in continental Europe. Frankfurt is also the criminal capital of Germany.

24. View from the balcony of Lindner Main Plaza hotel. If you have 60 euros you can get a permit to take some pictures. Of course we didn’t pay anything. But we also didn’t know the price for shooting until a photographer accompanied with concierge came over. He started complaining that we haven’t paid yet.

25. We didn’t argue – we just got to the very top, the roof.

When we were leaving Frankfurt, we decided that most likely we won’t come back. Next city was Cologne. The only thing that interested us in Cologne was the Cathedral. To tell the truth it really is the only interesting thing there…

The Cologne Cathedral impressed us in all kinds of ways. It was constructed from 1248 until 1880 or so. By the time it was finished the 157-meters high cathedral was the highest building in the world, and held that record for several years.

26. Vitaliy and the Cologne Cathedral.

27. During the World War II, when the Allied bombing destroyed almost the entire city, the Cologne Cathedral was the only monument that didn’t get damaged. By unwritten agreement of the pilots,the Cathedral was cherished as a geographical landmark.

On one of the towers there is a public observation deck, but it was almost impossible to take pictures there because of the enclosing grid. Actually, it was the worst viewing platform I’ve ever seen. So we took a chance and sneaked to the other tower, where access is closed to tourists. We got lucky again, a small part of the building was in scaffolding.


It was late at night: our Prague experience taught us that if we got there in the daytime, we’d get caught. But even after it got dark there still was a crowd around the Cathedral: there were a lot of young people who were hanging out, drinking beer and singing songs. When no one was watching, we sneaked to the scaffolding and started our ascent to the heights. It’s not too difficult to climb the scaffolding although it’s quite dangerous because there is nothing beneath but the steel poles.

29. Stained-glass windows.

30. First we got into the small central cupola, which offered us views of the roof and the two main towers.

At this point we didn’t know that we would get lucky enough that night to climb not only the cupola but also the Cologne Cathedral spire. After we wandered a bit in the attic and the internal rooms we got inside the tower, and then onto the upper balconies.

31. Inside the tower there were a lot of statues, as the cathedral was under construction.


33. From the balconies a ladder took us all the way to the spire.

34. View from the top. It’s difficult to explain the feelings that I had at the top. At one point, I even felt scared, but the sense of excitement was stronger.

35. The neighboring steeple.

36. Inspired, we set off from Cologne to its suburbs in search of the legendary machine Bagger 288.

37. What is Bagger 288? Until recently, it was the largest bucket wheel excavator in the world. And when they say the largest, this means giant. Just look at its ladle rotor 21.6 meters in diameter– it’s the height of a 7-storey building! The excavator itself has a height of 96 meters, a length of 240 meters and weighs as 2,250 African elephants: 13,500 tons.

38. There will be a separate post about the Baggers.

39. Then there was Paris.

We had a lot of plans for Paris and it’s the city where we’ve spent the most time. The city impresses with its architecture and history. Paris is huge, it gives a field of action.


Paris has a lot of immigrants; most of them came from Africa. In the subway it’s quite common not to see a single white person around. Also, Paris has a lot of bums and crazy people.

First couple of days we did what the other tourists do -went round all the coolest viewing spots. We visited the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Parnassus, Notre Dame and identified points for roofing.

41. Basilica of the Sacre Coeur.

42. Basilica is located on the hill of Montmartre and from there on a clear day one can see the entire Paris.

43. We escaped the official observation point and strolled around the roof of the church.

44. And also we got into the dome.

45. Notre Dame de Paris. The view from the observation point.

46. Gargoyles.

47. A shot with the legs from the Eiffel Tower. By the way, the views from the Eiffel Tower are the best views in Paris.

Later, when we went around all the tourist observation spots, we contacted the local urban-explorer Vic Lax. After this, our climbs got far more interesting; we were sharing experiences with each other and telling cool stories.

48. Together with our new friend we visited several places of interest, such as a skyscraper that’s currently under construction in the area of ​​La Defense.


50. While we were shooting the sunrise, Vitaliy climbed on the crane.

51. Second place that we climbed with Vic was the Notre Dame de Paris, but not the tourist area.

52. The remarkable thing about getting on this cathedral is that you can climb right on the façade. It’s exciting but dangerous. Vitaliy tried first, and then disappeared for quite a while. Worrying that something could happen to him, Vic and I started to develop an alternative plan of ascent. Using the 5-meter-hight ladder we got on to the roof and really scared Vitaliy. He thought it was the police coming to catch him and was preparing to escape.


54. In addition to the roofs we visited the ghost subway station St. Martin. The entire station is covered with graffiti and homeless people live there in the winter.

55. All the subway tunnels are covered with graffiti.


57. Before we will say good bye to Paris here are two romantic pictures with the Eiffel Tower.


59. After Paris, we went to Barcelona. We had a purpose - to climb up to the main attraction of the city, the Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia).

60. For roofing purposes, Barcelona offers little except for the Sagrada Familia. The city is flat and ordinary. But Barcelona is very pleasant to walk around, it's a great place to stay. If you’ve been to Barcelona, you understand what I’m talking about.

61. When I got inside the Sagrada Familia, I was very impressed. I’ve never seen such beautiful and unusual interiors. But the cathedral is impressive not only with its interiors, but also with its forms, stucco and unusual design of statues on the facade.

62. I will write a separate post about the Temple of the Holy Family, too.

63. We had two main purposes for the Sagrada Familia: to get to the top of the tower and to the crane that rises over the temple. First we’ve climbed the tower. It was a piece of cake, we just had to lag behind the crowd and crawl beneath the door leading upstairs.

64. The second part was more difficult.

65. We got onto the crane in the night. At 2 AM we jumped over the fence. Using scaffolding like ninjas we climbed to the top of the crane in half an hour. The crane is about 50 meters higher then the temple. From the top of it you get the view of entire Barcelona.

66. Climbing, we were terrified when crane began to spin slowly on its axis and turned 90 degrees. It took us a short while to realize that the culprit was the wind. The crane turned like a weathercock. You can see Vitaliy in this shot, he is posting something on Instagram or checking Twitter.

67. We were told that the Sagrada Familia is the most secure location in Europe, and there is no way we could possibly climb there. But we did.

68. In Barcelona we rented a car. The plan was to drive 3200km. Our route passed through the southern coast of Spain, Portugal, and ended in Madrid.

69. After Barcelona we went to Benidorm. We hadn’t booked a hotel and it was already dark when we got there. We decided to spend the night on the roof. We climbed the highest building in town with the coolest views in the city. The next morning we woke up and the city of Benidorm and the Mediterranean Sea were beneath our feet.

70.  Benidorm is a resort town. The number of buildings over 20 stories is the largest in Europe.

71. This whole trip we were really lucky with the weather. It rained only once, in Paris. The rest of the time it was hot. In Benidorm and all the cities that we visited after the temperature was 35 C. We enjoyed our time in the pools and in the Mediterranean Sea (and later in the Atlantic Ocean).

72. Vitaliy is calling home. Talking about the mobile connection, it was great, doesn’t matter if we were on top of the skyscraper or under the groud.

73. Another interesting site was the Strait of Gibraltar. We first arrived in Gibraltar, but it turned out that we could only get there with the UK visa, as this was British overseas territory. We didn’t despair, we just headed to Tarifa - a small town in the south of Spain. It’s located at the narrowest point of the Strait, so we assumed it was even more interesting then the Gibraltar city. At a distance of 15-20 kilometers we could see African continent, Morocco. What a feeling, to stand on one continent and look at another!

74. We stopped to take another look at Africa, a wonderful place with hundreds of wind turbines.

75. After we passed the entire southern coast of Spain we got to Portugal. First we stopped at Cape Roca – it’s the western edge of Eurasia. Unlike Tarife where we could see the neighboring continent, at Cape Roca we could see only the endless Atlantic Ocean.

76. The water in the Atlantic is much colder compared to the Mediterranean.


78. I’ve never experienced such winds before.

79. Lisbon gives you a weird feeling. It’s the capital, but the city is quiet, even though we arrived on a weekend. On subway stations you might be the only passenger, even on the central station. The city has a lot of abandoned houses. In the evening on the main streets there was no light in the windows. Lisbon seems to be extinct.

In Portugal, I was already too tired to make pictures.

80. According to our plan, Porto was the final point of our trip. But after Lisbon we doubted whether to go there or not. The city is even smaller than Lisbon, so there might be fewer interesting things. But we were wrong. Porto is rich with unusual architecture, lots of fishermen's huts on the banks of the river and uncommonly arched bridges. Porto is a port that is almost 900 years old. It has a lot of narrow streets among the former fishermen's huts. Also, the city center has a lot of squares with beautiful cathedrals built in the traditional Portuguese style.

Tired but happy we went to Madrid and flew back home. This trip will be remembered for a long time. Travel and explore!


( 45 комментариев — Написать комментарий )
15 сент, 2013 12:45 (UTC)
бесстрашные! =)
но красотища дикая, особенное спасибо за любимую Барселону и Кёльнский собор)
15 сент, 2013 13:23 (UTC)
the picture was always awesome...it's crazy to doin that, but that's was cool
15 сент, 2013 13:23 (UTC)
Ждём версии на чешском, немецком, испанском и португальском языках
16 сент, 2013 13:23 (UTC)
подписывают же в музеях таблички на 5ти языках
2 окт, 2013 23:25 (UTC)
+1. Мне интересно, какой процент отношения англоязычных/русскоязычных тут?
15 сент, 2013 14:33 (UTC)
ООООООО,потрясаюше и мощно! Метро прям-таки футуризм!!!!! Я бы отдал душу богу,стоя на краю крыши ))))).
15 сент, 2013 15:46 (UTC)
Очень круто, респект!
15 сент, 2013 17:46 (UTC)
Camera Equipment Used - Камера оборудование Б
Hello, love the pics! I'm especially impressed with the overall sharpness and the low noise in the night time photos. What cameras and lenses did you use?

Google translate: Привет, любовь фото! Я особенно впечатлен полным резкость и низкий уровень шума в ночное время фотографии. Что камер и объективов вы использовали?
16 сент, 2013 09:51 (UTC)
Re: Camera Equipment Used - Камера оборудование Б
I use Canon 5 D Mark III, Canon 17-40 4L, Canon 70-200 4L, Zenitar 16mm
15 сент, 2013 19:24 (UTC)
Оч клёво! Фото потрясные! А чего всё на английском-то?
16 сент, 2013 09:51 (UTC)
Спасибо :) Вот русская версия http://dedmaxopka.livejournal.com/71558.html
Julian Reiser
16 сент, 2013 15:08 (UTC)
picture 26
hey guys,

where did u make picture nr 26? i know its cologne but u remember which house it was or the street in which the house was? greets from cologne
Andreas Steffens
16 сент, 2013 22:40 (UTC)
Re: picture 26
Using google earth it looks like "In der Münze 1" or "Mevissenstr. 16"

Edited at 2013-09-16 22:43 (UTC)
Maximilian Steinberg
16 сент, 2013 20:54 (UTC)
This was very cool to read, I enjoyed every second of it. You guys got amazing pictures and an really cool story to tell. Nice blog and greetings from Germany! :-)
17 сент, 2013 11:04 (UTC)
HD resolution!?!
Hi, respect to you for your really PERFECT pictures! Is there a way of getting them in HD resolution, so they can be used as desktop wallpapers?
17 сент, 2013 11:56 (UTC)
You guys are absolutely insane. But a good insane. I absolutely LOVE those photos!! So awesome!
Martini Bianco
17 сент, 2013 12:50 (UTC)
a doubt about porto
hello, i'm spanish, i've been reading the entire post and i liked a lot your photographs! i have a doubt about the photo in porto: i went to porto on 27th july (2013) and i saw 2 guys on the roof of the cableway, could them be you? i think the had an ipad or something similar...
Andrew Sible
18 сент, 2013 09:02 (UTC)
I'm guessing that you can read this. I found this from a post on facebook from Borrowlenses or something, but I have to say this is some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring work I have EVER seen, bar-none. I love urban exploration and you both took it to a whole new level and I hope you continue doing what you love safely!

The heights I could literally feel in your photos, and when I got to the first turbine picture I actually took a sigh of relief to feel as if I were back on the ground! What a fantastic set of photos you have made and accomplished, as it is a magnificent feat.

Congratulations on the amazing experience, I can only imagine how ordinary life must feel after seeing the world from such vantage points. I hope it's not dull or anything!

Andrew Sible
18 сент, 2013 09:16 (UTC)
Re: Amazing!
Thank you! :)
Jrgen Pfeiffer
19 сент, 2013 06:36 (UTC)
How did you do that?
Hi Guys!
Awesome pictures. Despite from the angle I really love the contrast and dynamics. Can you please tell me how you made them (especially the low light images like 54 and 64) with that much depth of field and this dynamics. It looks like you shoot on ISO 100, F13 and mix at least 3 images into an HDR. I can hardly imagine that you are on top of some really tall building with wind etc. and making 3 or more shots with a shutter time of 30s or more for each pic?
Also, what Software do you use for HDR?
Thanks so much. Excellent work.. keep it comming.
Ulrich Schlimbach
19 сент, 2013 13:43 (UTC)
Kölner Dom
Obwohl Strafbar gibt es ein wechselbad der Gefühle, solche Bilder habe ich noch nie gesehen. Wenn Ihr mehr Bilder von Köln habt stellt sie doch bitte ins Internet.

Lasst Euch nicht erwischen.................

mfg Ulli
19 сент, 2013 15:12 (UTC)
Wow! Really amazing story. I am going to make a simila trip next year and now I am at the planning stage. I have already reserved a car in cars-scanner and some hotels. Wish that very soon I will post my wonderful pictures.
19 сент, 2013 16:23 (UTC)
Kölner Dom
Hi guys!
Absolutely stunning views, amazing pics, which are very touching! You are very brave! Thanks for sharing your treasure! take care, Anja
Birgit Khlborn
20 сент, 2013 07:04 (UTC)
Ich habe selten so beeindruckende Fotos gesehen. Ein großes Kompliment.
viele Grüße aus Deutschland
smriti middha
20 сент, 2013 12:05 (UTC)
Great Post

Loved your blogpost. The pictures are amazing. How do I get in touch with you for using the story for a travel magazine? I can be reached at smriti@travelchronicles.in
Peer Jungbluth
20 сент, 2013 20:02 (UTC)
wahnsinn-aktionen :-)
und absolut geile Fotos!! passt auf auf euch.
beste grüße from koblenz, germany
21 сент, 2013 13:24 (UTC)
Крас ота
Прекрасные виды! Великолепный репортаж! Хорошо бы сделать такой же о Москве и России!
Michael Aman
22 сент, 2013 20:38 (UTC)
Amazing Shots!
Really amazing shots and really cool action. Would it be possible, to get some of the shots in a high resolution (nightshots from cologne and paris)?
Lenka Ltov
25 сент, 2013 17:40 (UTC)
It´s awesome !!!! hey guys you are such inspiring :-)
Chris Jefferson
29 сент, 2013 13:04 (UTC)
Really appreciate the english write-up. Gorgeous photos as always.
Pepe Luis
30 сент, 2013 06:05 (UTC)
Dear guys, I admire your art and courage. I'm too old to dare to do what you do, but I try (at my level). I live in Southern Spain, so you have been close to my place. May I ask what tripod you use for your explorations? It looks light, tiny and tough, just what I need!
7 окт, 2013 11:00 (UTC)
Вадим, отзовись!
Я журналист канала 49. Хочу с Вами переговорить о возможном репортаже. Свяжитель со мной.
Jay Cumbey
8 окт, 2013 11:47 (UTC)
I live in Cologne for the past 12 years, the stuff u did on the DOM was awesome. love your view of the world keep it up and stay safe!

Love & Lights aus Köln
linksjugend koeln
8 окт, 2013 15:53 (UTC)
use of pic 32 or 35
hi guys
i really love your work!i just had to use one of your cologne pics for my blog, a local leftwinged youthgroup (http://linksjugend-solid-koeln.blogspot.de/). i hope you don't disagree with that. otherwise i'd delete it immidiatly. I also put your link on the bottom as source of the background pic.
keep going & best wishes
17 окт, 2013 17:13 (UTC)
Кёльн и Париж просто АХ!
17 окт, 2013 22:34 (UTC)
it is quite impressive!
19 окт, 2013 23:41 (UTC)
который уже раз вернулся посмотреть
27 окт, 2013 12:18 (UTC)
Re: thanks!!!!
Тоже уже, который раз...)
Одни из лучших ракурсов, особенно ночью.
Markus Pavlowsky
20 окт, 2013 22:02 (UTC)
questions and congrats
Hi guys,

tell me on which tower you stand in the first Frankfurt picture and also the secret getting access to the very roof top at the Main Plaza Frankfurt Lindner Hotel, is the door open?

Many thanks and congrats to your europe trip
Marija Ai Sekai
13 ноя, 2013 21:05 (UTC)
Ребята вы молодцы! Потрясающие фото! Будьте только осторожны, чтобы могли нас еще многими фото порадовать. :-)
18 фев, 2014 10:28 (UTC)
Awesome pics, you guys are crazy!
7 май, 2014 09:53 (UTC)
7 май, 2014 09:56 (UTC)
Please Mr. Vadim Mahora, get into contact with me.
I would like to make an interview with you for a big german magazine.

Peter Reischer
5 сент, 2016 02:45 (UTC)
отличные снимки)
Не кочегары мы не плотники
Но сожалений горьких нет как нет
А мы монтажники-высотники да
И с высоты вам шлем привет
Трепал нам кудри ветер высоты
И целовали облака слегка
На высоту такую милая ты
Уж не посмотришь свысока свысока
( 45 комментариев — Написать комментарий )
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