My Tour to The Dead Ghost City – Pripyat and Chernobyl – 30 years since it happened
My Tour to The Dead Ghost City – Pripyat and Chernobyl
By Eric Laval
I was sitting outside my hotel in Kiev waiting for the mini bus and the guide that was going to get me safe thru the deadly radiation. I went thou my stuff once more. Pas port and all the papers I needed to get access in the deadly zone.
I had a got a list over things to follow:
This was myTour Schedule:
Duration of the Chernobyl and Pripyat tour: 1 day – leaving Kyiv at 9:00 in the morning and returning to Kyiv at 6:00 in the evening. (Optional: visiting the Chornobyl Museum in Kiev the day before the tour.)
Kiev – Chernobyl. Passing Dytyatky, at the border of the 30-km Chornobyl zone.
Arrival at the town of Chernobyl. Meeting with the authorities of “Chernobyl Interinform” agency.
Transfer to the village of Leliyov. Passing the 10-km zone border.
Transfer to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station and sightseeing of Reactor 4.
Visit to Pripyat (Prypiat). Sightseeing of “The Dead (Ghost) Town”.
Stop nearby the “Red Forest”.
Return to Chernobyl. Lunch. (Food is delivered from outside of the Chernobyl zone.)
Visit to the Chernobyl Scientific Center: physical and radiochemical laboratories, other.
Visiting the Opachychi village, meeting with “re-settlers”, people who have moved back to their villages after evacuation (optional).
Passage through the Dytyatky Control Point. Measuring of radiation.
Return to Kiev at around 6 p.m.
The bus arrived at time and it was about 2 hours drive from Kiev.
While we where driving they showed a film of the disaster and gave us our last instructions about safety. ” Do not go outside the asphalt . The grass and soil contains high levels of radiation ”
Who will forget such a warning ?
I looked at my yellow Geiger Counter I just got. This thing was going to warn me about my safety and tell me when I am in danger ? A Life guard…. Strange. I remember what they just said on the TV about radiation ” You cant feel it. Its just a silent killer “
I looked out the bus window. Here outside Kiev everything was so green. Big fields and trees in blooming Such a contrast to where we where going.
I was told that this year is the last for visiting the reactor and Pripyet. Why? They are going to build a shield around reactor 4.While working on that they will not allow visitors.
We have arrived at our first chechpoint.
The Dead (ly ) Ghost City – Pripyat
Pripyat was founded on February 4th, 1970. The main reason for the city foundation was construction and further exploitation of Chernobyl nuclear power plant – one of the largest in Europe – which gave the reason to call Pripyat a city of nuclear power professionals. Pripyat became the ninth nuclear power city in the Soviet Union.
The population of the city was 47,500 (in November 1985), it was the last census held before evacuation. Originally Pripyat was planned for 75,000-78,000 people.
Pripyat was a convenient transportation juncture in Polesye area due to railway station Yanov located rather close, a landing stage on the river Pripyat and highways.
The population of Pripyat was evacuated on April 27th, 1986, due to Chernobyl accident. A new town-sputnik Slavutich was built about 50 km from the nuclear power station for the staff working at it.
Pripyat is known all over the world for Chernobyl disaster happened at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The population of the city was about 49,400 before the disaster (April 26, 1986). After the disaster Pripyat was abandoned. The city is known as ghost city now.
We pass the remains of the Red Forest where all the trees in this area turned a ginger-brown colour after absorbing high levels of radiation before dying a few weeks later. Today the forest is back to a ‘healthier’ shade of green and the only thing to show the old forest was there are mounds of concrete were the old pine trees were buried by the liquidators.
We pass over the railway bridge and our final check point to one of the most interesting places I’ve been to. The ghost town of Pripyat.
Pripyat was the town built for the workers of the power stations, it was named Pripyat after the river that runs next to it. Built in 1970 it has everything a communist could ever want in a modern city. Straight Roads, statues of Lenin and ugly soulless buildings. When the town was evacuated the residents were told that they were only going to be away for a maximum of 3 days and to only pack a few belongings. No one ever returned back to Pripyat and their belongings remain there rotting away.