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Report - - Pripyat and Chernobyl September 2017 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Pripyat and Chernobyl September 2017

EOA

Exploring with Bob
Regular User
#1
I was lucky enough to land myself a place on a trip to Chernobyl arranged by @The Stig and @AuntieKnickers when it looked like @The Lone Ranger couldn't make it and there was a place going. As luck would have it, TLR could make it in the end, and the rest of our very fine group was made up of @xorguinae, @raisinwing, @burb147 and another explorer.

Chernobyl was a different experience than I was expecting in a few ways. The history of the place took me off guard. I was ten when the Chernobyl disaster happened, so only remember it vaguely. I knew what happened, but not much of the detail. We drove to the zone watching a documentary on the minibus and heard about the men who lost their lives on the first night of the disaster, not really understanding what danger they were tackling or their fate. The doctors who treated them did, though; struggling to watch the men laugh and joke as they were transferred to Russia's specialist hospital, knowing they would die an agonising death not long after. And then the hundreds of people who put themselves in harm's way to avoid a second, much more devastating explosion that could have wiped out Europe. And then the people who risked lethal doses of radiation to clean up Chernobyl and Pripyat in the wake of the disaster. It was sombering, and put things into context.

It still did not stop me playing radioactive-isotope.go, though. Which is a bit like pokemon go. You do your best to get covered in every radioactive isotope going by forgetting and breaking all the rules that are there to stop you getting covered in radioactive isotopes.

I digress.

The modern politics of Russia and the Ukraine were inescapable too. As our guide explained, the Chernobyl site is now being developed to house all the Radioactive waste the Russians have been holding for the Ukraine and are now sending back. The cracked paving in Kiev from the revolution in 2014 shows how raw emotions still are about the Ukraine's independence. Chernobyl will house the insides of reactor number four once that has been disassembled along with the other nuclear waste and the site's infrastructure will be used to create solar energy in the future.

All in all, incredibly interesting. Then there is the deserted town of Pripyat, whose inhabitants apparently did not hear or see the explosion. Although eye witness accounts say there was a huge rainbow and something reminiscent of a blue laser shining to infinity emanating from reactor number four. And you can clearly see the reactor for the town. Their ignorance seems a bit far fetched to me. As far fetched as believing Duga was for just television signals.

The other thing was the pace of the explores. We had a lot of ground to cover and three days to do it, so time in any one place was limited. This meant getting in and out in sites in record time. I think I changed lenses once or twice over three days. A completely different experience to back home, where I might cover a derp in half a day or revisit it on a few occasions.

So anyway, enough waffle and on with the snaps!

The Three Yoinkables

Had I been so inclined, I might have yoinked these. As it happened, I didn't. But I would have liked to. All these are from the creatively named, "School Number Three".

"Military Regulations of the Armed Forces of the USSR"

Yoink0391d.jpg


You can't escape gas masks in Pripyat, especially in the school. The fear of war was clearly acute, but were American kids doing the same thing in Uncle Sam's schools? The gas masks have become trite snaps, but I think they give an interesting perspective into the mind of Russia at the time.

FB-Howtoputonyourgasmask1e6b9.jpg


Who's down with CCCP! Every last homme.

Comradef7511.jpg


A couple of people shots on the tracks.

We went wandering off where we weren't supposed to. That was possibly my fault.

IamtheStigcc930.jpg


We named the little dog in this snap Dobby, on account of his ears. The dawgs were all around the human inhabited areas. Apparently, with no one to hunt them, the wolf population has grown and dawgs who live in the woods get eaten. So they beg off explorers and in return give them fleas and rabies.

Dobby-Bea-Tom-StigandClaire96686.jpg


Les Snaps

The no longer so grand piano.

AbandonedPianof1a7a.jpg


A rooftop perspective of the ferris wheel.

Rooftopshotoftheferriswheel2ceae.jpg


My take on the gas masks shot.

FB-GaskMasksceb06.jpg


A solitary cot in the hospital.

Cotforthenight5e7df.jpg


This is less a cracking photo and more a cracking place. We had a couple of hours to poke around the Jupiter Factory, which was purportedly for building cassette players and components for household appliances. But, that was just a smokescreen. It was making semi-conductor components for the military before the disaster and afterwards, they were testing various decontamination techniques. It was still in use until 1996, 10 years after the disaster and apparently, some parts of it are contain several times higher than the safe level of radiation.

In its modern incarnation, it's seems to be home to people who like to explore Chernobyl without permission. I found a room with a board tagged by different exploring groups containing empty bottles of brandy. I took some snaps, but they're on my phone and I left that somewhere in Kiev.

We had to leave as I was getting to the good bits. This is a typewriter from that area. One of the very interesting parts were the room with thick walls and blast doors. And you have to wonder what those were for in a factory that made cassette players...

JupiterBuildingTypwriter055ac.jpg


Reflections in a maintenance tunnel inside reactors 5 and 6, which ran off the from the room that housed the massive pumps used to cool the reactors (although, they were never put in).

Reflectionsinsidereactors5and68c3b5.jpg


One of the main rooms that housed the four pumps. Four pumps for each reactor. You can see one of the massive holes in the floor that would have housed them, slightly covered by debris. There was one on the other side for the other reactor that was clearer. I just like this snap :)

FB-InsideReactorNumber5and6ceeaa.jpg


And finally, my favorite snap of the expedition. The cooling tower for reactors five and six that was never quite completed. For anyone who does not know, the artwork was completed to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster (in 2016) by Australian artist, Guido van Helton. It's a reproduction of a photo of a doctor taken in the disaster zone by the late photojournalist Igor Kostin. Not only did Igor document the immediate aftermath he continued to document the deformation suffered by animals in the years that followed. He died at the age of 78 in a car accident in Kiev.

CoolingTowrNumberSixa4e79.jpg


The End

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Chernobyl. There was so much more to our visit than this. But, you don't need a report for every place I went to :)

The only thing better than Chernobyl were the thoroughly sound people I went with. It was a pleasure to meet you all. But, thanks very kindly to Stig and AK for letting me tag along. And a big shout out to Raisinwing for being my wingman when I lost my phone in Kiev and traipsing around all the bars we'd been in with me to help find it.

Cheers,

EOA :thumb
 
Last edited:

AuntieKnickers

inquisitive historian
Regular User
#3
Great report EOA. A trip that will be with you for a long time to come. Pleasure meeting you and keeping the giggles going.
However you failed to mention in your report about your cracked hood, smashed ring and creamy flaps.
 

The Stig

Urbex = Nosey Bastard
Regular User
#4
Dobby :) what not fleabag, and shitface, k4 and k5??
Was a cracking week together and glad you enjoyed every moment until you got a cracked hood and smashed ring :D

Cracking set of snaps there fella :thumb
 

burb147

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#5
Absolutely loved my time here with everyone. Think I've taken more photos than ever before despite speed splooring. And was the perfect first holiday away from my girls. Good people good sights oh and amazing breakfasts. Thanks for the invite. Good photos eoa it must have been so hard to choose the ones to post.
 

EOA

Exploring with Bob
Regular User
#10
Great shots mate, was a really fun trip! :)
Will have to do something again soon!
Cheers, chap! Yeah, it was cracking. We'll definitely get out soon and nail some of those explores we talked about :thumb

Great report EOA. A trip that will be with you for a long time to come. Pleasure meeting you and keeping the giggles going.
However you failed to mention in your report about your cracked hood, smashed ring and creamy flaps.
Hah, I did gloss over some of the amusing details. But I'd rather forget about my ring getting smashed! And I figured maybe not everyone is quite as partial to creamy flaps as our group!

Dobby :) what not fleabag, and shitface, k4 and k5??
Was a cracking week together and glad you enjoyed every moment until you got a cracked hood and smashed ring :D

Cracking set of snaps there fella :thumb
Cheers, dude. I'll have to venture further up north and see you and AK soon. It was an awesome holiday. And, painful as it was to smash my ring in the Ukraine, at least... Ah, no, I can't think of a positive to smashing my ring to oblivion.

Absolutely loved my time here with everyone. Think I've taken more photos than ever before despite speed splooring. And was the perfect first holiday away from my girls. Good people good sights oh and amazing breakfasts. Thanks for the invite. Good photos eoa it must have been so hard to choose the ones to post.
I have never seen anyone eat so much breakfast, ever. I took a lot of shit photos too, so that narrowed it down :p

Thanks very much @Donny. , @UrbandonedTeam , @The Kwan and @UrbanZ .

I was a cracking holiday / set of explores. There is a lot I have missed. I might just have to edit my report to add in one of the places...
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#11
It was a quality trip and good to see plenty of places that I'd not seen before as well as a few I was glad of a revisit to get the photos I'd missed the previous time.

Had to laugh at the zombie apocalypse hitting the street of Kiev on Friday afternoon, glad I bailed that evening before it got too daft :p
 

EOA

Exploring with Bob
Regular User
#12
It was a quality trip and good to see plenty of places that I'd not seen before as well as a few I was glad of a revisit to get the photos I'd missed the previous time.

Had to laugh at the zombie apocalypse hitting the street of Kiev on Friday afternoon, glad I bailed that evening before it got too daft :p
To be fair, if I'd have known about general lard and garlic vodka I would have been in bed like a shot.