Listwjanka is located around seventy kilometres south east of Irkutsk. It is a prosperous village on the banks of Lake Baikal, the most popular holiday area in Siberia and where an extraordinarily journey begins on the Circum-Baikal Train.
The train takes a full day to travel around the lake. The journey commences on an historic section of the railroad and one of the most difficult to be found on the Transsiberian Railroad that travels from Moscow to Vladivostock.
Poloovinnaja is a small Siberian village is like something from a fairy tale with tiny wooden huts that nestle at the mouth of a river that flows into Lake Baikal. The appearance of the villagers is reminiscent of bygone times: men with long beards and large Burjatan caps, typical of their community.
Lake Baikal originated around twenty million years ago, is one of the oldest lakes in the world and the largest fresh water reservoir on Earth. The length of the lake measures six hundred and thirty six kilometres, is between twenty seven and eighty kilometres wide and has a total surface area of almost thirty two thousand square kilometres!
At the end of the journey is Sljudjanka, the only town in the world with a station constructed of marble. Indeed, the quarry lay nearby and so bringing it from elsewhere would have been more expensive. A stone memorial outside the station building greets arriving passengers and inside the station there is a final glimpse of the Transsiberian Railroad.
The remarkable CIRCUM-BAIKAL Railroad – far more than a train journey!