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The key decision that led to cruise passengers being abandoned by ship

<p>A group of travellers, including two Australians, have been left stranded in Africa after their cruise ship allegedly refused to let them board the ship after a day trip. </p> <p>Eight passengers were among the many cruisers who disembarked the Norwegian Dawn at São Tomé and Príncipe, an island nation of 220,000 people off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, last Wednesday. </p> <p>The group of eight passengers took off on a private day tour, that reportedly wasn't organised through the cruise company. </p> <p>Things turned sour when the group were delayed on their day trip, with their tour operator allegedly connecting with the captain to tell the cruise the eight passengers would arrive later than their 3pm curfew. </p> <p>When the group arrived to the port, the ship was still anchored, but American couple Jill and Jay Campbell said the captain allegedly refused to let them on board.</p> <p>According to cruise ship lawyer Spencer Aonfeld, the group's big mistake was not booking the tour through the cruise company, as private tours come with a huge risk. </p> <p>Weighing into the drama on TikTok, Mr Aonfeld said, “Eight passengers were left behind when their cruise ship left them because they were delayed in an excursion apparently conducted without buying it directly through Norwegian."</p> <p>“These passengers include elderly passengers, one apparently a paraplegic, one has a heart condition, they don't have their medication, money, passports, cell phones and other things — they’re just left behind."</p> <p>“That unfortunately, according to Norwegian and me is, one of the consequences you pay when you buy your excursions from someone other than the cruise line."</p> <p>“Now they’re left there having to come up with the means to travel back to the next port or home and forfeit the remaining potion of their cruise. Imagine trying to do that in Africa without a passport, money or medication — we wish them the very best.”</p> <p>In order to rejoin the cruise and be reunited with their valuables, the group is now trekking to a port in Senegal, where the cruise is set to dock on Tuesday. </p> <p>In a statement, Norwegian Cruise Lines said it was “in communication with the guests,” and was providing them with “additional information” to rejoin the cruise. </p> <p>“While this is a very unfortunate situation, guests are responsible for ensuring they return to the ship at the published time, which is communicated broadly over the ship’s intercom, in the daily communication and posted just before exiting the vessel,” NCL said in a statement.</p> <p>The company said it was “working closely with the local authorities” on how the guests might re-join the ship. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / WRAL North Carolina </em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Kyle Sandilands abandons radio show after nasty accident

<p dir="ltr">Kyle Sandilands was forced to abandon his daily radio show on Wednesday morning, after a nasty accident prevented him from heading into the studio. </p> <p dir="ltr">KIISFM was forced to play a pre-recorded episode of the <em>Kyle and Jackie O Show</em>, as just moments before he was set to go on air, Sandilands took a tumble down the stairs. </p> <p dir="ltr">Kyle took Thursday off the show as well to recover from his accident, but called in to speak to his co-host Jackie O to share what happened. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I fell from the top of my internal staircase and rolled, rattled and bumped all the way to the bottom, and I was left splayed out like a Christmas dinner,” Sandilands said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a big marble staircase, very wide and very long, and in some design flaw, the light [switch] is at the bottom, not at the top, it was pitch black and my foot went,” he added.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sandilands said he was home alone at the time, with his wife Tegan Kynaston and their one-year-old son Otto spending the night away.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So the normal routine wasn’t happening, the nanny wasn’t there because the baby wasn’t there, and the lighting situation wasn’t sorted out,” Sandilands said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I carry everything in [my] hat, my wallet, keys, cigarettes … That all went everywhere, and I was left at the bottom of the floor.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I was so injured I thought, ‘That’s it for me. This is the beginning of the end.’”</p> <p dir="ltr">While he said he was left “rattled” by the accident, Sandilands went on to confirm he was doing “fine” now, and was hoping to be back on the air for Friday morning’s show. </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 18pt;"><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e52ac76e-7fff-4c97-37d8-2bedfb88f925"></span></p>

Caring

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Derelict Sydney home sells for millions

<p>A Sydney house dubbed “unliveable” has defied odds as it sold for $3.1 million after two couples submitted proposals prior to auction.</p> <p>The property on Vaughan Place in Redfern East is severely overgrown with plants and basic brick walls inside which appear to be covered in mould and rust.</p> <p>Shannan Whitney from BresicWhitney real estate told<em> 9news.com.au </em>that the couple who bought it were young and already homeowners.</p> <p>He said the vendors were satisfied with the final price of just over $3 million after it was initially listed for $2.5 million.</p> <p>"We were cautious about the conditions," Whitney explained when discussing the initial price guide.</p> <p>"We thought we were very sensible in terms of how the market might respond to an unliveable house, the high-interest rates and the high capital costs to turn it into a liveable existence.”</p> <p>"So yes, we thought that a $3 million-plus outcome was very pleasing all things considered.”</p> <p>He added that a project like this — clearly needing a lot of TLC — is not for the faint-hearted.</p> <p>Domain described the property as a "rare opportunity to build new residence”.</p> <p>It was designed and built in 1985 for prolific Aussie artist Peter Powidge who was at the forefront of Australian pop art in the 60s and 70s.</p> <p>The abandoned home sits across a double 270 sqm block and includes off-street parking.</p> <p><em>Image credit: REA Group</em></p>

Real Estate

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Woman buys three homes in Italy for $5

<p>In 2019, a US woman saw houses in Italy going for dirt-cheap prices, and within days she jetted over to Europe to see for herself.</p> <p>Originally from Brazil but living in California, Rubia Daniels now owns three of the abandoned homes, which she bought for just $US3.30 (around $AUD5) combined, according to the <em>New York Post</em>.</p> <p>However, snapping up these homes comes with a catch: the buyers must renovate the properties within a certain time frame, something that the 49-year-old is well underway with.</p> <p>When Ms Daniels, who works in the solar industry, first heard of the dirt-cheap homes being offered to help repopulate abandoned towns in Italy, she realised she had found her calling.</p> <p>“I was so amazed. It was one of those things where you have to see it to make sure it’s true,” the San Francisco resident told the outlet.</p> <p>“I did my research, and within three days I had my plane ticket, a rental car, the hotel, and I left.”</p> <p>The place she was headed for was Mussomeli, a town with a population of around 10,000 in the centre of Sicily.</p> <p>Mussomeli is just one of the many towns and villages in Italy offering up properties for remarkably low prices in an attempt to help combat dwindling populations.</p> <p>It’s a trend that predates the COVID pandemic.</p> <p>Back in 2019, the Sicilian town of Sambuca di Sicilia gained substantial traction for selling its abandoned homes for €1 (around $A1.60 at the time).</p> <p>In 2021, another string of homes were up for sale there, bringing the price up to €2.<br />The southern Italian town of Laurenzana jumped on the trend in 2021 and offered up its own abounded homes for €1 each.</p> <p>Although prices remained astoundingly low, the properties required anywhere between $A35,000 to $A135,000 to restore, with owners having three years to complete the job.</p> <p>In Mussomeli, Ms Daniels has different plans for each structure she purchased.</p> <p>One property will be dedicated to when she stays in town. Meanwhile, in an effort to give back to the community, she has plans to convert the second into an art gallery and the third into a wellness centre. The wellness centre will be her most significant renovation.</p> <p>After her initial purchase in July 2019, Ms Daniels began her restoration process later that year.<br />Currently, the exteriors of two properties are completed, with the last one yet to begin, but 2020 slowed down the initial progress.</p> <p>“Covid-19 happened and we weren’t allowed to go back, so I just started renovations again last year,” she said.</p> <p>Mussomeli is special for Ms Daniels as it reminded her of her hometown near the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.</p> <p>Aside from hitting the jackpot with her properties, she’s received a warm welcome from the community.</p> <p>“People were super welcoming and everyone wanted to have a coffee with me,” she told <em>Insider</em>.</p> <p>“The realtors embraced me like a sister – they were with me every single day through the time I was there.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

International Travel

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10 amazing abandoned sites around the world

<p>For every perfectly-manicured tourist attraction around the world, there are scores more that haven’t been touched in years, yet still draw thousands of curious thrill-seekers who aren’t afraid of a bit of dust (and maybe a few ghosts!). Take a look at these incredible abandoned places that are definitely worth a visit – but only if you’re game.</p> <ol start="1"> <li><strong>Chateau Miranda, Belgium</strong> – an imposing castle built in 1866 but abandoned in 1991 after becoming too expensive to maintain.</li> <li><strong>Kolmanskop, Namibia</strong> – a German settlement established in the early 20th century to mine for diamonds, but which has been a ghost town since the ‘50s.</li> <li><strong>Teufelsberg, Germany</strong> – the “Devil’s Mountain” is a manmade hill in Berlin created out of rubble from WWII and home to a former US National Security Agency (NSA) listening station.</li> <li><strong>House-Monument of the Bulgaria Communist Party, Bulgaria</strong> – it looks like it’s straight out of a sci-fi film, but in its heyday, this structure was the meeting place of communist leaders.</li> <li><strong>Garnet Ghost Town, USA</strong> – this remote town in Montana was built to house those rushing to the state during the gold rush, but these days, the mines are empty and so are the houses.</li> <li><strong>Ross Island, India</strong> – this British Administrative Centre was abandoned after a serious earthquake in 1941. It now lies in overgrown yet beautiful ruins.</li> <li><strong>Wonderland Amusement Park, China</strong> – construction on Beijing’s answer to Disneyland stopped after land disputes, so all that’s left is the surreal shell to a Disney-esque castle.</li> <li><strong>SS Ayrfield, Australia</strong> – right in the middle of Homebush Bay lies this floating relic of the past, covered in beautiful greenery.</li> <li><strong>Villa Epecuén, Argentina</strong> – from the 1920s to 1985, this Buenos Aires village was a popular tourist destination, after a flood forced both residents and visitors out for good.</li> <li><strong>Gouqi Island, China</strong> – on the banks of the Yangtze River lies this beautiful forgotten fishing village, filled with ivy-covered homes reminiscent of old European towns.</li> </ol> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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“Why our union abandons us”: Actress Shannen Doherty publicly shames actor’s union

<p>Actress Shannen Doherty has put all cards on the table during her battle with breast cancer.</p> <p>The Beverly Hills 90210 star, 51, is undergoing treatment for stage IV breast cancer and took to Instagram to reveal she is struggling to source health insurance coverage as she’s unable to work.</p> <p>Doherty publicly shaded the actor’s union SAG-AFTRA and its president, The Nanny alum Fran Drescher, saying she has been “abandoned”. </p> <p>"<a href="https://www.instagram.com/officialfrandrescher/?hl=en">@officialfrandrescher</a> I'm curious for people like me who have worked since they were 10 and paid dues to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/sagaftra/?hl=en">@sagaftra</a> how when we aren't able to work for health reasons why our union abandons us," she captioned her post.</p> <p>"I think we can do better for all our members and I think you're the person to do it. Health insurance shouldn't be based on annual income. It's a lifetime contribution.”</p> <p>"And for me and many others, we have paid a lifetime of dues to only be cancelled because we don't meet your current criteria. Not ok:, she added.</p> <p>The actress who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, posted a selfie from hospital while she received IV treatment.”</p> <p>Drescher was elected president of SAG-AFTRA in 2021 and gave an inspired speech about the union during the 2023 Screen Actors Guild awards. </p> <p>The union stands for the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. It represents all media performers, including actors, singers, models and journalist, and provides support such as health and pension benefits.</p> <p>Drescher nor SAG-AFTRA have publicly addressed Doherty’s claims on her Instagram post but several of her Hollywood friends showed their support in the comments. </p> <p>"Too many of my friends have gone through this – it makes no sense. <a href="https://www.instagram.com/sagaftra/?hl=en">@sagaftra</a> must do better!!" actress Busy Philipps commented.</p> <p>"The union is so tough on actors even considering working outside of it, but then completely abandons people when they need the union the most," actor Brian Austin Green wrote. </p> <p>"This isn't about bad mouthing for me. It's about raising awareness, helping create a conversation and hopefully reaching an end goal of change.”</p> <p>In 2015, Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer then returned as Stage IV in 2020, three years after going into remission. </p> <p>"It's going to come out in a matter of days or a week that — I'm stage IV. So, my cancer came back. And that's why I'm here,” she told Good Morning America. "I don't think I've processed it. It's a bitter pill to swallow in a lot of ways."</p> <p>Doherty has taken on a small number of roles in TV since her diagnosis, most notably in 2019 for the BH 90210 reprisal.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Movies

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Terrified tourists forced to abandon sinking boat in Bali

<p>Terrifying footage has captured the moment dozens of tourists were forced to abandon a sinking boat off the coast of Bali. </p> <p>Passengers were seen jumping overboard into rough seas in lifejackets, while travelling from the island of Nusa Penida-Sanur to the Bali mainland.</p> <p>The boat was struck by a large wave due to wild weather, which caused the trust vessel to sink, according to local news outlets. </p> <p>More than 23 people were rescued, with no casualties reported.</p> <p>Fortunately for those onboard, several boats were in the vicinity of the sunken vessel and came to the rescue of frightened passengers. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cm86aaBDXZy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cm86aaBDXZy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by INFOBALI (@punapibali)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>While there were no causalities, some passengers suffered minor injuries as they exited the boat, while personal possessions were also lost.</p> <p>Footage of the terrifying ordeal has gone viral online, with many Aussies warning other tourists about the dangers of travelling by boat in Bali.</p> <p>"When boats get cancelled or there's a bad weather warning. Don't try and find a cheap boat to get you across," one said.</p> <p>"I vowed never to go on one of those boats again after a horrific trip to Gili T when the captain got on his knees and started to pray," a second said. </p> <p>"We were also coming across shipping lane which made it even worse. These boat operators probably have no insurance and no regular maintenance."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook</em></p>

News

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5 of the eeriest abandoned hospitals and asylums around the world

<h2>From places of healing to horror</h2> <p>For some people, the allure – even the eeriness – of abandoned places draws them to dilapidated destinations year-round. For others, visiting vacant Victorians and otherwise abandoned mansions, or scrolling through images of abandoned castles, is a yearly tradition that gets them in the Halloween spirit. And when it comes to spooky structures, it doesn’t get much more creepy than abandoned hospitals and asylums.</p> <p>Hospitals are vacated and left to decay for a variety of reasons – maybe a larger location is needed, buildings have been damaged and repairs are too costly, or the disease the hospital was created to treat has been eradicated. Similarly, most of the psychiatric hospitals constructed in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries – previously known as ‘mental asylums’ – no longer exist. Their doors were closed in the second half of the 20th century, following the development of medications used to treat mental illness and the shift away from permanent institutionalisation and toward a community-based model of care.</p> <p>But regardless of why their hallways went dark, there’s something unsettling about these empty medical facilities. Even if you wanted to visit them, most are closed to the public. So we’ve done the next best thing and rounded up photos of some of the most chilling abandoned hospitals and asylums in the world.</p> <h2>Old Mental Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Hong Kong</strong></p> <p>This eerie, now-abandoned hospital in Hong Kong’s Western District, known today as the Old Mental Hospital, has had several lives. Completed in 1892, the L-shaped building was originally constructed as quarters for the medical staff of the Government Civil Hospital. The building’s rusticated granite blocks, wide verandah and decorative pinnacles and parapets belied its next life as a psychiatric ward for the hospital’s female patients, which it was until 1961, when the Castle Peak Hospital opened. For the next 10 years, the Old Mental Hospital was used as a psychiatric outpatient treatment centre, and in 1998, work began to convert it into the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex. Though most of the complex is new, the original granite facade remains, and it was declared a monument in 2015.</p> <h2>District of Columbia General Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Washington, DC, USA</strong></p> <p>The first public health hospital in the US capital – the Washington Infirmary – was founded in 1806 as a place to care for the city’s ‘poor, disabled and infirm persons.’ Because of its role as not only a hospital but also a workhouse and poorhouse, it was renamed the Washington Asylum, and in 1846, it moved to a larger site that would become its permanent home. Over the years, the asylum was used as a smallpox hospital, quarantine station, disinfection plant and crematory. In 1922, the city constructed a new health-care facility, Gallinger Municipal Hospital, which was renamed District of Columbia General Hospital in 1953. Following the hospital’s closure in 2001, the hospital – known as DC General – was used as a shelter for unhoused families until its closure in 2018.</p> <h2>Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum</h2> <p><strong>Location: West Virginia, USA</strong></p> <p>One of the most popular abandoned asylums to visit in the United States – also known as the Weston State Hospital and, ominously, the West Virginia Hospital for the Insane – the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was constructed between 1858 and 1881. It’s often touted as the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America and the second-largest in the world, after the Kremlin. But regardless of its ranking, the hospital is enormous, comprising nine acres of floor space under three-and-a-half acres of roof.</p> <p>Like most psychiatric hospitals of the era, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was intended to provide high-quality mental-health care in a state-of-the-art facility. But by the 1950s, it was overcrowded – housing roughly 2400 patients in a building designed to hold 250 – and conditions deteriorated until it closed its doors in 1994. Given that its cavernous halls are now open for tours and paranormal investigations, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of rumours related to the asylum.</p> <h2>North Wales Hospital</h2> <p><strong>Location: Denbigh, Denbighshire, Wales</strong></p> <p>Built between 1844 and 1848, the North Wales Hospital opened as a facility for Welsh-speaking people living with mental illness. Despite three expansions, the hospital was consistently overcrowded, reaching its peak population of more than 1500 patients in 1948. Changes in the treatment of mental illness – especially the use of medication – left patient numbers dwindling, and the hospital announced its closure in 1987.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the North Wales Hospital has been abandoned since it closed in 1995, and years of neglect, vandalism and theft have left it dilapidated. The local government hopes to restore the structures, given that the hospital is considered ‘an exceptionally fine and pioneering example of early Victorian asylum architecture.’ For now, the abandoned buildings and grounds are closed to the public.</p> <h2>Poveglia Island</h2> <p><strong>Location: Poveglia Island, Italy</strong></p> <p>Located in the Venetian Lagoon, Poveglia Island is a quick boat ride from St Mark’s Square. But unlike that crowded tourist spot, it’s eerily empty. Thanks to its dark history, Poveglia has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Europe, making it a frequent stop for paranormal investigators. Its ties to illness go back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when the island was used as a quarantine station for ships sailing into the Port of Venice.</p> <p>In 1922, Poveglia’s abandoned hospitals and other structures were converted into an asylum. A nursing home was the final medical facility to open on the island, and in 1968, the last to close. Poveglia has been uninhabited since and is not open to the public. But while many of the rumours and ghost stories associated with the island have been proven false, there are still some <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/10-strange-urban-legends-turned-out-be-true" target="_blank" rel="noopener">true urban legends</a> out there.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/15-of-the-eeriest-abandoned-hospitals-and-asylums-around-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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14 historic places that are now abandoned

<p><strong>Abandoned places</strong></p> <p>From train stations to hotels to entire islands, there are a surprising number of abandoned locales around the world. Some are even on par with the <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/15-of-the-worlds-spookiest-travel-destinations/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">world’s spookiest travel destinations.</a></p> <p><strong>City Hall Subway, New York, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/02-new-york-usa-january-30-2016-city-hall-subway-station-in-manhattan-landmark-station-built-in-1904-to-inaugurate-the-nyc-subway-system-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>New York City’s very first subway station opened underneath City Hall in downtown Manhattan in 1904, with gorgeous vaulted, tiled ceilings and even leaded-glass skylights. But this Gilded-Age treasure closed in 1945 due to safety concerns with new, longer trains – and never opened again. You can catch a glimpse of the City Hall station if you ride the downtown 6 train past its terminal stop, as trains still use the City Hall track as a turn-around before heading back uptown. But for a better look, the New York Transit Museum offers guided tours for members.</p> <p><strong>Sarajevo Olympic Venues, Bosnia and Herzegovina</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/03-shutterstock_1146065324-1-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>Once the place gold medal dreams came true, the 1984 Olympic venues in Sarajevo now stand as more of a memorial of civil unrest than a tribute to athletic achievement. The first Communist state to hold a Winter Games, Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s amid a devastating war in Bosnia. Some of the Olympic sites, including the bobsled track and ski jump, were used as battlements and strongholds during the Siege of Sarajevo, and still bear bullet holes. Today, tours are offered as part of a look back at the devastation of war; some of the venues, such as Zetra Olympic Hall, are being rebuilt.</p> <p><strong>Garnet, Montana, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/04-shutterstock_704394976-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>You can actually visit a real-life ghost town in remote Garnet, Montana, near Missoula in the US. Now just a memory of the Old West, this place was once a bustling gold mining town, attracting miners in the late 19th century who hastily constructed buildings to live in. At its height in 1898, 1,000 people lived in Garnet – but by 1905, the gold ran out, and the population shrunk to 150. Then in 1912, a fire destroyed half the town. By the 1940s, no one was left, and everything, including furniture, had been left behind. Now a walk-through museum, visitors can help support the preservation efforts for this piece of history.</p> <p><strong>Maunsell Sea Forts, United Kingdom</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/05-346697708-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>These other-worldly, rusting structures still stand sentinel at the mouth of England’s Thames River, protecting the island from a long-past threat. During World War II, the anti-aircraft sea forts guarded the country, shooting down Nazi planes and sinking a submarine. After being decommissioned in the 1950s, they served as the base of a pirate radio station in the ’60s. Now abandoned, the forts were possibly going to become a spa hotel, but those plans are now on the rocks. So for now, you’ll have to settle for getting a glimpse as you pass by via boat.</p> <p><strong>Pripyat, Ukraine</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/06-1368054212-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>This town close to the site of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster has provided some of the most chilling photos of abandoned places in the world. Thirty-six hours after the explosion, the city was evacuated, with nearly 50,000 people fleeing for their lives and leaving almost everything behind. What’s left are the desolate remains of schools, houses and communities, with clocks frozen at 11:55, the time the power went out. It looks positively post-apocalyptic. Although it may not be safe for humans to live there again due to radioactivity (well, at least not for 24,000 years at the actual disaster site, according to some estimates), a brief visit arranged by tour operators to certain areas is – reportedly – okay. These tours have seen a huge boost in popularity thanks to HBO’s recent mini-series <em>Chernobyl</em>.</p> <p><strong>Ta Prohm Temple, Angkor, Cambodia</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/07-1163637748-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>Not all abandoned places are spooky. Those from hundreds of years ago reflect a more natural cycle of human civilisation on Earth, with historical ruins reminding us how we used to live, work and worship. Take the Ta Prohm Temple, built in the 12th century: Unlike the other better-preserved temples in the Angkor area, such as the famous Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm was left to ruin in the 14th century, after which it was reclaimed by the jungle. Today, with vines and tree roots climbing over the building, this beautiful mix of human architecture and nature looks like something out of a movie – and in fact was used in the filming of <em>Lara Croft: Tomb Raider</em>. Happily for us, it’s open to tourists.</p> <p><strong>Catskills Resorts, New York, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/08-735515071-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>In the heyday of the 1950s, the Catskills were home to over 500 resorts catering to New York’s Jewish families, and the “Borscht Belt” continues to live on in movies and shows like <em>Dirty Dancing</em> and <em>The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel</em>. But in real life, many of these hotels, including The Pines (pictured) – once a sprawling resort with an indoor skating rink, pool with a huge concrete arch spanning across it, and “sky bridge” to the restaurant – declined in popularity and now dot the countryside in a state of ruin, ghostly remnants of the joy they were once filled with.</p> <p><strong>Michigan Central Station, Detroit, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/09-1055756234-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>See this historic train station in its abandoned state (safely from the outside) while you can: Last year, Ford Motor Co. announced a $740 million project to redevelop the area. When it opened in 1913, the gorgeous building, with an interior featuring huge arches and marble pillars, was the tallest train station in the world. The station was Detroit’s main depot but declined in use in the 1950s until finally closing in 1988. Although its historic status saved it from demolition, the building was considered an eyesore, plundered by looters and defaced by vandals. For the people of Detroit, the station served as a metaphor for the rise and fall of the city – but hopefully, the new project can bring it back to its former glory.</p> <p><strong>Bombay Beach, California, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/10-63100468-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>This short-lived resort area and its abandoned hotels that will give you the chills have to have one of the most bizarre histories ever. The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, was accidentally created in 1905 after man-made canals from the Colorado River flooded over into the valley. In the 1950s, it seemed like the perfect spot for a holiday, and the Bombay Beach community popped up. But soon, increasing salinity in the lake rendered life unsustainable, resulting in dead fish washing up onshore and a horrendous stench; the lake also became polluted from agricultural runoff. So, Bombay Beach was abandoned, although a few salty souls (get it?) still live in the area. Littered with fish skeletons and the detritus of beach living, this place is a paradise lost.</p> <p><strong>Hashima Island, Japan</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/11-1179676483-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>It’s no surprise why this island of concrete and steel is nicknamed “Ghost Island”: No one lives here anymore. Also called “Battleship Island” for its shape, the site stands as a monument to Japan’s rapid industrialisation. With more than 5000 people crowded into high-rise apartment buildings in the mid-20th century, Hashima was one of the most densely populated places on earth. Most of those who lived here were coal miners and their families, although the island’s place in history is controversial because it was also the site of forced labour. In 1974, the mine was closed, and everyone up and left. Tours of Hashima to see the crumbling buildings are available; you can also catch the island in the 2012 James Bond film <em>Skyfall</em>.</p> <p><strong>Cahawba, Alabama, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/12-1228163863-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>It’s hard to believe, but this site of decomposing cabins was once the capital of Alabama. Now, it’s one of the creepy but real ghost towns around the world. The history of Old Cahawba (also spelled Cahaba) goes in fits and starts: Chosen as the state capital in 1820, the town was abandoned after flooding and the capital moved in 1826, but it reemerged as a distribution point for cotton shipping. During the Civil War, though, its railroad tracks were ripped up and the town was host to a prison for Union soldiers; after the war, another flood drove the remaining residents out. However, the town again found new life as a community for former slave families – at least until around 1900. Since then, the town has been in ruins but is now enjoying yet another rebirth as an archaeological park.</p> <p><strong>Castle Frankenstein, Germany</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/13-81631069-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>Abandoned castle ruins can be seen all over Europe, but the history of 13th century Castle Frankenstein is creepily curious because of its connection to the hidden origins of one of Halloween’s spookiest creatures. A real-life scientist named Johann Konrad Dippel conducted strange experiments here in the early 18th century – including, reportedly, on corpses. Could Dippel have inspired the fictional scientist who shares the castle’s name, and his monster? Although Frankenstein author Mary Shelley never mentioned the castle in her journals, she did pass by on a trip down the Rhine in 1814. Did she hear stories about Dippel from locals? Or perhaps her stepmother, a translator for the Brothers Grimm, read the tale and passed it on? In any case, after being abandoned in the 18th century and rumoured to be the home of a dragon, the ruins of the castle are now open to tourists.</p> <p><strong>Iron Goat Trail, Washington, USA</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/14-748018750-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>This lovely hiking trail passes by the site of one of the worst train accidents and the deadliest avalanche in US history. Known as the Wellington Avalanche Disaster, the incident occurred when two snowed-in trains on the Great Northern Railroad were knocked off the tracks by what one witness described as “white death.” The snow buried the trains in the canyon below and killed nearly 100 people. Afterward, safer tracks and tunnels were built, but the old abandoned ones remain – some say they’re haunted, with hikers hearing screams and sounds around the crash site. It’s not safe to go into the tunnels, so don’t try it, but you can take a peek from outside.</p> <p><strong>SS Ayrfield, Australia</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/09/15-shutterstock_1327747472-scaled-770.jpg" alt="" width="770" height="513" /></strong></p> <p>This is not your average shipwreck. The SS Ayrfield, built in 1911 and used as a supply ship during World War II, was left to rot where it was moored in Homebush Bay after being decommissioned in 1972, one of many wrecks in the bay. This industrial area was contaminated with toxic waste, but eventually cleaned up, revitalised for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and now home to suburbs. But the ship had been reclaimed by mangrove trees, and so the “floating forest,” as it’s now known, was kept as it was – a strange juxtaposition of the man-made and the natural.</p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-56d0b486-7fff-c15a-bea7-34513cdbf9c9">Written by Tina Donovito. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/14-historic-places-that-are-now-abandoned" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&utm_medium=articles&utm_campaign=RDSUB&keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty Images, Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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Edwina Bartholomew slams "sexist" comments about "abandoning" her kids

<p>Edwina Bartholomew has hit back at "sexist" online spectators for claiming she "abandoned" her two young children to cover Queen Elizabeth's funeral from London. </p> <p>The <em>Sunrise</em> presenter, who is mum to Molly, 2, and six-month-old Thomas, was part of the international media frenzy covering the historic event, joining Natalie Barr and Kochie for Channel 7's round-the-clock reporting from London's landmarks. </p> <p>Despite the extraordinary career opportunity, Edwina was slammed for choosing the work trip over looking after her kids, so soon after returning from maternity leave. </p> <p>In a column for <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/smart/edwina-bartholomew-bites-back-at-sexist-claims-she-abandoned-her-kids/news-story/20b9856b6b54705b4be44d11631d5fdb" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Daily Telegraph</a>, Edwina defended her decision, <span style="font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px; background-color: #ffffff;">saying her children were in "very good hands" with her husband Neil Varcoe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif; letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px; background-color: #ffffff;">She wrote bluntly, "You should know that although my kids aren’t with me, they are in very good hands, just not mine."</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif; letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px; background-color: #ffffff;">Shutting down the idea that mothers need to be full-time caregivers, Edwina sarcastically added that Neil "lives in our house too and also cares for our kids".</span></p> <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff;"><span style="font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif;"><span style="letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px;">Despite the negative comments, Edwina said she was pleased to </span></span></span><span style="font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px;">receive an outpouring of support from fellow working mothers. </span></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font" style="font-size: 16px; margin: 0px 0px 16px; padding: 0px; min-height: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.1599999964237213px; font-family: graphik, Arial, sans-serif;">"Working mums are clearly in the same boat as me with chaotic households," she wrote.</p> <p>She concluded by saying her work trip was a "liberating" experience, prompting her to book more time away to recharge and leave her children with her husband. </p> <p>She said, "If you see me out and about or see photos of said activities online, you should know that although my kids aren’t with me, they are in very good hands, just not mine."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise / Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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"I need to be there!" Kyle abandons show to welcome baby boy

<p dir="ltr">Kyle Sandilands abruptly walked out live on air after his fiancée Tegan Kynaston went into labour early on Thursday morning. </p> <p dir="ltr">The shock jock was working from his home studio while co-host Jackie O Henderson was at the KIIS FM studio when he told everyone he had to leave.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Guys, I am broadcasting from home for a reason. And that reason seems to have raised its head now," a panicked Kyle said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I think I might have to leave the show and go to the hospital.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Guys, I am so sorry. I feel very unprepared, [But] I've got to run. I don't want to seem like I'm abandoning you, but I need to be there for my child."</p> <p dir="ltr">In what felt like just moments later, the 51-year-old announced he was a father about Tegan, 37, gave birth to their baby son, Otto. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Kyle and Jackie O Instagram page confirmed the exciting news, congratulating the new parents.</p> <p dir="ltr">“OMG!! THE BABY IS BORN!! OTTO HAS ARRIVED!!” the caption read. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ChGL8OPL9aq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ChGL8OPL9aq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kyle and Jackie O (@kyleandjackieo)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The studio sent “Intern” Peter Deppeler to the hospital to keep them updated and when Otto was born he ran into Kyle outside the hospital.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Otto's born, Otto's fabulous. I cut the cord, I didn't realise it was like tough calamari and blood spurted out,” the happy dad said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I was the first person to touch him, he sh*t himself, poo was oozing out,” he added. </p> <p dir="ltr">While he was chatting to Peter, Kyle was rummaging through his car for snacks saying, “The baby's feeding. Then I thought, well if you're eating, I will too.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Kyle and Tegan, have been dating since 2019 and <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/kyle-sandilands-reveals-big-news-on-air" target="_blank" rel="noopener">got engaged late last year</a> when the radio host popped the question while on holiday in Port Douglas.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Facebook/Getty</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Random man rescues abandoned bride

<p dir="ltr">A bride running 45 minutes late to her own wedding after having her own transport cancelled was rescued by a random passerby. </p> <p dir="ltr">Marksteen Adamson was on his way to a friend’s reunion when he spotted the bride looking confused in the middle of the streets of London. </p> <p dir="ltr">He thought it would be great to record her crossing the road in her wedding dress when he noticed her gesturing to him. </p> <p dir="ltr">It was then he realised that he could help the bride, her sister and her friend to get to the church that was only 10 minutes away.  </p> <p dir="ltr">"Was driving through London traffic to visit friends for a reunion lunch in South East London when I stopped at a pedestrian crossing and saw a bride looking confused and flustered,” Adamson said in his <a href="https://www.tiktok.com/@marksteenadamson/video/7121252884393594117?is_from_webapp=1&amp;sender_device=pc&amp;web_id=7070374670839465473" target="_blank" rel="noopener">TikTok</a> video. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I started filming as I thought it would be a great shot seeing her cross the road in her full attire. Then she saw me and started walking towards me and gesturing. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It turns out that she and her bridesmaid and team had been trying to order Uber cabs but three cabs had canceled at the last minute and she was 45min late for church. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Everyone, most importantly her husband to be, were waiting at Holy Trinity Brompton for her to arrive.</p> <p dir="ltr">"She asked if I could give her and the group a lift, and so they jumped into my Land Rover and I drove her to church. </p> <p dir="ltr">“In our short time together we had lots of quick short conversations about everything and got to know each other a little better and new friendships were made.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Adamson eventually found out the bride’s name is Anastasia, her sister is Alexandra and their friend is Paul. </p> <p dir="ltr">He also said that she tried to get him to hurry up as she was “late for church”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“After I dropped her off I heard the sound of the organ ring out and knew everything was going to be alright. It was a beautiful sunny day.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Relationships

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ALDI announces new change to all stores

<p dir="ltr">ALDI supermarket has announced an exciting new change coming to all stores across Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">The German retailer provides large 212-litre carts - which are 1.1m high - for shoppers to use, which have since gained a lot of criticism from elderly, pregnant and short people.</p> <p dir="ltr">Now ALDI has announced it will soon be rolling out half trolleys for customers to do smaller grocery shops.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We recognise that customers are looking for greater convenience when they visit our stores, as it’s almost impossible not to pick up the excellent value products on offer,” the retailer said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s why we’re introducing smaller trolleys across all our locations, so our customers can more efficiently pick up products while doing smaller grocery shops.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Shoppers celebrated the news with many welcoming the change which will see their shopping habits change.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Finally! I almost fall into the big ones to reach the bottom,” one person wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Great news for people who have had hip and shoulder replacement surgery,” another commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is great, I also love the big trolleys at Aldi. They are always in good condition and the height is more comfortable,” someone else welcomed.</p> <p dir="ltr">The exciting news comes just months after ALDI introduced shopping baskets in their stores.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Food & Wine

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10 abandoned hotels that will give you chills

<p><strong>Something wicked this way</strong></p><p>What is it about abandoned hotels (or really, anything abandoned) that piques our interest? Is it the secret stories that only a select few know? The mystery of those that saw the place in its prime?</p><p>Whatever the reason may be, we know that you want to dig up the dirt on these creepy abandoned hotels. Consider this a warning, however: We can’t be held responsible for what you may find.</p><p><strong>A small town gets smaller</strong></p><p>On Adelaide Street in the tiny municipality of Birdsville, Australia, you’ll find the ruins of what was once the Royal Hotel, built circa 1883. “Birdsville is well-known for its dust storms, the scorching heat in summer, and its loneliness,” writes Rita’s Outback Guide.</p><p>The Royal operated as a hotel for only 40 years. For a brief period in the early 20th century, it was used as a hospital/nursing home by a religious mission.</p><p>When the mission left, the town’s population dwindled (in 2016, the population was a mere 140), and the building was left to deteriorate.</p><p><strong>Red tape in Cornwall</strong></p><p>“Blotting the skyline to the south of Newquay’s most famous beach, the Fistral Bay Hotel has been left to crumble for more than a decade,” writes Cornwall Live. Built in 1910 in Cornwall, England, it thrived throughout the first half of the 20th century but declined in popularity thereafter.</p><p>It was set for redevelopment in the mid-1990s, but those plans have been mired in bureaucratic red tape ever since.</p><p>If you’re looking to blame someone, you might consider the Duke of Cornwall, aka His Royal Highness Prince Charles, because technically, Cornwall is his Duchy to oversee.</p><p><strong>From economic crisis to immigration crisis</strong></p><p>Once thriving, the City Plaza Hotel in Athens closed its doors in 2010 amid the Greek financial crisis.</p><p>It was since abandoned, at least for commercial purposes; since 2016, it has been used as a squat house by 350 refugees fleeing persecution in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan.</p><p><strong>A train derailment ended an era</strong></p><p>“Deep in the Aragon river valley, close to the border with France, lies the abandoned ruin of Canfranc International Station in Spain,” writes CNN.</p><p>The Canfranc railway station opened in 1928 and became one of Spain’s grandest, housing the luxury hotel that’s now pictured here.</p><p>All of it fell into ruin after the 1970 train derailment that destroyed the bridge that provided access to it.</p><p><strong>The remains of a ghost town</strong></p><p>Bodie, California, established in the late 1870s, was once a boom town near the Nevada border during the days of the Gold Rush.</p><p>The Dechambeau Hotel, in its heyday, served not only as a hotel but also as a health club of a sort and a place of worship.</p><p>By 1915, Bodie was already largely abandoned, but the last mine didn’t close until 1942. By 1950, Bodie had a population of…zero. Today, the entire ghost town is a California State Park.</p><p><strong>Another boom town bust</strong></p><p>Calico, California’s Hank’s Hotel has a story quite similar to that of the Hotel Dechambeau, except Calico rose and fell on the heels of the silver rush.</p><p>Calico was established in the early 1880s, but before 1900, silver had lost its value, and the town went into decline. In the 1950s, it was restored to look as it did in the 1880s, and in 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed Calico to be California’s Silver Rush Ghost Town.</p><p><strong>Wartorn remains of an Olympic venue</strong></p><p>When Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, those were the golden times for the former nation of Yugoslavia.</p><p>But in the years since, to say that times took a turn for the worse is quite an understatement. By the mid-1990s, the bobsled and luge track on Mount Trbevic had been taken over by the Bosnian military, and the hotel pictured here had been abandoned.</p><p>Today, it’s a mere skeleton of its former self and covered in lurid graffiti.</p><p><strong>The same war's collateral damage</strong></p><p>Another ruin in what was formerly Yugoslavia, the Haludovo Palace Hotel in what is now Croatia was once a high-end resort.</p><p>“Built in 1971 under the supervision of architect Boris Magaš, the structure exemplifies mid-century space-age design, with a certain monolithic quality typical of Communist-influenced architecture,” notes Atlas Obscura.</p><p>Penthouse magazine founder, Bob Guccione, even pumped $45 million into it, hoping it would catch on as a luxury destination. Though he went bankrupt soon after, the resort remained open for another 20 years, according to Total Croatia News.</p><p>But the war in Yugoslavia, which started in 1991, derailed its tourism industry, leaving the hotel to crumble into ruins, which is how it remains today.</p><p><strong>An abandoned Civil Rights Era icon</strong></p><p>The Ben Moore Hotel, pictured here, opened its doors in 1945 and in 1951 became the first hotel in Montgomery, Alabama to welcome African Americans as guests.</p><p>It quickly became an important meeting spot for Civil Rights leaders and played host to music icons including Tina Turner and B.B. King. But over the years, hard times, including alleged scandal, set it on a course toward disrepair.</p><p>It sits now, long-abandoned, waiting for someone to come up with a plan to restore it, and the money to make it happen.</p><p><strong>Fallen by the Wayside</strong></p><p>The Grants Motor Lodge opened along Route 66 in Grants, New Mexico in 1945 and was a fairly “run of the mill place” for many years, with the exception of the early 1960s, when it was owned and run by Clint Lester and his wife, both of whom were “little people” and stood under 142cm tall.</p><p>The hotel changed ownership and names several times after that, each time bringing it closer to its ultimate fate as the now-abandoned and appropriately-named Wayside Motel, according to the blog Never Quite Lost.</p><p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p><p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/10-abandoned-hotels-that-will-give-you-chills?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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Cruise ship abandons course to avoid arrest warrant

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After an arrest warrant was issued for a cruise ship vessel, the ship has diverted its destination path from Miami to the island nation of the Bahamas. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a href="https://www.foxnews.com/us/cruise-ship-diverts-bahamas-miami-unpaid-fuel-bills"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fox News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the arrest warrant was in response to over $1 million in unpaid fuel bills. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The U.S. marshal will be there with the arrest warrant if the ship shows up in Miami,” J. Stephen Simms, the lead lawyer representing Peninsula Petroleum Far East Pte. Ltd, told Bloomberg</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My good money is that it’s not landing in Miami, from what we’ve been told. Our client is determined to recover.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The luxury cruise ship known as Crystal Symphony was due to arrive in Miami on Saturday after a two-week voyage in the Caribbean. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, they diverted their course at the last minute with about 300 passengers and 400 crew members on board. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ship is operated by Genting Hong Kong Ltd., which has reportedly been struggling financially since the beginning of the pandemic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A British musician who was performing on the ship said passengers were scrambling to reschedule their flights after diverting to the Bahamas, but “there’s no panic”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every one of these people are trying to reschedule their flights,” musician Elio Pace told the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daily Mail.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There's no panic, there's no tantrums going on, they're taking it in their stride.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crystal Cruises president Jack Anderson announced in a statement that all Crystal Cruise operations would be suspended until at least April, due to their billion dollar losses felt through the duration of the Covid pandemic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Elio Pace said the passengers on board the Crystal Symphony were shocked at the announcement, but he has carried on performing for the travellers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That was quite extraordinary, to be in a position to have to perform to people, with them knowing the cruise line has gone into liquidation,” he said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For me it’s a headache, but for the crew, for the staff, the brilliant staff of this gorgeous luxury liner, I feel more sorry for them,” Mr Pace said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I'm put out, but they've lost their jobs for the foreseeable future.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Cruising

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Two US cops fired after abandoning a robbery to play Pokemon Go

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Two US police officers have been fired after they went off to chase virtual Pokemon creatures instead of responding to a robbery. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eric Mitchell and Louis Lozano were cruising the streets searching for Pokemon in the augmented reality smartphone game, and abandoned their jobs in the process. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An in-car recording revealed that the pair heard the call for help during a robbery at a Los Angeles department store, and decided to drive away. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Officer Mitchell alerted Lozano that ‘Snorlax’ ‘just popped up’,” legal documents show.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For approximately the next 20 minutes, the (recording) captured petitioners discussing Pokemon as they drove to different locations where the virtual creatures apparently appeared on their mobile phones.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The officers caught the virtual Snorlax before turning their attention to a much harder creature to conquer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Holy crap, man. This thing is fighting the crap out of me,” Mitchell said of the Pokemon, according to the documents, which were published last week.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Both officers were charged with multiple counts of misconduct, and admitted to failing to respond to the robbery, but denied they had been playing Pokemon Go. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The smartphone game took the world by storm in 2016, with users searching for fantastical creatures using the real world through their smartphone screens. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite challenging the court’s ruling and upholding the notion they were not playing the game at the time of the robbery, both men were charged and fired from their jobs with the Los Angeles Police Department. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Technology

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Quick thinking man uses ALDI trolley to rescue trapped koala

<p dir="ltr">The man filmed pushing a koala in an ALDI trolley has explained how he came to find himself in such an unusual situation.</p> <p dir="ltr">Peter Elmore, from Hastings, Victoria,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/trapped-and-scared-aldi-shopper-reveals-the-heartwarming-story-behind-his-koala-trolley-rescue--c-5355061" target="_blank">spoke to 7NEWS<span> </span></a>about the TikTok video a stranger recorded that shows him pushing a koala in a trolley in an ALDI carpark, explaining that he and his wife Kelly were on holiday in Portland he visited the local ALDI.</p> <p dir="ltr">His grocery run quickly turned into an animal rescue attempt, however, when he noticed a koala that had become trapped in the parking lot. He told 7NEWS, “There was only one way in and out of the carpark, and the koala was cornered. She was trying to climb the high wooden fence and kept falling. And because koalas can’t put their arms out to protect themselves when they fall, she kept landing on her head and bashing her face.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Then I saw an elderly man nearly run over her and I knew I had to get her out of there.”</p> <div class="embed"><iframe class="embedly-embed" src="https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2Fembed%2Fv2%2F7053328668852014338&amp;display_name=tiktok&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tiktok.com%2F%40cherrymaeferrer%2Fvideo%2F7053328668852014338&amp;image=https%3A%2F%2Fp16-sign-sg.tiktokcdn.com%2Ftos-alisg-p-0037%2F6c50fd26b66d41b19531c433c8486680_1642231055%7Etplv-tiktok-play.jpeg%3Fx-expires%3D1643151600%26x-signature%3DbWEJBaYxRx%252F9rgRUpvsXwP%252FCbUk%253D&amp;key=59e3ae3acaa649a5a98672932445e203&amp;type=text%2Fhtml&amp;schema=tiktok" width="340" height="700" scrolling="no" title="tiktok embed" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; fullscreen" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></div> <p dir="ltr">Peter and his wife are wildlife volunteers and have experience with rescuing koalas, telling 7NEWS, “We have a few koalas around where we live, so I’ve done it before.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As for why he put the koala in the shopping trolley, he explained, “I would’ve put her in the back of my car, but I had my dog with me. And I would’ve carried her, but then I saw the ALDI trolley and thought that would be a bit easier!</p> <p dir="ltr">Fortunately, according to Elmore, “She was very happy to be picked up and rescued. Male koalas can be a little more feisty, but she was relaxed in the trolley and was happy for me to move her around.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I only had to push her about 100 metres until we got to a bit of bushland. Then she went into someone’s backyard and up a tree.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was a happy ending.”</p> <p dir="ltr">As for the video, Elmore said, “I didn’t even know I’d been photographed until I saw the video! I can see that it would’ve looked a little unusual.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But the trolley was just there to help out the koala, it was very handy!”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: TikTok/Peter Elmore</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Supermarkets could face fines of $13,750 over MAJOR issue

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A law that could drastically cut down on the number of trolleys left abandoned has just been introduced in New South Wales, coming as a significant improvement to current laws.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new Public Spaces (Unattended Property Bill 2021 was introduced by NSW Parliament this week, which Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said has come after numerous past efforts failed to address the issue.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These abandoned trolleys pose a very real risk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, while others clog our local waterways,” Ms Scott </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woolworths-coles-to-face-fine-of-13750-every-time-this-happens-080458026.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There are 8,900 supermarkets right across NSW, and thousands more stores offering the use of shopping trolleys every day,” she added, noting that, “recently four Western Sydney councils alone collected 550 abandoned trolleys in a single day”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Scott said the popular app </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://trolleytracker.com.au/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Trolley Tracker</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has reported over three million abandoned trolleys since it was launched in 1994, capturing the extent of the problem local councils are dealing with.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The app works by allowing people to report abandoned trolleys belonging to retailers such as Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths, Big W and IKEA.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Each time a person makes a report, they enter a draw to win $1,000.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the incentives, Ms Scott said trolleys continued to plague NSW neighbourhoods.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Past efforts to deal with the problem, including deposit-based systems, geofencing, wheel locks and trolley trackers have not prevented the abandonment of millions of trolleys, which is why local governments have pushed so hard for legislative change just like this,” she explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Scott said the new bill is a significant improvement to the almost 30-year-old Impounding Act 1993, by placing the onus on retailers to collect their trolleys.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Under the new legislation, a three-hour collection time limit will be placed on trolleys, vehicles and other items causing a safety hazard, and a seven-day limit on others.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fines range from $660 to $13,750, depending on the items left abandoned and how long it takes for them to be collected.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Essentially these new rules put the onus right back on the owners to ensure their property is not abandoned throughout our communities,” Ms Scott said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those who fail to collect items can also face harsher penalties and enforcement orders </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.lgnsw.org.au/Public/News/2021-Media/1119-Abandoned-Trolleys.aspx" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">according</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to Ms Scott.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a result, supermarkets such as Coles, Woolworths and ALDI, as well as other retailers who provide trolleys, will be responsible for removing abandoned items within an appropriate time frame.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Scott said the cost-recovery aspects of the new law will help the community save almost $10 million of the $17 million spent each year to recover trolleys.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The legislation will also apply to other items such as abandoned vehicles and will help police and other agencies keep public spaces clear.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Officers will now be able to enter an abandoned motor vehicle to identify its owners, and then charge that individual fees for recovery and possible storage of that item,” Ms Scott said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a sensible move, and councils are grateful to the government for the extensive consultation and other work it has done with councils and supermarkets to help resolve the problem.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

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Protestors force Daniel Andrews to abandon press conference

<p dir="ltr">Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews cancelled a press conference on Wednesday, following advice from police after protestors picketed his appearance at the opening of a regional TAFE.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrews was touring a new TAFE in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo, but after protestors, chanting “kill the bill” and “coercion is not consent”, arrived outside the campus, the premier decided not to take questions from the media because of safety concerns raised by Victorian Police.</p> <p dir="ltr">The protestors were demonstrating against new pandemic laws introduced by the state government, as well as vaccine mandates.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before leaving, Andrews told the crowd, "to perhaps give you a quieter time, I'm going to go now". Protestors could be heard shouting insults such as “sack Dan Andrews” as the premier was ushered into a waiting car.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Daniel Andrews shows his face in public once and this is what happens... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DanNext?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DanNext</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KillTheBill?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KillTheBill</a><br /><br />Shot in Bendigo after a press conference. <a href="https://t.co/GLuHkjgUhW">pic.twitter.com/GLuHkjgUhW</a></p> — The Altruistic Capitalist (@kimchi2613) <a href="https://twitter.com/kimchi2613/status/1458269530283593732?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 10, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The incident coincided with daily protests in Melbourne’s CBD, including a protest on Monday night that saw roughly 200 people gather on the steps of the Victorian Parliament. COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar and Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton had to be escorted by police through the crowd.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meeting again on Tuesday, the crowd of protestors outside Parliament included Shadow Treasurer David Davis and Liberal Democrat David Limbrick.</p> <p dir="ltr">The laws being protested have been strongly criticised by Victorian Liberals and the Victorian Bar for being too broad and lacking proper scrutiny. Despite this, they passed the Legislative Assembly last month and are now awaiting the support of three crossbench MPs to pass the Legislative Council.</p> <p dir="ltr">The proposed laws seek to replace existing state of emergency powers, and would empower the premier and health minister of the day to declare pandemics and enforce health directions. Under existing laws, only the state’s chief health officer, who is not an elected official, has these powers.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images</em></p>

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