"South Lake Baikal and Irkutsk" Top 5 Page for this destination Russia Things to Do Tip by darthmilmo
Russia Things to Do: 281 reviews and 514 photos
It turns out that the Lake Baikal water level was low in 2003 so the service from Severobaikalsk to Irkutsk started late on July 2nd. I awoke early that day to catch the Hydrofoil to Irkutsk, a city on the southern shores of Lake Baikal. I waited among gangsters dressed in fine white suits and wearing white shoes. Ah, what will Russia be without its mafia?
The hydrofoil ride was amazing! It was going so fast that if you saw an object or scenery worth taking a picture of you had to almost run or it will be long gun by the time you took the photo. We passed boats left and right much like a plane would pass a flock of ducks/birds. The shores of Lake Baikal were cloudy on and as such the visibility was not perfect. However, it did improve for quite some time so I managed to see the beautiful change in flora from Taiga to grassland- like scenery, which was no doubt caused by deforestation in the southern shores. We also passed several islands with incredible rocky cliffs. The deck on the back allowed an ample water splashing view of the vessel's marks left behind on the water. As the visibility on the crystal blue lake was clear at times, you could see the trail for over a kilometer or more. What's more, the sparkling water created a beautiful colored rainbow that I couldn't quite capture with my camera. Going back indoors, one wonders how they make money since over 2/3 of the seats were empty! Perhaps that is where the mafia comes into the picture. Oh, up on the front, I would later read a large sign that proudly said that the hydrofoil was made in the USSR. In other words, it's over 12 years old! We switched into a smaller hydrofoil at Port Baikal. It took us all the way to Irkutsk. (This trip can be done in reverse, from Irkutsk to Severobaikalsk).
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