In these first weeks of 2022, in which so many news and images have arrived from Ukraine, we have often heard about the cities of this country that we knew something about. Kiev, the capital has always been known to everyone, but Mariupol and other minor realities have been attacked by the war reports because they were targeted by the bombing of the Russian attacks during the military invasion.
But what was Mariupol like before tanks and bombs passed through here? Surely the position on the sea of Azov made and will make it (soon we all hope) a seaside and tourist city in all respects. Not only. Mariupol has a metallurgical factory founded in 1897 that produces hot rolled steel, which is ideal for the construction of ships, oil and gas pipelines. Unsurprisingly, it was a Russian target for this reason as well.
The city center of Mariupol, as it was before the bombing of these first months of 2022, deserves a visit and a few stops among the monuments of the city.
Passing from the Orthodox church (photo above), up to the Mosque, then to the Cathedral of Archangel Michael and the small monuments such as the Crocodile Goji in Primorsky boulevard. The peace bell, as never before, should be one of the most representative monuments (if still present).
Although Mariupol is not new to terrorist attacks or guerrillas (the photo above refers to a terrorist attack on January 24, 2015), the wound carved by Russian troops in this war is truly violent. We have seen shocking images passing through TV, newspapers and the internet without the slightest pause giving a little respite. Above all, the bombed children’s hospital and the transport of the wounded out of the destroyed building. A situation that our society, defined as civil, should not even dare to imagine. Let alone accept.
In order not to fall into the error of spreading incorrect information, we will simply conclude by hoping to see these and all the other Ukrainian cities shine with their beauty, with all their tourists (including Russians of course), their traditions and local festivals soon. So that hatred, war and injustice can be fought peacefully.
It may happen that, between one trip and another, we feel like trying our luck and organizing something a little more exciting than usual. You know, traveling alone can mean a few more unexpected events but, if for one reason or another we decide to get away from everything and everyone, here are some cities or villages around Europe that only the bravest should visit traveling alone.
These are some villages that for various reasons (geological events, wars or more), have been evacuated and never returned to their original state. The inhabitants have been relocated en masse to new nearby settlements and now only onlookers, photographers and wildlife roam here.
1.Oradour sur Glane: This French village not far from Limoges is remembered for a massacre that took place on June 10, 1944, during the Second World War. Here 642 people lost their lives and, since then, only a museum of memory has been established here. Everything else is in a state of neglect. If you decide to come here, remember what happened and that it still remains a place of memory.
2.Doel, in Belgium, has a very special history: up to the 1970s it had a thousand inhabitants but with the new project to expand the port of Antwerp it was decided to start demolishing houses here. However, there are still a few hundred “dissidents” who do not want to know about selling their house and, today, Doel has become the village of street art and murals. So there remain closed windows and doors and walls full of incredible drawings. Maybe a visit here could be worth a few hours of your trip if you are passionate about street art
3. Pripyat also has a very special history. It was evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster, the well-known accident at the nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986 that initially caused 65 deaths. Pripyat, evacuated after the disaster, can now be visited thanks to some Kiev tour operators who organize excursions here. On the way back, if you just can’t resist the idea of visiting this desolate place, there are still many radiation checks. It even seems that a few hundred inhabitants managed to escape control and now reside permanently here.
4.If it is already hard to think of going to the Svalbard Islands (either alone or with others), trying to get to Pyramiden could prove to be fascinating but somewhat prohibitive. Founded as a mining town in 1910, Pyramiden bears this name due to the shape of the mountain behind it. In 1998 it was abandoned by the last Russian miners after being used by several mining companies for years. Since 2011 it seems to have been inhabited again for tourist purposes. If you do not like the idea of coming here to meet bears, birds, wild animals and some humans, however, know that on the Svalbard Islands you can visit 3 other ghost towns: -Advent City -Grumantbyen ( photo below) -Colesbukta … unless a polar bear eats you first
5. Belchite, in Spain, was also destroyed by a war. We are in the period of the Spanish Civil War and on 22 August 1937 a siege begins which will only end at the beginning of September. Belchite will be completely destroyed and only a monument of the heroes will remain here. Some films will also be shot after Belchite. But what you see in the photo below is what remains of the historic center of the city.
6.Craco is a small town in the province of Matera in Italy and in the 1950s it began to depopulate due to a landslide that endangered the stability of its houses. At the beginning of the 80s Craco became a ghost town even if today it is a real tourist destination and even a film set on some occasions. Surely a destination within the reach of even the most fearful.
7. Dvigrad is a medieval Croatian city also called Due Castelli. Its history has been full of battles and continuous sieges which it has often resisted thanks to its fortifications but, only in 1715, after a strong malaria epidemic, even the last inhabitants were forced to leave
8.Not much information about Jantuha, a city in Abkhazia, one of the autonomous republics in which Georgia (formerly the Soviet Union) is divided, but it is certain that looking at the image probably even the most fearless of solitary travelers would find it difficult to enter such a desolate and abandoned place. Doesn’t it remind you of a scene from the film “Eurotrip”?
9.This is a real gem and, even if we don’t recommend sleeping at night, it’s sure to be worth a visit. Kayakoy is a completely abandoned Greek-style village that overlooks the Aegean Sea but stands, or rather once stood on the Turkish coasts. The inhabitants now live in the valley and tourism is certainly not lacking here thanks to these splendid ruins surrounded by greenery. For all types of travelers.
Ten. Irbene and Skrunda-1 in Latvia are two Russian military bases with giant radars that are also abandoned. If you want to take a beach holiday, here we are not very far from the fresh seas of Northern Europe and, judging by the photos, already inside the abandoned site, you can see some sand dunes. There are also some hotels in the area. Think about it!