Most of you probably think of ghost towns as some abandoned coal mine in the Old West, with the dusty saloons and tumbleweeds. You’ll be surprised that there are many empty cities that were found all the way to Antarctica, yes that’s real. The reason why these cities are abandoned is varied: villages crumbling because of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or even nuclear disasters – you name it.
Here are the top four abandoned cities around the world you might have never known existed.
1. Pripyat, Ukraine
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 has affected the city of Pripyat (two hours away from Kiev) immensely. This incident forced entire towns to empty out completely. All areas within a 19-mile radius of the plant were considered inhabitable for at least 180 years. You can still visit the area today with private guided tours.
2. Pyramiden, Svalbard, Norway
Located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, Pyramiden is named for the pyramid-shaped mountain appearing nearby. The city first became notable in the 1930s, when the Soviets took ownership of the area. The biggest hit came in 1996 when an airplane flying from Moscow to Svalbard crashed en route. Many of those who perished were Pyramiden residents. This tragedy was the reason why it was fully abandoned in 1998. Today, you can still get there by boat from the main city to visit the area.
3. Kolmanskop, Namibia
You would never believe that this sand-filled city used to be a hotspot for diamond mining in 1908. After they discovered a bigger source for diamonds in the south of Kolmanskop, the site instantly became a ghost town. If you’d like to visit, there are hour-long tours offered every day.
4. Craco, Italy
The city was founded in the eighth century. It endured harsh times for several centuries such as earthquakes, wars, and the Black Plague. The final straw happened in 1963 when a landslide forced all the remaining residents to evacuate. Even though the city is in a state of slow decay, the 2004 hanging scene from Passion of the Christ was filmed right there. As for touristic attractions, you can still reach Craco by car, and enjoy a guided tour.
Recipe of Tasty Tostones for a Quick Snacking
Plantains are plainly tasty. The sliced and deep-fried version of them is even better to munch on at exactly any time. The similar looks can be deceiving, but plantains are actually the savory cousin of sweet bananas and taste nothing like the ripened fruit. It’s full of potassium and good fiber too. Plantain chips or Tostones are a common phenomenon all around Panama and beyond. Shaved skinny like potato chips or sliced nicely thick for a crispy-chewy action, tostones never fail to make your day! So, set aside your regular chips and get your hands on plenty of plantains. Follow these simple quick steps, and snack on!
Ingredients (for 2-4 people)
• 2-3 green plantains • Sea salt • Cracked black pepper • Vegetable oil
• First thing first, peel the plantains. It can be a little tricky. The best way is to cut the top and the bottom of a piece and then to make one or two scores lengthwise. Next, lift up the fruit from these lines, and the peel will come off easily.
• Cut the plantains at a sharp angle. You can cut the pieces thick or thin, as you like. But, the longer and leaner the sides, the crispier and tastier your chips are.
• Just like the French fries, soaking the plantain pieces in cold water for about 15 minutes will give you the extra benefit of removing the excess starch, making your chips crisp up better. This is not a necessary step though.
• If you soak the pieces, then after 15 min drains them and dry them well. Put a deep pan on the stove and heat vegetable oil in enough amount for deep frying. Fry the plantain slices at 375F temperature until golden brown. Then take them out draining well from the oil.
• Add a hefty sprinkle of sea salt. A tad touch of cracked black pepper won’t hurt either.
• Start munching right away! What are you waiting for!