Freezing in Siberia
Lake Baikal Travel Blog› entry 9 of 26 › view all entries
February 1st, 2006 – by: dfoo
After a brief lunch and overview of the city we headed straight to Lake Baikal. Which is the reason why a lot of people pass through Irkutsk. Irkutsk itself is pretty unremarkable, its a standard small Russian city with a few shops and offices. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world. I think I read that something like a third of the worlds freshwater is in Lake Baikal. Don't quote me on that though. It's been years since I've read my LP travel guide.
To say Lake Baikal is tranquil, quaint and beautiful would be an understatement. It litterally takes your breath away how big it is. It stretches for miles. In winter all you see before you is a endless horizon of frozen water.
It's such a big difference stepping into Siberia coming from the big cities of St Petersburg and Moscow. People are friendlier and are actually smiling when you spot them walking on the streets. Which is a pretty rare occurance due to the extreme cold.
After taking a shower, we headed out to walk the 2 km to the biological museum. That shower was without a doubt the best shower I have ever had.
After our brief visit to the biological museum, we watched the sun set over the lake. We also took this opportunity to walk over the frozen lake after been told it was safe to do so. I believe its at least 10-20 meters thick the ice over the lake. So it had no problems sustaining our weight. There were even cracks in the ice which went down a bit but still were sturdy enough to walk over. Because of the sheer size of the lake, it would not be uncommon to spot 4WD cars driving across the lake. As it was much quicker than driving around the lake.
Once the sun had set we made our way to this little tavern to have some delicious fish which had been caught from the lake.
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