- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
273

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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273
YENISEISK TO KRASNOYARSK AND BEYOND
straight streets. There are some brick houses in the
principal streets, but most of the houses are of timber.
Krasnoyarsk is beautifully situated on the left
bank of the Yenisei, in a plain surrounded by mountains
on both sides. On the west are the heights we had
driven over on the evening before. The hill rises
sharply from the western limits of the town, and is
composed of red sandstone with a layer of red Mari,
from which the town has its nåme. Krasno in Russian
means red, but it also means handsome. Opposite
the town, on the eastern side of the Yenisei, the moun
tains are somewhat higher and more rugged. They
are partly built up of eruptive rocks, and their sides
are covered with thin forest.
A little above Krasnoyarsk the Yenisei breaks
through a pass in the mountains and in places narrows
to a width of only three or four hundred yards, running
at the rate of five or six miles an hour. But then the
river expands to a width of a mile or more, and on
approaching the town it divides into two branches
round picturesque low islands covered with birch
woods.
Here, as everywhere, there is a great difference be
tween the usual height of the water and its height during
the floods of spring and early summer. The difference
may be more than 30 feet, and this gives the banks
their usual characteristic appearance, with the long
bare foreshore stretching down to the water.
In the afternoon my host had provided good saddle
horses, as he had heard that I wanted to see a little of
the neighbourhood of the town and its geology. In the
company of his young son I then had an enjoyable ride
over the heights on the western side of Krasnoyarsk.
There were treeless, undulating moors beyond. The
rock seems for the most part to be loose red sandstone ;

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