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211adventures reportsSwiss President at Lake Baikal

Swiss President at Lake Baikal

The task

To organize a trip to Baikal for foreign partners, to visit non-tourist places and try the local cuisine.

Our old friend Temur called us and asked us to organize a trip to Baikal for European partners. It was known that there were four people in the group and they were going to come for five days in mid-July. Temur gave us a hand-drawn map and said, “You can not change the route.”

It was planned that the group would fly to Irkutsk, visit the Listvyanka Village, cross Baikal on a yacht from west to east, and through Ulan-Ude City leave to Mongolia. For 20 days it was necessary to choose accommodation and transport, to agree with the guest’s menu, to deliver wine from France and to think about entertainment. As we hadn’t organized such route before, it was necessary to visit each place ourselves.

In order to maintain confidentiality, we do not name the names of guests and do not show their faces.


20 days before the start

The framework on which we build our tours — accommodation, transport and cuisine. We started with transport. The route was the following:

Irkutsk City — ethnographic museum Taltsy — Listvyanka Village — Baikalsk City — Mount Mamai — Enkhaluk Village — Ulan-Ude City — Ivolginsky Datsan — Kyakhta City — Ulaanbaatar City.

We took two cars Toyota Land Cruiser for driving on the roads. If on the territory of the Irkutsk region and Buryatia there are good asphalted roads, then in Mongolia there are only pits and sand. We can not get to the Mountain Mamai by jeeps — there are steep climbs, many stones, deep track and fords. We prepared two SUVs Nissan Safari with reinforced suspension, mud tires and snorkels. To cross the Baikal quickly we used the high-speed yacht Prestige 46 and we used an airboat to climb on the river to Sable Lakes.

The rooms were booked in three hotels: Sayen in Irkutsk, Beliy Sobol, in Baikalsk and Terem Club in the Village of Enkhaluk. In case of bad weather, we rented a cottage on Mamai Mountain. On the territory of Mongolia, the group placed with relatives.

Due to the lack of good restaurants along the route and the desire of guests to try Siberian cuisine, we had developed an individual menu. We took the chefs and planned logistics delivery of products.


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7 days before the start

We drove the entire route to prepare locations and a team. We bought tickets to the museum Taltsy and additionally rented a merchant's estate for a lunch-tea party, there so that guests do not intersect with a crowd of tourists. In Listvyanka we chose a convenient pier for boarding a yacht, bought tickets for the show with a trained seal and a funicular.

In the Park-Hotel Beliy Sobol agreed with the administration to rent a site to cook dinner on a Finnish candle. Also, we agreed on an individual menu for the guests and service by a separate waiter.

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Museum Taltsy
Museum Taltsy 211 Company
Museum Taltsy
Museum Taltsy 211 Company
Museum Taltsy
Museum Taltsy 211 Company
Museum Taltsy
Museum Taltsy 211 Company
Museum Taltsy
Museum Taltsy 211 Company
211 Company

3 days before the start

It rained the last three days. We decided that we can no longer postpone the trip to Sable Lakes. In the morning we moved up the river by airboat.

After 5 km the engine snorted uncharacteristically. The driver of the airboat — Alexey, muttered something. As in airboat the engine is open, it sucked up the moisture from the rain and began to lose power. We had to dock at the shore.

While Alexey tried to dry the engine, we walked along the river, looking at fresh bear tracks and thought about an alternative option for guests in case of rain. Half an hour later the engine started, and we were glad that we would not have to return on foot.

During the passage of the next threshold with boulders and fallen trees, the engine stalled. Then we thought that it would be safer to walk 5 km than to break your head against stones and drown in a cold river. Alexey turned the ignition key and pressed the gas as hard as he could, the engine started and it was enough to go down the river to the place where we started.

We returned to the city and found another airboat that can go in the rain. The same evening, the courier delivered to the office two boxes of Corton Grand Cru wine Le Corton of 2011.


Day 1

Arrival

The guests left the airport building. With the song, bread, and salt they were met by the Russian folk ensemble. We loaded things into cars and went to the hotel. After a short rest, guests walked along the historic center of Irkutsk and spent the evening in a restaurant.

Meeting the guests at the airport of Irkutsk
Meeting the guests at the airport of Irkutsk 211 Company

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Day 2

The ethnographic Museum and crossing of Lake Baikal

After breakfast, the cars drove up to the entrance of the Sayen Hotel. At 10 am we were already at the Taltsy Museum. Temur led the guests to see the exposition of the museum, and we controlled the table setting in the merchant's mansion and melted the samovar with pine cones.

After tea, we went to the pool with Baikal seal. 15 minutes after the start of the show, the guests left — they said that they did not want to look at the seal in captivity.

We went to the funicular to climb to the observation platform — from it opens a panorama of Lake Baikal and the River Angara flowing from it. Despite the thick fog, the guests spent almost two hours there. At this time, we loaded the products onto the yacht, and the chef began to make pelmeni for lunch.

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Tea drinking in Taltsy
Tea drinking in Taltsy 211 Company
View from the observation platform Kamen Cherskogo
View from the observation platform Kamen Cherskogo 211 Company
The pier of the hotel Anastasia
The pier of the hotel Anastasia 211 Company

The weather going to get better

The fog cleared, the guests boarded the yacht and went to the City of Baikalsk. Along the way, they inspected the tunnels of the Circum-Baikal Railway. Together with drivers of SUVs we went to Baikalsk on asphalt road.

Four hours later, we met the guests at the pier in Baikalsk, unloaded things and products. Buryat ethnic group was waiting for us in the Park-Hotel Beliy Sobol. The next day we would be on Buryat land, so Temur decided to make a ritual with the guests for good weather. Guests danced traditional Yohor dance and got wicker baskets with taiga tea, dried cranberries and cedar nuts.

While the guests were accommodating in the rooms, the chef lit a Finnish candle and cut meat for special pilaf. The waiters brought light snacks and an assortment of five kinds of homemade samogon. Despite the fact that pilaf had to be cooked in the pouring rain and sparkling lightning, the guests did not leave. They were delighted with the weather.


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Day 3

Mamai Mountain

At 8 am the prepared SUVs arrived. While the guests were having breakfast, we loaded the food for lunch and kitchen equipment into the cars.

SUVs slowly crawled up the half-meter track. Because of yesterday's rain, the road had washed away, and muddy rivers flowed from the mountain. Periodically we had to stop and pull out the SUVs with winches. We reached the camp only for dinner. The huntsman Sergey greeted us and helped to take things into the house and set the coals on the fire.

Only we didn't like the bad weather, the guests, on the contrary, looked satisfied and peacefully drank wine looking at the mountains. The chef cooked solyanka on the fire and fried on coals pork steaks. As a snack, he served hot-smoked whitefish, and omul cooked on special birch skewers. For dessert, there was a strawberry cake. For dinner, the guests returned to the hotel in the same way.

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Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Landing the guests in SUVs at the hotel
Landing the guests in SUVs at the hotel 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Mamai Mountain
Mamai Mountain 211 Company
Dinner on the terrace
Dinner on the terrace 211 Company

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Day 4

Sable Lakes

Before going to Sable Lakes, the weather became much better, there was no rain. The guests collected their things and drove to the bank of Snezhnaya River, where the airboat was waiting for them. Everyone boarded a boat, put on headphones not to deafen from the noise of the screw and began to climb up the river. Half an hour later we reached a hunting house.

Before, for the organization of lunch, we delivered along the river the chef with food, cooking equipment and dishes.

After dinner, the guests decided not to go to the Sable Lakes, but immediately go to the Village of Enkhaluk and spend time on the sandy beach. Together with Temur they went to the Hotel Terem Club. We went to the Ivolginsky Datsan to discuss the forthcoming excursion and the next day dinner-tasting.

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 Airboat on the Sneznaya River
Airboat on the Sneznaya River 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company
Hotel Terem Club
Hotel Terem Club 211 Company

Day 5

Ivolginsky datsan

Early in the morning, the guests together with Temur went to the Ivolginsky Datsan, where the lunch in a yurt was already waiting for them.

After lunch, guests walked through the territory of the Ivolginsky Datsan, visited the temples and twisted the prayer drums. At this time, we had already been at the Russian-Mongolian border and agreed on the passage of guests without a queue.

Around four o'clock in the afternoon, we shook hands with guests, hugged with Temur and wished to get to Ulaanbaatar successfully. The SUVs drove past the border gate, and we turned around and drove to Irkutsk.

Temur Dzalamidze

Dear Yana and Vladimir, on behalf of the company Gazprom-Media Holding and on my own behalf, I want to express my gratitude for the perfectly organized tour of Lake Baikal. Our Swiss guests fell in love with Russia. We can say that you form a positive and enthusiastic opinion about our country in Europe!

Temur Dzalamidze, head of the organizational department Gazprom-Media Holding


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