Olkhon Island (ru. остров Ольхон), the largest island on the Baikal lake, is a magical place. Rural regions, beautiful nature, crystal clear water and just a few features of this place. Unfortunately, what you can read in Wikipedia on Olkhon regarding waste disposal is true. The unsettling fact is that it's not controlled and much of waste can be found in certain regions of the forest. This is for sure something that needs to be addressed quickly or it will have a devastating effect on the nature. There are many places to stay - yurtas (ru. юрта), country houses or crashing a tent next to the lake. Khuzir (ru. Хужир) is in the center of all of that. It is a rural settlement with population of around 1300 located on the west side of the Olkhon Island. It is also the main tourist center and the largest village on the island.
The advancement of current photo and video equipment still keeps me amazed. Together with the the new GoPro Hero 4 coming out in Oct another point has been reached. With a device packed with technology and amazing video and photo capabilities in a body worth of 400 - 500$ that lets you shoot in raw format and do time-lapses and videos in night is a pretty darn good deal. No tens of thousands of dollars equipment or special camera crew needed. You get a pro device for a percent of the price of some bulkier cameras.
Guys and galls from DJI Aerial Imaging have taken this to another level. They had an idea of filming an erupting volcano called Bardabunga. They've took a GoPro Hero3+ camera coupled with a DJI Phantom 2 - an equipment worth around 1000$ and off they went. Watch the video below and read more on the project in Wired.
Having seen the schedule in the last part of "life on rails" you ask yourself a question on how do you exactly buy stuff ? There are at least four answers to that. One is the provodnik or provodnitsa - some small foodstufs like chocolate bars, instant coffee, instant soups and so on can be bought from them. Second is the restaurant carriage (high prices) - the basic assortment plus menu. The two are available all the time during your travel. You can also purchase food on the train station in kiosks or by strolling through markets or shops in the city. The prices can vary but one general rule applies - the farther you go the cheaper you'll buy. Quite obvious yet sometimes you have to really hurry as, like I wrote earlier, the train won't wait.
The trains in Russia run very smoothly - nobody is going to wait for you if you're late. Better synchronize your watch with the rail and always remember that each station's time of arrival and departure is presented in Moscow Time (that is MSK or GMT+4). Two times we we're on the verge of being late due to either a train crossing the rails we used to get to the city (kind of a shortcut) or.. bad timing. The recommended time to be aboard is max 5 min prior leaving as all doors tend to be closed then and the train is waiting for departure.
When we were flying the new Boeing Dreamliner 787 from Beijing at the end of #transsib2014 we could discover new standard of comfort but mostly the beautiful sights from above - especially the mountains after taking off in China's capital.
"Aviation - the invisible highway" is a documentary that is a tribute to aviation and all things connected. Narrated by Harrison Ford with music from James Horner is scheduled for a 2015 release. It "(...)is a story about how the airplane has changed the world. Filmed in 18 countries across all 7 continents, it renews our appreciation for one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring aspects of the modern world.".
Having landed on Moscow Domodedovo International Airport around midnight we took a cab to Apple Hostel in Kitay-Gorod located at Maroseyka 13 street ( ул. Маросейка, 13) where we were to stay two nights. During the ride we've learned quite a bit about how should proper driving in Moscow look like. Lot's of adrenaline guaranteed. The hostel was great with friendly staff and good amenities. It is located in a bit posh district of Moscow near Red Square, GUM and others. Many shops around to choose from. It's worth to visit Dixy supermarket located at Pokrovka 17 street (ул.Покровка, д.17 стр.1) which is 10-15 minutes walk to get prices cheaper by around 10-20% from those in direct neighborhood.
5:30 Gdańsk. The only stop at the back of the PKS station. Four men are waiting for the bus that will take them to Kaliningrad. Few jokes, quick baggage check, few selfies for publicity. More people are gathering, some with loads of bags like for a week's journey. Probably due to embargo on some goods that Russian government has announced recently due to political tensions and situation on Ukraine. Others with a small shopping bag or nothing at all.