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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29

Page 8

of mountains to the north. Our course gradually 
turned southwards, and the drive up and down hill 
through this rich garden country, literally flowing 
with wine, to the next station was delightful. The 
station-house was an isolated building where two 
roads cross, and I understood the postmaster to say 
it was called Tsqali (on the map Tznuri). 
He induced me to stop there for the night, though 
it was not very late, by saying the bridge over the 
Alazan was in a dangerous state, and could only be 
crossed by daylight; further, that it was impossible 
to sleep at the next station from the swarms of 
mosquitoes. He was a Georgian by birth; did all he 
could to make things pleasant, besides giving me a 
short lesson in Georgian pronunciation, as I had a 
Georgian vocabulary with me.      He lamented his 
poverty and the smallness of his salary, but other- 
wise seemed pretty well contented with the world in 
July 3rd.-Before sunrise we were already trotting 
briskly along across the dead level plain that extends 
as far as the outliers of the main chain of the 
Caucasus. What surprised me most was the absence 
of cold and mist in those early morning hours. I 
thought we should have been bathed in a sea of 
mist, as we certainly should have been in Italy. It 
was not till we had crossed the Alazan and got upon 
a long stretch of wet ground, covered with a dense 
growth of wood, that the cold began to make itself 
felt, and thin films of mist to hover over the surface 
of the soil. In about half an hour after leaving our 

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