Monday, July 31, 2017

Help Anna get a kidney transplant


Our co-blogger and friend Anna needs our help. Although she was diagnosed with kidney disease a long time ago, during the last months kidney disease took a turn for the worse. She now has to undergo dialysis three times a week, while her symptoms don't allow her to work.

Undergoing kidney transplant would allow her to improve her quality of life and get back to work. It is however one expensive medical procedure and that is why Anna needs our help.

You can read more about Anna and make a donation on gogetfunding.com

Any amount, even $10, would help and go towards her medical treatment.

Thank you a lot for your help and generosity. 

If you donate, make sure you email me at alexanderlrs@gmail.com so I can thank you personally. You can also email me if you have any questions.

- Alex

Monday, July 24, 2017

The submerged church of Sant Romà de Sau


For more than a thousand years, the Romanesque town of Sant Romà de Sau was standing in what is today in the Sau valley of Catalonia, Spain. It did so until the 1960's when the government decided to create a reservoir that would submerge the town. The residents left, taking with them their valuables as well as their dead, leaving behind only the empty buildings. 

The creation of the reservoir flooded Sant Romà de Sau submerged the town, covering everything but the top of the town's church. The tip of the bell tower can be seen even when the level of the water is high. During drought conditions, when water levels fall, the rest of the church, as well as other ruins of the town can be seen as well.

During one of the dry seasons, engineers reinforced the church so it would remain standing, as it had already started attracting visitors to the area. Today, tourists often visit the Sau reservoir to see the submerged church as well as other ruins of the town, including an empty cemetery and the foundations of other buildings.

The submerged church reminds us of a similar one in South Tyrol, Italy.





SEE ALSO: More deserted churches around the world // More deserted underwater places // More deserted places in Spain // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES
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Monday, July 17, 2017

The abandoned Hachijo Royal Hotel in Japan


Back in the early 1960's it wasn't possible for Japanese tourists to travel oversees, so the country's tourism industry tried to compensate by building equivalent resorts closer to home. The island of Hachijo-jima, part of the Izu islands in the Philippine sea, was chosen for its subtropical climate and it was promoted as the 'Hawaii of Japan'. With a distance of 287 kilometers (178 miles) south of Tokyo, it was possible to reach the island by ferry or by plane.

The island saw a lot of investments with many new hotels being built. The largest of them was lavish Hachijo Royal Hotel. Modeled on French Baroque architecture, its gardens contained plaster renditions of Greek statues and ornate water fountains. The hotel attracted clients from Japan's expanding middle class and was very successful.

In the following decades things changed as Japanese tourists could now visit other countries easier. The prospect on spending their holidays on the black volcanic sands of Hachijo-jima wasn't so appealing when instead they could visit Thailand, Guam or even Hawaii. The hotel changed names several times, with the last one being Hachijo Oriental Resort prior to its demise and eventual closure around 2006.

Since then, the tropical heat and saltwater has ensured a swift deterioration of the hotel, while thick vegetation has covered its exterior. Inside the hotel, everything appears to have been left behind, from furniture to computers and other equipment. However, it doesn't look like it's possible for it to open again anytime soon

Monday, July 10, 2017

Inside an abandoned train yard in Budpest

The abandoned Istvántelek Train Yard occupies a vast area of land outside Budapest. Also known as the Red Star Train Graveyard, it is the resting place of more than 100 train cars and locomotives that have been abandoned in various states of disrepair.

The train yard was built in the early 20th century and today only a small part of it is used while the rest remains abandoned. Two large depots, a few smaller sheds and open-air areas are scattered with train engines and carriages, some newer and some from many decades ago. 

Among them, many German rail cars that could be among those that carried hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews to their death in Auschwitz during Nazi occupation in World War II. The Red Star Train Graveyard comes from a few Hungarian MAV 424 steam engines that bear a red star on their fronts. Also in the yard, many Soviet train cars brought to be repaired before being exhibited in the Budapest Railway Museum but never made it to the display and were instead abandoned there. 



Monday, July 3, 2017

Deserted places on Alaska's Adak Island


Adak Island is part of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, where Bering Sea meets the northern Pacific Ocean. Harsh winds and cold temperatures make Adak Island an inhospitable land, however it has been home to Aleut peoples since ancient times. 

Due to its strategically important location, the United States military constructed a base and an airfield on the island during World War II. From there, fight operations against the Japanese began in September 1942. After the war was over, the approximately 6,000 American military men who served on Adak recalled its cold, foggy, windy weather; mud; Quonset huts; few women and no trees; and a volcano that from time to time would issue puffs of smoke. Fresh food was a rarity.

The military continued to have a presence on the island with Adak Naval Air Station which remained operational during the Cold War and finally closed in 1997. The closure of the base brought the population of the island down to 326 residents from a high of 6,000. Although the town of Adak was incorporated with the former base, many structures were left abandoned.