We get into Irkutsk and are met by our couchsurfing host, a pleasant young man named Philip who teaches English here. The city itself feels more bustling than Yekaterinburg – that could be because it’s built more densely. There are a lot more wooden buildings (though Philip lives in an apartment that – bliss! – has drinkable running water), and the same liminal space I observed in St. Petersburg: half-finished building sites and uneven muddy paths tamped down by local residents that wind between new blocks of flats and corroding three story concrete ones. I can’t do justice to a city I’m only spending 1.5 days in, so here are some photos from our walk around town today.
This marks a monumental turning point – the first time I’ve ever been up to date with this blog. I don’t expect that to happen again soon, but I will enjoy it while it lasts. Tomorrow we hike. I will be humming “We are the peatbog soldiers” the whole time, no doubt to the appreciative applause of other hikers.