- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
342

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH SIBERIA
town appears very picturesque, rising in terraces up
the many heights. One can scarcely conceive a more
beautiful situation ; it reminds one a good deal of
Naples ; of course, there is here no Vesuvius in the
background, but to make up for it there is this beautiful
harbour and all the islands outside.
The train left for Khabarovsk at four in the after
noon, and I had to take leave of my amiable and enter
taining companion, Baron von Hoiningen Huene. Mr.
Wourtzel had employed his time in Vladivostok in
work, and had still many things to discuss with the
Governor-General, who travelled by the same train as
far as Nikolsk.
The southern Ussuri country, through which we
first passed, is very fertile, and, as already mentioned,
this is the most thickly populated part of the country ;
much agriculture is carried on, especially in the districts
near Nikolsk and towards Lake Khånka.
Sunday, October 5. Farther north, towards Khaba
rovsk, the line traverses a rich country, which certainly
has a great future, when it is sufficiently cultivated.
There are wide plains of arable land along the railway
between two mountain-chains. Far to the east of us
all the way we had Sikhotå-Alin, which with its outliers
slopes gradually towards the plains of the Ussuri and
its many tributaries. To the west of us, not far away,
on the other side of the Ussiiri and in China, we could
see a ridge, the Khekhtsir, stretching northward along
the river as far as the Amiir; and here in its southern
part it may reach a height of between 2000 and 3000
feet. The Ussuri wound through the plain to the west
of us, meeting its tributary, the Bikin. It is a fine
country, with wooded hills, sometimes conifers, as on
the southern, higher parts of the Khekhtsir range,
sometimes leaf-bearing trees, birch, oak, and aspen,
342

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