On Monday we went to a bunker whose existence was declassified by the Russian government only in 1995. It had four underground sections, and to get to the bottom of it you had to climb down 18 floors of stairs. There was a lift but only elderly or disabled people could use it, and so it was amusing to see some people complain about climbing back up at the end of the tour.
The bunker’s purpose was to withstand an atomic bomb explosion. Our tour included a 30 minute film which detailed the events leading up to the Cold War and the arms race between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. I found it fascinating to see how quickly the bombs developed once the first one was made, and how one of the missiles was eventually used as the basis for sending the first person into space. The names of the bombs are funny, like “Fat Man”.
We were able to watch a missile launch simulation as well, and one person in our group “helped” the tour guide bomb a city. We weren’t allowed to take pictures or videos during this part. Near the end of the tour we also experienced a simulation of what it was like to have a bomb go off above the bunker. Just about everyone else was frightened by this part, but I was almost bored by it because I knew it wasn’t real before it happened. As our tour guide said, let’s hope this bunker is never used for its real purpose. This tour made me interested in visiting American bunkers when I get back, because I want to compare them with this one.