Into the Zone: My Trip to Chernobyl & Pripyat

July 15, 2010 · Posted in Adventure!, Urban Exploration · 50 Comments 

“You are going to Chernobyl? Why on Earth?”
“Well, if you have to ask that, I don’t think I’ll have an answer that will satisfy you.”

Ever since I heard that it’s possible to go on a trip to the Chernobyl power plant and in the city of Pripyat in the turn of the millennium, doing that has been one of my dreams and Things To Do Before Dying. Why? Well, I refer you to the quote in the beginning of the blog post, a discussion I’ve had several times in the last few weeks. Ever since I was a kid I have been very fascinated with post-holocaust settings and “A World Without Us” types of scenarios, modern ruins have had a certain weird appeal to me for ages, and then then of course Chernobyl is a name that gives rise to all kinds of thoughts and feelings.

Chernobyl, Pripyat and the Zone of Alienation

I was 11 when the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded. I’d like to say that the moment had a big impact for me, but it really didn’t. It’s a bit strange, since my memory goes really far back to my childhood and Chernobyl certainly affected Finland, which got a big dose of fallout along with Sweden. Somehow, apparently, it just didn’t affect me personally enough that I had committed it to memory back then.

In 2007 I became aware of the new sarcophagus being built over the old one in 2008, when the Ukrainian government also forbid traveling to the graveyard of the military vehicles used in the clean-up. “That’s it for that dream”, I thought stupidly and more or less forgot about the whole idea – until Toni phoned me earlier this spring and asked if I was interested in accompanying him and some other people to the radioactive zone.


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