Hidden Places Of Europe

5 things I wish I’d known before visiting Chernobyl

Abandoned ships near Chernobyl Town (Flickr: Andrzej Karon)
Reactor 4, Chernobyl (Heidi Hodgkins) 5 things I wish I'd known before visiting Chernobyl 9th July 2013
Wanderlust's adventurous Commercial Manager, Heidi Hodgkins, has recently returned from visiting Kiev and abandoned Pripyat. Here's what she wishes she'd known before departing
1. Mind over matter Visit with the right mindset. Chernobyl/Pripyat is not about death and destruction but about nature taking back what rightly belongs to her. The wildlife here is abundant – you can see wolves, wild horses and, don't worry, no mutant species. Trees, bushes and plants have taken over the old buildings – it really is quite stunning.
2. Take plenty of mosquito spray The mosquitoes are the size of small helicopters and there are lots of them… lots and lots of them. If you need reassurance, they're so big in this area because they don't have any predators. Not for any other reason.
3. Fussy feaste..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

Culinary adventures in Eastern Europe

Culinary adventures in Eastern Europe 7th July 2011
Author Alan Ogden discovers that the best meals in Eastern Europe are often discovered by accident.
Eating in Central and Eastern Europe seems to me to be not so much about the food and drink ingested but more about how one arrived at the culinary event in the first place.
Take Armenia where I once set off in a dodgy Range Rover to find St Dopartvanan, a small church in the fields to the North East of Stepanavan. Long ago, a merchant stopped there to allow his wife to give birth to twins. One died; one survived. Hence this little Church of Thanksgiving, lying in a meadow of wild herbs – mint, thyme, St John’s Wort – its congregation now birdlife – hoopoes, black-headed buntings, golden finches, rose finches, shrikes, cuckoos, Caucasian blackcock and soaring high above all, eagles and vultures.
The Range Rover, which had been showing increasing signs of wanting to expire, died on me by the church. It turned out to be an Act of God ..

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