I want to devote my first article to the deepest lake on the Earth. Get acquainted, its name is Baikal.
It seems to me like it was yesterday, but I do not believe it was last summer. Memories in my mind and feelings in my soul of the mysterious Siberian lake attracting tens of thousands of tourists from all parts of the World every year are still fresh and strong.
I have prepared for this trip for a long time and have constantly surfed something like “Top 10 things to do around lake Baikal” or “Lake Baikal Travel Guide?”. Of course, I read tons of different recommendations from other people, but as a result I made my own list for those people who packing a bag into a way now or only have a little thoughts about future travel to coast of Baikal.
Friends, I submit you my list for a good weekend on lake Baikal:
To try the Buryat cuisine.
Lake Baikal is not just a Siberian lake. First of all it is the main property of the Republic of Buryatia. And, of course, you are right if you think that the ethnic cuisine of Buryatia is widely presented even at any Baikal rock.
Buuza, Sharbin, Sagudai – I can list for a long, but it is better to you to try once. Frankly speaking, I dream of the Buryat cuisine and now, later time, I see their national noodles or fresh hot Buuza at lonely nights. By the way, Buuza – the most known national dish of Buryatia representing a meat ball in the dough with broth appeared in the top of my list of the Buryat cuisine.
It is worth reminding that according to traditions, Buuza is eaten with hands, biting off a little piece of dough and meat and drinking broth. Now you know, rules of good form at the Buryat table. In general, the Buryat cuisine differs in a variety of meat dishes and milk dishes.
By the way, price of “buuza”:
- About 0,7$ apiece. (there are enough 3-4 pieces even for the hungriest)
To visit Olkhon.
Many years ago in Buryatia, the Shamanism was the popular phenomenon near the coast of Baikal. And the island of Olkhon is considered the place magic and mysterious also today. (It is rumored that shamans from all over the world reach for these sacred lands). Actually, Olkhon for me was the embodiment of the real rest from a civilization and merge to the nature.
Probably, paradise so would look. It is necessary to try to pass the atmosphere of the island. Imagine: the sun blinds beams you, but because of sharp wind gusts you don’t feel its heat, sitting on stones, on the mountain. You look behind and below – that settlement which isn’t representing in itself anything special, but managed to contain in the small wooden houses, thousands of tourists from the World, look ahead – a boundless scope! Seemingly just water and anything special. But in merge to majesty of this huge lake, you also as if become great. It seems that you are capable of everything, apparently, that you are invincible.
I will tell at once that the Civilization and Olkhon – words incompatible. The street box under the name “shower”, gave me hardly warm water only for the third day of my travel. Here you should forget about good conditions: Wi-Fi, hot water, and Italian cuisine – are not here. The fans of the comfortable rest need to be ready morally.
To reach the island is not a big problem. The bus from Irkutsk to Huzhir will bring you from the mainland of lake Baikal to the main megalopolis of the island – Huzhir town with the population even about 2500 people!
- Price on the bus: 10$.
To try an omul.
One more gastronomic pleasure – an omul.
Possible varieties: fried, smoked, cold, hot, salty and not really. It is like a Baikal fast food. It is possible to find it, first of all, on a smell. (I hope you know how to find the fish on a smell?). The full-fledged atmosphere of Baikal is felt only when you are eating an omul on the edge of rocks at coast of the great lake. Otherwise in any way.
- 1,5$ – a cold/smoke-cured omul.
- 2$ – a fried omul
To drink Baikal.
It is not a joke. The lake has unique natural system of self-cleaning therefore it is possible and it is even necessary to take couple of sips of water from the lake, to wash your face with the Baikal water and to continue your way.
I will repeat, there is a popular belief that shamans have respected earth of Baikal for a long time. To believe in it or not – your business. However don’t forget to make a wish at local altars. On Baikal this word “Burkhanit” means to cajole local spirits. On the way to the lake, you can see “Obo” so places of worship of spirits are called. (Are similar to columns with multi-colored ribbons). You should leave some money here, candies and to tie ribbons on columns.
It is considered that when wind is pulling ribbons, your desires depart directly to spirits.
Legends say that every color has the meaning:
- Green ribbon – to prosperity
- Yellow ribbon – to wealth
- Red ribbon – to love
- Blue ribbon – to longevity
- White ribbon – to an enlightenment
6.To see a seal.
You have to see a seal somewhere. The Seal – is a main symbol of lake Baikal. If you did not see a seal in the lake, you can visit known «Nerpinariya» and its «Seal show» near Irkutsk and to be loaded by positive emotions.
Price on the show:
- 8$ for adults
- 7$ for children
The most important things needs to do at coast of Baikal is to go crazy from beauty surrounding you, to feel its strongest power and to believe that in your life all is possible!
Let’s travel, Friends!