- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
70

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
and the whole coast has become the inconceivably vast
flat land that we now see. The Krestovskiy Islands,
and the other islands outside them, are also perfectly
flat, without a mound.
We saw smoke on the shore, and there were huts
with flat roofs. They looked rather like half-finished
houses, with the roofs not yet put on. There were
more and more of them as we went south. They belong
to fishermen who come here in the summer, some of them
Russians, others Samoyedes and Yuraks. We also saw
many traps for foxes inland on the tundra. They were,
of course, set by people who stay here during the winter
to trap foxes ; this may be a paying occupation now,
as the price of white fox fur has risen so much.
We also saw boats along the shore and a few on the
water a long way south among the islands. It was
strange to come back to inhabited regions. The flag
had to be hoisted.
The land on the west side of the river we could only
just see, far away across the water. It might have been
about 20 miles off. What a huge, broad mass of water
flows out into the Arctic Ocean here ; it makes a power
ful impression. It gives one the feeling of being at
the entrance to one of the great water-arteries of the
world.
It is curious to think of the long journey that has
been made by much of the water that runs out here ;
all the way from the mountains of Mongolia. The
Yenisei, with the Angarå and Selengå, is reckoned
as the fifth longest river in the world, about 3000 miles
long.
With its great tributaries, the Angarå, the Middle
and Lower Tunguska and others, the Yenisei has a
drainage-basin of 970,000 square miles, the seventh in
size of the river basins of the world. Its tributary,
70

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