Wednesday, February 2, 2011

August 21 Irkutsk

Today we had a nice breakfast at the guest house. Fried eggs, sunny
side up, and frankfurter sausages. Bread, butter, and jam…and several
different kinds of jelly candy covered in sugar! We left right afterwards
with Demyan for a local tour. There is a ski lift which terminates at a very
nice vista point to see Lake Baikal, but it looked like a rain squall was
brewing and so we didn’t go up.
View of Lake Baikal.

Nerva seal in the Limnological Institute.

Looking south across Lake Baikal

We went to the museum of the limnological institute of the lake.
“Limnological” is for lakes like “oceanographic” is for oceans. There are
many species of fish that are unique to Lake Baikal. Also there is a small
seal species called nerva seals, and they had two of them in the aquarium.
These seals have no predators and so are said to be very numerous in the like.
We of course saw the local church, and it was a bit odd to see Demyan
wearing a USSR (“CCCP” logo) soccer jersey while crossing himself and
bowing to the iconostasis. We had lunch in a nice café-bar together, and
then walked through the market before proceeding independently back to the
guest house. The other Sundowners group arrived a while later, while Penny
and I were playing cribbage on the large deck. Some of them invited us to
share some of their champagne stock (really!) and we passed a nice time in
conversation. They had all planned to eat dinner somewhere else, but three
of them decided to stay with us and Alaine for Tatiana’s goulash.

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