- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
46

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
46
the poetry and music of the nation. Georgia, or
rather its central part, Kartlia and Kakhetia, is,
indeed, one of the oldest kingdoms in the world,
with an almost unbroken line of kings through two
thousand years down to the beginning of last
century, when it united with Russia. Near the
convent have been found many old graves with
stone coffins from the Bronze Age, belonging to an
older long-headed people quite unlike the Georgians
or Kartvelians, who came in later and are pre
dominantly short-headed.
The road goes on along by the river, which has
a considerable volume of water with waterfalls,
rapids, and whirlpools. In a river like this in Norway
there would be water-pixies playing on the harp;
here there are nymphs, russalks, with long red hair
and green eyes, who entice men to them and tickle
them till they die.
The road was now slowly rising, and turned to
the left away from the Aragva valley. The landscape
was less barren ; there were green fields, and valley
sides clothed in forest among the bare, stem
mountains on the east. Wc were, however, some
what astonished to pass a small salt tårn, called
Bazaletskoye, which reminded us that it was dry
here also near the southern slopes of the mountains ;
the rainfall was small, indeed, compared with the
evaporation.
Wc drove by the town of Dushet, where the
eristav (viceroy) of the province of Aragva had his
residence in former times. He was very powerful,
and often waged war with the kings of Georgia.

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