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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Buryatiya, Russia

Sep 6, 2017 - Lake Baikal

This morning we went down to the shore of Lake Baikal for a walk. It was very brisk!!! It’s kind of a bit sad. The area is really beautiful, but because it is so cold (it is Siberia) the season only lasts for 2 months of the year. In the days of the USSR, this is where people came for their beach holiday, as they couldn’t go overseas. Now people choose to go overseas and it has become really run down, which makes it less appealing as a destination. There is a recreation zone which I think looks like a prison! I think they would be better to...

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Beijing to Berlin

Sep 5, 2017 - Ulan Ude to Lake Baikal

This morning we had a short, guided walk around Ulan Ude. The main feature is the giant sculpture of Lenin’s head, which is the largest in the world. In the same area is the Buryat Republic ( a state of the Russian Federation) Parliament and also the Opera & Theatre Building We then headed out of town and stopped at a lookout where we climbed a couple of hills for a pretty good view. Continued on to an Old Believers village. They are Orthodox Christians but broke away from the main church to continue in their own beliefs and cultures. They...

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Beijing to Berlin

Sep 4, 2017 - Temnik to Ulan Ude

The train arrived at the Mongolian / Russian border at about 0400hrs, but we had to wait for Mongolian border officials to start work at 0900hrs to exit Mongolia. It all went smoothly and the we crossed no man’s land on the train to reach the Russian border. Again this went more smoothly than expected. By this time it was 1130hrs and the train was not due to depart until 1430hrs, so we walked 1km into the nearby village for a basic lunch, but a much better option to staying on the train. Arrived Ulan Ude at 2130hrs, dropped off our luggage...

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Beijing to Berlin

Jul 18, 2017 - 18 July - exploring Ulan Ude

We spent today walking. First we explored Soviet Square, which has the largest statue of Lenin’s head in the world. Then to the Geographical Museum. There were displays of asbestos and other displays of coal. This was definitely more interesting for Gordon than for me. We walked along Lenina Street - past the Arc de Triomphe - to the Mueeum of History of Ulan Ude. This was in an old renovated mansion. In the afternoon we walked past the Sputnik Supermarket to Victory Memorial Park, where there is a tank from the Soviet Red Army on a huge...

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Jul 17, 2017 - First day in Siberia

We survived our first day in Siberia. Actually it was a fabulous day, including: - visit to a Buddhist university - hike up the Sleeping Lion mountain for fabulous views - visit to the Old Believers church, museum, homes - cultural festival - where Gordon was married off to a Chinese tourist!?!?!?! This photo is the point at which the other lady found out she had to marry Gordon - she thought she was just having fun trying on some traditional clothes - she didn't know what was coming. Maybe this is what it is like for all Russian...

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Jul 16, 2017 - 16th July - Border Crossing - from Mongolia into Russia

The main thing today was the border crossing. We reached the Mongolian side of the border at 4am. By 7.55am nothing had happened, so I decided to disembark and explore. At 7.57am the border guards came and told everyone to get back on the train for passport checks. First the train staff came and wrote down our nationalities. It was already 26 degrees, and really hot on the train (as it was not moving - no air con and no breeze). At 8.20am our passports were collected - 4 times they checked that we looked like the person in the...

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Aug 3, 2011 - Siberia!

The trip through to Russia was off to an auspicious start...rocking up to the train station and climbing aboard our carriage only to discover our Mongolian cabin mate had filled the entire cabin with black market stock ranging from camel blankets to DVD players to goat hair socks so there was no where to sit, let alone put our packs. As if that wasn't enough, the bags containing her illicit items were made of some sort of toxic substance that would be outlawed in any other country. The noxious fumes that rose as the plastic heated in the...

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May 23, 2011 - From Yurts to Buryats

We didn't have much time to linger in Mongolia. It was time to get to our real goal: Russia. In a savvy move, we opted to take the bus into Russia instead of the train, thus trimming our estimated border crossing time from about 10 hours to about 2 hours and reducing estimated journey time from 20 hours to 11 hours. And unlike the train, the bus departs in the morning, allowing one to spend more idle daylight moments in motion gazing at the mesmerizing Mongolian countryside. We crossed the border about 5 hours north of Ulaanbaatar without...

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Far East Chronicles

Aug 26, 2008 - Ulán Udé

Llegamos a la ciudad budista y mongola de Rusia en un viaje corto (8 h) comparado con lo que hemos hecho en tren y lo que falta. Con la ayuda del mapa o guía y porque llegué temprano en la mañana, conseguimos fácilmente una habitación, notando rápidamente que los buriats (mongoles) hablan mejor inglés que los rusos. Desde luego que lo que realizamos de primero fue el paseo al monasterio budista (datsan) Ivolginsk; para ello precisé de un par de busetas para el recorrido de 35 km hasta el pueblo de Ivolga y el trayecto menor al datsan. Este...

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Jul 23, 2008 - Crossing the Border

Day 9-10 - Getting to Mongolia We feel that Naushki, Russia deserves its own journal entry. A stop in this tiny town on the edge of Mongolia is truly EPIC. Dogs are running everywhere, cows are loose in the park, litter is strewn everywhere ... and yet we are forced to wait here for SIX HOURS while the Russian authorities do their thing, and the train gets reorganized. To make matters worse, the washrooms on board the train are locked and we are not allowed out of the train for three hours. Add to that a rather heavy rain, and we are going...

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Jul 22, 2008 - ULAN UDE

Day 9 - Resting our Train Legs in Ulan-Ude As we write this we find it strange to think that while it is 18:10 here in Ulan-Ude on July 22, you in Ontario have just entered the day and midnight is upon you! We have enjoyed a day exploring the city of Ulan-Ude in the heart of the Buryat Republic in Siberia. Our first impressions of this city: 1) It is REALLY big 2) The streets are well maintained, with lots of trees 3) There is A LOT of building. Much industrial and housing growth. 4) The people are much more friendly. Many are making eye...

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Jun 1, 2008 - Ulan Ude, Russia

We pulled up to the homestay in Ulan Ude, Russia--the roads were unpaved and muddy, and every house had a guarddog. The homestay family was very friendly despite speaking no English. We went to see the largest Lenin head in the world which, ironically, was put in this part of Russia to remind the Buryats (an ethnic minority) of who was in charge. We also visited a Buddhist monestary outside of town. It was also the homestay mom's birthday, so we bought some pastries from the local grocery store and sang happy birthday to her. She was so...

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