Seriously though, this is definitely a twist on adventure travel, and a far cry from sitting on the beach drinking pina coladas. Twenty-five years ago this month, the worst nuclear disaster occurred, at Chernobyl, in the former USSR, now the Ukraine. How did the nearby areas survive a complete nuclear meltdown? Um…well anyway, it’s 2011, the nearest town, Pripyat, has been pretty much left untouched since that fateful day, and believe it or not, there is life in and around Chernobyl. Animal life, including bear, lynx, beaver, wild horses and other species long believed extinct from the area have moved in. The area’s been strictly off-limits for 25 years, and sparrows are literally nesting in the reactor! It’s now the largest nature sanctuary in Europe, and has been deemed safe enough for tours since 2004. You’ve got to go with a guide and a geiger counter, mind you, but tourists and those with a morbid fascination for apocalyptic travel are taking the trek to Chernobyl.
Some cool pictures here. The one of the abandoned ferris wheel, in an amusement park that was to open four days after the accident, is downright creepy. Still, people are making the journey to Chernobyl. Admit it, you’d rather dodge nuclear fall-out and risk growing a third (and fourth) eye from lingering radioactivity in a former Soviet nuclear reactor than sitting on a beach with a Corona in Mexico any day, right?
Well, I would. But I have been told I need professional help on more than a few occasions. Here’s the link to the tour. And if anyone actually does this tour, let me know how it goes!