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Irkutsk Baikal Travel — Tours to Russia
There is no such a glorified lake in the world as Lake Baikal. It can’t be repeated and it is so fantastic, and all other Russian lakes seem in comparison with it small and fleet. The enormous size and depth of this lake, a surprising clearness and transparency of its emerald-green waters, severe beauty of the shores make an unforgettable impression. And if to ask experienced travelers to name three finest places of Russia, all of them will name among other Lake Baikal. The Russian Cossacks-pathfinders who have seen it in the XVII century for the first time named this lake "The Big Ocean-Sea ". However, the Cossack Pentecostal Kurbat Ivanov who led his detachment to the Baikal shore in 1643 wasn't the pioneer of Baikal. Before the Russian arrival there lived the different peoples for many centuries. And all of them gave to huge reservoir majestic names. Mongols, for example, named it Dalai Nor - "Great lake", and Evenki – “the Lama” that means "The Sea". And now inhabitants of coastal settlements, speaking about Baikal, usually call it “the sea”. There is no wonder in it: the length of a huge reservoir - six hundred forty kilometers (it is a bit less, than from Moscow to Petersburg), and width in the middle part reaches eighty kilometers! The area of Baikal (31500 sq. km) takes the eighth place in the world among lakes and is approximately equal to the area of such country, as Belgium.
The climate of the lake and its shores has much in common with the sea. Huge water mass of Baikal during the hot summer period gets warm to depth of 200-250 meters, but because of strong winds the water in it constantly mixes up, and its top layers haven't got enough time to get warm. Therefore, even in July water temperature in the lake is about ten degrees, and tempered people bathe in it only. The huge lake considerably influences surrounding territory: in the summer it is five-six degrees more cool, and in the winter about ten degrees warmer, than far from Baikal, for example, in Irkutsk. That’s why the lake becomes covered by ice only in the end of December, and the unique river outflowing it - fast and wide Angara - throughout the duration of first thirty kilometers doesn't freeze at all.
There are some natural corners in Russia which conquer at once and for ever. One doesn’t need to be a zoologist or a geologist to believe in uniqueness of Baikal. It is enough to be able to see and compare, and then any traveler, who though one time visited "the nice sea", as sure as fate will estimate justice and accuracy of an ancient proverb: "Who didn't see Baikal - that didn't use to know Siberia..."