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Trip to Baikal

Baikal,

Our great plan to travel the shores of Lake Baikal was achieved thanks to the services of the travel agency Kredo Tour in Moscow. After having contacted the agency with some of our initial ideas, we were able to receive, the follo wing day, a proposal of the trip’s budget and the options for accommodations. Our contacts were very attentive to our wishes and concerns by optimizing the short week (minimum) while drawing our attention to the realities on the ground. Their advice and suggestions were crucial to the success of our journey.

The small trip privately guided in the car is the best way to explore, in all independence, this beautiful place. The places not to miss are Irkutsk with its old wooden houses; a small village named Listvyanka at the border of the expanding lake; Taltsy, the local museum made of wooden architecture out in the open; the tourist train ride along the lake; and of course Buryat Olkhon with its traditions of shamanism. The cold, clear lake has fascinated and hypnotized us throughout the trip. There is also an impressive museum dedicated to Lake Baikal in Listvyanka. The lake is sacred to Buriats, a small ethnic group that has its origins from Mongolia who has inhabited this region for centuries.

By changing various means of transportation (minibus, 4x4 cars, boats, trains) we were able to access in a somewhat comfortable and safe way this remote area that many find inaccessible.

With time, more modern and comfortable hotels have opened in this area. Good restaurants are also very much present. Yet, we felt as if civilization stopped there; after another hundred miles, one could only find the real Syberian forest.

It is difficult to resist the attraction of Syberia has to offer. We will return once more, in winter this time, and of course we will re-contact our friends from Kredo Tour.

Igor Vocatch, Geneva, Switzerland

Опубликовано: 03.10.2013