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Worldtrip a 45 year old's adventures around the world-which include everything from sitting in random McDonalds using his notebook, hanging with 22 year olds, and other immature stuff.

Chernobylicious-to the site of the Worst Nuclear Power Plant accident of all Time

UKRAINE | Tuesday, 27 October 2015 | Views [421]

Yesterday was one of the highlights of the entire trip. I visited the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and the surrounding towns.


First of all a quote from the New Testament of the Bible. (I don't believe in the new Testament, nor in a God that would be so vengeful to punish an entire population), but:


And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. Revelation 8:10-11

In short  it says a star,by the name of wormwood would fall from heaven would fall into the river-and many men would die. Chernobyl is the Russian name for wormwood, so some say the bible prophesied the Chernobyl accident.


 I met the guide in Independence Square, which is the central square. The tour wasn't on  a large tour bus, it was simply myself and two others( A 22 year old Brit, and a 52 year old British born lady now living in the US) driving with the guide in his Mazda 6.  The guide had a Geiger counter to measure radiation levels, which he used.


The ride was two hours long-first we came to a checkpoint at the 30KM radius of Chernobyl. 

 We waited in the car while the guard registered us. 


After a while, we drove on the road to Chernobyl town, and we inspected houses which we're abandoned after the government evacuated the residents. The homes still had some furnishings, and papers we're on the floor, but for the most part  30 years of decay we're showing.  We then visited an abandoned day care center, which still showed old dusty toys on the floor. Cribs we're still lined wall  to wall. All of these houses looked strangely intact almost 30 years after being abandoned, although a lot of the more valuable stuff, such as the copper wire and other valuables we're looted. 


Then we came to the 10 kilometer checkpoint, where once again the car stopped and the guide filled out some paperwork. A little way down the road we saw the actual plant. We saw reactors 1, 2, and 3 and the rusted cover for reactor #4 (the reactor where the explosion happened). We also saw the new cover which was being built for reactor #4, right next to the reactor. (a giant shed that looked like an airplane hanger for jumbo jets, which will be put on by railcar). 


We then went to a town specifically constructed in 1970 for the workers of Chernobyl-called Pripyat. Pripyat was a full town of communist style mid rise and high rise apartment blocks, a restaurant, supermarket, and even an amusement park. The town was evacuated after the accident, and is overgrown by weeds. But the buildings we're still there, as well as the town square, once again overtaken by weeds and vegetation, and even the abandoned supermarket with signs still up delineating check outs, produce, cheese, etc. I also saw an old school, with one classroom full of gas masks on the floor (not because of the accident-but because gas masks we're standard material in USSR schools, and boxes we're found).


There was also an amusement park which was built right before the accident, and was due to open the first of May. Instead, the park was only only once, on April 26th. to avert attention from the fire at reactor  #4. The Ferris wheel was still up, rusting in the open air.


We then went for a bad lunch in a Soviet style cafeteria-used to feed the workers. Chicken which I didn't eat and borscht with sour cream (I didn't want sour cream, but not much choice in a Soviet style cafe)!


But before lunch, we actually saw what I believed was the highlight, and one I (and the others on the tour) didn't expect: A giant edifice called The Over the Horizon Radar Installation. It looks about ten stories tall and 20 stores long (if it could be turned it's side), and is a giant structure composed of wires, metal and other substation materials.  It looks like 200 electric substations merged together. The official use was as an operations point in the telecommunication system-but unofficially, it was used to warm the Soviets of Anti-Ballistic Missiles from the west. This behemoth was reached by an 8 KM road, which was paved but the pavement was rough after so many years of disuse. To see it approaching on the horizon is a sight to behold, and to be there on a cold autumn day and hear the wind whipping through the lines is awesome. This structure was called the "Russian Woodpecker", supposedly because airplanes flying over the air space would hear noises from this structure that sounded like a woodpecker. 


Just a wonderful day, and the weather was perfect-cloudy, gusty, and sometimes rainy, to visit an incredibly creepy yet beguiling place. 


Going back to Kiev, we had to go through two checkpoints again, this time measuring ourselves for radiation.


Tags: chernobyl, kiev, ukraine

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