- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
40

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
40
land, and then måkes a sharp bend eastwards,
falling into the Caspian with a wide delta. On the
south-westerly slope of the mountains is the Rion
(the Phasis of the Greeks), which runs by Kutais
through its flat valley—the old land of the dawn,
Kolkhis—out into the Black Sea. It was from it
that Jason fetched the Golden Fleece and the Sun
king’s fair daughter. The fourth river, and the
largest, is the Kura, which runs through its flat
valley along the south side of the mountains,
and through Azerbaidjan into the Caspian Sea.
It does not rise in the Caucasus, but in the high
lands to the south, near Kars; but it has many
tributaries from the north, among which the
Aragva, Yora, and Alazan are the biggest.
On the north of the Caucasus the summers
usually have a low rainfall and are hot, while the
winters are cold and hard. Tåken together there is
little rain—near the Sea of Azov about 500 metres,
yearly ; while in the central part of the mountains
it may be about twice as much. On the south of the
mountains it is heavier, especially towards the
Black Sea, where it may reach 2 metres. These
south-western slopes of the mountains are therefore
clothed with thick sub-tropical forests, while on the
north-east side of the range, in Daghestan, there is
so little ram that the mountains are wholly treeless.
The mountain slopes towards the north, in the
centre and north-west of the Caucasus, are on the
contrary clothed with dense forests.
In the lower valleys of the Caucasus the forests
are usually made up of oaks, elms, beeches, planes,

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