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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Irkutskaya, Russia

Feb 14, 2010 - Entry from Irkutsk

Hello people, we have ventured further into the wilderness of russia and more specifically siberia in the last few days. We are currently staying with out second couch surfer in Irkutsk. As you may or may not know we speant the last 4-5 days (excluding the train journey eastwards) in the city of Tomsk, which is north of Novosibirsk. Here we stayed with Kirill a Russian english student/radio DJ. He was a top guy and arranged many things for us to do during our stay such as talk to russian english students (his classmates) about how England...

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Trip Journal


World Tour 2010

Sep 24, 2009 - Train to Irkutsk and onto Beijing - Sept 15-24

September 15 The train ride from Moscow to Irkutsk was excellent. The train left Moscow dot on time and thankfully we had our 4-bed cabin to ourselves at first. This meant we could sort all of our stuff out and get organised in the little space we had. We got all our food and drink out and tucked into the nice big box of wine we'd bought! At the first stop, Vladimir, a Russian couple got on and were to be our companions for the next few days. They were very friendly but spoke little English. Combined with our non-existent Russian,...

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Aug 11, 2009 - Irkutsk, Lake Baikal and Olkhon island

Finally got around to planning some of the China part of the commute to New Zealand during our 56 hour train journey from Perm to Irkutsk. Arrival saw a well needed shower. And what a shower the hostel had; with a radio to sing along to and multiple jets. Irkutsk is by Lake Bikal, which is the largest lake in the world. We headed over there with some of our fellow hostellers packed into a mini bus in such a way that we all knew each other intimately by the end of the journey. We had fun and tumbles mountain biking and some tasty barbequed...

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Trip Journal


Kiwi Commute

Aug 1, 2009 - Irkutsk and Lake Baikal

This is meant to be the account of our three days in Irkutsk in Siberia. We first arrived here quite early on the morning. We were woken up quite early by our friendly army guy on the train. However, it was 7.30 in the morning but I wouldn't have minded snoozing for a bit longer. Travelling into Irkutsk was fine and we were very happy to see the back of Smelly express and smelly army guy! We were greated by a representative from the tour operator and she took us to the homestay we are currently staying with. The tour operator was a very...

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Aug 1, 2009 - A review on our Russia Trip

Here is our thought on Russia during this trip. Food Russian food are generally very nice and hearty. I have already developed a few favourites including the Borsch, the Carrot salad, the Beef Strogenoff and its pancakes with variety of fillings. However, I think Russian seems big meat eaters (suit me fine) but probably not too ideal a destination for veggies. Drinks Russian beers are very nice. Just pick any brand and you can guarantee good beer. The Russian beer are very cheap too. You can pick a can of beer for 50p whereas the foreign...

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Jul 30, 2009 - Trans-Siberian Railway - Moscow to Irkutsk

We were quite pleased to leave Moscow in the end. Neither of us really liked the city. It lacked charm and was just really a big boring place to live. St Petersburg definately got the architecture and grandness of which Moscow has nothing. I don't think we would ever return, at least not if we have to pay for it ourselves. Before leaving Moscow we treated ourselves to a dinner at the local chain My-My and we really enjoyed it. I had a Chicken Kiev with bulgur and a yoghurt sauce and Iris had duck (no surprises there!) with some roast...

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Jul 30, 2009 - Trans-Siberian Railway - the practical side

Condition of the carriage The carriage was fairly clean with the two attendants cleaning the tiolets and the rest of the carriage twice daily and maintained it to a better standard than I expected. However, given we still have 40 odd people sharing two tiolets, the tiolets still consistently smelled of urine... The train was air conditioned and was set at a constant 21C which was fairly pleasant considered that it was quite hot outside. However, when the train approached each stop, the air conditioned was shut for the time when the train...

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Aug 23, 2008 - Irkutsk

Llegué a la ciudad del lago Baikal al anochecer, y ésta nos recibió con una temperatura de 12 °C en pleno verano; nuevamente la llegada fue tarde y así de nuevo no fue fácil conseguir una habitación. No es sorpresa que lo que primero hice en la mañana fue ir a la estación de trenes a asegurar el próximo boleto, y que lo segundo que hice fue visitar el famoso lago. En la estación utilicé el más amigable (o menos intimidante) centro de servicio (especial), quien atendía hablaba un diferencial de inglés y en ese momento decidí que ya bastaba...

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Aug 13, 2008 - Lake Baikal

Dear Friends, Our trip to Lake Baikal was truly amazing. We took about a thousand pictures, but they can't do justice to our sidetrip. We were on Baikal for about three days, and pretty much did not waste a minute. I am not going to write too too much about our trip because Kara and I arrived in Ulan-Ude not too long ago, and we are hungry, but a few words. The homestead where we stayed was like a little international village. We met Venezuelans (both of whom were extremely nice -- they also probably liked that Kara and I spoke Spanish...

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Aug 11, 2008 - Conquering Irkutsk

Dear Readers, First of all, Kara and I just wanted to point out that we saw the 400M men's freestyle relay just about 12 hours before all of you NBC watching viewers saw it. Sure, we watched the commentary in Russian, but as best we could tell, the Russian announcer is about as excited about Michael Phelps as anyone else is. Next, we are nowhere near Ossetia or Georgia and did not even know that there was fighting going on until an Italian in our train car told us. Every time we get into a train car, we think it is the beginning of a bad...

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Jul 31, 2008 - An Afternoon in Taishet

Day 18 - Trans-Siberian Railway Leg II Our train left just after dinner taking us past relatively level farmland, interrupted by industrial lands for timbre and Oil refineries [Angarsk]. We spent most of this trip in the dark, but the sunset views were incredible. Before we could reach our destination, Taishet, the train was in no hurry and made every stop imaginable! By morning we had only covered about 250km. Not much to say about our morning train journey - mostly similar landscapes of trees, hills, villages, railyards and rivers. The...

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Jul 29, 2008 - Breathtaking Olkhon

Day 15-17 - Lake Baikal and Olkhon Island From Irkutsk we took a taxi across town to the Aftovagzal (bus station) where we were immediately accosted by a middle aged gentleman looking for people going to "Khuzhir." This was a relief as this was exactly where we needed to go!! ACross the street, there were small crowds of people waiting to board mini buses, many of whom where locals, so we joined the queue. After an hour, our backpacks were thrown onto the roof a minibus, tied down and covered with a tarp. We were on our way to Olkhon and...

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