Lost Places - Chornobyl Zone

Pripyat, Chornobyl area and other abandoned places

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What I can write about “Emerald” when, truly, I know nothing about it?. But, as soon as we with Sergey pass through gatehouse and find ourselves on the central alley, surrounding with tumbledown panel-board houses, I already knew what I will write about…

About "Emerald" I heard for a long time. It is the recreation department (as I managed to find out) belongs to the Kyiv film studio Dovzhenko, on the bank of a pond-cooler, between villages Leliv and Kopachi. But, besides workers from the mentioned above film studio, on base could have a rest both workers of ChNPP and the officers serving on OTH-Radar "Chornobyl-2". In one of ours with Sergey Paskevich trips on the Zone, after "campaign" to "Chernobyl-2", we have decided to visit "Emerald". The recreation department situated almost opposite concrete-surfaced road, which leads to the above described legendary object (to treasured dream of all fans of: Psychotronics, newcomers (aliens), oldcomers, UFO and high-alloy metal :). Having left from concrete-surfaced road to road Chernobyl - Pripyat we have left the car on a roadside and have gone straight in wood.


What I know about the recreation department "Emerald"? Actually nothing... About base recollect all Pripaters and military men from "Chornobyl-2" (well almost everybody :), but anything concrete. All memoirs are reduced to enthusiastic exclamations: "You can’t imagine, how it was good there!" And that’s all... On this memoirs come to an end :). And truth to tell, there is nothing strange in it. Simply departmental recreation base in a picturesque place, a beach, fishing, cinema, cards, dominoes, beer (or even something stronger :) - unpretentious rest of the usual Soviet person. All problems and difficulties remained somewhere on work, in Pripyat apartment, in the city, with its asphalt and concrete... And here... Here it is possible to sit all the day with a fishing tackle on the bank of a pond (even if does not peck :) It is possible to loaf in wood and to pretend that you collect mushrooms, and it is possible to fall down on, standard for such institutions, a typical Soviet bed with wooden backs and a metal grid instead of a mattress and to sleep all the day... And in general it is possible to do nothing for days and for you for this nothing will be :) What I can write about “Emerald” when, truly, I know nothing about it?. But, as soon as we with Sergey pass through gatehouse and find ourselves on the central alley, surrounding with tumbledown panel-board houses, I already knew what I will write about…

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"Emerald" - as typical recreation department of the period of "the developed socialism" (70х - 90х years of XX century)

It is difficult to tell, to whom from our "leaders" such remarkable idea has come to mind: Bases of rest for workers (the recreation departments)... Till the seventies the Soviet people could have a rest in sanatoria, rest houses, well and especially "advanced" - on personal summer residences (dacha). Base of rest as set of small, cheap wooden small houses with minimum necessary infrastructure, has appeared in the USSR in the late sixties - the beginning seventies of XX century. I do not know whether there was this idea revolutionary, in scales of the whole country, but I know precisely that "the base of rest" has affected me personally... Every summer of my conscious (and not so) childhood, from years 5 to 12, I have spent on same "base", in the same small houses arranged with the same precisely furniture, a refrigerator, crockery etc... In any 85 km. from "Emerald" on the bank of Desna. The base was called "the Pine forest".

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What do I recollect, wandering among wooden small houses, with size about a doghouse? The sun, a smell of the fused pine pitch, knock of cones on a slate roof, the pine needles obstinately pricking feet through sandals full of holes, a crackle of the squirrel paws on a pine bark, hot sand on the bank of Desna, a smell of wild strawberry and mushrooms, night hum over an ear of mosquitoes and a smell of cologne "Gvozdika (Carnation)" (on ancient national signs, it frightens off these mosquitoes... It is a pity that nobody has guessed to inform about this the mosquitoes :). Here I have learnt to swim, here for the first time I have independently went to shop and have bought (on all my life I have remembered) – breadcrumbs :). I remember, how I ran in shop, repeating to myself - "breadcrumbs". Here I have read for the first time Bulgakov’s "the Master and Margarita" (underground), here... Here I have fallen in love for the first time on all life with pine wood and yellow water of prompt Desna... And also I constantly somewhere ran (it is adults can go and even stop!)... And then there was "Chornobyl", and the base was closed... In 90 base have opened again, but my childhood has ended and I have not returned to "the Pine forest" any more.

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On our base, the cinema was the most important entertainment. Ours cinema, in "the Pine forest", was not such, as in "Emerald". It was a covered pavilion. Movies brought ones in two days from the next village the Novosilky cheerful semidrunk young guys. Campers respected them very much and named them - "film mechanics". They came on a motorcycle "Dnepr" with a carriage from which extended grey metal kegs with a film and all (children it is exact) knew, - there has arrived a holiday! :). A day before it near club these guys hung out the self-made poster. The poster is there was a separate entertainment. With errors, with the overwound name of a movie, it, undoubtedly, brought a certain intrigue in a monotonous life of campers :).

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And here in such iron boxes there were TV sets. For the night a box closed on the lock. But the TV did not use especial popularity, though "ideological" grandfathers always converged to look the news program "Vremya (Time)" in the evenings. I recollect, how in next "jog" I have run in a TV - pavilion and looked the movie "TASS is authorised to declare" for pair of seconds, it was boring and I have run further on the urgent children’s affairs :)
emerald Thats all for today. In the street the end of 2007. A lot of changes comes from 80 till our time. Failure on ChNPP, disintegration of the USSR, independence of Ukraine, "Pomarancheva revolution (Orange revolution)", the European Union, the NATO... But at this moment all this does not bother me. We with Sergey on the recreation department "Emerald" and at the moment (the information authentic :) on the TV there will be animated cartoons! I hope, what not the puppet show :)

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Die Sperrzone von Tschornobyl

By Yevgen KRANZ Goncharenko

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