This is a continuation from: Trans Siberian Tales: Why Chinese do not like Mongolians?
Irkutsk is a small town to stopover along the Trans Siberian train journey. We were glad to get a hot shower and a good night’s sleep on a stationary bed after two days on the train. (Little did we know how four days on the train could be).
Like Moscow, Irkutsk is made up of buildings with special architecture of a smaller scale. During our time there, we visited a Russian Orthodox church, which was our first contact with churches in Russia, and it was very, very different. There’s also a river bank that you must head to, the Angara River which flows into the grand Lake Baikal.
Irkutsk is much colder than in Moscow. Temperatures go down to -7 degrees when we were there in early October and it snowed. But the winds are not as strong as it can be in Moscow, so you will be fine with a thick coat, gloves and hat. That being said, it can be quite a dampener when it comes to sight-seeing. We wanted to see more views of Lake Baikal from different locations, but after getting frostbitten under such temperatures, one trip to Listvanya was enough.
It’s definitely a place to get some rest for the onward league of the Trans Siberian (it’s 4 days non-stop if you’re going to Moscow) and like a catapult, you will find yourself by the fringes of Lake Baikal in a blink of an eye. (I’m exaggerating, but you WILL definitely go to Lake Baikal when you are in Irkutsk).
Tip: If you, like me wondered for the longest time how to pronounce Ir-ku-tsk, click here: http://translate.google.com/#en/ru/irkutsk
I figured it’s some thing like this Ee – a – cool – sk: Ee (The ee of eerie) – a – cool- sk (the sk of tsk). For Mandarin speakers, the Chinese name would be 伊尔库茨克.
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Raising of the Cross Church – Sedova Street
We took shelter in a coffee house due to the -11deg temperatures. My ears felt like they were falling off and my hands were in pain. Russian churches are quite different from European churches, and much less compared to the Singapore ones.
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Angara River Bank, a straight walk from the Lenin Statue
Most beautiful place in Irkutsk
Watch this space for my next post on Eating in Irkutsk.