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Just something about wandering around, looking in the changing rooms and seeing old swimming pool equipment lying around.For a moment I just stood there and closed my eyes and imagined what it must have been like 25 years ago – full of children laughing and playing without a care in the world.The town of Pripyat was founded in 1970 and its main purpose was to house the workmen of Chernobyl.
After a quick test to confirm that I was not radioactive, we were free to leave the exclusion zone and that concluded my tour of Chernobyl!
When I got back to my hostel at the end of the day, I wasn’t sure how I felt, and I’m struggling to put it into words now.
We all grew silent as we imagined how the rooms looked now.
On the DVD they showed one lady returning back to her old home for the first time 25 years later. When she was evacuated she was told to take nothing and that she would return in a few weeks.
Throughout the drive a DVD was playing giving a history of Chernobyl and showing horrific photos and video of the aftermath, with unsettling interviews with the survivors.
Needless to say we were all starting to feel a little bit apprehensive by this point.This cloud was then blown over most of the western Soviet Union and Europe.The town known as Pripyat was affected substantially and now exists as a ghost town.Yet the other part of you starts to wonder how this town looked before the incident.You imagine the people going about their everyday lives, happy and completely unaware of the devastation that was about to occur.This used to be their home, and now it’s just a graveyard of past lives and memories.Our tour of Pripyat took us around apartment blocks, and hotels, to the community centre, the swimming pool, school and amusement park.Part of you just feels like you’re walking around a building site with smashed windows, books thrown everywhere, broken floors and ceilings.It’s impossible to understand the enormity of what happened.We stepped outside and went to visit Pripyat’s famous amusement park.I found it interesting to learn that the amusement park actually opened on the day of the incident.