As I mentioned in the last post, I spent most of my time on this trip in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. Though archeological evidence suggests the site of the present city has been occupied by humans for millenia, legend has it that it was founded in the mid-5th century AD by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. The city’s … Continue reading Tbilisi Streets
I recently visited the country of Georgia, the last outpost of Europe on the far side of the Caucasus mountains. Telling people about this trip could be fraught, as most people first associate “Georgia” to mean the state, not the nation. When asked, I would say “the country of Georgia” but in some cases I … Continue reading Georgia: No, The Other One.
I’m fascinated by a scenario where future generations come across the Exclusion Zone, without knowing the nature of what it is or was. (This, of course, assumes some kind of cataclysm that destroys much of our historical record.) What would they make of the what was left behind? Of the vehicles and structures, perhaps still … Continue reading Goodnight, Pripyat
Westerners are puzzled by the recurrent nostalgia for communism that is found throughout the former Eastern Bloc. Apart from the fact that every generation looks back on the years of its youth with rose tinted glasses, there is a longing for the trappings of the old, failed economic system that can be hard to understand … Continue reading On the Merits of Authoritarianism
“Residents were given two hours to gather their belongings. The evacuation of Pripyat’s 43,000 residents took 3.5 hours, using 1,200 buses from Kiev. Residents remember that everyone was in a hurry, but nobody was panicking. The residents of Pripyat were asked to carry with them only what was required for two or three days, some … Continue reading Get Out
Whatever you may think of meditation, you might be surprised to know that almost everyone does some form of it at some point in their life. It may bring up images of yogis sitting crosslegged on mountaintops, but all meditation is, in essence, is bringing a calm but steady focus and concentration to a task. … Continue reading Reverie in Blue
Pripyat was built concurrently with the Chernobyl power plant as a company town; it would house mostly the plant workers and their families. Today, it is the largest abandoned city in the Exclusion Zone, and the most visited by tourists. It is a rare sight to see an entire town slowly returning to nature and … Continue reading Welcome to Pripyat