Lake Baikal

Listvankya on the northern shore of Lake Baikal in east Siberia is a small fishing village and port that also serves as a holiday destination for Russians in the short Siberian summer. By late September summer is definitely over and there was a melancholy end-of-season feel about the place when I visited in 2010. It was also surprisingly cold and the fact that Lake Baikal freezes so solidly in winter that you can drive trucks over it seemed perfectly believable.

This was the furthest east I got on that trip, having arrived in the nearby city of Irkutsk on the Trans-Siberian railway from Moscow. The Russian tourists had all left Listvyanka by the time I arrived and apart from a few fishermen, a handful of locals and a large population of ravens I had the place very much to myself.