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Eerie winter images of Prypyat and Chernobyl

Wiki: Dark tourism (also black tourism or grief tourism) has been defined as tourism involving travel to sites historically associated with death and tragedy.

I have some sort of weird attraction to dark tourism.

A place with a dark past is strangely appealing to visit, as you get to experience something completely out of the ordinary, something amazing and terrible, something utterly mind-blowing.

Robert and I did a day trip to Prypyat and Chernobyl during our stay in Kiev. The photos we got were haunting – abandoned townships and schools, crumbling buildings, and soviet propaganda. We rented a geiger counter to test the level of radiation, which was so high in some areas that it was melting the snow.

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Crumbling dwellings in the Chernobyl township. The ‘robot cemetery’ holds robots used during the power plant clean up. They are very radioactive still.

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Day beds and a nursery rhyme on the wall of a Kindergarten in the Chernobyl township.

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Nuclear Reactor no. 4 stands almost 28 years after the explosion, and the new sarcophagus under construction which will cover the reactor to confine the radiation and should last about 100 years. The EU is funding the project which will cost about $1billion.

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May Day propaganda, and an abandoned sports centre in Prypyat.

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Deteriorating remains of a high school, including children’s gas marks from the Cold War.

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Prypyat’s Amusement Park was never enjoyed by the public as it was due to open for May Day celebrations that never went ahead as the power plant accident happened 4 days prior. The city was evacuated the next day.

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Passing through the radiation control checkpoint on our departure.


I’ve also uploaded video footage from inside the exclusion zone, which includes some answers to FAQs about the Chernobyl tour.

Ashlea Wheeler

Blogger & Photographer at A Globe Well Travelled
I'm Ashlea, an excitable Australian who loves photography and exploring the world. Find out more about me.

8 Responses to “Eerie winter images of Prypyat and Chernobyl”

  1. Paul

    Great Article Ashlea, were there no security guards or anything around the place? Love the photos, looks like a post apocalyptic wasteland, the picture of the teddy bear’s is just creepy lol!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Thanks Paul, I’m glad you enjoyed it! There were multiple checkpoints to go through with security guards at each one, but none wandering around. It was very eerie and empty. The teddy bear (actually the entire kindergarten) was definitely the creepiest part of the trip!

      Reply
  2. Piritta

    Loved these pictures, especially ’cause it’s winter! We’ve just recently started planning to visit Chernobyl, too (cheap flights from Finland to Ukraine atm, 😉 How was your day trip and with what company it was? Have you written about the tour itself? Would love to read about it.

    Reply
  3. Angeliqa

    This article is very interesting and so unique! I wasn’t even aware that you could visit Chernobyl now.
    It must’ve been an amazing but scary experience.

    Loved your photos Ashlea!

    xx
    Angeliqa

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      It was pretty crazy – really the only reason we went to Ukraine! You have to visit on a guided tour, but it’s totally worth it. Thanks Angeliqa!

      Reply
  4. Sabrina

    Wow, these are so cool. I would love to visit Chernobyl one day, as creepy as it is. You should definitely share your trip information and the company you went with. I would be interested to hear about it incase I ever do get around to going there!

    Reply
    • Ashlea Wheeler

      Well I was actually thinking about putting together some of the video footage I got into a separate post so I may very well elaborate on the details of the trip! Thanks Sabrina 🙂

      Reply

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