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

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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Trip Journal


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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Trip Journal


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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Jun 29, 2011 - ** Reflections on Russia - Blog **

First blog of the trip so bear with us – difficult to know what may or may not be interesting. Here we go for the saturated regression model approach… Pretty relaxed now having been on the Trans-Siberian train for four days and then here on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal (Eastern Siberia, Russia) for a week – after dashing around St. Petersburg and Moscow, finally seems like we’re travelling rather than a long holiday from work. The place we're staying at the moment is an eco-friendly hostel called Nikita's homestead. It's like a commune out...

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Mar 8, 2011 - Irkutsk: The Capital of Eastern Siberia.

Gregor arrives on time to collect us from Lake Baikal and transfer us to The Angara Hotel in Irkutsk. The car speeds along at 130 km/h across the ice and snow covered road. Holding my breath as we approach each corner, I pray that we don’t end up amongst the forest trees. The small villages and cedar trees in the forest are now blanketed in snow and look stunning. It is a different view returning to Irkutsk from our original journey along this road three days ago. The edges of the dam have iced up and locals trudge along the side of the...

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Mar 7, 2011 - Trans-Siberian Express: From Moscow to Irkutsk

We are sitting in the hotel lobby with our bags piled on top of each other when he arrives. This is our transfer to board the train at Yaroslavsky station to begin the first leg of the Trans-Siberian Express. He is average height and weight with grey hair and is wearing a black cap. His deep green eyes provide no expression at all. I recognise him from our arrival in Moscow a few days earlier. We jump up, smile and wave. He carries our bags to his “clapped out, dirty and dented Toyota”. His smile is silent and serious. Twenty minutes later,...

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Jul 7, 2010 - Irkutsk

Irkutsk, Russia: Whistlestop Tour ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3 and 7 July 2010 Hello and Goodbye I spent just a few hours in the town of Irkutsk, spread over two days. It is the nearest city to Lake Baikal (some 70km distant) which was my main reason for coming. Although the population is almost 600,000 it was incredibly quiet in the centre of the city, rather like visiting the City of London (the financial district) at the weekend. Prior...

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