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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Irkutskaya, Russia

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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Dec 13, 2010 - Pass the Vodka!

We rolled out of Ulaanbaatar mid-evening and settled into the rhythms of life aboard a train, loads of card playing, reading and pointless chatter to while away the hours. This trip would be two nights and seeing as how we had a border crossing to deal with early on the first morning everyone opted for an early night. We woke the next morning at the Mongolian border post where we sat for what felt like a couple of hours before anyone came to look at our papers. Eventually our passports were taken, our customs declarations made and our...

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Joe's Journeys

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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Jul 6, 2010 - Beautiful Baikal, Outstanding Olkhon

Lake Baikal, Russia: Three Spectacular Days on Olkhon Island ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2-3 July 2010 Baikal: A Few Facts & Figures At up to 1637m deep, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world, has the fifth largest surface area and the greatest volume, containing almost 20% of the world's fresh water. In fact its volume is greater than that of the five Great Lakes of North America combined. If all other drinking water were to vanish...

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Jul 3, 2010 - Trans-Smuggleberian Express

Trans-Mongolian Part 2: The Smugglers' Special ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2-3 July 2010 I Don't Believe it! Having made the most of the extra time in Ulan Bator it was now time to depart for my sixth and final country: Russia. Taxi to the station and the second leg of the Trans-Siberian train, second class, to Irkutsk. There was a taxi already at my hostel, depositing a new arrival; my hosts negotiated a fare of T3000 (GBP1.50). Although,...

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Jun 2, 2010 - Siberia-passing through!

Hello from Siberia! We have been having a true Siberian spring. With the massive plain, there is nothing to stop the weather from changing rapidly. We were two nights and a day on the train from Mongolia to Irkutsk, and it was 36 Celsius on the train--that is 96 Fahrenheit!!! All we did was sit and sweat! Today the weather is overcast and cool--about 15 C which I think is about 60 something F. It is just like home to me, but some of the Aussies are a bit cool! We had another long border crossing between Mongolia and Russia--at one point...

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Jun 1, 2010 - Listyvanka and Lake Baikal Russia

Left the train 7.45am and was driven into Irkustk - women are the height of fashion here. We have to be registered in Russia within 72 hours of arriving in the country. We were registered at a hotel in Irkutsk and also left our bags there whilst we looked at the sights. Quite cool here - about 15 deg. Headed out to Listyvanka and Lake Baikal - a beautiful place - staying in Nikoli B & B - building internally all wood. No shoes allowed. Walked to Lake Baikal - we were told that 3 weeks before our arrival it had been frozen over - it is the...

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May 31, 2010 - Ulaanbaatar to Listyvanka

Our second train journey - train stopped 5.30am for the Mongolian border control at Sukhbaatar. It is now 9.00 am and a beautiful sunny day and we are still sitting here waiting for border control. Cannot use train toilet so used station one a couple of times - 150T per use. Had cornflakes and 2 pieces of hard bread (it is all hard bread) and jam and numerous cups of green tea with lemon (just to pass the time)in the new glass mug (from France) purchased in Ulaanbaatar. In general, so far, food has been relatively cheap by our standards....

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May 2, 2010 - Whacked With Fir Branches In Irkutsk

I am so, SO grateful that I did get that early flight out to Moscow after all. I really wouldn't have had enough time to see and do everything I did, or meet the people I did. After my last blog I met more and more people in the hostel on the same Vodkatrain trip as me, and we spent time together exploring Moscow before we left for Irkutsk. In the end I went to Red Square four times in four days, went inside St Basil's Cathedral as you can see from the photos in the previous blog, walked around the Kremlin but not inside, and got...

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Harriet's OE Journal

Feb 22, 2010 - Post Lake Baikal

Wazzup peoples! We are back in irkutsk after a 4 day spell on Olkan island in Lake Baikal. Olkan was really nice after spending most of our other time in big cities. We stayed in a place called Nikitas guesthouse in the only "large" village on the Island. The village consisted of one corner shop, larger cornershop and loads of shantytown style wooden houses. Nikitas was like a small medieval community, which ultimatly supported the whole village as everyone worked there. The food was really nice, we got three large meals a day which we were...

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World Tour 2010

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