I arrived to the Baikal Museum late in the evening by bus from Irkutsk on Dec. 10, spent the night at the Museum complex, and saw the exhibits in the morning. In the afternoon I walked the four kilometres (2.5 miles) to the centre of the Listvyanka village. The temperature was -28°C (-18.4°F). There I had to wait couple hours for the bus back to Irkutsk leaving at 4:45 pm.
In a small bread shop I got a loaf of bread, which was one of the tastiest I ever ate. Together with the freshly smoked omul (endemic Baikal fish) it made a delicious dinner I ate in a cafe used in winter mainly as a warming place by the tourists, the bus and boat passengers, and the street vendors alike. The omul was smoked and sold outdoors in front of the cafe in the centre of the village square adjacent to the harbour. I was told that the ladies selling the smoked fish can get quite rich over the years, but it was certainly a very tough job in the winter. Besides them, also some souvenir vendors were there (see next page).
The rest of my waiting was spent by walking throughout the whole village to the shipyard at the very end of the road, and by watching one of the remaining late-season ferries arrive and disembark passengers.
The ride home on the bus was also rather spectacular as you can see in the above slide show.
Two more pictures:
Boats (scientific research, passenger ferries)
taking refuge from high winds in the Listvyanka harbour.
Baikal is normally covered by a 1 m thick ice
from January till June. However in January 2002 temperatures in the
Irkutsk region have risen about zero, and Baikal
has not frozen over this winter!
People here seem to use motorcycles for transportation even in the dead of winter. I saw more of them on that day, besides the one with a sidecar used by smoked fish vendors to carry their goods.
Summer Listvyanka photos from the Baikal homepage