- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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Fair kingdoms, indeed, there have been in the
world ! How much that was lovely and full of life
have wc men not laid waste and destroyed in
fighting and warfare—and to what end?
As wc went on wc came to a still wilder and more
forbidding landscape, with gray mountain-sides,
scraped utterly bare. The road sloped slightly
downwards, and the streams ran north. Wc came
down into a narrow cleft along a stream that runs
foaming down to the great Terek. This is a dangerous
stretch owing to avalanches in the winter and spring,
as the long galleries bear witness. Wc stopped at a
spring rich in carbonic acid that gushed out from
the rock, and had to drink health and strength
from its refreshing waters. Several boys and men
gathered round the car and offered rock-crystals
and other minerals for sale.
Wc had, as I said, now left the crest of the
mountain chain and the watershed behind us, and
were steadily coming lower; but before us wc had
the mighty volcanic masses that have broken up
through the basic rock on the northern slope of the
mountain fold, and tower up as great volcanoes, of
which Kasbek is the highest. Now and then wc
caught a glimpse of the giant Mkin-vari’s proud
snowy peak through the sea of clouds.
The land northwards from here is mostly inhabited
by Ossetes. Near the station of Kobi wc came upon
the Terek in the valley on the south of the Kasbek
group ; it flows headlong from west-north-west out
of the gloomy Trusso gorge between sheer cliffs.

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