Abandoned places get overgrown; the town of Pripyat is no exception. But there is simply more here, a case where a quantitative difference leads to a qualitative one. When hundreds of square miles are left untended, the result is that these once-inhabited areas don’t just feel overgrown, they feel submerged.
The place where I felt this underwater quality most was the stadium. We were looking for it, walking along a path through the woods. At some point , we glimpsed a wooden facade beginning to peek through the trees in the distance; surely that was the wall of the stadium? As we got closer, and the intervening trees trees thinned out, the “wall” turned out to be bleachers. We had been inside the stadium for some time.
At ground level, especially between buildings, the effect was eerie. This, after all, is only thirty years’ worth of growth.