The 240km bus trip to Ulan-Ude passed through forest roads alongside Lake Baikal. It was along this very beautiful section of the Lake that we said goodbye to the Baikalsee and made our way towards the city.
Proshchay Baykal’se (Goodbye Baikalsee).
Ulan Ude is a surprise in many ways. First it is Asian Russia. The people here are Tatars originating from the invasion of this area by Ghengis Khan from Mongolia and more recently all points south east to the South China Seas. Second, it is modern and sophisticated with few indications of the Soviet period apart from a large bust in the main square of some local boy done good called Lenin. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was Head of government of the Russian Republic from 1917 to 1918, of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918 to 1924, and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.
Strangely, in the same square, right opposite the memorial to Lenin, is a ‘London’ bar dedicated to the memory of a former British Prime Minister.