Tourism can do without the taxi mafia waiting at railway stations, ready to relieve passengers of their money. They are a nuisance, an irritation and a scourge. While our travelers have learned to avoid them, they are persistent pests. It is getting to the point where rudeness could be the only weapon in deterring them. Our travelers rang the Imperia hotel, and a real taxi eventually arrived. This was just in time as the temperature hovered around zero. After refreshments at the hotel, our intrepid duo set out to acquaint themselves with Irkutsk. They first saw a restaurant was firmly anchored to the pavement. It would be realised that the city is different in character from any other in Russia. The buildings have a different appearance. The back-streets resemble suburban Melbourne, and perhaps it is just the high fences. Boris and Timofei arrived at the [dis-]Information Centre. “How do we get to Lake Baikal?” – “Go to the Autovokzal and catch a bus with the destination, Listvyanka, and it leaves every 30 minutes (wrong)”. Why not explore more of Irkutsk? The marketplace was crowded with stalls. There were all manner of wares on offer, but none of interest. Setting off to see Alexander III brought them firstly to Vladimir Ilyich.
Boris had to mimic the pose. Finally at the riverside they encountered Alex aye-aye-aye.
He and the pigeons looked well. At this spot, the Russian populace were holding the All Russia Running Day.
Fellows in tracksuits were running everywhere.
After Kirov square, they again saw the restaurant was well anchored and that the anchor had well served its purpose.
That evening they had a repast of soup, rye bread and beer.