- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
233

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THE VOLGA
233
wc had been aboard, had without our knowing it
brought us to the steamer two large cases of fine
caviare from the ossetrina which wc had seen
opened, and had got the captain to put them in the
ship’s cold chamber. Our Soviet hosts had also sent
aboard a large supply of pressed caviare ; I brought
some of it home with me to Norway, which kept
very well in spite of the summer heat.
At eight o’clock in the evening (i3th of July)
wc left for the north up the Volga in our roomy
and comfortable boat, which had a fine large
promenade-deck. Comrade Shvedov and our other
hosts followed a little of the way in a tug.
Thus wc started on a remarkable journey up
this river, the largest in Europe, and the mighty
artery of the Russian plain, which with its tribu
taries waters most of the Russian Soviet Republic
west of the Urals—a plain of 1,459,000 square
kilometres, or more than Germany, France, and
Great Britain tåken together. This area, with
over 50 million inhabitants, was before the World
War Europe’s granary, and it was from here and
the Ukraine that, among others, our own land
Norway took most ofits imported corn. The amount
of corn grown there has not yet been brought back
again to a level allowing of much to be exported.
The Volga is the source of well-being for the
people in the whole of south-east Russia; along
it and its tributaries you can go by boat right up
to the Ural mountains in the east, through canals
to the Polar Sea in the north and to the Baltic in
the north-west, and, when the Don canal is finished,

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