Lake Baikal, Siberia
Distance: approximately 5245km from Moscow and 8110km from London
I’m falling asleep as I write this and it’s not even 9pm! (Edit- i'm uploading the day after writing because of lack of connection) I didn’t sleep well last night as I knew the train would arrive at my station at 7.40am and I was worried I wouldn’t wake up. So when the train stopped about 4am, I woke up in a panic that it might be my stop trying to figure out what time it was – that isn’t as easy as looking at a clock. The train timetable runs to Moscow time so that’s the time displayed in the train. But we’ve crossed 5 time zones since Saturday and my phone has updated some from the network but not all of them and although I’d been changing my watch, I wasn’t convinced I’d got it right.
The carriage attendant woke everyone getting off at Irkutsk about 6am so there was plenty of time to pack up and get ready. Having had sunny weather the whole journey, this morning was foggy. 78.5 hours and 5185 km, we arrived on time in Irkutsk. (Southern trains and Thameslink could learn something!)
I took the tram into the city centre with another passenger and we had breakfast in a coffee shop and then I got a minibus, the 60km to Listvyanka on the edge of Lake Baikal. The road was foggy almost all the way but as we reached the lake, the sun broke through and it turned into a beautiful day. The hostel I’m staying in is a 1km walk uphill away from the Lake, a challenge with a heavy backpack and not much sleep!
I’ve spent the rest of the day walking around the town (it stretches all along the lake shore with some roads going up into the hills) and enjoying being outside for more than 10-15 minutes when the train stopped at a station.