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by a strong castle, and seemingly communicating with a number of cells, in the front of a neighbouring rock. The place is called Zion. A little before reaching Kobi, as we descended into the flat in which it is situated, we descried, at the base of a perpendicular mountain to our left, a collection of mineral springs, which poured their waters with great force into an adjoining meadow. They are strongly impregnated with iron, but are inferior to those of Kislovodsk. Close between two of these acidulated springs is one perfectly sweet, from which issued a quantity of water, nearly as great as that propelled by any of the others. We were afterwards informed that there is a much stronger spring than any of these, in the bed of the Terek, a few versts below Kobi. From this place, down to Kasbek, the Terek flows more gently, not meeting with any precipitous falls; but beyond Kasbek, as far north as Lars, it forms almost a continued cascade.

Kobi, the last station on the north side of the high pass of the Caucasus, consists merely of barracks for soldiers, Kozaks, &c. and a paltry room for the accommodation of travellers, and lies nearly in the centre, where four valleys meetthat of old Kobi, with a village of the same name, to the east; the valley, through which the Terek descends, from the west; that, divided by the same river, as it pursues its course nearly due north and towards the south, the valley leading to Tiflis.

Having been detained, first, by the want of horses, and afterwards by a heavy rain, from prosecuting our journey across the mountain, we

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were obliged to spend the night on the long hard bench at Kobi; but, on the morning of the 11th, after bidding an affectionate farewell to our kind friend, Mr. Galloway, we proceeded up the side of the rising valley, behind the fort, and fording the Tetri Dzgali, kept close to its eastern bank till we attained a considerable elevation, when we again crossed it on a bridge of snow, forming part of an avalanche which has been precipitated from the adjoining mountain. Numerous mineral springs presented themselves on the banks of the river, but the water of such of them as we tasted, was not so strongly impregnated as those àt Kobi. We had not long left the station when the rain again came on, and continued almost the whole way to Kashaúr, and, as the atmosphere at this high elevation was keen, and the rain penetrated my boots, a cold, which the author had caught ́at Kasbek, brought on an ague, which rendered the remaining part of our Caucasian journey very uncomfortable.

About twelve o'clock we reached the Krestovaia Gora, or "Mountain of the Cross;" so called, because on its summit, a little to the right of the road, is erected a large stone cross, commemorative of the conquest of the Caucasus by the Russians; a conquest, however, which has never yet been more than partial, since so many tribes retain the whole of their ancient and natural independence. Here the waters pursue their different courses, according as their origin is situated, to the south or north of the cross. To make a proportionate calculation from the observations of

THE ARRAGON, OR ARAGVI.

505

Engelhardt and Parrot, we should judge this point to be upwards of 7,000 feet above the level of the Black Sea.

The Cross Mountain has rather a diminutive appearance from the north; but, after you proceed down a most precipitous descent, into a low region of good meadow land, it assumes a more elevated appearance, though completely overtopped by the Alps, which tower to the sky in its immediate vicinity. We now came to a bulky mountain on the left, called Good Gora, and had to ascend to a considerable height along its western acclivity. Below us, at a great depth, we could hear the dashing of the Aragvi-the Aragon* of the ancients-but a dense fog which enveloped us, prevented our enjoying the landscape. We had not proceeded far, however, when it began to clear away, and left some most interesting birds'-eye views of the grandeur of the surrounding scenery. We could descry the river pouring its waters down beautiful cascades through a valley on the opposite mountain, and presenting a fine white winding line towards the valley below us. We here turned round by one of the most horrific passes we ever beheld; the road being constructed along the brow of an almost perpendicular precipice, at the foot of which, several hundred feet below, stands an Ossetinian farm, diminished by the distance, into a mere speck. On the opposite side of the Aragvi, an Ossetinian village and castle

* Καὶ μετά ταύτην ποταμία στενὴ ἐπὶ τοῦ ̓ΑΡΑΤΟΥ ποταμοῦ, &c. Strabo, lib. xi. cap. 3.—Τὸν ̓́ΑΡΑΓΟΝ κάτα τοῦ Καυ κάσου ρέοντα. Ibid.

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