Blogs from Siberia, Russia, Europe - page 61


Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal July 26th 2004

We woke up to a relatively chilly and rainy day today. No worries - we are still up to some hiking and exploring. After a huge breakfast (Mrs Galina, our host lady made us pancakes, eggs, and pulled out sauseges, salamis, chees...) we took a fast boat to Bolše Koti. The boat was full of people and in 20 minutes we were there. It is a really small village only reachable with boat via lake and counts a population of about 100. In the short time of us getting out of the boat and taking few picture - all the people from the boat simply disappeared! It was down to four of us and some cows. No one else. So we decided to walk around and check the place out. We shared the place and its ... read more
Bolše Koti: just got off the boat
Bolše Koti
Walking around Bolše Koti

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal July 25th 2004

The train arrival to Irkutsk was scheduled quite early so we had to get out of bed before 7am, eat quickly and pack all our stuff. Less than an hour later we were walking out of the Irkutsk station and were litteraly assaulted by locals offering 'taxis'. We picked one of them randomly to take us to the bus station and we ended up in a terribly shapped van with a guy who didn't understand a word of English or German. The whole communication is down to our best friend: phrasebook. At the bust station we had really hard time understanding which bus we needed to take. With lots of struggle we did buy some bus tickets to Listvianka only to find out later that that particular bus leaves in three hours while there were ... read more
In Listvianka village
Our 'taxi'

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Olkhon June 22nd 2002

Olkhon Island North of Irkutsk the road is quite uneven and ridden with potholes. In fact, one man stands on the roadside waving his arms in an undulating fashion, so as to alert drivers of bumps ahead. He smiles and waves as we pass; his horse waits unbothered. Does he really do this all day long? The landscape is featureless. Other than random shrubs, patches of forest and yellow wildflowers, few signs of activity exist. At Bayanday, we passengers were left off at a general store. Some stood around, some shopped or smoked. The store was one of those sole refuges of commerce in the rural expanse of Siberia, in which anything is for sale. We were likely their only customers for the whole day. "Eto Fsyo?" the driver called. Is that everyone? No reply meant ... read more
Main street Khuzhir
Sacred rock
Sacred site

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk June 20th 2002

6/18-22 Trains I found a seat ahead of the masses, right side facing east, so as to best view Lake Baikal. Across from me sat a guy of about my same age and aspect. Long Russian train journeys require company or some form of dialogue. Hence, Russians are quite gregarious and bien dans leur peau amongst new strangers. In a matter of a few minutes after departure, he initiated conversation. "You going far?" "Yes," psyched that I understood. "Novosibirsk?" "No, Irkutsk." I replied, surprised that I had carried the conversation that far. After a reflective look out the window, he added: "That's not far." Naturally, he asked about my nationality and my response aroused his interest. Reaching into his bag, he pulled out a bag of roasted chicken soaking in its own oil and a bag ... read more
Irkutsk suburbs
clash of the times
Washerwoman in Krestovka

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude June 14th 2002

Ulan Ude I stepped off the train onto the platform of Russia, surprised that the country actually did exist. I had somehow grown up with the notion that this was a no man's land, some verboten territory of inhumane machines. Never had I the slightest dream of ever coming here to this shabby train station occupied by louche loiterers. Yet here I was. And this was Russia. Although the guidebook outlined several attractions in Ulan Ude I wasn't quite sure what I was meant to enjoy about this place. As the overcast morning shrouded any brilliant impression, I charged through the crowds in the station, past the taxi drivers soliciting rides and up onto a rusty pedestrian walkway bridge returning over the converging tracks. I gave one last look down at the departing Trans-Mongolian with its ... read more
the man and the head
brain surgery?

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk September 24th 2000

4 Days on the train to Irkoutsk, 2 days by Lake Baikal... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk August 26th 1997

Hey everyone, How's it going? Well, this is the second attempt at sending this message. The first one Technical Explanation: We lost because the internet connection timed out and while trying to reconnect with Russian prompts we lost it NonTechnical Explanation We lost. Anyways, since we last talked to you, we have been to Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, and now we're in Irkutsk. Yekaterinburg was formerly called Sverdlovsk (for those of you with politically incorrect maps). Yekaterinburg was, well, formerly called Sverdlovsk. That's about all we have to say about the city. However, the people we met there were amongst the friendliest people ever. A lady on the train told us which bus to take, and we must have taken it in the wrong direction, cause nyet less than six people on the bus helped us figure ... read more

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