Time has stood still for 18 years in the cities around Chernobyl. Newly constructed buildings, parking lots full of cars, and houses full of personal belongings all sit open and abandoned because of lethal levels of radiation.
Imagine riding alone through silent cities on a motorcycle and seeing sights like this abandoned oncological hospital. The hospital had continued to operate for 40 days after the disaster, then the head doctor died of cancer and people abandoned the hospital.
You owe it to yourself to read this poignant photo essay by Elena, a Russian woman who lived there as a child. She revisits the scene of the disaster on her Kawasaki ZZR 1100 and aptly compares it to the last days of Pompeii.
UPDATE: Her site has been changed and the old links are broken. See my post on Elena’s return to Chernobyl for an updated account and new photos.
Her account of Chernobyl today really moved me. It was like reading a post-apocalypse sci-fi story – except that these pictures are recent and look like they could have been taken here in Virginia. It really brought home to me how we live on the edge of such disasters ourselves and only the greatest of care will ensure that this doesn’t happen here.
Thanks to Blogopoly for the story idea. I read his post on search trends and followed the links to discover this story. His site, although quite new, is a good resource for bloggers seeking ways to develop additional traffic.
UPDATE: Now you can tour Chernobyl and write your own story.