Carpe Diem Haiku *Irkutsk*

If you look at the modern map of the Russian Federation, Irkutsk is located almost in the middle on the line, connecting St.Petersburg to the Kuril Islands. Thus we could assume Irkutsk is the unofficial center of Russia, at least geographically. It might be one of the reasons why the inhabitants of the city have come up with the proverb “If you haven’ t been in Irkutsk, you haven’ t been in Russia”. After all – centre is centre! 

At this point of the journey I decide to hop off the train a bit after Irkutsk to experience something that takes my breath away at once. Yes, there is a true gem of nature in Irkutsk region – lake Baikal. Also known as the “Galapagos of Russia”, the Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve. There are 336 rivers that flow into the lake but only one – the Angara that flows out of it. The landscape surrounding the lake basin, with its mountains, boreal forests, tundra, lakes, islands and steppes, is exceptionally picturesque.

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moving mountains
back and forth with every wave
stillness in time

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Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Image courtesy of Wikimedia