- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
278

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
In the evening the Mayor and the Geographical
Society gave a big dinner in our honour ; there were
many warm-hearted speeches and much enthusiasm,
and telegrams of welcome even arrived from Irkutsk
and other parts of Siberia.
Monday, September 29. At five next morning I was
accompanied to the railway station by my kind hosts.
There, to my surprise, I also found our host of the pre
vious evening, the pleasant and warm-hearted Mayor,
to whom I had said good-bye a few hours before ; be
sides the President of the Geological Society and many
others who had come to say a last good-bye. Loris-
Melikov and Vostrotin could not yet part company,
and wanted to go with me to Irkutsk ; but there were
no tickets to be had for the train, all the seats had
been already booked in Russia. Then, at 5.35 a.m.,
the express arrived. It was covered with snow as it
came into the station, and this gave one a feeling that
after all one was in Siberia. Then we met Mr. Wourtzel,
who received me cordially in his saloon-carriage, and in
his pleasant company the long voyage to the east was
now to begin, through what was to me an entirely new
world. There was room enough in his big carriage, and
he immediately invited Vostrotin and Loris-Melikov to
travel in it as far as they liked.
Then it was good-bye to the excellent people of
Krasnoyarsk, the train began to move, and we were off
along the endless track eastward. After the long bridge
over the Yenisei a great part of the line lay through
flat country, most of which, as far as I could see, was
capable of cultivation ; it looked as if it only wanted
ploughing, and here and there we did see cultivated
fields. The fact that one sees so much uncultivated
land in Siberia, even in the most accessible districts
along the railway, is no doubt to some extent explained
278

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