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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XVIII. From the Buréya to Transbaikalia

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In the evening we arrived at Taldan station, where
we were to spend the night. We had now come up on
to the high ground and had reached an altitude of 1463
feet above the sea, whereas Gondatti station, which wc
had left that morning, stands at 925 feet. It was cold
and disagreeable, with a dreary, hopeless landscape, in
spite of the moonlight. I took a walk with the doctor
in the bitter wind, while the moon showed us the way.
There is a regular town here of about 1000 people,
all labourers and officials of the railway ; the whole
place, with streets and rows of new timber houses, has
grown up in the space of a year or two, only to vanish
again to a great extent. We visited the club which is
always a feature of these railway towns. It had many
large rooms, billiards and even a theatre, where plays,
concerts, cinematograph shows, lectures and dances
were given. We also paid a call on one of the engineers.
Nobody could talk anything but Russian, and our
conversation was carried on in an extraordinary kind
of gibberish. The doctor was untiring in his attempts
to make himself intelligible to me. When he wanted
to ask if I would have a drink, he said : " Wollen Sie
Schwanz trinken ? " which gave rise to a lot of merri-
ment. Wishing to explain to me about the Russian
lady who rode through here all the way from Vladi
vostok to Petersburg, he did it by saying : " Vladi
vostok, Petersburg, hop-hop-hop," which was perfectly
intelligible. She rode, by the way, first from Chitå
through Manchuria to Vladivostok, then from there
through the Ussuri District and the Amiir District and
all the way through Siberia and Russia to Petersburg
on the same horse. She is thirty-six, lost her husband
and four children in the same year, and is moreover of
half-Tatar origin.
Wednesday, October 15. Wourtzel has not finished

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