But I armed myself with maps in London. They are my protection from unwelcome conversation and from the loneliness of my compartment.
Every once in a while I prefer to study the river on paper, where it is more easily understood. The subtle shifts of the water would otherwise exhaust my eyes.
I like to pull back and look past the land and sky beyond my window to the broadest reach of the Volga. Down through the soil, through clay and trees and rock, out to the edges of the watershed itself. I imagine I can feel it all moving as I sit with my fingers on the map.
Distance from Tver: 818 versts