Chernobyl Trip Part 5 - Pripyat Football Stadium and Fair
Pripyat Football Stadium
A short drive from Pripyat's secondary school, we got to the football stadium, pulling up to a coach. Yep, a coach. It was a good 5-minute walk to the stadium, in which we met the returning group - around 20-30. I had read about these types of tours before. They are usually a lot cheaper than the 'private' one we were on, but being hoarded around in a coach with people constantly getting in your way sounds like a nightmare, especially when you go up a 16 story building! That would be a spoiler...
The route to the stadium was blocked in many places due to fallen trees and debris. We managed to weave around them whilst trying our best to keep in the shade. Eventually, we reached the gates, which were by now little more than arches, as most of the steel barriers and gates have been stolen. After walking through, it was a bit strange. Obviously, there was no football pitch anymore. The highly fertile ground allowed trees and bushes to thrive and a rectangle of thick, tall, forest greeted us, surrounded by the concrete running track and the sole stadium.
Built entirely out of concrete, The stadium was completely un-fussed by the surrounding forest. The wooden benches had rotted and a few walls had crumbled, but the structure was still standing strong.
The Fair Ground
A few minutes walk through a field from the football stadium is one of the most iconic structures in Pripyat - the fair. The fair had just been finished, just in time for the May Day celebrations. No one ever rode the Ferris Wheel, no one ever rode the dodgems. Now rusting away, it's hard to see the rides lasting more than 5 years more.
One of my memories from this area was the dandelions - the air was filled with their seeds, whipped up by the wind. The Ferris Wheel creaked and groaned in the heat and the wind - it was wonderfully eerie.