Blogs from Chernobyl, Kiev, Ukraine, Europe

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Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl October 16th 2019

Today we’re taking a guided tour of Chernobyl, together with Olena, our Ukrainian hostess. We board our minibus in Kyiv and are issued with permits and a Geiger counter before setting off for the exclusion zone. Upon arrival at the 30 km exclusion zone, we are provided with dossimeters and told not to eat or drink anything we find in the forest. We proceed to the town of Chernobyl where 2500 people still live and work on a shift basis, staying in dorms and spending half of each month outside the zone to decrease their radiation exposure. Following the fall of communism, Chernobyl is the only Ukrainian town to retain a Lenin statue in the main square. Presumably it’s too radioactive to mess with. Our tour guide is quite bossy and a little crazy. We have ... read more
Angel memorial
Firemen’s memorial
Robots used to deal with debris

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl February 7th 2019

First question: Is it safe to visit? Well it must be or you wouldn’t be able to. Just don’t lick anything. Second question: Should you visit? That’s not as easy to answer. Should you visit as in is it straightforward and is it interesting? Yes and yes. Should you visit as in is it the right thing to do considering the millions adversely affected, is it morally right? I don’t really know, maybe some/many people are offended that it has become a tourist attraction. But then I have visited Auschwitz, some churches in Rwanda where the genocide happened, the Killing Fields and S-21 in Cambodia, slave forts in Ghana, a KGB prison in Riga, various ossuaries such as the catacombs under Paris, abandoned ghost towns around the world, and as a kid I used to love ... read more
Children’s gas masks at a school in Pripyat
Kiev
Village near Chernobyl

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl July 25th 2017

Aangezien Kiev slechts op 100 km van Tsjernobyl ligt (Chernobyl voor de niet-Nederlandstaligen), was de verleiding erg groot om daar eens een kijkje te nemen. Probleem 1 is dat we niet graag dingen op voorhand vastleggen en dit natuurlijk minstens een week op voorhand geboekt had moeten worden. Probleem 2 is de minimumleeftijd van 18 jaar. Het eerste probleem kon mits extra geld opgelost worden bij een bereidwillige tour operator en voor probleem 2 kon ik op Yves rekenen. Terwijl hij een dagje met de kinderen naar het strand ging, kon ik de radioactiviteit gaan meten in het niemandsland rond Chernobyl. Aangezien het hele gebied in een straal van 30km rond de reactor al 31 jaar onbewoond is, werd het grotendeels overgenomen door de natuur. Dat desolate heeft natuurlijk iets magisch… Op onze laatste dag in ... read more
Boottochtje
De natuur neemt het over
Statue of Lenin

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl July 16th 2014

The whole reason I came to the Ukraine was to visit Chernobyl. For those of you that don’t know Chernobyl is the worst industrial accident of all time where a nuclear reactor exploded on 26thof April 1986. The official death toll is 20, 2 workers at the plant and 18 firefighters. However the real number of deaths from exposure to radiation could be as high as 100,000. If your interested in the subject the best documentary I’ve found is called “Battle for Chernobyl.” It’s available on youtube. For some reason the Russian death toll from the accident is listed as 31, not sure from the difference. The number is much lower than is real, for example recently footage has emerged from inside the reactor days after the accident. This was taken by an anonymous KGB agent, ... read more
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Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl May 10th 2013

Dan's movie trailer he made... worth a few yucks Igor It was here, finally. A journey over a year in the making. An idea born out of a flippant comment and in less than 12 hours, it would be done and dusted. We hoped it would be worth it. Breakfast was an early affair and we then regrouped in the hotel lobby. We were being picked up at 08:10 by our tour guide. We found him outside sat in a very clean looking mini-van... almost too clean for Kyiv, where everything was a lada or worse. The driver jumped out and introduced himself. Igor. One of the few people we'd met in Ukraine who's English was not limited to 3 words and a grunt. He opened the van up and warned us not to sit on ... read more
Heading into the village
The Village Shop
Nature is reclaiming the area one building at a time...

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl April 30th 2011

Kiev had a different atmosphere to Lviv altogether. It was our final destination, and as the capital of Ukraine it was bigger, more modern, and more happening. We also arrived feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep in a first class sleeper carriage, which made a huge difference! Unfortunately we found our hostel here was without a doubt the worst of the trip. We got a 12 bed room instead of the 2 bed twin, with suspiciously lumpy thin mattresses, and there was also the slight worry that the hostel owner would come and rape us in our sleep - He was one creepy-assed dude! We quickly donned our explorer hats and joined a free walking tour, which is always my favourite way to see a city. As one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, ... read more
This is seriously a police car
The Chernobyl clean up vehicles
In front of the Chernobyl reactor

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl October 2nd 2010

When I tell somebody, especially a girl, that I’ve been to Chernobyl and Pripyat, there is immediately a reaction that, don’t I want to have children, and it’s always the same thing, as if I cannot think for myself and choose for myself and what do babies have to do with someone’s trip to Pripyat? I don’t even have a girlfriend, and doubt so much it’ll change in the nearest future, so should I care that much about unborn babies? If I am father to a mutant-baby, that’s another story, though… I’d rather not dwell on the scientific approach to the radiation dose one receives during the 4-5 hour stay in the Zone, because I do not know how to calculate all the stuff and neither I am able to use a dosimeter. But I do ... read more
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Monument
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Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl July 26th 2009

Devastation can be devastatingly beautiful When we were making plans for our summer holiday this year one of the things that made us choose Ukraine was Chernobyl - the sight of the worst civil nuclear disaster in history. As a tourist destination this is a totally unique experience. In the entire World Chernobyl in Ukraine is the only place where you can enjoy a tour of an area that has been devastated and rendered uninhabitable by nuclear fallout. The word "enjoy" in the previous sentence was not meant as an irony. Chernobyl really is devastated, but it is also devastatingly beautiful. Look through our pictures and we think you will agree to that. To visit Chernobyl you must have a permit. The easiest way to get one is to join a tour. The tour company will ... read more
Vehicle graveyard
Ship graveyard
Ship graveyard

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl September 18th 2008

So on a cloudy, cold day in Kiev we make our way to the street the travel agent told us to meet up with her and she will make sure we get on the van for the trip for Chernobyl, this trip was not very easy for us to organize, we were supposed to go a week earlier but last minute screw up by another travel agent, sent us waiting it out in Kiev, they need passport details etc, and apparently paperwork takes a couple of days for permit to be issued to enter the Chernoobyl site, and it does not run everyday, only on specific dates so time it perfectly.quite costly for us both but we want to do it. We stood for 25 minutes in the cold then the agent came and we were ... read more
CHERNOBYL
CHERNOBYL(PRIPYAT)
CHERNOBYL

Europe » Ukraine » Kiev » Chernobyl September 27th 2007

Bright eyed and bushy tailed we weren't this morning. We went to bed slightly later than we intended so getting Rob out of bed was a bit of a chore. We were picked up outside St Petersburg hotel at nine. An American man called Irwin came along which wasn't terrible because it did make the price cheaper. The drive to Chernobyl was pretty bad. It took almost an hour to get out of Kiev and our guide drove like a true Ukranian. Forget being ill from radiation, I was surprised we made it there in one piece and without a single scratch on the car. First impression of Chernobyl was that we could have been entering a national park because it was so green and tranquil. The checkpoint for entering the 30km zone was rather easy, ... read more
30km Checkpoint
Radioactive Kitten
Normal Levels Inside The Town Of Chernobyl




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