Travel Gone Wrong at Chernobyl

Updated: Mar 10

After a day of exploring the beautiful (and affordable) city of Kiev, my friend and I found ourselves on our way to the scene of a terrible nuclear disaster that occurred in the 1980’s. Some thirty years on it's a popular attraction for dark tourists like myself.

Chernobyl is a very photogenic place, albeit in a bizarre somewhat eery way. You've probably seen much better photos than the one I took (above) - but to what lengths do people go to take that perfect shot?

Our guide told us the tale of a young influencer so keen to get an amazing photo they ignored all advice regarding what was safe or unsafe to touch (a great many things to my mind) and proceeded to climb onto walls, lay on the ground, and worst of all, lean against numerous metallic objects that are known to store radioactive particles really quite well.

Needless to say that, upon passing through the scanner when exiting the exclusion zone, it detected some particles on their clothing. The standard procedure here is to treat the affected area with soapy water but when this didn't work they were forced to cut a piece of clothing away which, unfortunately, didn't work either. Eventually, with no other option, their clothes were confiscated and they were given a pair of old shorts and a t-shirt that a guard luckily had quite by chance; a feeling I know well from the numerous times I forgot my P.E kit at school only to be handed an ill-fitting substitute kit - but then again, I didn't have an entire coach load of tourists impatiently waiting for me.

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