Chernobyl area Reviews
Nuclear Disaster Are: Chernobyl, lessons learned Sep 06, 2014
At this time, I am not sure whether tourists are still going to Chernobyl - probably not due to the 2014 problems of Ukraine.
I visited Chernobyl a few months before the crisis in Ukraine erupted (2014 battle for Crimea and Eastern Ukraine). It is so sad what has happened to the country and I am sure the tourism industry has been hit very hard, and I remember the tourists guides who gave me such a great view of their country.
Chernobyl is a tour not for the light-hearted and in my group, I noticed I was only one of two Americans and the rest were Europeans. I just booked my tour on-line and met the van that brought me to the site (from Independence Square in central Kiev).
They offer you a history of what happened during the nuclear disaster in 1986 and how the Russian government reacted to the crisis. Many lives were lost and/or completely changed and the young city of Chernobyl became a ghost town.
I have never had "extreme silence" and I can just imagine how the place must be at night. No background noises (like distant cars or music) - nothing, not even birds chirping, although there are animals around the area but it was very quiet. I really wanted to see that Ferris wheel that was never used - and it does look eerier in person. The old schoolhouse was also sad with many dusty books, dolls and toys abandoned.
It may take some time before tourists go back again to this area. But I do hope that they go ahead with that plan to have a new enclosure (multi-million $arcophagus) for the whole complex by 2016 --- specially because the radioactive material still has a chance of leaking - IT HAS TO BE SECURED despite the current Ukraine crisis. Let's pray it will be.
Part of the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: 7 countries in 12 days! travel blog
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Chernobyl May 25, 2011
Chernobyl the forgotten place.. Prypac(50.000 population) now is a big cemetery of soviet nuclear program.
I've catch up to a trip of about 25 people willing to visit thee Zone. Just find theeir Internet forum and sign up.
After one month I am in a train with by friend going to Warsaw. First a bus trip:
We arrives at 19pm, get ours keys and accommodate home-stay flats- the taste of communism is incredible.. We stayed there for 3 days. 2 days we spends on exploring Zona..
You can go theere by train.It's about- 35km, about 45Min's.
But check train day before because theey are not often there..
The last station is made from plate and concre. At gate theere is some military guys, some security check and we are in bus going to 4the Reactor.
It's big.. really big and impressive.. Then little museum of catastrophe in 1986, old church from 18the century, little vehicle cemetery, and back to bus for really tasty and big lunch at staff cantine (engineering, workers etc).
At 2nd day We are going to explore Prypac- abandoned city.
The same train and bus, but now different direction. We stopped there and have 6h of free time to explore;]
At 3rd day are coming to the bus who travel us to Kiev for a night.
At 4the day we was in Warsaw again.
The organisation of this trip was made by some people from Warsaw University, you need to have a security pass to get into closed Zone.
pack of marlboro(20 fags)- 0.80$
beer in shop- 0.50$
metro in Kiev- 0.20$
taxi in Kiev 5km- 10$
taxi in Slavutych 5km- 4$
Trip to Chernobyl Mar 25, 2011
This is a must do if you are ever in the Ukraine. It was like being locked in time-capsule. So much history mixed with a since of danger and adventure. We were even treated to a great meal afterwards.
Chernobyl area Apr 27, 2008
As part of my travel to Ukraine last summer I found out it was possible to take a tour to the Chernobyl area. A travel agency arranged all the paperwork and a driver and guide.
On an early morning me and some friends were picked up at our apartment in Kiev. The only word the driver spoke was 'Chernobyl', but that was enough info ofcourse. The 130 km drive takes about two hours. Somewhere along the way we pick up the English speaking guide.
It's obvious that Kiev is the economic center of the country, as soon as you leave the city the fancy cars disappear and make place for horse carriages and Ladas. Some 3 quarters on the way is a 'new' road which was built around the contaminated area after the reactor exploded in 1986. Before 1986 the main road north into Belarus went past Chernobyl. The road after this point gets worse and there is only few traffic left. As soon as you think you're really getting nowhere you'll see the checkpoint of the 30 km zone. Papers and passports are checked and we may enter. We stop in the town of Chernobyl, some 18 km from the reactor to see some photos and buy some drinks in the local supermarket. (People still live and work in the area in shifts of 2 weeks). The guide suggests to take a beer and we're off to the 10 km zone. Our paperwork is checked again and we head towards the reactor. All of a sudden you're there, less than 200 metres from the reactor, and even closer to it when you're inside the little infocenter next to the reactor.
After some explanation about the accident en the future options of covering it we get back in the van and go to the town of Pripyat, some 2 km away. We pass by the Red Forest (called that way because it glowed in the dark after the accident). Most workers and their family (about 40.000) lived there. The town was founden n 1970 and was only inhabited for 16 years. We entered the local hotel (beautiful view from the top), town hall, theatre, and school. Time stood stil, school books opened, great signs of Soviet leaders etc. One of the most contaminated areas was the funfair, especially the bumpercars, the radiation meter gets nuts over there. The strange part is that some plants can be very radioactive, and only inches above the radiation is 100 times lower. Plant and ground material is the most dangerous since it absorbs most radiation.
After a few hours we return to Chernobyl for lunch, and a radiation check (which was more show I recon). After that we drive around the city and also see some of the (now radioactive) abandoned vehicles used after the accident. There are only a handful left, the rest has been sold and melted, I really don't believe they checked the radiation of some 2000 vehicles. That's probably what struck me most, the people over there on one hand really want to keep the area as safe as possible, on the other hand they don't really care, selling off radioactive vehicles as scrap metal, asking tourists to wear long sleeves and a cap or hat, but walking around in shorts and t-shirts themselves, etc, etc.
I must say: an experience I'll never forget, although there is really not that much to see, hear and feel in the area.
Afterwards we also visited the Chernobyl museum in Kiev, it's very small, a bit hard to find, but cheap and there is a lot of photo material to give you an impression about the impact of what happened. There were also some guides who were surprised that we in fact visited the area ourselves. ;)
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