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TRANS-SIBERIAN: Listvyanka & Lake Baikal

Irkutsk was behind us when Ivan, our incredible ash-blond driver, told us a few things about Lake Baikal and the local family who would host us in their home for the next few days. Although I began my journey solo, I met not a few backpackers during my Trans-Siberian trip – mostly Dutch and Americans – who were also following the same route like I did, hence we fell intoe each other on the way. Tiffany from Hong Kong was one of them and we kept each other company until we reached Mongolia. So, “We” on this post stands for me and Tiffany. On our way to Listvyanka – the very first village to encounter after Irkutsk -, Ivan let us know a few things about the lake. Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake with a maximum depth of 1.620 meters and also, the oldest – 25.000.000 years old.…

Trans-Siberian – Next Station: Siberia

When I finally left Moscow, I hopped on board the world’s most famous train, the Trans-Siberian, in order to cross Siberia. Since I’ve already given you a taste of what to pack for the TransSiberian and what to do in Moscow, let me take you directly to my next stop: the so-called Siberian Paris; the city of Irkutsk. I guess that when you’re thinking of Siberia, the first thing that pops in your head is the freezing cold and the huge amount of snow covering the region’s vast fields. The very word “Siberia” means “the country that sleeps” (or even better, “hibernating”) in Mongolian. At the beginning of July though, when I arrived there, it was extremely hot – the temperature was stuck at 35°C – making me wonder how could it be that during the winter, the temperature reached a low of -30°C at the same exact place. So, in the…