Listvyanka Lake Baikal - Irkutsk Sunday 8th July

Listvyanka Travel Blog

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We got up early with Con and Maria to get the pancakes as the hotel only makes a set amount for the 2 hour sitting of breakfast. David hoed right in  The internet in the hotel was working this morning so we spend the rest of the morning catching up on email. [Girl Stuff] I wandered up to the local shop for a fresh supply of tampons. I was amazed at the low cost of them here. They even have an extra heavy flow which is not available in Australia. Women on the tour thought the quality may be lacking, but this is not so. I can recommend o.b. brand to anyone visiting Russia. I bought 5 more packets to take home. There is also no tax on them here as there is in Australia. (Stupid GST)[/girl talk]
Went to check out and pay for our internet usage, but they wouldn’t take our money. The tour bus took us back to Irkutsk via the Talsty village, which is a replica of the original Cossack village that was destroyed by fire (Stalin?) Nice stalls but I didn’t buy anything. After a few weeks in a country you get sick of the same trinkets at all these stalls.
Back in Irkutsk, and back to the old Intourist hotel. This time we struck out. A 5th floor room, a partly renovated floor and a half hearted room renovation. The toilet isn’t stuck on the floor and is too far from the wall so it falls over when you sit on it, or bites you if you don’t. I pulled back the bedspread and the bed was not made. The air-con was too small for the size of the room and so didn’t cool the room.
We walked to the station with our free afternoon, so David and Con could take photos of trains and some train working in Irkutsk yard. Con took some photos inside the station (as did David) but was caught by a plain clothed security guard. Whilst he was told off, David managed to snap his shot. We then decided that across the road would be better. The shops had a great range of foodstuffs so I stocked up on bikkies and buns for the train and we all had a fried sausage thing for lunch. We all caught the tram into the main part of town. We were all getting tired and at 6 roubles a piece, a bargain way to travel. We separated at the central market and I wandered to the Paddy’s market type thing where I was hoping to get Fabian a Souvenir to use up my remaining roubles. The seller’s here were just too pushy so even if I did find something, I was turned off by their pushiness. We gave up and returned to the hotel, where I was delighted to find a lovely gift for someone. Can someone please Google the stone “Charoite” I have no idea what the English name is, or even if it has and English name but it is a lovely and expensive stone found only in and around Lake Baikal. I also found a t-shirt for Fabian. Not the one I was after but it is OK. I sent him a card which I hope will get there before me.

Trying to sleep now and it is too light. David is doing CDs for some tour members to fill in time until some sort of darkness falls.
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Listvyanka
photo by: Biedjee