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Trans-Siberian Experience – Moscow to Beijing – HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR

 Day 9 / Irkutsk

I travel from Listvyanka village (Lake Baikal) to Irkutsk (70km) to take my overnight train to Ulan-Ude.

I spent 8 hours in Irkutsk; I had enough time to walk around and I even went to the movies (I wasn’t able to find a movie in English, so I watched it in Russian) It was a Tom Cruise movie; I didn’t understand anything, but he saved the world. 

I took the train at 10 pm, a 7-hour train to Ulan-Ude. A city located next to Mongolia. I was sharing my cabin with three Russians, one of them started talking to me, he made his best effort to speak English, and he did well.

He works for the Russian railway company; he works spotting problems on iron parts of trains (it took us a while to be able to explain/understand this).

His name is Bato and he’s a really cool guy, really friendly and also really proud of the place he is from (Republic of Buryatia). We were talking for a while; he promised to come to Colombia one day, and all of a sudden he says, surprise!

He takes his working safety jacket from his backpack; he gets a marker and starts writing on it. He wrote: “For you Julian, Bato and Alexei forever. 16.06.2014, Republic of Buryatia (Russia)” he gave me his safety jacket as a present. Awesome!

This is the best thing that can happen to me while traveling, finding spontaneous people that are whiling to give the best from them, so a stranger like me, feels welcome and at home in a country far away from his.

Thank you Bato!

- Julián -

(Source: havanaclubgapyear.com)

Moscow to Beijing - Trans-Siberian Experience - HAVANA CLUB GAP YEAR

Day 8 / Lake Baikal

 
Located in Southern Siberia, Lake Baikal is known for being:
- The biggest fresh water lake in the world (water quantity based), it has 20% of the world’s surface fresh water.
- The deepest lake in the world with 1.642 meters.
- The clearest lake in the world.
- The oldest lake in the world.
And it’s wonderful.
 
I went hiking around the lake today, 10 kilometers of beautiful views and thankfully, perfect weather, because summer is very short.
This part of the lake is located next to an old Trans-Siberian train track, it was built in 1.900 but they had to build a new one in a different place because when a damn was built, some parts of the track were covered by water.
Today this track is only used by tourist, and only one or two trains run every day.
:)
- Julián -
@havanaclubcolombia @_HavanaClub #HavanaClubGapYear #AñoSabático #GapYear #Travel #bestvacations #igerscolombiaext #vsco #vscocam #Russia #Transsiberian #gopro

(Source: havanaclubgapyear.com)

Moscow to Beijing - Trans-Siberian Express - Havana Club Gap Year

Day 7/ Irkutsk

After 48 hours on a train, stopping now an then in different cities and towns across Russia. Getting off sometimes to stretch my legs or just to buy some snacks from the ladies at the platforms.

 
The ladies sell home-made local dishes, really cheap and tasty (1us dollar) from Crepes to Russian Dumplings (Pelmeni). It’s always nice to have something different than instant noodles.

I’ve arrived in #Irkutsk (Southern Siberia) I immediately came to a Village called #Listvyanka 70km from #Irkutsk by van. This village is very popular amongst tourists, because it’s the gate to the Baikal Lake (interesting lake, it has 20% of the world’s surface fresh water, but I’ll talk about it tomorrow)
My hotel is just in front of the lake, a very peaceful scenery after being for so long on the train.
After getting off the train, I still have the feeling in my head, as if it was still moving.
- Julián -
@havanaclubcolombia @_HavanaClub #HavanaClubGapYear #AñoSabático #GapYear #Travel #bestvacations #igerscolombiaext #vsco #vscocam #Russia #Transsiberian

 

(Source: havanaclubgapyear.com)

Moscow to Beijing - Trans-Siberian Express - Havana Club Gap Year

Day 5-6 / On board.


This is the first time in my life I spend 48 hours on a train and I’m just loving it. I’ve also met really interesting people; travelers doing the same route I’m doing and also very friendly Russians that try really hard to communicate with me, and between signs, some words in english and many laughs we get to share our experiences.
I’ve learn some new card and dice games, but I’m really bad at it, so I better go back to my books.
Although there is a really nice dinning car on the train I’m still eating instant noodles, sardines and olives, and off course I have my Havana Club bottle, ready to be shared with new friends. 
This is one trip everyone should do once in their lives. 
- Julián-
@havanaclubcolombia @_HavanaClub #HavanaClubGapYear #AñoSabático #GapYear #Travel #bestvacations #igerscolombiaext #vsco #vscocam #Russia #Transsiberian

(Source: havanaclubgapyear.com)