- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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There are ruins of a fort from that time. Not far
away there is an old grove with a church to Samt
Kvirik and Samt Avlita. This church Hes on top
of a 1,000-metre mountain under venerable holy
trees. Such holy trees and groves are often found
in the Caucasus, and evidently were old sacrificial
places in heathen times.
But on wc went through fruitful lands; the
mountains around became more and more thickly
clothed in forests. Wc drove down into the valley
of the White Aragva, past the town of Ananur,
with the ruins ofthe old stronghold on the mountain
slope above it. This latter was surrounded by a
wall, which also encloses several churches, and it
must have commanded the whole valley in the
Middle Ages. It was hither that King Heraklius 11,
Georgia’s old broken Hon, fled during the final
fight against the Persians in 1795, when Tiflis was
tåken and ravaged by them, but here it was also
that this old hero, well over eighty years old,
gathered another small anny together, and once
more defeated the foe and won Tiflis back.
The mountains rose higher round us, the valley
grew narrower, with unbroken forest up the sides,
and below us was the foaming stream at the bottom
of the valley. Suddenly wc turned down to the
right away from the road, and stopped before an
hotel in a well-grown garden with flowers and trees.
This was the stopping-place Passanaur, where wc
were to breakfast. Wc were now 1,016 metres
above the sea.
Here wc met Ter Kasarian’s wife and two

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