Moscow - Bratsk - Irkutsk. What a fun!!!
Irkutsk Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
WE were to leave Moscow at 9 pm and arrive to Irkutsk by 7.55 am (with 5 hour difference , so it wasnt too bad) but due to a snow storm Irkutsk wont take us and after circling around for some time we were diverted to Bratsk airport, a huge field in the middle of nowhere i would call it.
A two storeyed wooden building serves both as an arrival and departure terminal and after huge sparkling Domodedovo, it looked like we were in the 50-s again. Electronic timetables? ha-ha!!! Blackboard and chalk! At the information desk, a lady told us that we wouldnt set off before midday and pointed in the direction of another lonely standing building - supposedly a guesthouse with s small bar.
With all the wooden benches already occupied, i decided to give it a go. Have a cup of tea, it was -10C after all. On the way there i started a conversation with a least scary-looking woman (middle-aged women in Russia like putting on scary faces) and we entered the cafe together. Mmm. It was warm and you could see they had someone behind the bar - so it worked at least. Quiet soviet loking though and surely not meant to accomodate a hundred hungry people.
Barmaid/Cashier/Waitor in one person was a tired-looking woman, who announced the second we came in:
- " No food, just snacks and drinks. To many of you, i am alone"
We just wanted some tea anyway, so we joined the queue. I think it was our mistake - wanting tea. Everyone else was oredering vodka or, as situation progressed, whatever was left in the bar. They formed groups of 3 or 4 and sat down to drink. It took forever.After 45 minutes we eventually got our warm tea and pityfull sandwiches. The crowd by that time had got to the stage of ordering 2 bottles at a time.
At 1.30 we were asked to board. Atmosphere in the plane was cheerfull, red-cheecked women and men were exchanging jokes, someone at the back started singing. the loudspeakers came alive and the captain's voice followed:
- "DEar passengers, please look around and make sure none of your neighbours are absent. If you see we lack someone, let the crew know."
We did lack 3 people, and after 15 more minutes when they were finally found and walked on board, we took off.
Even with 7 hour delayed arrival to Irkutsk i had many hours to kill, so i checked in a nearby hotel to take a so much desired shower and have a nap. Couldn't sleep though, worrying about a million things, like getting up in time, or if Philip managed to make it in time, or would my visa electron work in their ATMs, or if my cheecks are really as big, as Borya said.
Ahead of me was just this last flight, and then i would be with Philip again. In China.