I was asked to write down my impressions of Irkutsk and the Baikal. The most important impression can really only be painted or photographed. The light there has a special quality. It defines all the outlines so sharply that everything looks unreal: the beautiful Italian-Siberian style houses, the dark blue Angara with its surface like molten glass, and the incredibly high clouds. The sun burns straight down and after 10 minutes of walking you already have a sunburn.

The light over the Baikal is luminous. In the distance there is no water, but a veil of pink and light blue fog topped with clouds like foam. When you look over the Baikal in the evening, the light turns orange, then red and sharp, the sky dark. The sun sets in hazy yellow and later in bright orange. The clouds are pulled into the middle of the lake in a black whirl.
At night, there are so many stars that you can see at least two Milky Ways. :-) For every star, you have to count one mosquito. And then there is the light in the birch tree forests which dances in many colours between the trees.

Two more substantial things: the Teatralnoe cafe on Ulica Lenina has great ice-cream and the KVN (KBH) team of Stas Masilkin plays in the Dramatic theater - good fun.

Uta Kohler 1995-11-11