Now, 33 years after the nuclear power plant accident, a mini-drama produced by HBO, Chernobyls popularity on the Internet has revived the heated debate about the Chernobyl incident.
If before 2011, peoples curiosity about Chernobyl could only be imagined, but after that, the abandoned city opened a window to the world again. In 2011, the Ukrainian government announced that the ruins around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant would be turned into tourist attractions and open to tourists. In April this year, Barros announced the opening of 95 abandoned villages in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exclusion zone for tourists.
Such news undoubtedly ignited the yearning of backpackers, explorers, ruins photographers, history enthusiasts and other people all over the world for this forbidden zone.
Overlooking the whole ghost city from the roof of the apartment building
A Special Adult Ceremony for 18-year-old Girls
Just 24 days after his 18th birthday, Qiu Yiming successfully booked an English tour group on the Internet, sorted out his backpack and flew from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkans to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
When Qiu Yiming, a 17-year-old international high school student, first heard the story of Chernobyl from a good friend in Ukraine, he never forgot the mysterious city. However, one of the necessary conditions for her visit to Chernobyl was that she must be 18 years old, so she had to wait a year until the summer of 2018 to realize her dream.
The tour guide said to me that I was the youngest tourist she had ever received, Qiu Yiming told Peng Mei News.
Indeed, a visit to Chernobyl, even in Ukraine, is a bit of a cold project. In fact, not many Ukrainians will choose to go to Chernobyl, to some adventure-loving tourists, because it is also a forbidden area for them, generally not to go, said Qiu Yiming.
After comparing the goods online, Qiu Yiming chose a one-day tour for about $100, which included bus pick-up and lunch. There are 15 people in the group, only 4 Asians. The rest are tourists from Britain, Australia, the United States and other countries.
Qiu Yiming wrote in a travel note posted on a social networking website: When the tour guide was about to leave Kiev, he deliberately asked,Are you sure you want to go on? Go ahead and theres no turning back. .
No one chooses to turn back.
Buses for tour groups. Qiu Yimings Map
In fact, during the whole journey, tourists only need to wear their own casual clothes, without wearing special radiation-proof clothes, but they must not wear short sleeves and shorts, long pants are best able to cover the ankles. Before departure, the tour guide will warn you not to run around in the forbidden area, not touch any natural water in the forbidden area, not touch metal, not grasp the soil with your hands, and if you see animals, dont come near, dont feed out of kindness.
In the process of slowly driving into the isolation zone, Qiu Yimings forbidden zone is becoming more and more real. There were two inspections during the whole journey, one 30 kilometres from the explosion centre and one 10 kilometres from the centre. But on the way from 30 kilometers to 10 kilometers, we will pass through a strange mangrove which is said to have turned red from radiation.
We always have a Geiger counter in our hands, and if the value on the counter exceeds 0.3, the alarm will sound. When our car moved into an area about 10 kilometers from the center of the explosion, the meter was barking and never stopped.
This trip is really fresh and exciting. Qiu Yiming turned off the counter, and when the bus passed a landmark marked 1970, she realized that the tour group had officially entered the town of Pripyat.
The number on the Geiger counter is the radiation index in the air at a landmark 10 kilometers away from the nuclear power plant. Qiu Yimings Map
Gas masks scattered on the floor of the classroom
In fact, after you have been there, you will find that the places for tourists to visit in Pripyat are fixed, such as kindergartens, swimming pools, playgrounds, stadiums, residential apartment buildings and so on. So no matter what tour group it is, everyones route is the same. ?
But even if I have seen many similar strategies on the Internet and come to the scene personally, the feeling that time seems to stop in front of me is dazzling.
I was particularly impressed by the abandoned apartment buildings in the town. Because most of the buildings we visited were one-storey bungalows without climbing, but the apartment buildings were very high. Although there were elevators, they had been abandoned for a long time. When we got in, we climbed up the stairs one by one, and we could see that every floor was completely broken. But the room really retains the way people left it. We can even walk into every room on every floor to see whats inside.
A typical collective apartment in the former Soviet Union. Qiu Yimings Map
The mottled walls and stairs inside the abandoned apartment building. Qiu Yimings Map
A schools internal feudal offerings
Another place that impressed Qiu Yiming was an abandoned playground. There is a huge Ferris wheel in the playground, which is the place where many visitors to Chernobyl must punch in. But in Qiu Yimings eyes, everything there seems to have some magic taste.
If the Ferris wheel is broken or disabled, it may be better. The reason why I was shocked was that it was just rusty and completely preserved, that is to say, it was not the ruins we imagined. Its a strange feeling. Its likeHistory stays in front of us.
Abandoned giant Ferris wheel. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
A picture of a basketball court in an abandoned Gymnasium
Qiu Yiming also saw kindergartens filled with weird dolls and classrooms filled with gas masks, which were popular on the Internet in Pripyat town, but these slightly artificial attractions made her feel a little deliberate. At the last stop of her trip, she saw the newly added sarcophagus in 2016.
Within the abandoned kindergarten. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
Dolls are a bit gloomy and scary. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
In fact, if you dont think about what radiation may be in the air or water, you wont feel panic in it. The environment is quiet and peaceful. Its just like a normal town. Trees are flourishing, and the ecological recovery is good. Qiu Yiming told Peng Mei News.
Chernobyls trip can be said to be a special adult gift from 18-year-old Qiu Yiming. After her journey, she returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue her overseas study. At the same time, she also had a vision of her future.
Im really interested in natural science and want to study related subjects in the future. The Chernobyl experience may have made me feel a sense of responsibility that people in this field need. In the use and development of energy, we should be very cautious and revere nature.
The Destruction of Elite Cities in the Eyes of Eastern European Fans
As an Eastern European fan, Zhu Yingtao had done enough homework before leaving for Kiev. At the end of 2018, Barros opened the visa-free policy to Chinese tourists. Zhu Yingtao decided to go to Bairos first and then to Ukraine by the way. Chernobyl was naturally an indispensable destination for Ukraine.
Before I went, I actually knew a lot, because I read history in high school, and there were Chernobyl-related things in the textbooks. After I went to college, I read some popular science books about history, and there were also stories about it. Knowing that Chernobyl was the most serious nuclear accident in human history, it had a greater impact than the Hiroshima atomic bomb explosion, Zhu Yingtao told Peng Mei News.
When he arrived in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, Zhu Yingtao stayed at the local youth hostel. There, he met an English girl who also visited Chernobyl. Whats more, he found out when he asked her that they had signed up for the same tour group.
The girl told him that there was also a National Chernobyl Museum in downtown Kiev. It was said that the Chernobyl Forbidden Zone was restored in the museum. The layout was very realistic. The more you went inside, the more you could feel the crisis at the scene of the accident.
But apart from this museum, you cant really feel much about Chernobyl when you visit Kiev. Most of the souvenirs, including street souvenirs, are also souvenirs with European traditional characteristics, such as scarves, small key chains and bracelets made by local people.
Zhu Yingtaos Pictures on the Outside of the Abandoned Cultural Palace
Zhu Yingtao said he was a backpacker who liked to travel alone, but visiting Chernobyl was prohibited. I booked a one-day trip on the travel app and the Travel Agency organized me into a small group of 15 people. In fact, in addition to the one-day tour, there are also two-day tour projects, the latter can stay overnight in a small hotel in Chernobyl.
However, considering the sparse population near Chernobyl, coupled with the shadow of nuclear radiation, I always feel a little lame panic, coupled with the lack of time, Zhu Yingtao abandoned the idea of two-day tour.
At eight oclock in the morning, all the tourists gathered in front of a hotel called Kozatskiy near Kiev Independent Square. According to the guides request, they all wore long clothes and trousers and took their passports. When entering the restricted area, the guards would check the passports of the tourists.
After listening to the basic precautions, everyone boarded the bus and started from downtown Kiev, along the Dnieper River, the second largest river in eastern Europe, all the way north. Because it is winter, the roads are basically deserted forests and snow-covered plains.
Vehicles abandoned by the roadside. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
About two hours later, the bus arrived at the gates of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, and everyone had to get off for passport checks. There are some souvenir shops near the gate. Zhu Yingtao bought a badge in the shop, which says I love Chornobyl (I love Chernobyl). But it should have been love instead of radioactive icon.
The commemorative badge read I love Chornobyl (I love Chernobyl). Zhu Yingtao for Maps
After visiting some buildings in the outer ring of the restricted area, people drove to the entrance of Chernobyl. Near the entrance, there was a rusty iron sculpture, a woman blowing a trombone with wings, which was said to be called ironlady by the local people. At this time, the guide said to you half-jokingly, Congratulations on coming to the most polluted place in the world.
Ironlady. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
Theres an interesting episode. Near noon, the tour guide takes the tour group to a small canteen in the restricted area for lunch before starting the second half of the Pripia season trip. All the ingredients are imported from outside the restricted area, so there is no need to worry about pollution.
Lunch in the Forbidden Zone. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
During the whole trip, Zhu Yingtao was most impressed by three places. First is the new sarcophagus of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The Chernobyl sarcophagus is a closed facility made of concrete on a nuclear power plant by the former Soviet government in order to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination from the explosion. In 2008, the exterior walls of nuclear power plants began to collapse due to natural erosion. In 2011, the government of Ulan reopened a new security closure plan to cover the old sarcophagus with an arch building the size of a gymnasium.
The plan was called the Ark Project by the British Times at that time.
Zhu Yingtao and other members of the delegation watched the documentary about the sarcophagus on the bus for two hours from Kiev to the Chernobyl restricted area. It is said that when the new sarcophagus was built, it was known as the tallest movable animal in the world. In order to cover it perfectly, people first built a new sarcophagus on the periphery of the explosive nuclear power plant, laid a track under it, and moved it to the top of the old sarcophagus through the track. This is a very vast project, which is said to last 100 years.
It was really shocking to see the sarcophagus with ones own eyes and to associate with the efforts of so many engineers who risked their lives. Because if there were no sarcophagus, we would not have access to Chernoli.
Look out at the new sarcophagus. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
The second one that impressed Zhu Yingtao deeply was the classroom in an abandoned middle school. The chaotic classroom floor was covered with gas masks. The whole picture was very powerful. The tour guide told us that during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, every public place in the Soviet Union, such as cinemas, shopping malls and schools, was equipped with a large number of gas masks. Thats for one day, if theres a nuclear war with the United States, gas masks can protect it. But I didnt realize that these masks were finally used in this place, and in such a horrible way.
There are scattered textbooks on the desk in the classroom. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
The floor of the classroom was covered with gas masks. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
The last stop of the tour was also the famous Russian Woodpecker, a Soviet-era long-range anti-ballistic missile warning system stretching 900 meters on the ground and reaching more than a dozen meters. Standing in front of human beings, Zhu Yingtao said it was a very cyberpunk behemoth.
As for the woodpecker, the irony is that the Soviet Union spent a great deal of manpower and material resources in building it during the Cold War, which was a considerable project. However, just a month or two after it was built, the Chernobyl incident happened and the woodpecker was abandoned.
Huge Russian Woodpecker. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
Although there are too many scenes full of devastation in this journey, Zhu Yingtao can still feel its brilliance and prosperity from the historical relics of the stars and spots in the body of this city.
The tour guide told us that the whole Pripia season was a very advanced elite community in Ukraine at that time. It is said that Pripyat even had a supermarket, which is very rare for the whole Soviet Union. This at least shows that the government attached great importance to the elites living here. It hoped that they would work here well to maintain the nuclear power plant and the operation of the country. But because of the Chernobyl explosion, the town was abandoned.
Later generations built a monument in memory of firefighters who cleaned up nuclear pollution. Zhu Yingtao for Maps
Its really a pity to think that so much financial, human and material input has turned into a disaster in the end.
Source of this article: Peng Mei News Responsible Editor: Yao Liwei_NT6056