When you visit a country to watch an international sporting event and decide to invite the wife, before going you should check out some of the tourist attractions. Usually it’s an easy process. The summer’s World Cup in South Africa would have given any visitors many opportunities to explore Table Mountain, Robben Island, and even get up close and personal with a number of wild safari animals.
Now if you thought that was a crazy thing to do during a World Cup, it seems like the hosts of sporting events are now going that extra mile in pursuit of the craziest tourist experience. The next major football tournament is the European Championships in 2012, taking place in Ukraine and Poland. Having not been to either country it’s hard to assess what potential there is for visiting landmarks apart from the countless cheap bars in Warsaw and Kiev.
It’s helpful that Ukraine have come to the rescue. Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations, Vitaliy But, has announced that Chernobyl will be included in the Official Euro-2012 Tour Program. This same Chernobyl was the site of a major nuclear disaster in November 1986 and still has parts that are extremely dangerous to the public. Tours of the site will last between three and five hours, the contents of the gift shop to be announced
It will be interesting to see what Russia will have to offer come 2018 – maybe trips to the Soviet Gulags – let alone what the Qatari’s might come up with in 2022.