Take a Tour of Ice City 2012

Every December an ice city appears in the central park of Irkutsk. The theme is different every year, but it generally features various animals made out of ice. This time, as it is the year of the Dragon according to the lunar calendar, a jolly looking fellow welcomes everyone at the entrance to the park:

The center piece of any ice city in Russia is, of course, the Yolka – a Christmas Tree. They used to have an actual fur tree back in the day. Now it’s just a metal construction covered with plastic fur tree branches. But it still brings cheer to the young and old alike.

Christmas Tree in Irkutsk 2011-2012The most important attraction of any ice city is an ice slide. The bigger, the better, of course!

Ice Slide in Irkutsk

Queuing up in the back of the ice slide.

Ice Slide, Irkutsk

Down we go!

The icey animals were a little crude this year. I hear the real masterpieces of ice sculpture are up for display in Listvyanka, which is a small town right on the shore of Lake Baikal, about an hour away from Irkutsk. But for us, city folk, these were still fun:

Bunnies made out of ice, IrkutskAn Owl made of ice, IrkutskA Pig made of ice, IrkutskThe ice was harvested right here in Irkutsk. You can see pieces of lake plants in some of the sculptures.

We even had a maze this year! Here’s something for Bozeman to consider for next year, provided it gets cold enough in Montana:

An ice maze, IrkutskI personally like seeing families out and about in the ice city taking photographs and having a good time:

An Ice Hut, IrkutskA reindeer sleigh made of ice, IrkutskOf course, there should be ponies and horses all dressed up to lure young kids and set their parents back a pretty ruble for a short ride around the park:A horse and a pony in the ice city, IrkutskA word to one of the sponsors of the whole affair:

A squirrel made of ice with a cell phone, Irkutsk

This pugnacious squirrel with a cell phone from the 1990’s is advertising Baikal West Com, a cell phone service provider in Irkutsk. Many thanks, BWC!

And last, but not least, a shot with the symbols of the New Year’s Holidays – Grandfather Frost and his granddaughter, Snegurochka, or Snow Maiden:

Grandfather Frost and his grandaughter Snegurochka, Irkutsk

My friendettes, Tanya and Vica, posed for me in this -8 F weather.

I hope you enjoyed this taste of winter in Siberia!

Love, YN.

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