We had gotten a tip that there was a secret base located in the woods of central Germany, only accessible by "Element 31." It sounded wonderfully mysterious... and so without knowing exactly what we were looking for, we set out into the woods.
The forest seemed enormous and ancient; its canopy towered above as we walked easily through the sparse ferns and mushrooms covering the floor. We began to encounter mysterious trenches and ridges, and soon happened upon the remnants of a concrete fence post, sunken and covered in spongy mosses. It was a straight, rectangular form with a 45 degree angle at the top to hold the barbed wire, and seemed to date back to the World War II era. The thought of stepping on a rouge mine stuck with me until I was distracted by the newer fence up ahead. As we drew closer, it appeared that each post was marked with a number preceded by the letter "E" - surely the "elements" we were supposed to be looking for! Walking along as the numbers ascended, we found a section that was recently flattened by a fallen tree; a building with an open door was immediately visible so we took this fine opportunity to enter.
The barracks were quite uninteresting - low, one story buildings without decor or anything left inside, typical of many abandoned military installations. I did start to notice some stickers and signs posted on the backs of doors and other places that interested me greatly, and I started to wonder what kind of operations were taking place here.
We had to skirt along the edges of the facility due to the loggers moving their payloads throughout the campus. Luckily the noise of the trucks and other equipment hid our footsteps in the dry leaves as we moved between buildings. Some were locked up tight, but a few of the recreational facilities were accessible, and a good sized church with a steeple surprised us at the end of one road, which ended the excursion quite nicely!