Tell Us Where to Go!
We've been on the road for just over three weeks, and have already visited four of our 11 cities. At this rate, we could whip on through the rest of them and be home just after Halloween.
But there's a reason we've been in a hurry: We've made arrangements to join a scientific expedition on Lake Baikal that launches on October 1. We'll go out on a small boat with a group of scientists to spend a couple of days on Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake, just as Gary and I did in 1995. Though the October 1 launch date meant we had to rush a bit through our first few cities, we felt like it was worth it.
Once we finish with the expedition, though, we'll have an extra week to fill. David and I were talking about this the other day, and we decided to throw it open to you, the readers: Where should we go? Any place between Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg is fair game, as long as it's not too far from the path we've already planned (see above map).
Is there an amazing town, wacky sight or fabulously interesting person we really should visit? Is there someone in Russia you haven't seen in a long while, and would like us to post a photo of? In 1995, a Russian citizen living in Canada asked us to visit his family in Irkutsk -- he hadn't seen his young sons in five years -- and it was one of the most moving days of our trip. (We'll be updating that story, too, when we get to Irkutsk!)
We welcome any suggestions -- just post them in the comments section below before Friday, October 7. We'll consider them all, then make our decision that weekend. Tell us where to go!
In other news, when I went to buy our train tickets for Ulan Ude yesterday, the cashier looked at me through her little window and asked, "So, have you seen everything in Chita?"
I wasn't sure what she meant, and as it's incredibly unusual for people -- especially those in customer service positions -- to make small talk, I just looked at her stupidly.
"I saw you on TV," she said with a little smile as she tapped at her computer. "They showed you a couple of nights ago." I laughed and asked her how it looked, since I hadn't seen it myself. "It looked good," she said, then added, "Just make sure you get home before the real winter sets in. It gets really cold here."
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