08.08.2011 - 10.08.2011 19 °C
Minibus collected us and took us from Irkutsk to listvyanka. We stayed in a log cabin with en suite bathrooms, but strange plumbing a few minutes hot, then cold, then hot water. Breakfasts were lavish, but you had to be there promptly to get yoiur fried eggs while still hot.
Lake baikal was beautiful, very blue and icy cold. How any tourist can spend more than 3 minutes swimming in the water, let alone 30 seconds, defies belief? And this was august, in shallow water!
Baikal offered us free wifi at the hotel Mayak, and a less than helpful tourist information office. Fortunately, the wonderful Julia, at the other tourist info office opposite the hotel Mayak, rescued us with her great English and sensible prices for a boat trip on Baikal.
We had long walks uphill to find the chair lifts (success) and the observatory (failure) and a long but rewarding walk to the кафе Прошлый Век where Misha met her Mishi. And we can recommend the shashlik omul here.
Irkutsk competed to be the Paris of the east, but seemed like a soviet city. The Kazan monastery, in the midst of renovation, was beautiful. The Market was full of great fruits and vegetables, though the fadidas shopping proved stressful and unsuccessful.
Most disappointing meal of Irkutsk was domino's pizza. And we finally succumbed to planeta sushi for familiar pizza and pasta. But we were tired, hungry, and in need of food before fatigue set in.