Top ten places – June 20th->June 29th.

From June 20th to June 29th I’ve travelled in Eastern Siberia from Krasnoyarsk to the beautiful Irkutsk and then on the lake Baikal and in the republic of Buryatia. Here is the ranking of the top ten things I liked the most, as usually in reverse order.

Celebration in Irkutsk
Number #10 – Happiness in Irkutsk
During my visit of Irkutsk I had the luck of being part of a beautiful and colourful celebration with music and joyful people.

Takmak Peak
Number #9 – Hiking toward Takmak peak
One of the best excursion from Krasnoyarsk is the hiking to the Takmak peak. I did it and I was very proud of me but also amazed by the wonderful nature all around.

Roads to Khuzhir
Number #8 – On the road to Khuzhir
Reaching Khuzhir is itself an interesting experience. First the long road to the Baikal lakeside then the ferry in a fantastic scenario and finally one hour of unpaved road, sitting in a small van running like crazy.

Communism in Krasnoyarsk
Number #7 – Communism is not death
Krasnoyarsk is the russian town where I’ve seen more evidences of Communist past (and present?). Streets named after all Communist leaders and one called “Dictatorship of Proletariat” and a lot of symbols everywhere.

Horses in Surkhayta lagoon
Number #6 – A vision of horses
As part of the cruise on the lake Baikal there is one stop in a magic place called Surkhaita lagoon with an incredible landscape made of water and horses.

Lenin's head in Ulan Ude
Number #5 – Impressive head
Ulan Ude is famous for hosting the biggest head of Lenin. I didn’t see it in any other town but I have to admit that this one is really impressive and will stay in my memories.

Playing bells of the bell tower
Number #4 – A concert in the bell tower
Unfortunately nowadays is quite common to have bell tower playing recorded sounds. In the Saviour church in Irkutsk instead they still do it in the old way and I had the pleasure of seeing a lady playing bells “live”.

A stupa in the middle of Baikal
Number #3 – Buddhism in Siberia
It is really surprising to find an islet in the middle of lake Baikal with a buddhist white stupa on the top of it and in spite of excess of mysticism by tourists, this place has really something.

Mysticism in Znamensky church
Number #2 – Sound of perfection
I enter the church of Znamensky monastery in Irkutsk and I’m surrounded by the perfect sound of a choir. It seems a record but it is real, in front of me.

View of Khuzhir
Number #1 – A place out of the world
Khuzhir is the incredible main town of Olkhon island, a place out of the world with unpaved road, wooden houses, shamans, cows, nice Buryat people and an atmosphere that is more than magic.

By the way… have you lost other issues of the top ten? Don’t worry. You can find them here:

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