Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

5 interesting events that happened at Lake Baikal in 2011

I decided to make a list of interesting events that happened at Lake Baikal in 2011. The Lake is very unique by itself, but there are a lot of people’s stories connected to its existence.

A barrel floating on the sea

In summer 2011 one retired man from Kultuk village decided to swim across Baikal in…a barrel. He was inspired to do such a heroic feat by an old song “Sacred sea, sacred Baikal,” in which the main hero – a state convict – swims across the lake in an omul barrel. Modern barrel was made in accordance of author’s drawings. The vessel consists of two sections – large wooden spools, on outer side of them pieces of foam and empty plastic bottles are fixed. There is a cabin with a table inside the barrel.

However Nikolay Lupynin had more difficulties than his inspirer. The Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) prohibited this adventure, explaining that he must register the barrel as a vessel and pass through a technical inspection.

The barrel is ready. Photo taken from www.gazetairkutsk.ru

Nilolay was not ready to such requirements and wrote a letter to Irkutsk Region Governor with a request for assistance and permit to swim. However, Nikolay didn’t get any answer. But the traveler is not discouraged, he is confident that the voyage will take place in summer 2012. By this time the retiree promises to fulfill all the demands of the MES and will sail according to the official rules.
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An unusual wedding at Lake Baikal

A young couple from Irkutsk decided to celebrate their wedding day … under water. The newlyweds wore a diving suits, special equipment and plunged into the lake near the village of Listvyanka to a depth of 10-12 meters, where they stayed for twenty minutes. Underwater newlyweds even opened a bottle of champagne. The groom was an initiator of such a non-traditional wedding. He is a professional diver. The bride was very supportive to his idea. He said that she was very happy because she had some diving experience at Lake Baikal. They made a video, and here are some shots from this video.

After the wedding the bride decided to enroll in diving more seriously.

Oh, forgot to tell you – it happened on December 20th, the temperature outside was -15C.

What do you think about this idea, dear Readers? Would you do the same?

Any ice sculpture contest on Lake Baikal in winter?

2010 Crystal Nerpa Baikal Ice Sculptures Competition. Photo by Pavel Gorlov.

2010 Crystal Nerpa Baikal Ice Sculptures Competition.

There is one event held annually on Lake Baikal on weekend in the midst of February. This is the Ice Sculptures Competition “Crystal Nerpa Baikal.” The Archer was recognized as the best in 2010.

Below see the images of winners’ ice compositions. Read more »

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