Aug 28, 2005
Dec 31, 2005
Stupid alarm clock didn't go off so I missed my bus to Olkhun Island but decided to head for Listvyanka, a small town south of Iirkutsk, located on the shores of famous Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is the worlds largest and deepest lake, up to a mile deep and is inhabited by many rare species found only in this lake. In fact, the lake is so damn clean that you can drink right out of it with no problems - some kind of sponge that lives in it filters everything out. It's a quiet little town with not much to do, but it has excellent views of the lakes, small rocky beaches, and charming little nuances likes cows wandering in the middle of the road. There's also a small ecological museum with some of those unique lake species and a pair of freshwater seals, the only kind in the world. Listvyanka also has some great hiking and superb sunsets. Speaking of those unique species, for dinner I had Omul, a deep water fish found only here and it was fantastic! After dinner I met two Germans and we decided to have a beer at a small cafe where we ended up meeting a couple from Poland. It was fun and we all swapped stories and had a few beers, laughs, and interesting conversations. I stayed the night in a "Russian B&B", which seemed more like a converted bomb shelter than a guest room, but it was quiet and then I caught the first bus in the morning so I could catch the first bus to Olkohon Island.