Archive for the ‘Irkutsk - Lake Baikal’ Category

postheadericon Sunshine in Irkutsk

English translation will be provided soon

postheadericon Rain, rain, rain

English translation will be provided soon

postheadericon Rain at Lake Baikal

I am still not adapted on the onward time difference. Nearly every day had to correct my watch by one hour more. Due to this I wake up in the morning not as early as required to get a breakfast in my hotel. So I set my alarm clock in the evening despite the fact that I am on holiday.

As I come into the breakfast room, I see that most of the guests already had their breakfast. My hotel is a typical business type hotel. Only one woman is sitting in the room having breakfast. The buffet is still very rich and I have all the attention of the staff. They take care of all my wishes. A waitress gets me a fresh cooked egg. On the buffet I see more solid, warm food than usual in our country.

Back into my room I use the free WIFI internet connection to transfer pictures and articles to my website. I have no time left to write more articles, because I have to pack my rucksack.

Today I will use a boat to drive from Irkutsk via the river Angara to the little village Listvyanka on the lake Baikal. I have got this tipp from the two students from Dresden I have met in Novosibirsk. The boat is called “RAKETA” and will speed up like a rocket.

Lake Baikal is the biggest pure water deposit in the world, even bigger than the five big lakes in USA/Canada and nearly 1700 meter deep. It is getting wider each year by 2 centimeters and scientists believe here a new ocean is born. In the northern part of the lake you can find ca. 60.000 seals which are equivalent to the species we can find in the sea. But scientists can still not explain how they come into the lake and how they can live there. The water of the lake is cristal clear and you can look 40 meters into the depth. During winter when the lake is frozen and the ice is 1 meter thick you can drive with a car on the lake.

With a taxi I arrive at the harbor. Quickly I find the office to buy my single ticket for Listvyanka. In Listvyanka I have booked a room for two nights in the “Dauria family hotel”. It’s not located direcly on the shore line but in an interesting part of the village.

I have to wait 30 minutes for the departure of the boat. Suddenly all waiting passengers go to the arriving boat. It’s cold and windy outside. Around me there are a lot of backpackes, all of them are russians. I find my numbered seat near the entry, but there is no space for the luggage. With a lot of discussions they stowed away their luggage. Suddenly the boat moves fast backwards and then very fast forward. It remembers me on the speed boat I have built with my son years ago. Due to the waves on the river the ride is very bumpy and it feels like a 100 km/h drive on a dirt road.

After one hour we reach our destination. Not many people disembark, most of them go further north. I have to orient myself. Not a single taxi is on the parking. But then I see the tourist information office and they help me to call a taxi. My hotel is just 2 km away from the pier. After one minute the “taxi” arrives. It is the boyfriend of the lady in the tourist office with his private car. The cost is 200 rubels (5 EUR) which is in comparison to the taxis in Irkutsk quite expensive. In the trunk I see a bag with 20 dead fishes. The driver is portion it with another guy. The fish is called “Omul” is about 25-35 cm long and is a kind of salmon and a speciality of the lake.

We drive along the lake and after 2 km we turn right into the small village. After some hundred meters I see the sign of my hotel and now I know that we are right. The driver ring the bell on the iron door and the owner of the hotel appears immediately She calls me by my name as she expected me earlier. I have booked a so called “Luxe” room which is simply a two-bed room instead of a budget-room which is a 8-bed room. It has a seperate toilet but is clean and nice.

Outside it’s raining heavier and I decide to stay inside to write my reports. But after some minutes I fell asleep. It’s raining the full day and the weather forecast for the next two days is not looking better. So I decide to stay in my room. Today I will use the first time during my journey my “survival-package” This is dried food in an aluminium sac. You can fill it with hot water and after 10 minutes you can eat a palatable meal. I decide for “Chili con Carne”. With the water boiler it’s easy to boil the water and the rest is really simple. The taste is ok but not as good as the russian cuisine I am now get used to.

It’s getting dark quickly outside and the rain is still hammering on the aluminium roof. I close my day with reading. Today I have translated the first article for my english speaking colleagues.

postheadericon Culture in Irkutsk

English translation will be provided soon