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The Fascinating Antiquity of Lake Baikal

A trip to Lake Baikal in Russia is an effective antidote if you have been fed propaganda about the desolation and persecution of Siberia. It is true that prisoners are banished to this region for lives of great adversity. No one can dispute that it is sparsely populated and far removed from the developed world. The cold is obvious at this Northern latitude, and the sun seems further away than ever before! However, Siberia can also be fertile, gracious, and inviting. The magnetic charm of Lake Baikal is an unforgettable and integral face of Siberia, which has to be seen to be believed!

Lake Baikal is large and deep It is more than 500 kilometers in length, has a width of about 50 kilometers, and is almost 500 meters above sea level, with the most remarkable and mysterious geological features. It reaches up to a thousand meters below the surface of the earth, and contains a fifth of all fresh water on earth. It is a global treasure and rightly categorized as a World Heritage Site. Soviet authorities may be blamed for environmental abuse of the area, but fortunately corrected the destruction of trees around the lake before much damage could be done. International vigilance to protect the delicate balances of nature in and around the lake will always be a concern and a priority.

The furry animals, birds, and rare plants which thrive as a part of the lake Baikal area, constitute one of the richest and most complex living systems of ecology in the world. The soil is rich in minerals, and there are many hot water springs in the area. Though the water is frozen for almost half of each calendar year, the climate, thanks to the vast water body, is relatively mild by Siberian standards. The water of the lake itself is considered to be a kind of natural exposition of the process of evolution, because its inhabitants range from primordial life forms, to modern species which have formed after the lake came in to being.

The railway system which surrounds the Lake Baikal is an engineering saga in its own right, and puts the water body within reach of the average explorer. It is part of the famous Trans Siberian Railway. Irkutsk, which is a suitable base for a Lake Baikal visit, is more than 5 thousand kilometers from Moscow, so people in a hurry have to fly, though this snatches away much of the wonders of a vacation to the area.


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