We’d booked a two day private tour into the Chernobyl Zone, overnighting in a “hotel” there. We were met by our guide at our hotel, he was wearing all military clothing, and two minutes up the road he gets pulled over by the police for doing an illegal left turn. Oh my! He spoke good English and was friendly and knowledgeable.
We were driving for around 2 hours before we reached the rather ominous looking 30km checkpoint. A bit of waiting around, and then a passport check from some very serious looking guards and we were in.
The next two days were an exhausting blur, but we got to see so many things; the Ferris wheel, swimming pool, hospital, duga radar, the cooling towers, a fish farm, a supermarket, a school, and of course, the iconic Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station with the outline of reactor number 4 still visible (it’s since been covered over by the new sarcophagus).