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

Feb 24, 2006 - Slipping into Siberia

So. We are on our way, on the Trans-Siberian, a train bound for Vladivostok, near North Korea, but one which we will get off about half that way in Irkutsk. We totally lucked out again, and got the whole cabin for four to ourselves, which is one of the pluses of traveling in the off-season, and set up our beds. We ate some of our provisions, and started drinking the beer we bought earlier. The beds are a little thin, but other than that, one couldn't be much more comfortable for the money, and we were really excited to leaving for the...

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Dec 6, 2005 - Irkutsk

Hello again! Well Irkutsk has been amazing! When we arrived at the train station at 8 in the morning, the temperature outside was -28 C (-19 F). I've never been anywhere that comes close to being as cold as it is here. We had already arranged to have someone pick us up at the station and take us directly to Listvayanka, a town of almost 2,000 about an hour away Irkutsk, next to Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is great, it is the world's deepest and largest lake and 25% of the entire world's fresh water is right here. Right now the surface is still...

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Nov 5, 2005 - Lake Baikal

some of you may have heard of this lake. its the largest surface freshwater lake in the world and contains 20 percent of the worlds fresh water. if you were to drain it, it would take the Great Lakes of the United States: Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario to refill the empty basin. its almost a mile deep. i think there are monsters that live down there. there just has to be. its too big and too deep to not have monsters. sally disagrees. we passed it today. its nothing special to look at as far as lakes go. but lakes have never...

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Trip Journal


...pure religion

Jun 19, 2005 - Trans Siberian Rairoad

More of the same. Eating, playing cards, drinking, sleeping, reading, and watching people and scenery. believe me the vendors at the train stops did well with our group. We stopped fro up to 30 minutes at a few of the larger stations. We are ready to get off the train, even though we are sleeping well. Being in a small space for 3 days + is enough.

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May 27, 2005 - Mongolia to Irkutsk, Siberia

The pictures of Beijing and The Wall are first up. We've now joined our new group and headed off on the TransMongolian train from Beijing towards Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. We started through the Gobi Desert during the first part of the train ride got to experience a sandstorm. Even though the train was traveling at a decent speed and every window and door was closed, the sand in the air was thick enough to make you choke. By the time we cleared the storm, everything was covered with sand. My hair felt like dusty straw. Nothing like sleeping in...

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Apr 2, 2005 - Irkutsk again

A couple of weeks ago when I last left Irkutsk (in the middle of a blizzard) the pavements were inch-thick skating rinks of black ice cemented with smog-dust and packed solid by endless winter footsteps. Now temperatures have risen well above zero, the asphalted streets and pavements are clear, though the muddy back lanes are unbearably slushy. All those heavy clothes which have kept me toasty warm even at -23 degrees in Barguzin, are starting to feel like an impediment. Carrying them for the next couple of months is already starting to...

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Mar 9, 2005 - Irkutsk

Irkutsk still defies simplistic description. The tourist hub for Lake Baikal, it's dubbed, the 'Queen' or the 'Paris' of Siberia for its patchy collection of old wooden and stone architecture. But that's too positive. At once unkempt and venal, charming and quirky, seedy yet personable, there is a vague undercurrent of insecurity especially late at night when one is occasionally tailed around by begging drunks with darkly unreadable faces and uncertain levels of malice. One thing that one can't overlook here is the astronomical leap in...

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Oct 12, 2004 - Transiberie express (Moskou - Irkutsk)

Na 3 dagen en 4 nachten in de trein te hebben doorgebracht, 1 miljard berkenbomen en even zoveel dennebomen voorbij te hebben zien gaan, zijn we vandaag aangekomen in Irkutsk. De reis was echt geweldig, we kregen een goede indruk van het echte Rusland. Het is enorm groot en heel erg arm. De steden waar we langs zijn gereden zien er echt niet uit, ze bestaan met name uit grote betonnen dozen, met daarnaast veel vervallen houten huizen. De Transiberie Express was geweldig mooi, echt een leuke ervaring. We zijn wel blij dat we 1e klas hebben...

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Oct 2, 2004 - Lac Baikal

Arrives a Irkutsk, nous sommes alles directement au Lac Baikal ou nous avons loge 2 nuits chez des familles qui travaillent pour l'observatoire. Il semblerait que le chauffage soit une option pour quand il fait vraiment froid. -2 degres avec de la neige ne fait vraisemblablement pas partie de cette categorie... Il faut dire que l'on doit avoir l'air de mauviettes, en hiver le lac qui est quand meme long de 640 km gele completement... De retour a Irkoutzk, capitale de la Siberie, nous nous preparons a reprendre le train vers la Mongolie...

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Sep 23, 2004 - Irkutsk

We made it into Irkutsk at about 08:00 in the morning, and so the stress of turning up somewhere late at night and not really knowing where we are heading. The weather was also nice and warm. We could see the hotel across the river from the train station, so we walked over to the hotel, and luckily our room was ready, so we dumped the bags and managed to go and get a breakfast. The hotel was pretty grim, and resembled the high standards of the French Fomula 1 chain. So we left the hotel and went on our walking tour. As the weather was nice,...

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Trip Journal


Stu and Liz On Tour

Sep 20, 2004 - Irkutsk

We have just arrived here in Irkutsk to spend the night with families (2), Jake, Todd, Mari, and Whitney with one and we(Bon, Connie, and I) with another. It was a looong train trip, and the scenery did not change much...birch, pine, and agricultural fields...lowlands pretty much, but very rich looking soil. Lots of little villages with fenced in gardens, growing lots of cabbage, potatoes, raspberries, flowers, dill, tomatoes but not much else that I could make out...still, very well maintained in most cases. Houses are log or wood sided,...

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Jun 4, 2004 - Trans-Manchurian: Nearly Duffilled at Lake Baikal

The four hours it took Russian border guards to let our train though, the whole of which time your passport is scrutinized away from the train, mean we are now late. We haven´t had a chance to change money for Roubles yet and the longer train stops are being cut short to try and make up time. The new Russian dining car seems to be a step down, both in menu and decor. At breakfast on the first day there is almost nothing available and we need Faye from the Moscow embassy to decypher the menu which is only in handwritten Cyrilic. Dollars are...

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