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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Lake Baikal: Russian Size

Friday, 25 July 2008

lake BaikalIn 1662 Protopope Avvakum having sailed in a boat across the lake, described his trip in his "Life" as follows: "So many snowy-white geese and swans swim in the sea. A lot of fish is there: sturgeons, taimens, sterlets, omuls, whitefish and other species. Its water is fresh, and there are many rabbits and eared seals in the lake, which I haven't seen in the sea or ocean."

The mistake of a chronicler is excusable: the size of the lake embarrasses even the modern scientists. The length of the lake is 636 km that is pretty close to the distance between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. It really looks like a sea, but its water is fresh. Its depth is 1 620 m and it contains 1/5 of world's supply of fresh water. Besides, Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world - it is about 25 mln years. (It's difficult to realise - it looks so young!).

The Russian Goldlake Baikal

The name of this natural miracle probably comes from a Turkic word "bay-kul", which means "a rich lake". It is rather feasible: Lake Baikal is a habitat for 1 800 breeds of rare animals and fish, and 3/4 of them are endemics, i.e. they can't be found in any other place in the world. Among them there is the Baikal omul and nerpa, non-viviparous fish golomyanka, and fresh water shrimps. Baikal Region is also famous for sable. At the ancient times skins of sable were equal to gold, and its fur was called «limp lumber». Before the revolution this animal was almost extinguished that's not a surprise: 200 000 skins were being procured yearly! The czar's order, barring hunting in this region, saved sable from the extinction. In 1916 on the shores of the lake Barguzinsky Nature Resort was created. Today «limp lumber» is alright: the population was restored, and tourists can observe the animals in their natural habitat.

Endurance trial

You can travel across the Baikal by different means. The simplest and the cheapest is hiking. It's better to begin from the village Listvyanka. On your way you will see the head of the great Angara and the Wooden Architecture Museum. Those who like extreme go rafting along the rivers of Baikal Region, for instance, along the picturesque river Irkut having rough feeders, islands and cloves. You must be in good physical shape to go in for hiking or bike riding across the Olhon Island. The comfort-lovers can participate in cruises on ships and yachts. You can choose one from several offers: one day sailing trip or a 4-9 day cruise. Mostly a trip starts from the village Listvyanka or from MRS on the Maloye Sea. One of the main sights in South Baikal is Krugobaykalskaya railway. Buy a ticket for a sightseeing train that stops in the most interesting places of the region. You will get marvelous pictures!

Fish day

lake Baikal The Baikal meal is rich and hearty because only natural products are served. Surely, the main dainty is the Baikal omul. They say that it's best when cooked in Listvyanka. Grilled omul with white mushrooms and hot patties with omul filling are especially tasty. As a present smoked omul is the best. Don"t miss a chance to sample boyar fish soup from different sorts of meat. In local restaurants you can find many fish meals with attractive titles: "White Fish Raskolotka", "Harius with a Crispy Crust" and "Taimen". Deserts are being prepared from the gifts of Siberian taiga: blueberry, blackberry, cranberry and pine nuts. As for spirit, we recommend pine nuts potion, which can be wholesome if you do not overdo with it during tasting time.

This is what you must do being at the Baikal:

  • to go fishing (you can catch omul with a fishing rod)
  • to participate in a goetic ritual
  • to bring for your dearest ones smoked omul, honey and jam from taiga berries as a present.
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