Visiting Chernobyl

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The vehicle graveyard

About 15 km from Chernobyl, thousands of vehicles are left to rust. At first, the graveyard was meant to store only vehicles contaminated by isotopes with a short half-life, like Iodine. After a few months they would have been safe. Unfortunately, other vehicles were parked there, and the wind blew more dangerous particles over here, rendering all these trucks and helicopters useless for the first few centuries.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to walk between the vehicles.

^^ fire engines.

^^ school busses used for the evacuation of the zone. You can clearly see what is left of the rotors of two helicopters in the back.

^^ An army truck. Note that the engine is missing, probably stolen by looters or corrupt civil servants for sale on the black market.

^^ Armored Personnel Carriers used by the fire department.

^^ These gunship helicopters flew straight from the Afghan battlefield to Chernobyl to aid in the building of the sarcophagus.

Pripyat III: The kindergarten

We also visited a kindergarten. Most childeren aged 3 - 6 would spend their day here, since it was customary for both parents to go out working in the Soviet Union.

^^ The entrance. You may have noticed that I love peeling paint.

^^ Little trees are reclaiming the playground.

^^ A piece of graffiti in the gym.

^^ A toy car with a child's gasmask on top. Without a doubt the weirdest image I have seen during our trip. Childeren sized gasmasks creep me out.

^^ The kitchen.

^^ Obligatory shoe-shots.

^^ I loved that drawing. After a while, it gets harder to imagine that at one time, Pripyat was a happy place (Filled with turnip-cooking sparrows?).

Pripyat II: Swimming pool

These are some pictures of an indoor swimming pool / sporting hall :

^^ The windows of the swimming pool are long gone

^^ Another view from outside

^^ Our guide climbing the stairs to the pool.

^^ The basketball court on the first floor.

^^ The swimming pool. There were shards of glass everywhere. (Click for big)

^^ Serge and the pool

^^ The team filming us