MORE URBAN EXPLORING
ABANDONED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
If there's one thing that can bring up good old memories, it is the sight of our elementary school. Imagine loud laughter in the yard, the smiles of the children and the aroma of coffee the teacher just got. Think of the windows with drawings made with a child's fantasy and the countless of times the school bell rang. Parents waiting outside, receiving you with a warm embrace. Another day at school was over and another one would come. Even though this seems normal to many of us, the 'easy' times can sometimes make us want to go back to that time. If only just for a while.
On one of my trips through Bulgaria, I stumbled upon such a school. Again, I imagined how it must have been years before - full of noise, toys and children in the yard having fun on the swing. A very strange feeling dawned upon me, as it was obvious this school was abandoned. The drawings of cartoon figures looking outside made it seem the children had just left and left all their artworks behind. This gloomy feeling turned into curiosity and eventually this feeling got the best of me - I decided to go in. While a bit scared of what I was about to encounter, I wanted to feel what this school must once have been like.
A deep feeling of sadness came over me as I walked through the hallway, past the lockers still covered with stickers and notes. It seemed like this place had been left in a rush, as everything was still there. The classrooms filled with many toys and stuffed animals that had turned creepy over time. Beheaded dolls and thousands of pieces of puzzles spread all over the classrooms. The blackboard still wearing what the teacher had last written and some backpacks with a pack of juice.
It made me think how it must be to go back to your elementary school and see that this is all that's left, a building crumbling apart. Like your good memories of the place do not deserve to exist. I counted myself lucky that my elementary school is still lively as it has always been. However, I felt genuinely sad at this moment.
I had never thought of the fact that some people cannot embrace the place that they spent so much time in, as it is simply unrecognizable or can make you sad upon its sight. I wanted to document this school just to share the experience, so that people may think back of their time at elementary school and maybe visit the place again. Because the memories will always remain, unfortunately the place they were made might not.
I published a photo book with pictures of abandoned buildings of Bulgaria. You may find out more on this page.