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386                  JOUENEYS IN KUEDISTAN     LETTEE xssv


TKEBIZOND, Dec. 13, 1890.

THE journey from Erzerum to Trebizond in the winter,
season occupies from ten to twelve days, and involves a
transition from an altitude of 6000 feet to the sea-level,
and from treelessness, aridity, and severities of cold to
forests and moisture, a temperate climate, and the ex-
quisite greenness of the slopes which descend upon the
Black Sea. There is a well-made waggon road, carefully
engineered, for the whole distance, with stone bridges in
excellent repair; many of the khans are tolerable, supplies
can be procured, and the country is passably safe.

I left Erzerum on the 2d of December, escorted by
my kindly hosts as far as Elijeh, having an Armenian
Jeatirgi, who in every respect gave me the greatest satis-
faction, and the same servants as before. The mercury
fell rapidly the following night, was 2 below zero when I
left Elijeh for Ashkala the next morning, and never rose
above 15 during the whole day. The road follows the
western branch of the Euphrates, the Frat, a reedy and
winding stream. The horsemen and foot passengers were
mostly muffled up in heavy cloaks with peaked hoods,
and the white comforters which wrapped up their faces
revealed only one eye, peering curiously out of a cavern
of icicles. Icicles hung from the noses and bodies of the
horses, it was not possible to ride more than half an hour
at a time without being benumbed, and the snow was