07 May Baikal in spring, a story by Zhanna
Today we are publishing the story of Zhanna Popova, who’ve recently have been to lake Baikal – the cleanest, biggest and deepest lake not only in Russia, but on the whole planet. Amazing thing is, that Zhanna went there in April, which is still very much like winter in Siberia and on lake Baikal. Read below, how it was.
Baikal in spring
“Writing about lake Baikal in spring is actually far easier than getting there. It takes five and a half hours to fly from Moscow to Irkutsk, and even then the business isn’t over: you still need to get to the lake itself and travel at least 70 km to do so.
However, my own journey was even longer: the final destination was a little settlement on the island of Olkhon. In the middle of April the ice was still 1,20 m thick, so an ice crossing was the only way to get there. I never walked on ice and wasn’t pretty sure that riding on it in a car was a good idea. But there wasn’t any choice, so I trusted the driver.
Olkhon is a very special place. It is one of the largest lake-bound islands in the world, and is believed to be one of the spiritual centers of the shamans. The landscape of the island changes a lot: there are mountains, but also boreal forests and steppes. The beauty of the region is austere, but the place is definitely worth visiting.
Even in April the weather there is still wintry, especially in the night. It gets much better during the day, as Olkhon is a really sunny place. The landscapes look somewhat extraterrestrial, so photos give a far better impression than any description.
Ice of Baikal lake:
There’s a nice hotel on the island, but during the short Siberian summer it is also possible to camp on the beaches. In July and August you can even swim in the lake, which is praised for the clarity of its waters.
Another great thing about the region is its cuisine. Even on the way to the island you can try some Mongolian specialities, for instance, the buuz, something like oversized dumplings with meat. But the real centre of gastronomic attention is the fish, and most notably, the omul. It is great in all possible states: smoked, salted, fried, etc. ”
Did you like the story of Zhanna about Baikal in spring? Do you have your own story to share? We will gladly publish it, just drop us an email!