- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
110

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
110
that the buying and seiling of the products will be
made considerably easier through the co-operative
movement; this organization now has 13,000
memberSj or other families.
In Makhach Kala
In the morning of the 7th of July I took a stroll
through the town. My first goal was the Gaspian
Sea; I sought it through the streets, and so down
to the shore. There it lay, stretching away towards
the horizon, a glorious blue under the fresh breeze
in the morning sunshine. But not a sail, not a ship,
not a boat was there to see on the broad blue
surface. Along the low sandy shore were strewn
yellow-brown clusters of bathing boys. There was
no essential difference to be seen between this, the
world’s greatest inland sea, and the sea in general—
anyhow, at first sight. True, the shore had no marks
of ebb and flow, as wc know them ; but then there
are none in the Mediterranean or the Black Sea.
It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that when
the old Greeks heard of this mighty lake with salt
water, they took it to be an inlet of the Okeanos
girdling the whole inhabited world, although
Herodotus held it to be an enclosed sea.
As is well known, the surface of the Caspian lies
slightly below the sea-level, and 26 metres lower
than the Black Sea. The average salt-content is
about 1 *4 per cent., less than half of the average
for sea-water, which is about 3*5 per cent. But in
shallow, land-locked inlets, where evaporation is

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