We're back from Chernobyl (and we didn't turn into the Hulk)!

Radioactive (1150x767)

By Andy Thorne

on the 20th February 2017


What a trip! It only lasted 4 days, but the amount we managed to squeeze in was huge! I'm going to be doing several in-depth articles on Pripyat and Chernobyl, so this article is the background and lead-up of what we got up to.

Travelling to Ukraine

Being about three and a half hours away from the UK and two hours ahead, we lost most of the first day to travelling, but that didn't stop it from being eventful. Unfortunately it was for entirely the wrong reasons. We were advised NOT to get our money changed in the UK, but to exchange it in Kiev. I should have trusted my gut instinct here and done it in London, as we travelled on Sunday, arriving in the Borispil Airport just outside Kiev at around 7pm. In a tired daze, we stumbled through the security checks (of which we 'failed' as we have so many batteries, but they accepted our reasons and let us on our way), straight into the arrivals terminal. We had pre-arranged a taxi with the hotel to take us straight there and we found the taxi driver waiting for us at arrivals and he lead us to the car.

And that's where we went wrong. The taxi was fine, but we should have exchanged our Pounds into Hryvnia at the airport! I spent all evening trying to find somewhere that would exchange British Pounds, but very few places would and those that could, were closed. It got to 11pm and I ended up having to take a taxi back to Boryspil Airport (which was booked by using Google translate!) and using the 24 hour exchange booths there. At least is was a better exchange rate than in London! 

Our hotel in Kiev, the KievInn, was right in the center of the city; about 25 minutes from Borispil and 100 metres away from independence square. For 1000 UAH (about £50) we were able to get an amazing apartment complete with Jacuzzi, Sauna and much needed Air Conditioning, as it was 25+ every day!