Beanies and Bikinis -Summer on the Trans-Mongolian Railway travel blog

Tram repairs

Now THAT's a Cornetto


Veggie market


Looks a little 'Alice in Wonderland'

Seriously shoddy work


Back at the train station

Walking around Irkutsk felt a little like I was Alice in Wonderland visiting the Mad Hatter's tea party. The houses and apartment blocks all had large oversized windows complete with garish shutters in a variety of bright and mismatched colours. There doesn't seem to be much emphasis placed on good workmanship or even ensuring that lines are parallel!

Irkutsk is one of the most popular stops on the Trans Siberian railway so I found it pretty unusual that I didn't see any other backpackers as I walked around. I guess most people get sucked in by the allure of Lake Baikal which is only 70km away and Irkutsk is the closest city.

I'm starting to notice a trend in all the places I've been to in Russia and it's not good; no one smiles or seems to have any enjoyment what so ever! On one hand I can understand...the country is pretty bland, exceedingly dirty and for the most part of the year unforgivably cold. But it's SUMMER guys! Lighten up :-)

Boris and I spent a day walking around the city, through some markets, along the main pedestrian streets and of course to look at the obligatory churches. That's the one thing you can be guaranteed to here, that everywhere you go to the main drawcard will be a church. Closely followed by a main square and, if you're lucky, another church.

But onwards and westward on another overnight train to Krasnoyarsk!

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