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Reisverslag On my way to: Baikal Lake
31 juli 2014
On my way to: Baikal Lake
I left the house of my Krasnoyarsk hosts early (around 10 o'clock in the morning). At the railway station I could comfortably wait for my train to arrive. The nice weather (which only lasted just until the train departed) made me smiley. Apparently this smile works attractive, because a judo coach began to talk to me. He had 15 year old Slava to translate for him. I figured out that the judo team, which was from Tyumen, was quite big, included some girls, some children, and some deaf. These interesting people invited me to ‘their’ wagon and they kept me entertained for a very long time. I had snaps, lunch and dinner with them and I just couldn’t but like them! I watched a movie with the three deaf guys and I stayed with them until past midnight, when I decided that it was time to go to my own wagon. Yep, they were definitely nice people.
I tried to catch some sleep in the train in order to enjoy to the maximum in Irkutsk. The judo team also had to get off at Irkutsk pass for their Baikal competition. Before I was going my own way I gave them my best wishes. Around 8.45 in the morning I took the tram to Tania’s, my saviour since my ‘planned’ host didn’t respond on any of my messages. When she took off for work, I moved ahead to Baikal Lake. After one hour riding a rollercoaster-like road in a minivan, I got off at some museum to enjoy a cable chair ride… which didn’t run until 4 o’clock, so I decided to hike all the way up! The view was worth the effort and the effort was quite a bit: both in English and in Russian I was asked how many more minutes it was to the top, when I was descending. I met with two dogs which didn’t look that domestic to me and therefore made me afraid, but I insisted on having at least a decent lunch before doing something active, like fighting with animals. Unfortunately I had to walk for a long time before finding good eating (and toilet) opportunities. The sun was shining, the fish was smoking, and people were sunbathing. I found some accompany in booze and then went back to Irkutsk again. Baikal Lake was beautiful (at least the part I’ve seen of it at Listvyanka). I didn't even expect to have a chance to visit the lake in the first place.
Even though all cities in Russia are big (even when they are relatively small), nature is just around the corner. The nice weather makes it all more enjoyable. The Lonely Planet guide I got from my niece, Jael, is being used very well. The necklaces I got from my sisters are being worn well; they left a white mark on my chest.
At the moment I'm in Ulan Ude, which is more Asian than Europe to me. Japanese cars and Asian-looking people are really everywhere. I visited an Indie-rooted Buddhist temple, today, and for a moment I felt like I was wandering around in China again. Tomorrow will be a 'special' day since I'll be traveling my longest train journey ever: it will take approximately 56 hours to get to Khabarovsk from Ulan Ude. Wish me luck! I truly hope there will be another judo team on the train or something.
I've paid the tram price of 14 Russian Roebels with a banknote of 1.000 Russian Roebels. I think it's hilarious. :) I'll never complain about getting too many small coins as change again.
31 juli 2014 09:49 | Door: mama
Hai lieve Madeleen,
Leuk en interessant!
Ik wens je goed gezelschap de komende lange, lange treinreis.
13 augustus 2014 19:55 | Door: Lisette
First of all I wanna give Nick the props for the necklace since he bought it in the first place and I am receiving the credits for it now..
Reading your adventures makes me wanna visit Russia straight away! It all sounds so lovely.
I'm glad Tania 'saved you' by hosting you. I think it's real cool that you managed to travel through all of Russia in a month while only staying at friendly locals who helped you out by hosting you. My faith in humanity is fully restored.
Have fun and stay smiley. Much love from me & Nick from Wales.