Author: Julie Hersh

Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk

Program Evaluation Russian as a Second Language in Bishkek and Irkutsk (plus Home and Abroad Scholarship)   Academic Program in Bishkek and Irkutsk Bishkek First, the basics. I was in the Russian as a Second Language program. I had class four days a week, 8:30 to 2:30, all Russian-language. My day off, Wednesday, was devoted to grammar […]

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk

Trip to Vladivostok from Irkutsk $550 for 4.5 days* Vladivostok has been top on my list of Russian cities to visit for a while now, so I was determined to get there while I was living in Irkutsk—and, to add urgency to the matter, I needed to go to an American consulate, and there’s one […]

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk

Trip to Khabarovsk from Irkutsk ~$500 for 2–3 days* This week, I took a long trip from Irkutsk. The end point was Vladivostok, but because of how expensive all the flights from Irkutsk to Vlad are, I ended up with a twelve-hour layover in Khabarovsk. However, I figured it would be nice to explore the city […]

Victory Day in Irkutsk

Victory Day in Irkutsk Holiday Celebrated every May 9th Festivities around the city generally free Victory Day (День победы), celebrated on May 9 across Russia, is arguably the most important Russian holiday, other than New Year’s. There are massive celebrations across the country dedicated to Russia’s win in World War Two, or the Great Patriotic […]

Rio Grande in Irkutsk

Rio Grande Restaurant Rossiyskaya 17B (Российская 17Б), Irkutsk 10 am–1 am most days Entrees ~ $6–12 Website I was extremely surprised and slightly terrified when I learned that there was a Tex-Mex restaurant in Irkutsk. I have no idea why it exists or how it came about, but there it is, and it is glorious […]

Ulan-Ude, Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

Ulan-Ude Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Cost estimate: $125 for 2.5 days Halfway into our program in Irkutsk, both I and a friend were feeling the travel bug again and were ready for a change of scene. Ulan-Ude, the closest major city from Irkutsk, was definitely that. A few hours after my friend and I stepped out […]

Buryat Cooking Lesson at Ulus in Irkutsk

Ulus, Buryat-Mongolian Restaurant (Улус) Buryat Cooking Lesson Part of SRAS Cultural Program, Spring, 2017 130 Kvartal, ul. 3 Iyulya 23 One of my favorite things about living in/traveling to other countries is getting to know the national cuisine. Irkutsk is located right next to the (Russian) Republic of Buryatia, and as such has a large […]

Khmelnoe Podvorye in Irkutsk

Khmelnoe Podvorye (Хмельное подворье) 130 Kvartal, Sedovaya 10 12–12 (2 on Thurs, Fri, Sat) I dragged my friends to Khmelnoe Podvorye for a late lunch after an arduous bike ride one Saturday afternoon. It’s a brew pub, with a big selection of housemade beer, but I wanted to go because I’d heard they also make […]

Ethno-Cafe Belaruskaya Gleba in Irkutsk

Ethno-Cafe Belaruskaya Gleba (“Belarusian Bread”) Беларуская Глеба ul. Karla Marksa 26a 12 pm – 12 am Entrees $5–10 Belarusian food is not exactly local to Irkutsk, but I’ve come across so few Belarusian restaurants in my life (like, one) that I was determined to check out this one. Centrally located on Irkutsk’s main avenue and big […]

Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk

Okhlopkov Theater (Иркутский академический драматический театр им. Н.П.Охлопкова) ul. Karla Marksa 14 Tickets from 100 to 500 rubles Dramateatr.ru. The Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk (or the Irkutsk Academic Dramatic Theater named for Okhlopkov) is the main dramatic theater in Irkutsk, and the oldest theater in Eastern Siberia. The theater’s directors are understandably proud of their long […]

Rassolnik in Irkutsk

Rassolnik 3 Iulya Street, #3 (ул. 3 июля) 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (later on weekends) Entrees $5–$15 Rassolnik is a more upscale Russian restaurant in Irkutsk. Located in the trendy 130 Quarter (130 Квартал), it’s Soviet-themed, so that its comfortable seats and white tablecloths are surrounded by old Soviet-era cameras, glasses, posters, and other […]

Kraken Bar in Irkutsk

Kraken Bar Sverdlova 23a M-T, 12–12; F and S, 12–2 Kraken is a very comfortable bar/café situated a five- to ten-minute walk away from the faculty of foreign languages building of Irkutsk State University. With a pretty long European/Russian menu, though not a very exciting beer list, it’s great for a weekday lunch or dinner […]

Dinamo—Skiing in Irkutsk

Dinamo Ski Base (Динамо Лыжная База) Kaprinskaya 119, Irkutsk (Капринская 119, Иркутск) 9am to 9pm Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Dinamo is a skiing facility just outside of Irkutsk. It’s right near the K9 bus stop, where you can get the 4C, 102, or 113 buses. My fellow SRASers and I went […]

Bolshoe Goloustnoe, near Irkutsk

Bolshoe Goloustnoe Weekend Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Bolshoe Goloustnoe (Большое Голоустное) is a very small town approximately two hours outside Irkutsk by car. It’s right on Lake Baikal—as in, you can wake up, leave your hotel, and walk directly onto the lake. (Or into the lake, if […]

Listvyanka, outside Irkutsk

Listvyanka Day Trip from Irkutsk Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Listvyanka (Листвянка) is a small town approximately 50 miles from Irkutsk. It is the closest point to Irkutsk that’s directly on Lake Baikal. It’s a perfect day trip from Irkutsk. In the middle of winter, Listvyanka is an absolutely astounding site. […]

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists, which is weird enough in and of itself, but for what’s in it. The dump/museum is probably about a 20-minute […]

Shedita Khanza Ethno-Cafe in Irkutsk

Shedite Khanza Partizanskaya 32 10–24 every day Entrees around $5 Looking for a good lunch on an empty afternoon, I found Shedite Khanza (Шэдитэ Ханза; Partizanskaya 32, entrance on Gornaya) during a long, fruitless walk halfway across Irkutsk (or so it felt, in subzero temperatures). It’s mostly a Buryat café—or “ethnic,” as it calls itself. […]

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