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Old Posted Jan 6, 2019, 1:55 AM
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Nantais Nantais is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nantes, Rezé
Posts: 783
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 :


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5- This used to be a theatre :


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11- In front of the Chernobyl sign :


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13- Trumpet of Apocalypse ?


14- The names of all the towns evacuated forever in 1986 :


15- On the other side :


16- Pripyat :


17- Chernobyl :


18- Some kind of monument to the other nuclear disasters :


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20- It's probably the only statue of Lenin left in Ukraine !


21- Contaminated shipwrecks :


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23- A monument to the liquidators :


24- Contaminated robots that were used to clear the nuclear wastes :


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28- Local monument to the soldiers who died during the Great Patriotic War (WW2) :


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.


30- The radioactivity varies greatly from one spot to another. The highest levels are measured on certain grounds (especially on the moss) :


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

Last edited by Nantais; Feb 11, 2019 at 10:46 AM.
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