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Chernobyl

Community Highlights Europe Chernobyl


Leaving in the morning - being careful, as the clocks had just changed, a 2 hour bus ride took us to the exclusion zone, where we were met by our tour guide, who took us all round the area. Starting off in Chernobyl city we saw a memorial to the first firemen who tried to put out the fire in the reactor. Further up the road we were taken to a nursery school that was left in such a mess...a sight that would be repeated many times.

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

After this, we were taken to some of the cooling lakes that were used by, and gave us our first sight of the reactor. At first we were rather worried about levels of radiation harming us, but the reading from here on our Geiger counter was 1.37, which was very low - 0.3 is background global levels, whilst anything up to 4.0 is safe. We were also told that out tour guide lived in Chernobyl city - and she looked fine! Whilst in Chernobyl city, I recognised a man from Crawley, who had been staying in our hostel the night before - he was staying in the hotel in Chernobyl city that night and spending two days in the area - rather him than me!

Entering Pripyat

Entering Pripyat

After this, we went to Pripyat - the town that is now abandoned, which housed workers at the plant and their family. Most of the time the levels of radiation were lower than 1.0 except a few spots - once when driving through the Red Forest to get to the village it reached 5.3 for a few seconds, and in the centre of Pripyat, a man hole cover in the central square reached levels of 33.6, however just next to this, the ground was only 2.0. We were told that this was due to the fact that this area was where the helicopters flying over the plant after the accident had landed and refuelled. As we left this area, we spotted another man hole cover, and whilst the girl in front of us walked over it, me and Halina decided it was best to walk around!

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool

Because our group was rather fast, we were allowed to see almost everything in the town, including the Hotel, the Palace of Culture, the Sports Hall, the Swimming Pool, a school and nursery, the 'cemetery' for machines that were used in the clean up, the prison and some apartments that were home to the residents. After this, we were taken for lunch close to the reactor...however once we arrived we were told there was no food, as they had not been expecting us....for some reason I had gone right off my appetite anyway! Whilst they cooked our lunch, we were taken to the closest point to the reactor we were allowed, beside the memorial to the 25th anniversary.

Chernobyl

Chernobyl

This was just 275 metres from the reactor itself, but an interesting experience. Radiation levels were 1.75 around here anyway. After this we went to the memorial to the liquidators, where the Ukrainian president goes every year in remembrance. After seeing almost everything it was time to go back for food - hoping it was not organic and locally produced, it was announced the food had been brought in from Kyiv earlier that day, and it did taste quite nice. After the lunch, we were taken home, before visiting the memorial to the relocation of the villages in Ukraine and Belarus, and visiting the gift shop, where I purchased a souvenir T-shirt and pen. All in all I had a really great day, and despite the small threat of radiation, I am very glad I went.

This featured blog entry was written by kmmk17 from the blog World Travels 🌍.
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By kmmk17

Posted Wed, Jun 28, 2017 | Ukraine | Comments