A Travellerspoint blog

Wish You Were Here?

An invitation to the seaside from sunny Siberia.

sunny -9 °C
View Through Siberia to China and Beyond on Hawkson's travel map.

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Why not hang up your hiking boots, slip on your Speedo, and join us on the beach in Listvyanka – Siberia’s answer to the Côtes d’Azur…

Just look at all that lovely icy water in Lake Baikal – more fresh water than all of The Great lakes combined - perfect for a Polar bear swim. Here’s the diving board…
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But wait … what does this pesky sign mean Catherine…?
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Shucks – foiled again. Guess we'll have to wait for New Year's Day as usual. Maybe we’ll have some of Olga’s fish and chips on the pier instead…
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You know you’re at the seaside in Siberia when the fish lady wears woolly undies and a fur-lined kiss-me-quick hat. But that isn’t a nice fillet of cod in Olga’s mitt – that’s an omul. What’s an omul? A local delicacy the size of a trout that the natives eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner: raw, smoked, stewed, baked, fried or grilled - it’s amazing what you can do with an omul when you have a lake full of them on your doorstep.
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Omuls rule here, but by dinner time on our first day we were omulled out, so Sheila went for the medallions of wild boar with tomatoes stuffed with cheese curds and pine nuts, while James ordered the “Turk with cranberry sauce” believing it had a Thanksgiving ring to it, (the only other alternative being a dish enigmatically described on the menu as “Feathers with rice”). So, imagine James’ surprise when Turk turned out to be Omul! Yup! You really can have too much of a good thing – delicacy or no delicacy.

Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake, containing 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, and in midsummer it can hit a sizzling 14 degrees. O.K. It’s not exactly the Mediterranean, but when they say fresh they mean fresh…
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This lake is so clean and clear that water foulers can be spotted from space - And don’t mess with the toilet attendant either…
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With daytime highs currently hitting a toasty minus 8 degrees (though it gets a little chilly in the evenings) why not bundle up the kids and head out for a fun day at the beach…
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Or you can take advantage of this balmy spell for a picnic with friends…
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Either way… Listvyanka, Lake Baikal…
It isn’t the French Riviera, but it’s a great place to chill out for a few days before getting back on track for Mongolia.

Posted by Hawkson 19.10.2012 03:05 Archived in Russia Tagged listvyanka

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Comments

I am shivering in my boots..but that lake is so beautiful and clear...I love the colours in the stones....Jean

19.10.2012 by Jean

The scenery is divine, and the cuisine sounds delectable. I'd opt for the wild boar, but not until after a few feeds of omul (does it taste like chicken?). luv

19.10.2012 by Sharron

That's one fat fish. Makes the trout we caught up north look anorexic. Bet it had nice firm flesh. That lake looks cold, cold, cold.

19.10.2012 by R and B

I understand the question mark of this blog, the answer is: good enough for me that you are there, and I get to enjoy "being there" reading your descriptive encounters; I must see if Gary can get me some of this Omul...
Onwards
G

19.10.2012 by gottfried

omul sounds like one of those species we could introduce here, or a little north of here. Hmm wonder how that would work?

19.10.2012 by Janet

very interesting. But curiousity makes me ask how do you know what type of undies Olga is wearing?

19.10.2012 by Tony V.

I hope this information doesn't come to you too late! The sign you thought meant no swimming ACTUALLY meant no crawling to the left. You are more than welcome to swim to the right...I'd hate for you to miss such a precious opportunity to swim with the omul...and polar bears. :) lovin' the blog,
Stay warm,
Catherine

20.10.2012 by catherine

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