During this journey, Alexander stayed overnight at the Biker area in Mogocha and drove through the city of Chita, which is a major railway center of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Trans-Baikal Railway Administration is located in Chita and controls traffic on the territory of the Trans-Baikal Territory and the Amur Region (the total length of the routes is 3,400 km). Also, 3 federal highways pass through the city:
- Р258 “Baikal” Irkutsk - Ulan-Ude - Chita.
- Р297 “Amur” Chita - Khabarovsk.
- A350 Chita - Zabaikalsk - the border with China.
Ulan-Ude is located on the main line (Trans-Siberian line) of the Trans-Siberian Railway between Irkutsk and Chita at the junction of the Trans-Mongolian line (the Trans-Mongolian Railway) which begins at Ulan Ude and continues south through Mongolia to Beijing in China.
Irkutsk is by far the most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and all points east. With Lake Baikal a mere 70km away, the city is the best base from which to strike out for the western shoreline. In Irkutsk there is also a Buddhist Centre. The Buddhist Centre belongs to the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and is under the spiritual guidance of His Holiness XVII Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje and headed by Lama Ole Nydahl. Here you can get in touch with practicing Buddhists.
One of the world’s oldest geographical features (formed 25 to 30 million years ago), magnificent Lake Baikal is the highlight of Eastern Siberia. All travelers enjoy gob smacking vistas across waters of the deepest blue to soaring mountain ranges on the opposite shore. Baikal is 636km from north to south and up to 1637m deep, making it the world’s deepest lake, containing nearly one-fifth of the planet’s unfrozen fresh water.
Alexander will spend the next couple of days on the Olkhon Island in Khuzhir. Khuzhir is a rural locality (a settlement) in Olkhonsky District of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, located on the west side of the Olkhon Island, the largest island in Lake Baikal.