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III.—Across Europe and Asia.—Travelling Notes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2009

John Milne
Affiliation:
Imperial College of Engineering, Tokei, Japan

Extract

About 5–30 p.m. on Thursday, 13th November, I said good-bye to Lake Baikal, and branched off upon a road to the right leading to Cabansk. Along this road, which was a very bad one, there was an apparently untouched forest of birch and pine, with here and there a clump of aspen. For some distance upon my left extended a wide lake, which joined the Baikal. After much reckless driving across wide trackless plains, through gaps in ridges, snow drifts and clumps of trees, with a wild and drunken coachman, at half-past eight I found myself at the post station of Cabansk. After a windy and bitterly cold night, I was next morning at the station of Palavinsaya, the country round which is hilly and pretty. The next station was situated in a plain between sloping hills and isolated peaks. These hills being without wood, the country had an open appearance. As I went on, the snow, which I had been told in Irkutsk would be continuous as far as Kiachta, grew less and less, and at the station where I next changed horses, I had to abandon the sledge I had purchased and hire a carriage. Although the roads were now tolerably free from snow, the surrounding hills were still white with it. The next morning I passed the station of Povorotnaya. The soil now became sandy, and the only trees were pines. The way in which these were dotted about in clumps gave a park-like aspect to the district.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1878

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