Sunday, 27 April 2008

Risk taking...

Irkutsk is on the Risk board! Pretty special, if you ask me. Our main reason for heading to Irkutsk was to visit the spleandour of Lake Baikal, which overloads with superlatives and amazing facts - the world's deepest freshwater lake, more than 2 thirds of the wildlife are unique to the lake and many more...

We stayed in a small wooden chalet in the town of Lystvyanka, on the shores of Lake Baikal. It is a strange but endearing place. Old wooden houses mingle with wild, technicoloured new houses and hotels pilfered from the Disney book of architecture. We sampled some smoked Omul from the market - a fish with a delicate, sweet flavour, and took a trip over the frozen lake on a hovercraft. Whoopee! Like being on the dodgems on ice. The driver did 360 degree spinneys and everything. Our companions were a very jolly couple from St. Petersburg who laughed through the whole trip. At the Baikal museum we saw some of the rare Baikal freshwater seals. They are so tubby and cute, and swim like podgy torpedoes when they go underwater.

A fantastic couple of days was marred slightly by more lacklustre Russian service during our evening meal and the fact that Russian menus base the price of everything on weight. So we ordered 2 different dishes of Omul. But because one was priced according to weight it came out 3 times as expensive on the bill.

Leaving Lake Baikal the next morning, the lake was beginning to groan and creek with the spring thaw. So glad we saw it wearing its icy winter coat.

1 comment:

Cursed Tea said...

bet you guys are glad your so far aways from London .... Boris Johnson is the new mayor - I cannot believe it!!!!! What on Earth is going on? I understand wanting Ken out - but Boris was the best alternative ... what about the Lib Dems guy??

Well, now Londoners will know how it feels to live in America for the past 8 years!!

Hope travels are going well!!
Kirst x