Do we have to leave? Lake Baikal in Winter

Doctors House Ethnographic Museum

Day 17 March 1st  On Lake Baikal


Day began with breakfast prepared by Tuman – Black bread, cold smoked fish, hard boiled eggs, and yummy creamy Rice porridge.

It was not a morning to be able to drive to the island on Lake Baikal – the weather was bleak and snowing. We head to the lake and onto the ice –  weird to imagine how different this would be in summer. Stopping at Lighthouse which looked odd surrounded by snow with little indication it could serve a warning to boats. Mischa found ice windows where you could see down into the lake through the clear ice.-

Then a visit to local hot springs around which has been built a public rehabilitation facility. Many of the buildings (still used) are aging but beautiful from the outside. One can imagine being a resident or staff member there may have its challenges.

Lunch – wow lunch –  On returning to the Dacha – Miguel smoked Omul fish on the open fire in a small smoker. A short time later we were all sitting around the table eating moist delicious fresh (and hot) smoked fish with mashed potato, slaw and pickles. With Tuman translating along with mime and shared words there was animated conversation.

Back to Ulan Ude we go with time for a visit to the fascinating outdoor Ethnographic Museum . My favourite was the gateway from an Old Believers home

Old Believers Gateway

Our final treat of the day was a Buryiat dinner with Tuman and his family. As we rounded the path to the house we were greeted by two women in national costume holding bowls of milk on blue scarves – traditional welcome for guests. The two women were Lena, Tumuns wife and Lenas Aunty a singer and musician. Lena’s Aunty sang a welcome and after sipping milk we entered the house. There we were treated to a feast and much laughter, music and food. Even found ourselves singing to others – a rare event.

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