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5. Elizabeth Bay

Another ghost town, but this one is a sad place for me.

While diamond deposits in Kolmanskop were drying up, the new lucrative mining town, Elizabeth Bay, was built approximately 30 km away in only two years between 1924 and 1926.

However, like Kolmanskop, operations stopped after a few years, and the mine was shut down in 1931. Finally, it became a ghost town after all residents had departed by 1940.

Unlike Kolmanskop, this town made me uneasy.

The ruined buildings stood against the pale blue sky, their bricks having been eroded so that only the mortar that bonded them remained like skeletons holding on to some glorious past.

A person in our group commented that it reminded him of an apocalyptic scene in the Terminator movie.  I could not agree more.

The stark contrast between the casino, worker houses and the sleeping quarters of the miners stirred a deep sadness in me. The miners were crammed into sleeping halls with narrow concrete beds separated by small dividing walls, and I believe the doors were locked at night to prevent them from escaping. It brought to mind images of slave trader ships.

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