Visiting Chernobyl

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pripyat I

The abandoned town "Pripyat" was a so-called "sleeper town", built to house those who worked in the power plant and the port. It was built from scratch in the seventies after the plant was completed and was very modern by contemporary soviet standards.

^^ When entering Pripyat from the south, travellers are greeted with a part of the refrain of the Hymn of the Soviet Union. "Partiya Lenina, sila narodnaya / Nas k torzhestvu kommunizma vedyot!" (Party of Lenin, will of the people / Lead us to the victory of communism).

^^ Further down the road is the "cultural palace". The gray cloud in the background is smoke from a forrest fire. Pictures from inside will follow.

^^ Those little stars were a nice touch.

^^ We climbed that high rise building. The view was spectacular.

^^ Another view of that appartment building. About five hundred people lived here.

^^ Ugh, insitutional green. This is inside the appartment building. Unfortunately, there was no time to explore it.

^^ The kindergarten as seen from above. Pictures from inside will follow

^^ The view of the town square as seen from the top floor: bottom: The restaurant, left: the cinema / cultural palace, top: the hotel.

^^ More housing blocks (click for big)

^^ Reactor 4 still dominates the landscape in Pripyat.

^^ A giant hammer and sickle, Serge and reactor 4.

^^ A forrest fire

In the next update, I will show how some of the buildings look from the inside.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Part 1

This is taking forever, because I had to scan a lot of negatives (my digital camera broke during the trip).

I kept my eyes peeled on the way to the Dytyaki checkpoint (where we would enter the zone) for arrows pointing to Chernobyl. There were several, this is the first one:

^^ "Chornobyl", to the left.

^^ 2 Kilometers before the zone, an old sign welcomes us to the "Chornobylskii Raion" (District of Chernobyl). "If you move behind this sign, you're back in the Soviet Union" according to our guide.

^^Sound engineer Kenneth in front and photographer Serge in the back.

^^ The sign reads "Chornobyl".

^^ The main roads in the zone weren't in any worse condition than those outside.

After a short talk in the Chernobylinterinform visitor's center we went directly to see the Sarcophagus.

^^ I posted this one before, I like that shot a lot :-)

^^ Reactor 5 was never finished.

^^ Serge, Tim, David and Kenneth in front of reactor 5.

^^ This would have been reactor 5's cooling tower. Reactors 1 to 4 were cooled directly with water from the Pripyat river.

^^ Soviet pylons look friendly, don't you think?

^^ Our guide Maksum in front of one of them.

^^ Reactor 4 in close up

^^ David filming the sarcophagus. The light was pretty bad (not a lot of contrast).

Coming up: The abandoned town Pripyat and more.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Soviet Pimpmobiles

^^ I believe this one is a Volga, a luxury car reserved for high ranking party officials.


^^ The friendliest car in the east.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I am now pretty busy sorting my images and retouching them where necessary. Here are some preview images. I feel they speak for themselves so I didn't add commentary:

More by the end of the weekend, and probably finished by the end of next week!