Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Listvyakia to Irkutsk

As I mentioned, our last morning in Listvyankia consisted of Nick and I making every effort to dive in the near-freezing waters of Lake Baikal.  Despite spending the better part of an hour walking from closed dive shop to closed dive shop, there was simply no diving to be done.  So, we did what we knew best, relaxing and internetting on the rooftop lounge at the Mayak Hotel (the fanciest hotel in Listvyanka).  
We declined their 300 ruble melon shakes ($9.98 USD) but did enjoy the view and fairly quick wi-fi for all guests, visitors, and apparently squatters.
The $5-10 tea, coffee,
and shake selection
Russian elevators are not very big.
Me, Jesse, Twinny Orange and Twinny Brown hardly fit.
All was well until a bride and groom showed up to take photos on the very nice rooftop lounge where we had spread out all of our gear.  This was also the occasion of our first experience with Russian weddings, which soon became an endless source of entertainment and fun.
The brides are undeniably striking.
The grooms - not so much.
Also, every couple gets a decked-out Mercedes as a wedding present.
Or at least one to drive around in on their wedding day.
After a quick squabble between a couple of very large Russian ladies about the seat assignments on our mini-bus, during which we sat very quietly and with no possibility of vacating our seats (despite the fact that the next bus was in 45 minutes, and only 15 minutes once they finally figured out who was sitting where) we headed to the Paris of Siberia - Irkutsk.

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