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

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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far away on the north-west, on the other side of Baikål.
Then, all at once, this immense blue surface lies before
us. It is dark now in the high wind, and the waves are
breaking far out on this shelving shore of the delta.
On the north all the land lies below the horizon, but on
the other side, straight across the lake, the purple
mountains rise in the distance. On the south-west
they disappear again below the horizon for a space.
And so we went once more round the south of Baikål.
Monday, October 20. During the night we arrived
at Irkutsk, but our train goes on night and day without
stopping, in sunshine by day and in moonlight by night.
We have chiefly forest now, but meadowland besides,
and some cornfields with villages scattered here and
there. At Tuliin station we have to stop for two hours,
to let the express from Russia pass us. It cannot be
called a fast train, this one we are travelling by. We
have to console ourselves with the reflection that the
mail trains, carrying the Russian mail, are even slower.
This, by the way, is an important station, as a railway
is projected from here northward to the Lena to
connect the steamer traffic on that river with the
Siberian line.
Farther on the country consists mostly of an undu
lating carpet of fir forest, and the jagged ridges to the
south-west of us stand sharply outlined against the
yellow evening sky. Down in the black shadows below
us runs a brook, reflecting the yellowish-green sky like
an eye in the midst of the great forest. Then the
twilight vanishes abruptly, the stars sparkle in the blue
vault and night reigns over the Siberian forests. In a
little while the moon rises over the edge of the wood,
and the bands of light steal silently far in among the
tree-stems—in perfect stillness. And this whole forest
world becomes a land of dreams.

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