Syany or cavepunk

Once I’ve been to Turkey. It was a commercial trip, the group was big, there I met comrade Artyom. After some time, he called to visit caves, not ordinary ones, but inhabited by informal people. If you have a desire to visit another world, with its own atmosphere, then the Syanovsky quarry is that place. It is located in Moscow, near Domodedovo. The cave consists of 19 km of tunnels, halls and grottoes (chamber in tunnel is so called grotto).

I arrived in Moscow early in the morning, drove to the meeting place, which is Domodedovo metro station. On the way, I realized that I had forgotten crockery. But somehow it will be necessary to eat. There was still a lot of time before meeting with the comrades, I went for a walk, looking at shops along the way. In one of them I bought ordinary enameled bowl and a set of spoons (they weren’t sold singly).

There were 4 of us. We bought food and took a taxi to the caves.

We had a snack in front of the entrance. We had a snack in front of the entrance and, of course, change clothes. That day in Moscow it was +28, and it was a little strange to put on warm clothes, but it is necessary, it’s quite cool below. Moreover, who said it would be clean? When choosing clothes, this is worth considering. And one more thing, you have to put on a soft hat or helmet. I can’t say about experienced ones, but a beginner will surely hit his head on the ceiling (yes, yes, and I was no exception 🤕).

Let’s climb down.

This is what the entrance to the system looks like. Yes, it’s important, everyone calls it this place: “The System”. One of the funny rules is that if you hit your head, you can’t sweat, you have to say: “Hello, System” 🙂. There are a lot of rules, beliefs and stories here. Unfortunately, there were no locals, who could tell us stories. There were very few people inside that day.

The first thing that meets here is a logbook. It is necessary to make an entry, if you get lost, in a couple of days volunteers will look for you. Of course, you have to not forget to make an entry when you exit the System.

At first, we followed the rule “all the time to the left,” so you can go around the cave in a circle and exit, or, if necessary, you can turn around and go “all the time to the right”. We didn’t look at the map. So we got to a grotto with sleeping mats. We decided to leave our stuff there in order to move easily. Except I took my backpack to carry water, Artyom took gas stove.

Then we moved on, always turning to the left.

Everywhere there are various signs and graffiti. By the way, I often had to use squat walk, you will not see this in photographs, because in such a pose it is inconvenient to photograph 😓

This is how water collection looks. It drips from the ceiling on an stretched oilcloth, then water slides into a container. It is drinking water, here we replenished our reserves a couple of times.

Conventionally, the System can be divided into 2 parts. At first we went to the left part, because there are more sights in the right part, and we left them for later. It’s better not to go here without a map! The map really helps out, even if you get lost, it is worth wandering around until you come across any sign or inscription on the wall, in most cases you can find it on the map.

Meeting various sights, we reached the temple ⛪

Getting into this grotto, you feel some relief, the place soothes 😌. The walls of the grotto are beautifully decorated with paintings, this chamber looks lighter than others.

We decided to figure out where we are after all… Having studied the map, we found a supposed place (incorrect, as it turned out later). Went further, turning left all the time. Another group passed by us, leaving a fair trace of tobacco behind them (some of them smoked). It’s not worth complaining about it, because underground people smoke and drink here, and we are just guests.

Looking at the map, I realized that we had incorrectly determined the previous location. But at some point we came across a grotto in which “Pasha” is written, immediately looked at the map, since we saw such a mark before. As a result, Pasha helped us understand where we are. Then we had gone a little further turning left. Meeting nothing particularly interesting, we decided to return to our stuff. We turned around, and walked all the time to the right.

We decided to take a rest in the temple again. We froze slightly and decided to drink something hot. As it turned out, when we were leaving our stuff, I was given a bottle of water and tea. I put the bottle in my backpack, but I didn’t notice the tea. So we had to be content with just boiling water.

As soon as we returned to things, we decided to have lunch. We boiled water, brewed instant noodles, ate cucumbers and gnawed some dried apricots.

Moved to the right half of the System. The passage between the left and right parts is not so convenient, but then it becomes spacious and you can even walk without bending down.

It was unusual to meet the tent, usually people sleep here on mats. The owner was not there.

We got to the place “Stop of the first carriage” (in the sense of railway carriage). It is a cozy place at the crossroads of 3 tunnels. The place is saturated with unusual energy, you want to sit and chat here. Usually local people do it here. But today they were not here. Actually, according to Artyom’s plan, we were supposed to meet local people and ask them to lead us through the System.

While we were sitting here, a guy came up with his girlfriend to take a break at the bus stop. The girl was apparently morally depressed. The guy is not the first time in these caves, the girl is the first. He led her to the test. Artyom and this guy told me about trials in the grotto “Gromov”. Briefly, you need to get into the cavity, shaped as bottle neck, and get out of it, but it is very difficult.o get out.

Because there was none of the experienced locals with us, I didn’t want to go there. Also from the guy we learned about another place that can be considered a test – a narrow long hole called “Pike”. Let’s go there.

The passage is really narrow! This is where the battle begins with the fear of enclosed spaces. In addition, I had a backpack, I had to push it in front of me. I had no fear at all 😎. All my thoughts were on pushing the backpack and not hitting it on the stone, because there was a bottle of rare expensive beer (it should have been a fee for the tour for locals) 😅

Girls did a good job! They overcame fears and passed the test 💪. After the “Pike” we looked at the map and chose the next goal. It was the place “Big Columns”.

According the map, there was supposed to be a passage in one of the grottoes, but a big stone plate was blocking it. In fact, I did not immediately notice a vertical narrow slit on the right.

The place is called the “Venus passage.” It is believed that if a girl is slim, she will be able to squeeze through the passage. I will not reveal the secrets of who was able to do this and who wasn’t 😜. Well, those who did not squeeze through it sideways can crawl down below, where a little wider.

Further, having passed by the “Penis” and “Skins of a frostbitten dog” (yes, such names are found 😆), we were in a spacious chamber.

Actually, we were not in the “Big Columns”, as planned, but in the “Throne hall”, which is nearby. We didn’t get into the “Big Columns”, there were blockages… well, or overlooked the passage. I didn’t like it here. Most likely because here I lost my sense of direction and couldn’t determine the exact location from the map (it is a large chamber where cavities and columns are mixed). We had to wander in this place to find a way out.

We returned to the “Stop of the first carriage”. On the way, we came across a swing and a grotto with toys. After some rest we went on a visit to “Aristarchus”.

A stone slab hangs in chains in a grotto. There is a skull on it. Overcoat and boots give the impression that there is a body. I can’t tell the story of Aristarchus, because I don’t know it, there was nobody to tell it, since we didn’t meet the locals. I know just that he is considered the keeper of the caves.

After hanging out in this unusual place, we moved on.

We visited the grotto “Tanya”. The place is quite beautiful and inhabited.

Then we went to the grotto “Gromov”, where the trials are located. As already mentioned above, we decided not to pass the main trial, we just looked at what was there and how.

After having plenty walks we got to the base, to the place where stuff were left. There we had a snack. It was necessary to decide whether we stay in the System to sleep or not. Artem voted for an overnight stay. Girls did not want to stay. Any solution suited me. But on reflection, I took girls’ side. Since if we stayed here to sleep, we would wake up very early, and what to do is not very clear, we were not going to walk through the caves anymore.

As a result, we left the System. We immediately felt the temperature difference. In the caves, according to the sensations, there were 12 degrees Celsius, and 28 at the top. We changed into less dirty clothes and got to the city by taxi.

Since we did not spend the night in the caves, the next day I had free time before the flight. Friends showed me Moscow, it was like a little bike tour 🙂