Fridtjof Nansen continues his trip through the Caucasus Mountains begun in Armenia and the Near East.

Fridtjof Nansen continues his trip through the Caucasus Mountains begun in Armenia and the Near East. In addition to Georgia and Armenia, Nansen also visited Daghestan: he could fairly claim to have travelled through much of the fascinating and dramatic Caucasus region from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. Even at the time of Nansen’s visit, at the start of the Communist era, some mountain tribesmen still wore metal armour and carried shields and swords.THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGAWhile working to soften the dreadful consequences of the great famine of 1921 and 1922 in Russia, I met in Moscow Samursky, the president of the Daghestan Republic. There was also great distress there, and he besought me earnestly to go and see there conditions and to help. I was hindered from doing so, and could do no more than send some of the most necessary medicine; I had now had a telegram from him and his government sending me a hearty invitation to come to Daghestan on my way home. As there was nothing to hinder me, I wired back that Quisling and I would be in Vladikavkaz on Monday, July 6th.
Instead of taking the long railway journey round the east coast of the Caucasus, first to Baku and so along the coast of the Caspian Sea through Derbent to Daghestan, we wished to drive by motor car along the so-called Georgian military road right across the Caucasian range.
We were now told many tales of the many remarkable things that may happen on this road. The year before, the mail carrier had been shot right beside the passenger, who had been robbed of everything and left stripped to the skin on the road. In the spring a passenger in the post car had been so unlucky as to get a bullet through both knees, so that he had been left with them stiff ever since. These rugged mountain folk in the high impassable valleys of the Caucasus, where every man carries arms, find it hard to give up their old ways altogether. But we were told that the road would now be quite safe.

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