Abandoned Airbases and National Parks

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Damir, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Damir

    Damir AKA Pudla

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Zeljava (near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina) airport was one of the most secret military airbases in ex Yugoslavia. Here you can see how it looked many years ago:
    <OBJECT height=350 width=425>

    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/X455wiHCCac" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></OBJECT>


    Airbase was demolished in May 1992, after federal army withdrawal from there.

    Here is site where you can find lot of info about airport and other facilities located nearby.

    http://www.zeljava-lybi.com/Zeljava-index2_eng.html

    Airport became cult place to visit on our local motorcycle forum (www.motori.hr/forum), so we went there last weekend. AdvRiders AnteK and dr.chala were also members of our "expedition". :wave
    Planes were stationed in tunnels dig in nearby mountain and runways were on the surface.

    There are few things that you must take care of when visiting. It is not tourist site, location is on Croatian &#8211; Bosnian border, and it is infested with mines. We announced our presence to Croatian border police. One of us, Hrvoje (Touno rider) is police officer so he took care of it. Tunnels are not mined, but it is not advisable to touch anything. It is also possible to enter tunnels on Croatian side of the border, exit in Bosnia, and get arrested. :D There is lot of dust inside, and in some places you can smell kerosene.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It is hard to take pictures in complete darkness. All credit goes to Marko, who came all the way from Serbia to join us.

    Tunnels were demolished using enormous quantities of explosives, results are clearly visible on pictures above. If you are not familiar with break-up of Yugoslavia, than is probably hard to understand what happened, and why and by who is airbase demolished, but trying to explain what happened would took us into recent history and politics and this is not what this report is about.

    Out of the tunnels, it is time to explore surroundings.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To be continued&#8230;
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,502
    Location:
    Toronto
    It's always nice to go exploring with your friends!! Looks like a cool place to explore and ride! :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Bozola

    Bozola Complete Bastard

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    418
    Location:
    Waitsburg, Seattle and Biscuit Ridge
    An old F-84G Thunderjet. There's something you don't see everyday.
    #3
  4. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,505
    Location:
    NorCal
    is it fairly straightforward for an american to tour that area? How are the borders and such like?
    #4
  5. Kapn

    Kapn rarely home

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Edgewater, MD
    Great report. I watched the video after looking at the pictures and then it all came together. Are there many sites like this in the area?
    #5
  6. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,155
    Location:
    New Philadelphia, Ohio
    Wow, really cool!
    #6
  7. tuumi

    tuumi KLR -> Sprint

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    Bellaire, MI or Detroit Burbs
    Kick ass.
    More please...
    #7
  8. johnny9000

    johnny9000 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Barstool,Ca
    :lurk :lurk :lurk :lurk YES! More Please!!
    #8
  9. Hambone950

    Hambone950 Mas Naranjas Por Favor!

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2005
    Oddometer:
    676
    Location:
    Calgary/ Houston/ Neuquen
    that looks like a lot of fun.
    Well done.
    More pics.
    Did you get inside the DC3 looking plane?
    H
    #9
  10. philp38

    philp38 Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,240
    Location:
    Decatur TN
    More please :D Great pics and report.
    #10
  11. H2oskier

    H2oskier Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    166
    Location:
    Ottawa, Kansas
    Very cool photos.. please post some more
    #11
  12. JackL

    JackL T plus 16 months

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    Colorado
    Wow. Too bad they blew it up or it would have been a lot of fun to ride the bikes in there.
    That old CH-47/DC-3 is nice too.

    Good post

    JackL.
    #12
  13. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,895
    Location:
    Riding the US in search of writing manuals
    :clap :clap :clap :clap

    Not that you need any more encouragement - more! Will be waiting with bated breath.

    :clap :clap :clap
    #13
  14. Rhyolite

    Rhyolite Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Missouri Ozarks
    ... and BE CAREFUL where you step!!!! Neat pics!!:clap :clap :clap
    #14
  15. Damir

    Damir AKA Pudla

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    2 xdbx:
    General area (Croatia & Bosnia) is perfectly OK for travelling. Croatia is very touristy country, sometimes I got a feeling that half of Europe is vacating on Croatian coast. Bosnia is also OK. You can find few ride reports from general area on AdvRider.

    Zeljava airport complex can be accessed from Croatia, I have info that Bosnians are not allowing access. Good thing is to notify Croatian border police. There is border crossing nearby.
    There are few rules how to behave in mine infested areas. Main thing is not to leave tarmac. I wouldn't enter tunnels alone, there is complete darkness, you can get lost, and there is lot of holes in the ground. There is also strong smell of kerosene in some places. One of the tanks survived explosion.

    There are much more beautiful places to visit in Croatia, for example, Plitvice Lakes, UNESCO world heritage site is nearby and I will show you some pictures from Northern Velebit National Park later in report.

    2 Kapn:
    There are not, this is the biggest. AFAIK this was only underground airbase in ex Yugoslavia.

    2 Hambone950:
    I think that it is real Gooney Bird (C-47). Yugoslavia received lot of US military help after break up with Stalin's USSR in 1948.I didn&#8217;t enter the plane, as I said before it is not good idea to walk in high grass in landmine suspected area.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I will try to write something about radar station on Gola Pljesivica later today.
    #15
  16. crillyiv

    crillyiv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    Thank you for sharing these pic's and the story. The "Cold War" doesn't seem so long ago to some of us.

    re: mines/boobytraps
    If you didn't put it down; don't touch it.
    #16
  17. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,273
    Location:
    Diamond Bar, CA.
    Wow! :eek1

    That's different.
    We don't see stuff like that everyday...

    What a relic of a place. Very creepy.
    Thanks for taking us there.
    Q~
    #17
  18. Damir

    Damir AKA Pudla

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Next stop is radar station on Gola Pljesivica. Two Marconi radars with range of 400 km were situated at top of 1649 meters high mountain.

    There is gravel road leading to the site, it is quite bad and steep on some sections. Hrvoje decided to leave his Tuono in nearby restaurant and hitch a ride on dirt bike.

    [​IMG]

    Svakak (I only know his nick from our local forum) is very cool kid. He rode long way on his old two stroke MZ to join us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Going up

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Runways

    [​IMG]

    Fortifications

    [​IMG]

    Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    [​IMG]

    Korenica, Croatia

    [​IMG]

    Plateau where Marconi S-600 radar was placed. It was in fact enclosed in dome with diameter of 18 meters.

    [​IMG]

    Whole site is completely devastated. There is lot of tunnels in side of the mountain.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It may look strange, but this graffiti is painted by Canadian soldiers stationed there as part of peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They withdraw few years ago. Their quarters were inside tunnels, because all objects on surface were destroyed.

    It was late afternoon, part of the group had to return to their homes. Rest of group continued towards village Krasno near Northern Velebit national park, where we spend the night. Tomorrow we will explore national park.

    To be continued...
    #18
  19. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,882
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO., USA
    Great report. What a beautiful county too! Thanks for sharing.

    Cloud9
    #19
  20. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,364
    Location:
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Great stuff, thank you so much :clap

    The stuff about the mines really brought it home to me - I would not have thought twice about walking across to have a close look at those planes :eek1
    #20