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INTO THE CARPATHIANS
Transcarpathian river crossing

© Kathrin Merkel

"A few local men had also gathered, some standing and some sitting on a big log, smoking, chatting, laughing, and apparently eager to watch how these foreigners outfitted with modernity would fare crossing their local span. If they have inherited the skills of their forebears, they would be worthy judges: a sixth-century Roman chronicler known as Maurice declared that the early Slavs were the best river-crossers in the world, and added that they were so at home in the water that they were wont to escape danger underneath it, breathing air through snorkels of reeds."

— page 209, Into the Carpathians
© Alan E. Sparks

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