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-   -   A summer walk in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=237225)

Nantais Jan 6, 2019 1:55 AM

A summer walk in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
 
Last summer, on my way back from my traditional summer trip in Siberia, I decided to stop in Ukraine. There I visited Kiev and also took a two days tour in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Despite my love for abandoned and other eerie places, I must say that for years I was rather reluctant to visit the Exclusion Zone, not because of any fear of radiations, but because I was afraid that the place had become some sort of tourist trap for people looking for a cheap thrill, and because I prefer the less known spots.
Anyway, since I was in Ukraine, I couldn't pass the opportunity.

On the negative side :
The place is indeed becoming some sort of tourist trap. There is even a souvenir shop at the entry of the zone ! And like in any tourist trap, they are not specially honest (they sell postcards and, for an extra, they propose to post it for you from Chernobyl... I still haven't received mine).
Also, in the most iconic spots (like the Pripyat sign, the ferris wheel or the power plant itself), there were quite a few groups at the same time. Obviously it's not as crowded as Venice or Times Square, but still.

On the positive side :
I didn't expect to see so many things in just two days, and to have such freedom in some spots, like roaming freely despite all the risks (and I am not talking about the radiations here, but about the crumbling buildings). Of course, to be able to see so many things, we never stayed for a very long time in each spot. I wished I could have stayed a little longer sometimes.
Also, despite all the "tourist trap" thing, the place still retain all of its eeriness, especially when the Geiger counter suddenly goes mad (the levels of radioactivity vary greatly from one spot to another).

If you ever want to visit the zone, I can only recommend you to take at least a two days tour. I think most tourists go for a one day tour, they are indeed a lot cheaper, but in just a few hours I guess you only have the time to see the most iconic spots which happen to be the most "crowded" too. In two days, we saw these iconic places, but also a lot of other places, more lonely and less seen in all the documentaries or threads about Pripyat all over the internet.
If I ever come back to Chernobyl, I think I will go for an even longer tour (at least three days, or why not a week ?).

Here is a video I edited from I what I shot during the tour :

Video Link


The pics :

1- A vehicle that was used by the liquidators to clear contaminated waste :
https://i.imgur.com/MVE4Slf.jpg

2-
https://i.imgur.com/wEIwZBF.jpg

3-
https://i.imgur.com/UQrGRkj.jpg

4-
https://i.imgur.com/InYrro0.jpg

5- This used to be a theatre :
https://i.imgur.com/b7Ku6To.jpg

6-
https://i.imgur.com/l52vqFh.jpg

7-
https://i.imgur.com/xLU4IaE.jpg

8-
https://i.imgur.com/JACiuWW.jpg

9-
https://i.imgur.com/F0QECPi.jpg

10-
https://i.imgur.com/l8QtxjO.jpg

11- In front of the Chernobyl sign :
https://i.imgur.com/2jFEPrK.jpg

12-
https://i.imgur.com/N1Q9Ls4.jpg

13- Trumpet of Apocalypse ?
https://i.imgur.com/Lyw1ux2.jpg

14- The names of all the towns evacuated forever in 1986 :
https://i.imgur.com/xW0YxDZ.jpg

15- On the other side :
https://i.imgur.com/dpNLdeG.jpg

16- Pripyat :
https://i.imgur.com/HxrMkbB.jpg

17- Chernobyl :
https://i.imgur.com/3Hdk5BC.jpg

18- Some kind of monument to the other nuclear disasters :
https://i.imgur.com/ste0KNx.jpg

19-
https://i.imgur.com/Szez7sE.jpg

20- It's probably the only statue of Lenin left in Ukraine !
https://i.imgur.com/fb0FOuw.jpg

21- Contaminated shipwrecks :
https://i.imgur.com/gKuje14.jpg

22-
https://i.imgur.com/TUJtmGX.jpg

23- A monument to the liquidators :
https://i.imgur.com/vqomae0.jpg

24- Contaminated robots that were used to clear the nuclear wastes :
https://i.imgur.com/l7E73m7.jpg

25-
https://i.imgur.com/QjM9XQ5.jpg

26-
https://i.imgur.com/U6SQNRB.jpg

27-
https://i.imgur.com/k2qeYgX.jpg

28- Local monument to the soldiers who died during the Great Patriotic War (WW2) :
https://i.imgur.com/gUbd0wL.jpg

29- Here, 1.52 microsievert/hour. The natural radioactivity in Ukraine is between 0.15 and 0.30 microsievert/hour, but 1.52 is still not really dangerous.
https://i.imgur.com/nVUe7bA.jpg

30- The radioactivity varies greatly from one spot to another. The highest levels are measured on certain grounds (especially on the moss) :
https://i.imgur.com/SGMXvNd.jpg

31-
https://i.imgur.com/7thJKNx.jpg

32-
https://i.imgur.com/ctSlVUU.jpg

33-
https://i.imgur.com/ryLvLsa.jpg

34-
https://i.imgur.com/eicmYtr.jpg

35-
https://i.imgur.com/P9oVI7k.jpg



To be continued (lot of pics to post)...

xzmattzx Jan 6, 2019 2:09 AM

Interesting! What is new to me is that Chernobyl is so big, that you need to explore it in a couple days. I figured it was about the size of a small town or a city neighborhood. It sounds like it's much bigger.

By the way, you need to fix your link for #7.

harryc Jan 6, 2019 2:16 AM

fantastic - thanks for sharing - looking forward to more.

kcexpress69 Jan 6, 2019 5:29 AM

I guess no pics from inside the power plant!! :D

LSyd Jan 6, 2019 6:17 AM

thanks for the photos and advice.

one of these days i want to go there.

-

Nantais Jan 6, 2019 5:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xzmattzx (Post 8427296)
Interesting! What is new to me is that Chernobyl is so big, that you need to explore it in a couple days. I figured it was about the size of a small town or a city neighborhood. It sounds like it's much bigger.

Actually the Exclusion Zone is pretty large, it covers some 2,600 km² and there is a few dozens of villages and two main towns : Pripyat and Chernobyl, which is still partly inhabited by the soldiers charged of watching the zone and controlling the check points, and by the workers charged of maintaining the power plant (but they only live there temporarily). There are also a few hundreds of permanent inhabitants who refused to leave their home in 1986. Those are old now and are fewer and fewer each year.



Quote:

Originally Posted by xzmattzx (Post 8427296)
By the way, you need to fix your link for #7.

Thanks ! Fixed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kcexpress69 (Post 8427408)
I guess no pics from inside the power plant!! :D

No, of course ! Though we had our lunch in the power plant canteen on the second day.


36-
https://i.imgur.com/Aigim5e.jpg

37-
https://i.imgur.com/uefphLs.jpg

38-
https://i.imgur.com/6RekCV3.jpg

39-
https://i.imgur.com/ni4QDDY.jpg

40-
https://i.imgur.com/djb3NPE.jpg

41-
https://i.imgur.com/BMEmR0u.jpg

42-
https://i.imgur.com/MXplVqJ.jpg

43-
https://i.imgur.com/S1m3Ajp.jpg

44-
https://i.imgur.com/1EsxY9G.jpg

45-
https://i.imgur.com/kgoD1LN.jpg

46-
https://i.imgur.com/aZxr6zo.jpg

47-
https://i.imgur.com/DI3GV05.jpg

48-
https://i.imgur.com/e03cd7n.jpg

49-
https://i.imgur.com/hK9Pw2A.jpg

50-
https://i.imgur.com/r7MC2FK.jpg

51-
https://i.imgur.com/rqBINmO.jpg

52-
https://i.imgur.com/PCEYHkR.jpg

53-
https://i.imgur.com/BE0NFfL.jpg

54-
https://i.imgur.com/7Vqn8y0.jpg

55- Portraits of the first responders (workers of the power plant and firefighters) who intervened right after the accident. They all died within weeks. These men are heroes, they prevented an even more serious disaster which would have affected the whole world :
https://i.imgur.com/ITYruDf.jpg


To be continued...

dc_denizen Jan 6, 2019 6:45 PM

This led to the Khitomer accords right?

Nantais Jan 7, 2019 10:15 PM

56-
https://i.imgur.com/dBJZj2P.jpg

57-
https://i.imgur.com/gSFBuSu.jpg

58-
https://i.imgur.com/nQFFMCr.jpg

59- This used to be a supermarket :
https://i.imgur.com/nTCMqnr.jpg

60-
https://i.imgur.com/FNhlFN9.jpg

61-
https://i.imgur.com/dNbf1CJ.jpg

62-
https://i.imgur.com/rtQwkTM.jpg

63-
https://i.imgur.com/eS1FFQC.jpg

64-
https://i.imgur.com/8htTxwb.jpg

65-
https://i.imgur.com/6l3icR7.jpg

66-
https://i.imgur.com/nPJN6gv.jpg

67-
https://i.imgur.com/JQWkCTQ.jpg

68-
https://i.imgur.com/u4dupnW.jpg

69-
https://i.imgur.com/9wPD4MH.jpg

70-
https://i.imgur.com/3NIGGRk.jpg

71-
https://i.imgur.com/dJ7zjXO.jpg

72- Now that's radioactive !
https://i.imgur.com/RK9dtgM.jpg

DetroitSky Jan 7, 2019 10:16 PM

Fascinating.

mousquet Jan 7, 2019 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nantais (Post 8427286)
20- It's probably the only statue of Lenin left in Ukraine !

Obviously because the place has to be abandoned, right?
They didn't even take time to tear down the last statue picturing the dude.

However, it is said that this guy was actually a rather honest man.
You know, 'intègre' as we say in our language, but a bit like mad Robespierre that would decapitate anyone not as fiercely honest as he was.
Though their Russian Lenin was definitely softer than our Robespierre...

I would've been shocked by a Stalin statue, but this one is still ok.
You got to have respect for intègre men.
They own a rare virtue in this world.

James Bond Agent 007 Jan 8, 2019 12:22 AM

You could never get me to go there.

Interesting pics, though.

Nantais Jan 9, 2019 11:10 PM

73- This used to be a football field. Now it's a forest :
https://i.imgur.com/5v32fMC.jpg

74-
https://i.imgur.com/rv2hsUQ.jpg

75-
https://i.imgur.com/Rh1FMJv.jpg

76-
https://i.imgur.com/fjxiLfQ.jpg

77- The other side :
https://i.imgur.com/LiOk7B9.jpg

78-
https://i.imgur.com/RkUXVMl.jpg


79-
https://i.imgur.com/MnEoltS.jpg

80-
https://i.imgur.com/pGYmHnU.jpg

81-
https://i.imgur.com/K6p3NZ4.jpg

82-
https://i.imgur.com/Nh1KYoV.jpg

83- Getting inside a tower block :
https://i.imgur.com/o7kRCaO.jpg

84-
https://i.imgur.com/A4D4tDB.jpg

85-
https://i.imgur.com/PAMIEOS.jpg

86-
https://i.imgur.com/DRF7K1L.jpg

87- The elevator machine room :
https://i.imgur.com/1agojV1.jpg

88- View from the roof (the power plant sarcophagus can be seen in the distance) :
https://i.imgur.com/lX2rkCy.jpg

89- A fellow urban explorer on the roof :
https://i.imgur.com/rKGFXhx.jpg

90- The sarcophagus :
https://i.imgur.com/x0ZIaVQ.jpg

91-
https://i.imgur.com/6lUVhKR.jpg

92-
https://i.imgur.com/Tc2KTe4.jpg


To be continued...

Nantais Jan 12, 2019 9:42 PM

The "Duga" radar near Chernobyl was one of the two of its kind operated by the Soviet Union during the 1970's and 1980's. Back then, it was obviously a secret military place (these radars were used for the missile defense of USSR). This place is huge, and as abandoned as all the other structures in the Chernobyl zone.

93-
https://i.imgur.com/43qPLEL.jpg

94-
https://i.imgur.com/MkWUz2M.jpg

95-
https://i.imgur.com/yFPRFNA.jpg

96-
https://i.imgur.com/7jyFzB4.jpg

97-
https://i.imgur.com/CWdrzSA.jpg

98-
https://i.imgur.com/u3V5T4K.jpg

99- Going inside the command centre :
https://i.imgur.com/a8AYqsS.jpg

100-
https://i.imgur.com/GrRWrlR.jpg

101-
https://i.imgur.com/w4LXO4Q.jpg

102-
https://i.imgur.com/Bhzzsyz.jpg

103-
https://i.imgur.com/1vdXeX8.jpg

104-
https://i.imgur.com/wVbTmef.jpg

105-
https://i.imgur.com/ROrte65.jpg

cityskyscrapers Jan 13, 2019 12:17 AM

Thanks for the tour! Never seen or heard about this huge Duga radar.

Nantais Jan 20, 2019 9:23 PM

106- Inside the training room of the young officers who were in charge of the Duga radar :
https://i.imgur.com/IKdIxrt.jpg

107-
https://i.imgur.com/0GfUjET.jpg

108-
https://i.imgur.com/E3h0cZS.jpg

109- A model of the town built near the Duga radar to accomodate the soldiers who worked on the site :
https://i.imgur.com/asnLoz6.jpg

110- Inside an apartment block :
https://i.imgur.com/Tzf27Ac.jpg

111-
https://i.imgur.com/iIGtaTo.jpg

112-
https://i.imgur.com/YhMEZrb.jpg

113-
https://i.imgur.com/oAjt2ld.jpg

114- A playground :
https://i.imgur.com/vxaO2C2.jpg

115- A wooden plane for the kids :
https://i.imgur.com/YlFjRMG.jpg


To be continued...

FREKI Jan 23, 2019 10:42 AM

Awesome shots mate!

harryc Jan 23, 2019 11:09 AM

Thank you for the tour !

Nantais Jan 23, 2019 8:56 PM

Thanks for the comments !

Inside a school :

116-
https://i.imgur.com/XK45btv.jpg

117-
https://i.imgur.com/E1g7eTX.jpg

118-
https://i.imgur.com/eS5TKn9.jpg

119-
https://i.imgur.com/UPBpfcf.jpg

120-
https://i.imgur.com/IcEjo7O.jpg

121-
https://i.imgur.com/CBjdSiz.jpg

122-
https://i.imgur.com/vYcQo30.jpg

123-
https://i.imgur.com/YNo7dhB.jpg

124-
https://i.imgur.com/dKu7nP6.jpg


125-
https://i.imgur.com/sstOgU3.jpg

126-
https://i.imgur.com/LFEzC2A.jpg


To be continued...

karishmab Jan 24, 2019 6:03 AM

Almost each and every picture in this thread touched my heart. I felt so emotional when I saw that broken doll. :(

WonderlandPark2 Jan 24, 2019 5:15 PM

I went back in 2010 when only 17 per day were allowed in, and did a private tour, 2 days total. You made it out to the Cricket array, which I wanted to see and was forbidden back then. Spent the night in a crappy hotel that you were not allowed to leave in the town of Chernobyl. (which is different the Pripyat, the abandoned town).

Sorry to hear it is getting tourist trappy. It really was an experience when you were the only ones around.


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