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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Irkutsk, Irkutskaya, Russia

Sep 7, 2017 - Lake Baikal to Irkutsk

In the morning I went on a boat trip (small boat – maximum 4 people) out on Lake Baikal. No Baikal seals but it was good to see the lake from a different perspective and to gain an appreciation of just how big it is. At times we could see the bottom of the lake with a depth of just 2 metres and then it suddenly drops off to a depth of 200 metres. I then went for a walk by myself through the village, which made me realise just how hard life must be for these. It makes you wonder about the priorities of the government, considering the amount...

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Beijing to Berlin

Jul 24, 2017 - Last day in Irkutsk

Our plan was to spend the day visiting museums. It turns out that they are all closed on Mondays. So we set out to walk around and see what we could find. We came to a small park filled with military equipment - tanks and a truck and a rocket. Then we walked to a Russian Orthodox Church. Inside there was an icon of the Romanov family. We walked to the Trubetskoy Decembrist Mansion, expecting it to be closed (as advised by the internet), but it was open! The husband had been exiled to Siberia for an unsuccessful coup against the...

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Jul 23, 2017 - Return to Irkutsk

Today started with a last visit to the beach before breakfast. Breakfast was my favourite - crepes and condensed milk. I had never tried this before Russia - it is seriously delicious. Then the bus trip back to Irkutsk, which Gordon has offered to describe: Gordon: Worst bus trip ever! (And that includes the time the pre-school teacher put me on the wrong bus after school, and I ended up in Whoop Whoop - a locale quite unfamiliar to me at such a tender age.) There's a reason there's an industry out there, compiling TV programs out of...

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Jul 19, 2017 - Train to Irkutsk

Today was an 8 hour train trip from one part of Siberia to another part of Siberia. We started in Ulan Ude and finished in Irkutsk. This is the view from our train on the way At one place, the train stopped for us to take photos of Lake Baikal - the world's largest fresh water lake. We arrived in Irkutsk at 5pm and immediately set out to explore the city. We went to the old part of town for dinner. It is also full of restaurants and activities, like these huge bikes. We didn't arrived back at our homestay till after 10pm.

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May 24, 2014 - More Train Observations

More Train Observations The last train on our Trans-Siberian journey, the one from Novosibirsk to Irkutsk, is jerkier than the previous ones. For some unknown reason, a lady brought us a "business lunch" that she insisted we take. The first course was good chicken soup and a roll. As we were slurping the soup, there was a sudden and huge jolt and Andrew wailed like a banshee (Ruth's term). His entire bowl of soup had leaped off the table and onto his lap, Ruth's trousers, the floor and a bit onto our seat. It was a huge mess! Both the...

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Oct 29, 2013 - Day 73 - Irkutsk (Russia)

Arriving in Irkutsk on the morning of Tuesday 29th October, I left the station to walk to the hostel but it was quite a bit further than I thought and, 45 minutes later, I was climbing the stairs in a rather run-down building to the hostel. However, once inside the hostel (basically a flat) things looked better as it was clean and in good condition. After checking in, having a shower (at last!) and dumping my bag, it was off to see what Irkutsk had to offer. Unfortunately I was a tad tired after the long journey, so I really didn’t explore...

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Oct 28, 2013 - Days 71 to 72 - Train from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk (Russia)

Late on Saturday 26th October, I found myself boarding the 22.17 train from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk; it is just a mere 57 hours and 3,370 kms to get to Irkutsk. I had booked a kupé with meals and, after the shenanigans on the previous train over ordering my food, it would be interesting to see what happens. Waiting in the kupé I was presently joined by a Russian lady who, as with my previous companions, could not speak a word of English; this should be interesting! As it was, Margosha (for that was her name) turned out to be a bit of a...

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Jun 12, 2013 - Russia

Well, we finally got here but not without a few anxious moments, all my fault of course. We had a leisurely breakfast, went back to the room to pack (again) and caught up on a bit of paperwork. Around noon we checked out and took a taxi to the train station. So unlike the train stations in China. No crowds, no queues, no security, no ticket check, no nothing. Train 005 to Moscow was the only train leaving that afternoon and the only people waiting seemed to be western tourists. Anyway, the train turned up at 1.00 pm and we boarded shortly...

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May 15, 2013 - Reflections on Russia.

I've been in Russia 19 days so that makes me expert, right? Not really, but as I'm about to leave for Mongolia I thought I'd share with you some of my impressions . Mind you this country is so huge that Ive only seen a little bit of it. Although Ive travelled over 5000km from Moscow I could go on another 3,500km to Vladivostok and even then I'd only have seen a fraction. It really is massive. The place to start is with the friendliness of the people. Wherever Ive been people have been friendly and helpful. When I was struggling with the...

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To Moscow and beyond

May 12, 2013 - Half way down the line

Comrades I've now crossed 5 time zones since I left Moscow almost 10 days ago, travelled over 5000km and have reached over half way to Beijing. I'm officially in Siberia and don't I know it! A cold Siberian wind is blowing and its sleeting. On route I have visited Perm, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk. Perm is an industrial city which grew rapidly in the Second World War ( referred to as the Great Patriotic War in Russia after they transferred factories East as the Germans invaded). It was a restricted city in the Soviet era which...

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To Moscow and beyond

Aug 8, 2011 - Irkutsk

Walking around Irkutsk felt a little like I was Alice in Wonderland visiting the Mad Hatter's tea party. The houses and apartment blocks all had large oversized windows complete with garish shutters in a variety of bright and mismatched colours. There doesn't seem to be much emphasis placed on good workmanship or even ensuring that lines are parallel! Irkutsk is one of the most popular stops on the Trans Siberian railway so I found it pretty unusual that I didn't see any other backpackers as I walked around. I guess most people get sucked...

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Jul 6, 2011 - Irkutsk

Today we took a boat around the islands, it was sunny but cold, and very picturesque. We potted around the town of Irkutsk and Listyanka, with flea markets massively overpriced and tackey, some good food markets and a laze on the pebble beach. there were some keen sunbakers, and even keener swimmers bearing the mild 5 degree water! MAD! We had the opportunity to take the chairlift up the steep mountain (hill!) for some great views and also met the founder of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian express for a tour of how the 'other half' live. It...

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