Trans-Siberian Journey: Irkutsk - Ulan Ude

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Russia  , Buryatiya,
Sunday, September 12, 2010

The journey from Irkutsk to Ulan-Ude was very different from the other journeys so far for many reasons.

The journey was during the day time and lasted less than eight hours. Although, it was a day time journey, we were still in the usual Trans Siberian trains with compartments and berths but this time it was only us in the compartment for the all duration of the journey. And although we had a choice of meat or fish dish for our lunch, it was the same canteen food we have used to have in the train.

Over these eight hours we went through three different types of landscapes with the last one being totally astonishing. The first one was the typical Siberian landscape as we have seen so far. The second one was the view of the Lake Baikal as the railway follows the lake, being almost in the water at some points, for about 200km. We have noticed a lot of flood defenses along the lake. That indicate the strong winds in the lake. And, the last one and most beautiful of all was when we left the lake landscape to follow the Selenga River until Ulan-Ude. We could clearly feel that we were getting closer to Mongolia with these endless wonderful empty spaces.

We have to apologies for the pictures on the lake side as there was no window that we could open and the window in our compartment was extremely dirty but we can guarantee you that from the train we could see that the water was clearer than the water from your tap and although the 3rd landscape was beautiful, it was also amazing to watch the lake for all these hours… (even through a dirty window).

Through this journey we have also stepped our first 10,000 kilometres since we left London on 29th July 2010 and this is the last leg of the Trans-Siberian as after that we will be heading south on the Trans-Mongolian route.

By the end of our train journey, we realised that our Danish hostel-mate from Novosibirsk and Moscow was in the same carriage as us. It is funny to observe that so many backpackers are on the same route with more or less the same speed and stops as us.

We arrived in Ulan-Ude at 17:45 and for once, we did not have to move our clock forward! Still at Moscow +5hrs.

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