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.


Read more


Urban Exploration: An Old Russian Fortification (1915)

October 8, 2009 · Posted in Urban Exploration · Comment 

A couple of weeks back Sameli, whom I knew only as a handle in local UE websites and Flickr, asked me to come with him to check out one of the World War I fortifications that can be found a-plenty around Helsinki area. We had talked about them earlier, but I’ve never been energetic enough to find out more about them by myself. Now, apparently, a new suburb is going up right next to one of them, so this autumn is the last time to see the place before retards with spray cans and beer bottles mess them up completely.

So, I drove to meet Sameli, masterfully going initially to the wrong train station. This week the weather has been really nasty, but today was the eye of the storm or something: nice, beautiful and crispy autumn day. Our target was specifically Base XXVIII:19, that was built in 1915. It consisted of three underground caves/tunnels blasted straight into the bedrock, which is really close to the surface in here because of the ice age. Additionally there were plenty of trenches, a large rampway built out of boulders and pieces of rock, and remains of abovegrounds fortifications and buildings.

The full photoset of the trip can be found in my Flickr and I’ll let the photos do most of the talking. The trip was really pleasant ending for the day and a nice change for sitting far too much indoors lately. There were also some quite surprising finds. In one of the caves there was fungus on the ceiling that was glinting metallic silver, there was a variety of butterflies that gleamed like brass and in the final cave there was a fungus on the wall that glinted like gold in the beams of our flashlights. Don’t believe me? The only thing I don’t have photos of was the spider, whose eyes gleamed gold. Seriously.

In any case, here’s a sample of photos from the trip.

(See the full photoset on Flickr)






Geotrip Featuring an Abandoned Kindergarten

September 6, 2009 · Posted in Geocaching, Urban Exploration · Comment 

Last weekend I went for a short geotrip, but ended up finding a few cool places – like a windmill near the area I used to live for years and an abandoned kindergarten. That’s the cool thing about hobbies like geocaching. You end up going to all kinds of weird places you’d otherwise never see.

I couldn’t get in to the kindergarten, but the yard itself was pretty atmospheric. You can find the photos in my Flickr.



Next Page »