Chernobyl in HDR

Posted: October 1, 2010 in Chernobyl HDR

Before heading out to Central America on the bike, I decided to take another small vacation which I wouldn’t have been able to with the 2 weeks off I was getting while employed.  Yes, gotta love America, land of possibilities and endless dreams.  3 years with a company and still, only 2 weeks of vacation a year.  And to top that off, you could not take that time off during certain months of the year because of the “high sales” season.  One of the black out periods was during September, but I did get my vacation this year, about 4 weeks of it too.  So me an Katia used up this time to start off with a rave festival in Nevada called Burning Man.  Then we drove around California, Ohio, Montana, Oregon and a few other places for a total of about 5000 km.  We came back home for about 24 hours, after which we went out to Kiev, Ukraine for about 2 weeks and to Amsterdam and surroundings for about a week.  Pictures wise, we didn’t take too many at Burning Man or in Amsterdam because, well, you wouldn’t want to forget your camera somewhere in that “state of mind”… 😉

While in Ukraine, we did visit a site that I wanted to see for ages.  While I was really young, the Chernobyl explosion happened not too far from Romania where I was living at that time.  I remember my parents telling me not to go outside, not to drink cow milk but powder milk instead, not to eat vegetables… and so on.  Since then, I have seen many documentaries on the Chernobyl explosion, read a bit on the sad historical event, and wondered what has become of the place.

The tour cost 160$ US and from my understanding, it falls under a grey area when it comes to it’s legality, specially since we entered the 10 km zone.  When we first entered the premises, we saw a brand new range rover with a few soldiers drinking vodka out of silver shot glasses.  So it either pays really well to be a soldier in Ukraine, or a big chunk of our 160$ goes to local officials in order to make these tours possible.  Needless to say, this was a once in a lifetime, priceless opportunity to see a site that no many get the balls to even get close to.  We went as close as 300 meters from the explosion site, but were only allowed to step on cement and in restricted areas.  Afterwards, we visited the local town where the workers used to live.  The workers who weren’t told what was going on and who weren’t evacuated for days.

If you want to know more about the history of the tragic accident that has happened at chernobyl, there’s lots you can learn using google.  What I do have that’s a bit different from what you’ll see online, are a few pictures in HDR.  They are also in full resolution on my FLICKR album as well as many more that I haven’t published here.




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