Chernobyl, Day 2 – Pripyat Hospital

Pripyat Hospital gets it’s own post – it was huge, and it took us the whole afternoon after lunch to explore it.

There was much more to see inside the hospital than in most other buildings in the city.  Operating lights were still fixed to the ceiling, rusted beds could be found in many rooms, glass bottles and files littered the floor and shelves – many still containing pills and fluids.

We ended up splitting up and exploring on our own; as I wanted to move a bit faster than the guys so I could see the entire building, I took off alone.  This worked great for at first, but as I got down into the lower levels where there was little light (and of course I didn’t bring a torch, hey) it started to get a little creepy.  No, “a little creepy” is an understatement – I was straight-up creeped out!  A couple of times I went back up to the higher levels to look for the guys – no sign of them.  I listened for their voices, or for the sound of glass breaking under their feet – nothing.  I’d (kinda sorta begrudgingly) make my way back down to the lower levels to continue photographing.  The rooms themselves weren’t as creepy, as they had windows to let light in, but the hallways was dark and eerie, and you couldn’t really see that far in front of you, or what was around the corner.

One thing that definitely did make my downstairs exploration worth it, was discovering the children’s ward.  This may have been part of the maternity ward as well.  Each room held little rusted beds, and assorted hospital equipment.

Another room I found interesting was what seemed to have been a common room, or communal lounge.  There was a broken piano, and the wall art was semi-destroyed.  A lot of water from leaking from the ceiling, and the moss-covered floor was soaked.

One thing we had discussed when we first entered the hospital, was the possibility of us finding the morgue downstairs.  Morbid, I know, but that’s us.  The stairs that appeared to lead down to what may have been a basement led to nothing but a wall.  We abandoned that idea and went back upstairs.  A few days later, we found out that that part of the hospital was one of the most radioactive in Pripyat – a person could only be in there for 30 seconds before being exposed to a fatal dose of radiation.  Apparently, the firefighters who were first on the scene of the reactor fire were taken down there, and their clothing was so radioactive that it could not be removed from the room.  So that would explain why it’s walled up then… yes, good idea.

After being attacked by hungry, flesh-craving goliath mosquitoes whilst waiting for Shane to emerge from the hospital, we headed back to the hotel, completely exhausted after what was the biggest day of our three-day tour; both physically and mentally.  It felt both satisfying and a privilege to be experiencing all this, though.

Still one more day to go.

x Kitten of Doom

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~ by Kitten of Doom on July 12, 2012.

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