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'Dancing in light, shimmering.. like a giant diorama made from mother-of-pearl… was Lake Baikal'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

...and not a bear in sight

By Luke Kerr, Manchester, UK
30 July 2012

Luke Kerr, born in Glasgow, Scotland, on his way to Siberia


‘I lived in Siberia for around 2 years in the cities of Omsk, Novosibirsk and Ulan-Ude. 

‘I knew very little about Siberia before I got there, and had plenty of stereotypes - which quickly rendered absurd. 

‘I found huge busy modern cities, surrounded by some breathtaking views in the countryside... and not a bear in sight. 

‘Siberia has some cold winters, but the summer heat was unexpected. In fact, my drawers of extremely thick thermals bought in the UK became a topic of laughter amongst friends. The cities were fun to explore, and I loved going into the country: traveling across Siberia by train showed me just how vast it is. 

‘I fell in love with the landscapes, the cities and the people. I think often of the places I visited: The Dam of Krasnoyarsk, the Ob Sea (reservoir) in Akademgorodok (south of Novosibirsk), The University city of Tomsk, the Buddist temples of Buryatia, Irkutsk - the 'Paris of Siberia' (as a taxi driver once told me) and the Beautiful Lake Baikal. 

‘After 2 years in Siberia I feel that I have only scratched the surface of what Siberia has to offer’. 

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