Here's a fun game to play when in a strange building with time to kill.

With some friends wander off in a direction that looks interesting. When you come to a door that looks like you aren't really supposed to go through, try it out. When you see stairs leading down from the main level, take a look at what's down there. Just try and explore as much of the building as you can in the time you have, and see what you can find. Personally I like learning the layouts of big, interesting buildings, and just plain old exploring.

Of course, urban spelunking requires some Common Sense(TM). Here's tips:

So, have fun, and happy spelunking!

This is also known as a branch of "urban exploring", or "infiltration". Infiltration however also includes going to places that are not public property, and sites that are restricted. For more info on infiltration see the nodes called infiltration or Urban exploration.

At MIT, this is called hacking. Hackers go out and explore the areas of MIT that most people ignore, like basements, sub-basements, ventilation and elevator shafts, and rooftops.

Hackers also introduce new students to this tradition by taking them on Orange Tours during R/O, when they first arrive at the Institute. Tour guides, (all named Jack Florey to save the poor, stressed newbies from learning more names) lead frosh around, introducing them to roof and tunnel hacking, while telling them stories about the great hacks of the past and the origins of the hacking traditions. They also introduce interested frosh to Hacking Ethics, which are one of the most important parts of any urban exploration

In Moscow/St. Petersburg, people who do this are called diggers (the English word intact). Media, especially tabloids, love them and surround them with a mysterious aura. Time and again, stories pop up about the secret redundant metro, Stalin-era bunkers or catacombs that remember the days of Ivan the Terrible.

I, myself, explored the not-so-crowded areas of the vast Main Building at the Moscow University during my studentship there. Those who've seen Brazil can get a glimpse of this place's magic. It's true that this building spans many storeys down under the ground in addition to its 35 "official" ones. I only made it to the inhabited upper levels, where some cryogenic lab grunts can be found doing their murky deed, and mains hum away (I wanted to climb further down, but a distant "Fresh meat!" reached my ears, and I changed my mind). The entire university complex's got to be interconnected with passages, albeit closed for the peacetime; roomy bomb shelters are provided as well. The tower top is also quite interesting: submarine-style oval doors and steep spiral stairs, head-spinning views upon the city here and there, an ancient elevator for the topmost floors, opening before massive locked doors at some positions — there are classified communication facilities in the tower. I was nearly locked upstairs once. Today all I've got to do is to read Harry Potter.

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