Shamanka Rock, Lake BaiKal, Siberia

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to understand the subtle nuances in the meaning of luxury itself.  Luxury can mean lavishness, creature comforts, sumptuousness, opulence and extravagance.  Yet, it can also be the appreciation of the simplest things in life like a beautiful sunset that requires only the time to observe and enjoy it.  This is the luxury of magnificence.

Some of the most magnificent luxuries on our planet include mountains, oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, forests and deserts. One lake contains more than 20% of the world's fresh water supply.  Lake Baikal, in Siberia, (also known as the "sacred sea") is the oldest and deepest lake in the world. It measures 400 miles long and 5700 feet deep in the center.  It holds more water than all of the Great Lakes combined.

One can clearly see a depth of 75 feet from the surface.  Because of the high level of oxygenation, the lake is teaming with fish and organisms even at the bottom.  Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Some of the species have yet to be identified or categorized. New breakthroughs are continuously discovered there. For example, scientists are testing fresh water sponges from Lake Baikal which may be capable of curing certain cancers.

Our excitement about Lake Baikal was ignited by the story of a marine biologist, Marina Rikhvanova, who succeeded in having an oil pipeline moved two miles away from the lake.  Had the government's plan succeeded, a single oil spill could have polluted the lake in 20 minutes.  Traveler's magazine gave her the World Saver's Environmental Award. 

In Japan people of great talent and artistry are honored as national treasures. As we see it, Marina is a global treasure.  Seek out the richness and generosity of spirit in the people around you and you will find a vast and deep reservoir of luxury.


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