While surfing around, I stumbled across a March 6 post on the rompe blog linking to Ghost Town, a truly fascinating account of a Russian(?) woman who likes to ride her motorcycle through the Chernobyl dead zone. The site is full of photographs of the wilderness, of abandoned buildings, and the few people who still live in the area. Apparently radiation levels have fallen enough that it’s safe if you stick to the roadways and avoid dust – and of course bring a radiation meter along! At one point she goes into the town nearest the power plant, and looks at a dilapidated park, looted shops (people didn’t bother with banks or jewelry stores in the evacuation, but the motorcycle shop was ransacked!), and apartments with family photos still sitting on the shelves. She likens it to Pompeii, in terms of how the whole town is frozen in time. In some ways it’s more like Roanoke, with the exception that we know where the people of Chernobyl went.
A bit later, I started on my usual rounds, and discovered that Neil Gaiman remarked on the same site just a few hours ago.