- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
390

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVII. The Amúr district and the Amúr railway

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THROUGH SIBERIA
came higher up among the hills, larches were mixed with
the oaks, until a lot of spruce began to appear, and even
a few firs. Then, through the forest beneath us, we
suddenly saw a great river winding along the floor of
a wooded valley, and behind it lay blue wooded ridges
and mountains. We might have been in Norway. The
river was the Birå, and after we had gone some distance
farther through the forest with the river still flowing
below us, the car stopped at a large settlement on the
wooded slope. This was the station of Birå, where we
were to stay for the night.
It is evening. The deep-red glow of sunset is fading
behind the western mountains, and a half-moon is
beginning to shine over the forest country. Darkness
falls fast. The slopes yonder are quite black ; but the
undulating line of hills stands out against the blue sky,
and the tree-tops in the foreground are sharply outlined.
A cow-bell sounds from the forest away to the left.
Does it not remind one of a Norwegian sæter ?
Thursday, October 9. I went for a walk in the grey
of dawn to look at this forest country. Fresh, clear,
with frost on the ground—how I longed to go after the
hares among these hills. If one could let the dogs
loose now ; soon it will be light enough for a shot, and
then one would hear them give tongue along these hill
sides. No mistake about it, there must be hares in these
woods.
What a country for a sportsman ! These immense
forests—and quantities of bears and eiks and wild boars,
and great herds of roedeer, which are mostly to be
found below on the prairies. There are lots of caper
cailzies and black game, besides ducks. What more
can one want ? And now and then a tiger comes along.
He is big, quite as big as the Bengal tiger, judging by
the skins I saw, but his coat is thicker and longer and
390

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