While others decided to go off to Ulan-Ude for the weekend, my pocketbook and I decided to stay here and explore. I went off to explore a museum I had wanted to see: the City History Museum. They created it/renovated it for the 350th Anniversary Celebration and it was very tastefully done.
When you walk in you have to put these little bootie things on your shoes, but these ones are reusable and they wash them! However, they make your feet even hotter in the summer! Like many museums this one charges different prices for Russians and foreigners, but the foreign student price was only 100 RUB/ 3.10 USD.
The museum was totally in Russian, so I suggest a guide or an understanding to not understand. However, if you speak Russian, it was a good museum. It had 5 exhibit halls, dedicated to different time periods, plus a random hall I’ll tell you about later!
|A layout of the original fortress at Irkutsk|
It started off in the pre-Russian time, with Mongols and yurts, introducing the Irkutsk Archeology Club. What was cool in this room, was that they had spear tips and other random things, but they also had drawings next to them, showing you how they were actually used!
Slowly, you move through the years as you walk through the museum. Part of reminding myself that this is Asia and not Europe comes when you run into Buddhist stuff in museums. Or Japanese stuff. Apparently Russia was the first country you could study Japanese as a foreign language in. The next room was totally dedicated to the 25 or so churches around Irkutsk. Lots of beautiful churches, most of which survived the USSR.
The final normal hall was dedicated to the Soviet time period. I wish I had understood Russian a bit better, because it described what happened in Irkutsk at the time of the 1917 revolutions. The more modern times often have early Aatari or tape players, and I want to know in 50 years, what will they pick from the early 2000s? A ipod? Jeggins? Uggs?
Then there was one last hall to see, off to the side of the others. I walk in and it is dedicated to Kim Il-sung, from North Korea. I almost laughed out loud. I mean it was like the were revering him and his works. It was a little odd to say the least!
After the museum I wanted towards a honey festival, because they have “women’s honey” here. No, it is literally called “Women Honey” and I wanted to get some. I didn’t find it, but I did find another one that was super delicious. Now if only I had a working oven to make some biscuits.
See you around the globe!