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One of the first Frenchmen, who visited Lake Baikal, was probably Delisle de la Kroyer Louis – an astronomer and geographer, a member of the Second Expedition to Kamchatka. It is interesting that in Irkutsk, he made up the table of sunrises and sunsets, and specified the geographic location of the region.

Quite an original sketch of the nature and ethnic groups of Baikal was made by a famous science-fiction writer Jules Verne. In Paris in 1875 he published the novel "Michael Strogov", in which he described the journey of a Russian officer from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk, a courier of the Tsar Michael Strogov in Siberia embraced by the rebellion of the “Tatars”. On a plot of the novel the non-Russian Siberian tribes under the leadership of Feofar Khan set out to separate Siberia from Russia. They captured many Siberian towns and intended to captive and murder in Irkutsk the king's brother, the Grand Duke. The plot of the novel is likely to be inspired to Jules Verne by well-known historical events of 1695 and 1696 years, when the Buryats without success besieged the Irkutsk stockaded town and later were repulsed. But the transfer of these events in the XIX century made the novel a writer’s talented fiction, and, of course, images of the described famous places in the taiga region seemed to be fantastic. The same is with Lake Baikal - the length of the lake according to the author’s words was about nine hundred versts, and width - one hundred versts. Cruising on Lake Baikal, M.Strogov observed the curious phenomenon: "From the depths the magnificent fountains of boiling water gushed out, forcing the way out from artesian wells, drilled by nature at the very bottom of the lake. These jets flew at high altitude and crumbled into small spray, mold in the sun like a rainbow which the cold immediately turned into the smallest pieces of ice. This curious spectacle would amaze any traveler making his way in the Siberian margin at their pleasure. "

The novel emphasized the existed in Russia the problem of foreigners, their discontent and disobedience to the royal authorities. Still he cherished kindly feelings for the Russians, their Siberian persistence and firmness: "The Grand Duke has found out that here people work hard, but later became convinced in the fact that they are brave. Soldiers, merchants, exiles, peasants sacrificed themselves for the overall salvation. "

Showing the attitude of the inhabitants of Siberia to Lake Baikal, J.Vern repeats the well-known ideas of aboriginal and old-timers: according to the stories of sailors, the Lake "demands to be called the “sea lord”. If, however, people call it the “lake lord”, Lake Baikal immediately gets angry and responds to it by ferocious storms. However, according to legend, no Russian has sunk in it.

In the summer of 1896 via Irkutsk passed a famous French traveler Charles Bruar. At home he made a bet that he would travel around the world in 10 months with no money, earning his trip by his own labor as a poet and reciter. Bruar initially intended to pass through Persia, but there he was robbed, and he turned to Siberia. An interesting fact is that Bruar in Irkutsk was "caught up" by a German pedestrian Reyngarten – an employee of many newspapers. In late July Reyngarten read in the museum's lecture hall of Irkutsk "A walking tour in Persia," which collection was presented to Bruar.

Nowadays, the French, as well as representatives of other nationalities come to visit Lake Baikal, though not as often as the Germans, Americans, Japanese. They and other foreigners are sometimes very surprised at the lack of foresight and mismanagement in the use of region’s resources. B. Zhemchuzhnikov provides an interesting judgement of one Frenchman who visited Baikal: "Could you, please, be so kind to tell me where we’re standing now? Do not tell me that we are standing on the shore of the most wonderful, the most unique lake. We stand on a mountain of gold, which you can not get."(129, pp. 192). An interesting association appears: as in the famous film, where nature is a deer which can knock gold coins out of its hoofs. But because of our slowness and carelessness, they turn into clay shards "... Say what you like, but it is a very true and no longer a fantastic observation. And for baikaltsy to eliminate that mismanagement and carelessness in the nearest future is very important.

See also


  1. A.D. Karnyshev "The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal"© BSU Publishing House, 2011

Выходные данные материала:

Жанр материала: English | Автор(ы): Karnyshev A.D. | Источник(и): The Many Faces of Multilingual and Mysterious Baikal. Ulan-Ude. 2012 | Дата публикации оригинала (хрестоматии): 2011 | Дата последней редакции в Иркипедии: 30 марта 2015

Примечание: "Авторский коллектив" означает совокупность всех сотрудников и нештатных авторов Иркипедии, которые создавали статью и вносили в неё правки и дополнения по мере необходимости.

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Тематический указатель: Irkipedia English