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Irkutsk – This flag is incredible

May 25, 2011 1 comment

We got off the overnight train at Irkutsk station and tried to follow the directions given to us by the hostel – “Take any tram for 3 stops, then get off and go into the alley behind the “OPTIKA” sign”. Helpful.

Through great skill and ingenuity we managed to make it to the hostel pretty quickly and dumped our bags before going outside for a walk around the city. To our surprise Irkutsk was actually much, much warmer than Mongolia and it was pretty much T-shirts and shorts weather the whole time we were there.

View of Irkutsk

View of the river

Our hostel was on Lenin street, which was right around the corner from Karl Marx street, so that was exciting for me. What confused me was that there was a statue of Stalin on Lenin street, and a statue of Lenin on Karl Marx street; there was, however, a  statue of Yuri Gagarin on Gagarin street, so at least that one made sense.

Lenin statue - Irkutsk

Irkutsk is full of fantastic looking and old fashioned wooden houses. Apparently this is a hangover from the time of the Decemberists, it adds a nice touch to the city and gives the whole place a nice vibe and a unique look.

Wooden house

Another amazing thing about Irkutsk is that their city flag is of a cat eating a mink. Yes, you read that right.

Amazing flag

See, I wasn't lying

To quickly sum up Irkutsk, it’s a nice place to visit, but there isn’t a great deal to do there. After two days, and too many birazkhi/pirozkhi (puns!) we ran out of things to do and left for a 3 hour drive to Olkhon Island – complete with hovercraft to cross the frozen ice of Baikal lake.

More photos here.

Categories: Irkutsk, Photos

Sneak Preview 3

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Here are some things I found in stores in Irkutsk:

Duran Duran

Duran Duran

Fake Turtles

At least Raphaela's still green

And two hints: Cats and Mink

Categories: Irkutsk, Photos, Sneak Preview