We heard about an observatory that you can visit. We drive a long time through a mountain range
and from the peaks we have excellent views of the cloud cover below us until we reach the station.
The building complex of the observatory is mainly a museum, but it was one of the most important astronomical institutions in the Union during the Soviet era. We are not registered and they want to turn us away, but a security officer comes over and asks us in. He’s relaxed, explaining that visits are usually only for groups, but he lets us join another group. A guided tour with a demonstration of the telescope costs the equivalent of ten euros, which is too much for almost all participants in the group.
So we almost get a private tour of the observatory from an elderly gentleman who worked at this place at the time. With a great roar, he starts the old mechanics and opens the roof hatches of the old observatory. We are lucky and in time the sky cleared up. He moves the huge telescope with buttons and levers and we can count the craters of the moon and the rings of Saturn.