MIR’s 30 Years: Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal (VIDEO)
(Douglas Grimes is co-founder and president of MIR Corporation.)
I’ve traveled to countless historic and fascinating places in the world; some of the best are designated “UNESCO Heritage Sites” because of their cultural or physical significance, such as China’s Great Wall or Samarkand’s Registan Square. One of my favorite UNESCO sites is endless Lake Baikal located in Siberia just north of Mongolia. The lake is more than 25 million years old and more than a mile deep, holding within its shores about one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water. Yet Lake Baikal is more than a vast body of water; it is also a geographical region with an impressive range of experiences to offer. Here’s a glimpse:
(click on photo for larger version)
I’ve visited Lake Baikal many times over the past 30 years. One of my favorites was a Siberian winter escape huddling with ice fishers on frozen Baikal and checking out amazing ice sculptures. On another Baikal trip I rode a luxury train on the Trans-Siberian Railway, the one that follows along the Old Circumbaikal Railway route and traces the craggy southern shoreline to Port Baikal. Yet another highlight was a ride on the rails of the BAM (Baikal Amur Mainline) that stretches around the top of the lake through remote towns like Severobaikalsk, meeting some of the friendliest people on Earth.
This is the beauty of Baikal, a place to be seen, shared and cherished.
More on “MIR’s 30 Years”
Learn more about “MIR’s 30 Years” in the stories below, all embedded with videos. They include MIR’s beginnings and the mindset and mission of MIR’s president and co-founder, Douglas Grimes; MIR’s utterly unique travel offerings at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; and Siberia, one of MIR’s favorites specialties.
- “Imagine Your Journey with MIR” (story); view video – MIR’s 30-year expertise in making dream trips come true.
- “198os Volleyball Diplomacy, and MIR’s Beginning” (story); view video – Volleyball is the game changer: a young Douglas Grimes dreams big, and his (MIR) world changes forever.
- “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (story); view video – Traveling back in time to MIR’s mid-1980s beginning, and a watershed decision.
MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys
- “Handcrafted Journeys: Making MIR Movies” (story); view video – MIR’s memorable custom, private journeys are akin to making movies, including tracing family history “back in the old country.”
- “Epic Journeys: Ultimate Dream Trips” (story); view video – MIR’s adventurous overland expeditions include one Canadian couple’s extensive yearly travels, from driving along the Silk Road to motoring through China, Siberia, and the Balkans.
- “Beyond the Stars, Inside the Russian Space Program” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ favorite tour harkens back to the U.S.-Soviet space race, from exploring Star City’s once-classified cosmonaut training facility to witnessing the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft.
- “Overland Expeditions: Roving the World in Land Rovers” (story); view Land Rovers video – Land-roving at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, MIR creates an ambitious itinerary for 54 participants and 18 vehicles, from Kazakhstan to Turkey.
Siberia, A MIR Specialty
- “Why I’m Sold on Siberia” (story); view video – Countless reasons why MIR President Douglas Grimes loves this vast, pristine place.
- “Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ lasting memories of this legendary lake in Siberia.
- “Overland Expeditions: Channeling Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – One of MIR President Douglas Grimes’ early (ad)ventures into Siberia with one channeler, her five dozen followers, and their six sacred crystals.
- “Overland Expeditions: Driving Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR helps intrepid motorists re-create the 1908 automotive Great Race in their 1928 vintage car, down to gas station locations in Siberia and tricky border crossings.
- “Overland Expeditions: Running Through Russia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR’s extraordinary logistics for 79 runners and support personnel, running 5,500 miles from Eastern Europe to China via Russia and Siberia, all to promote safer drinking water.
- “Overland Expeditions: Total Solar Eclipse in Siberia” (story); view video – MIR prepares three years in advance to bring more than 300 travelers – “sun chasers” – to the heart of Siberia for a rare total solar eclipse.
MIR, in a Nutshell
- “MIR in a Nutshell” (story) – Compact and concise, here’s everything you need to know about MIR on one page.
(Top photo credit: Martin Klimenta – The sun sets over Lake Baikal, as it has for 25 million years.)
PUBLISHED: November 15, 2016