We stay at Admiral Hostel in Irkutsk

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Admiral Hostel - Irkutsk

Initially we were quite disappointed when we saw both the exterior and the interior of the Admiral Hostel. The Hostel is accessed by what we first considered to be seedy alleyways but, later discovered, was quite normal by Irkutsk standards. The alleyways were full of pot holes and puddles.

Leonid showed us what keys and buttons we needed to use to gain access to the building. As usual there was the big heavy steel door which gave access to the stairwell, then there was the second heavy door which gave access to the hostel which was on the ground floor. By the way, Russians call the ground floor the first floor.


Admiral Hostel at Irkutsk Admiral Hostel at Irkutsk

Accommodation at Admiral Hostel

The hostel is badly in need of a make-over. There is an entry area and there are three large accommodation rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The kitchen area would be way too small if the hostel were full. There were only ever a maximum of six travellers there including us but then it is not high season yet.

The doorway to Admiral Hostel is at the back of the building. The bathroom badly needs an overhaul. There is very little room to move in it.



The back of the hostel Doorway to the hostel is at the back
Water pump used by neighbours Water pump used by neighbours

There is a washing machine in there too which is padlocked so it is not to be used unless you pay for it. We think it costs 200 Rb. to use it.

There is no room to put your gear such as clean clothes, wash bags etc other than on the top of the washing machine. There is a bath with a shower over it and a toilet. There is a story about the toilet which will be revealed later on ......



A mad dart around the central area of Irkutsk

It was around 7 p.m. when we got to the hostel. We basically just dropped our rucksacks, got some directions and headed out to find an ATM, some supermarket edibles and a meal for dinner.

We soon found ourselves in Kirov Square which is a huge area with extremely wide roads. Even though there were zebra crossings the cars don't necessarily stop for you if you are on the crossing. They simply swerve around you. It became a major safety exercise to cross the streets in the Square.

Buildings & avenues in Kirov Square Buildings & avenues in Kirov Square
Quiet time in Kirov Square - see wide avenues Quiet time in Kirov Square - see wide avenues










Angara Hotel

Hotel Angara faces Kirov Square by so we headed there. Inside the hotel we discover there are several ATM's. We also discover a Chinese restaurant within the hotel complex. We decide to have Chinese for dinner but only after we have located a supermarket and bought some bread and water. We then find there is actually a small supermarket just to the left of the hotel which is so handy.

We buy our drinking water plus bread and a few other bits and pieces and then head back into the Angara Hotel for our Chinese meal. It was difficult for us to make any sense of the menu but we ended up with a chicken dish and some fried rice. I still felt lousy with my cold so Ian ate most of it. It took so long for the meal to be ready but we were entertained by a girl singer and later by a lot of female patrons who got up to dance. It all got a bit loud and silly for us plus we were very tired so we meandered our way back to the hostel.


Buildings in Irkutsk

In Irkutsk and other places in Russia there are large residential buildings and commercial buildings all with other big buildings tucked in behind them and accessible only by alleyways. The alleyways are mostly only wide enough to accommodate one car. It is easy to get lost and confused because the buildings and the alleyways frequently look very similar. The Admiral Hostel is tucked away down alleyways and consequently it is nowhere near busy roads so it is lovely and quiet.

We both sleep soundly despite my having a cold. Just as well as we need to be up earlyish for our trip on the Circum Baikal Railway tomorrow.


Next page - The Circum Baikal Railway


Our trip in the order it happened:


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