Bratsky District, Russia
At 22:00 with sun still well up behind clouds we crossed the massive dam wall holding back the aptly named artificial Bratsk Sea. A huge basalt gorge was the dam wall location and at the time between 1967 and 1971 it was the world’s biggest single hydro power plant. Bratsk is situated along the Angara River, which is the only river draining Lake Baikal from its southwest corner. As the train skirts around its southern reaches I see more timber yards and some old heavy industry. The land is much more undulating now with some mountain ranges visible to the east and northeast.
The taiga comes right up to the edges of town and villages. I saw one in a small valley that was almost consumed by the taiga rising and falling over every hill and dale save for the space eked out by the town.