Armenia: Travels and Studies and the Russian Provinces (Complete) by Henry Finnis Blosse Lynch

Armenia: Travels and Studies and the Russian Provinces (Complete)

byHenry Finnis Blosse Lynch

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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On four different occasions, both in summer and in winter, I have sailed along the southern shore of the Black Sea almost from one extremity to the other; yet I do not remember having seen the sky free from heavy clouds during two consecutive days. As the ship speeds eastwards along the mountains of Bithynia, a thin veil of haze will blend the land outlines together; while, as the range grows in height with every mile of progress, the vapour will collect about its upper slopes in long, horizontal, black banks. Even when the sun of this southern climate has swept the sky of every lingering film, when the zenith and the water recall the hues of the Mediterranean—the whole scale of brilliant blues—somewhere upon the wide circle of the horizon will be lurking the scattered forces of the mist. But the stronghold of the cloud is in the mountains of Akhaltsykh, at the foot of Caucasus, in the extreme eastern angle of the sea. Can there exist a more gloomy coast? There the sky is always lowering above the inky water, and the forests of fir which clothe the range from foot to summit wave darkly, like feathers over a pall. Such, I think, are the impressions which the mind most closely associates with the aspect of this sea and shore. What a contrast to the smiling landscape of the Bosphorus, the strait through which we enter this sad sea or leave it on our return home! The cold draught follows the home-coming ship up the narrow channel between the wooded cliffs, and frets the running tide into crisp little waves which sparkle in the brilliant light. The dolphins leap from the blue water and dart shining through the air. To the traveller who is returning from a long journey in Asia and a tedious tossing on this grey sea, the Bosphorus, always bright and gay and beautiful, may appear as the promised gate of paradise beyond the world of shades. The character of the coast cannot fail to be affected by this climate, by this atmosphere. Just as the vapours gather thickest where the mountains are most lofty, at the south-eastern angle of the sea, so the vegetation increases in luxuriance and variety the further eastwards we proceed on our course. The cliffs or rolling hills about the entrance of the Bosphorus—the closing cliffs of the Greek legend, which caught the tail-feathers of the dove—soon give place to the belt of wooded mountains which rise from the immediate margin of the water, and stretch from west to east along the entire seaboard to the Phasis and Batum. Tier upon tier they rise from the narrow strip of sand and pebbles, and grow both in height and in boldness of outline as they stretch towards the east. The winds of the open sea, the cold winds of Scythia, fly over the barrier of the range; and the ship may often anchor in smooth water at a point where least protection would appear to be offered by the configuration of the shore. But the moisture of the air is arrested at the coast-line, and hangs about the upper tiers of the mountains or clings to the fir-clad slopes. These natural conditions are extremely favourable to vegetation, and the larger grows the scale upon which they are operating, the more abundant becomes the growth of trees and shrubs. When at last we have reached the neighbourhood of the Phasis, where the wall of this range towers highest above us on the one side, and the line of Caucasus closes the horizon on the other, the shore becomes clothed with dense forests, plants and creepers flourish with tropical exuberance; the traveller, threading the maze of evergreen woodland, might be walking along the banks of the Amazon or through the glades of Mazanderan.
Title:Armenia: Travels and Studies and the Russian Provinces (Complete)Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465611339

ISBN - 13:9781465611338

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