Monday, August 4, 2008

A cry of "there is Åbo, there is Åbo"

Beyond the boat-houses is the custom-house, from whence an officer came on board, and proceeded up the river with us to the town, which, with the cathedral, now presented the appearance of a large and populous city. We soon reached the quay, and very gladly landed in the capital of Swedish Finland.

In our inn yard I beheld the first indication of our being in the neighbourhood of Russia, in a clumsy kibitka, the ordinary carriage of that country, and which was here exposed for sale. It is a small cart, very much resembling a cradle, round at the bottom, about five feet long, and in which two persons can sit or lie, the latter is the usual posture, and who are protected from the weather by a semicircular tilt, open in front, made of broad laths interwoven, and covered with birch or beech bark ; it has no iron in it, but is fastened to the body of the carriage without springs, by wooden pins and ropes : the driver sits upon the front of it, close to the horses' tails. At dinner we had some delicious wild strawberries, the first fruit that we had tasted for the year.

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