Few people know that Baikal not only enriches your spirit but also makes people more resistant to diseases. On the Immunity Day traditionally celebrated on March 1, “Key to Baikal” tells you how to visit Lake Baikal and forget about diseases forever!
It is believed that walks in the fresh air are very good for your health. They are all the more useful when you walk near Baikal. When you arrive at the coast of the lake, you feel an incredible surge of energy right at once. In addition, physical activity helps you to strengthen the body. Walks can be very different: hiking, horseback rides or idle walking in popular places.
Places around Baikal are characterized by an incredible variety of natural landscapes. You can first walk along the mountain trails of the Pribaikalsky Ridge, then can ride a horse through the Tazheransky steppes and climb the caves there, which is probably good for your health as well.
All these activities are much better than sleepy walks to the buffet and lying in a lounge chair for a long time. Truth be told, one should also know that you can sunbathe on Baikal: the sun is active here, and it is shining almost all the time. You can get suntan here even in winter, when the sun is reflected from snow and ice.
Since sunlight triggers the synthesis of vitamin D, Baikal sun is very useful for your body. But do not forget that the local sun can quickly burn your skin, so you should always use sunscreen.
We all came out of the water, and sometimes we need to return to this element. Baikal is not the warmest lake on the planet, but you can swim in it, you just need to know the right places. If you want to swim to improve your endurance, you can do it everywhere. Locals believe that it’s impossible to get sick swimming in Baikal water even in winter. If you are not a big fan of low temperatures, be sure at least to dip your feet in the lake.
Experienced people warn that you should not plunge into Baikal in a drunken state: your heart can fail, or your muscles will contract. Especially superstitious people believe that the spirits of the lake can punish a drunken swimmer. It is better not to be kidding with them!
If you are sober, healthy and are ready for bright sensations, then the cold water of Baikal will give you a charge of health and energy for a long time. It is especially great to combine the cold Baikal water with Russian bath. You can take a steam bath in many places on Lake Baikal, and in winter you can have a really extreme experience: visit an ice bath. You should not worry about the purity of the water: the water of the Great Lake is almost distilled.
You can not only swim in the Baikal water, but also travel on boats and ships. You can canoe or kayak. Kayaking along the coast of Baikal is a fairly popular form of active recreation, where everything is useful: mild exercise load, fresh air, and views of the sacred lake can cure any blues or improve bad mood.
Winter Baikal also offers a rich variety of activities: from sled dogs, ice skating on the lake ice to ice fishing.
When you walk a lot, swim in cool water and lead an active way of life, the main thing is not to forget to eat in due time. Fortunately, you can easily have some tasty food here. You can eat satisfying local dishes that have become trademarks of Baikal: sagudai, buuzes. However, if you want to improve your health, you should as well try healthy products from the coast of the sacred lake. We can put an emphasis on such local treat as pine nuts - a useful and tasty gift of nature: they are harvested in the forests around Baikal. Many people consider these nuts the main secret of strong health of Siberian people. You can eat pine nuts as a separate dish or add some honey. In general, there are many dishes where these nuts are used.
It is worth replacing coffee with a Baikal drink based on local “Sagan-Dailya” herb (Rhododendron adamsii). The drink will help you to boost your immune system, remove toxins from your body and improve metabolism. Sagan-Dailya significantly reduces fatigue, stimulates the brain, restores strength and energy, therefore you should not get drink too much of it, just like with coffee.
In addition to Sagan-Dailya, they make infusions of Bergenia crassifolia, Rhodiola rosea, willow herb, Potentilla and many other herbs. Baikal herbal teas can be purchased in almost all tourist shops and markets.
Berries are one of the main treasures of the Baikal taiga. A lot of cranberries, cowberries, currants, blueberries, blackberries grow here. The usefulness of these berries is known: they contain vitamins, strengthen the immune system, help to improve functions of different organs. Locals use them in large quantities and in very different forms.
If you are unable to abandon fast food, you should know that this food also has its own features on Baikal. For example, in Irkutsk you can find burgers with cowberry marmalade and pine nuts. We don’t promise that this will strengthen your immunity, but you will surely refresh yourself.
Come to Baikal to take care of your health!
Academician Okladnikov believed that the name of the Kika River (with the emphasis on the second syllable) was derived from the Turkic “green river”. This is the name of one of 336 rivers flowing into Lake Baikal.
Why should one remember about an ordinary hare - the animal with the nickname “squint-eye” that is considered a coward?
A specially protected natural monument of regional significance – “Anglichanka” Rock – is situat-ed in Selenginsky district of Buryatia. Now it is known as an observation deck with a picturesque view of the Selenga and Spassky Cathedral dated by the 18th century. However, in 1818-1841, Protestant preachers lived here. Key to Baikal explored how the life of the missionaries was con-nected with the rock, what kind of girl was wandering around it and what the London missionary society had to do with it.
The name of the valley originated from local “Bargut” which means “outskirts, wilderness”. It was a name of Mongolian tribe that used to inhabit the valley.