Some views of Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia, Siberia.
It rained in Ulan-Ude in the early morning but the rain did nothing to cool the temperature. A very happy, animated accordianist played in one of the squares off the main street and two tourists posed in front of a statue of ballet dancers outside the Theatre.
In the afternoon we visited Ivolginsky Datsan, near Verkhnyaya Ivolga village in Buryatia, the largest Buddhist Monastery in Russia and the only Lamaist School in Russia. The first photo in the gallery below shows the part of the residential quarters of the village. The second shows residents of the village repainting the entrance to a temple. The young visitor in the third photo has walked with her eyes closed, hands held at arms length, drawn towards a sacred stone. There were Prayer Wheels dotted around the village and around the perimeter.
Three views of the landscape near the border between Siberia and Mongolia.
A visit to one of the many villages of The Old Believers, an ancient but vibrant sect within Russian Society, who split from the Orthodox Church in the 17th Century. The Semey (family) as they are also known adhere to the old faith, abandoning innovation since the period of Peter the First. For this they were oppressed and forced to moved to Siberia. For 240 years they have thrived and retained their culture of colourful clothing, painted houses, traditional technologies and a strong moral code based around the family. The family served us a traditional Siberian dinner and treated us to a presentation about the ‘Old Believers’ and their lifestyle and some folk music. The last picture features two of our group, Angelica and Falco, dressed for a courtship ritual.