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.

Vladimir Sukhachev’s Household

A history of Irkutsk is inextricably linked with the name of Vladimir Platonovich Sukachev (1849 – 1920). The mayor, philanthropist and patron of the arts, the creator of the Irkutsk Art Gallery – he gave his strength and resources to his hometown.

Vladimir Sukhachev

Irkutsk developed a lot during his administration time. Sukhacev organized the first Voluntary Fire Company. Telephones and electricity appeared here. The first pontoon bridge and the bridge across the Angara River were built: they replaced the inconvenient ferry. Despite the diversity of public interests of Vladimir Sukachev, Irkutsk citizens will remember him mainly as the creator of Irkutsk art gallery. It was an old dream of Sukachev: open in his hometown a Museum of Art. And thanks to him, nowadays we have a great opportunity to enjoy the paintings of Russian artists – Repin, Platonov, Makovsky, Vereshchagin, Aivazovsky, as well as European ones.

But today I invite you to visit his household which renovation started in 1989. Now it’s a museum that carefully preserves chronicles of the past – memories of a bygone era and its contemporaries.

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Baikal Superlatives. No.3. Deepest Lake

By varying estimates, Baikal is 1, 637 meters (or 6 300 feet, or 1, 2 miles) deep.

Lake Baikal is the deepest lake. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

Baikal Superlatives. No.2. The Most Eternal Lake

Lake Baikal in Spring. Photo courtesy Vasiliy Maslukov

The movements of the Earth’s crust are widening the fault under the lake by 2 centimeters (1 inch) every year. Thus Baikal can collect new sediment without any loss to its huge volume.

Baikal Superlatives. No.1. The Oldest Lake

Between 20 and 25 million years of age, possibly even 50 million years old. Besides Lake Tangyanika (about 2 million years), all other lakes date back less than 20,000 years.

Overall, the health of Lake Baikal is probably very good, says Dr Anson W. Mackay

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Hereby, we are really proud to present an exclusive interview done with Dr Anson W. Mackay, a professor at the Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography at University College London, who shares his thoughts about Russia’s Lake Baikal and its environmental state.

In May of 2011, we were really lucky to have him giving us a like on the Ask Lake Baikal facebook page. Actually, we didn’t do anything to attract his attention. Dr. Mackay is a big admirer of Lake Baikal himself. Has been to the area many times and cares much of its ecology. In our turn, we do what we love to do. We share our passion for the world’s largest & deepest lake.

Our interaction with Dr Mackay started from Voice of Russia‘s live radio story dedicated to pollution in Lake Baikal. There was a live talk on air with Nikolai Yasinsky from the Russian Geographical Society and Dr. Anson W. Mackay. You can listen to it online here.

We had our own questions to the UK-based professor, who, thank God, was really kind to give us answers. Proceed to read the interview.

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Listen to Waves of Lake Baikal, Siberia / Russia

Watch the video and listen to the sounds of waves on Lake Baikal’s Olkhon Island shore. Amazing, isn’t it?.. Sadly, it’s too short.

Enchanted with the Ice of Lake Baikal. 38 breathtaking spring pictures.

Enchanting Ice of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. Winter pictures. By Muumi

Enchanting Ice of Lake Baikal, Siberia, Russia. Winter pictures. By Muumi

Yes, it’s summer right now! Summer! Pretty hot outside. So, why not chill out?! Let’s look back and see what we had a couple of months ago on Lake Baikal, Siberia / Russia. Magic ice! It’s like a diamond. You can’t stop admiring it!

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How to get from Listvyanka to Olkhon Island?

I’ve been asked a question on how to get to Olkhon Island from Listvyanka.

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Lake Baikal map (from www.axiomgear.com). Red dots shows Listvyanka and Olkhon. Click the image to enlarge.

In summer time you can get from Listvyanka villgae to Olkhon Island only by water.

I translated an official timetable for summer 2011. Read more »

Siberia’s Lake Baikal Travel Guide Map. Download for free.

Lake Baikal Map by BaikalNature. Siberia, Russia.

A fragment of Lake Baikal Map by BaikalNature

Good news! Thanks to our friends from BaikalNature, it’s now possible to download the travel guide map of Lake Baikal (Siberia/Russia) for free. No need to buy it online and wait for the map delivered by snail mail.

Lake Baikal Travel Guide Map icon. Siberia, Russia.

Do simple steps to get Lake Baikal Map from BaikalNature:

1. Choose the package and download it.
2. Unarchive the file and print the images.
3. Cut edges where it is needed and put the pieces together with the help of glue or scotch tape.

That is all!

What’s so special about Lake Baikal Map from BaikalNature?

It’s free. Done in high quality and resolution, and in several languages.

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Love story: Olkhon Island and Nikita & Natalia Bencharovs

Nikita Bencharov

Dear Readers, I would love to show you not only beautiful views of Lake Baikal, tell you about how to get here ahd there. I also would love to introduce you beautiful people from the area of Lake Baikal. These people live their lives here, love their families, love what they do and love Baikal. Today I would like to introduce Nikita and Natalia Bencharovs.

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