From the west of the world to Jerusalem there is a
p.63way round without going by sea, that is to Germany and to Prussia, and thence through Tartary, that is one of the kingdoms of Magnus Khan. Noxious and sandy is that country, and little produce comes there, and little corn grows therein, and no wine grows there, nor peas nor beans; but bestial it hath in plenty. And the folk eat the flesh of every animal, both rats and mice and cats and dogs, without bread; and they have milk and buttermilk as drink, and with the dung of their cows, dried in the sun, for want of fire they warm all the food they have. And in that land are often thunder and lightning which kill many human beings and cattle, and in it are cold and heat shortly after each other; and from the description of this country that I have got from wise men it is not fit to be inhabited, and I have not been therein.
One would be a journey of three days from Prussia into that land of the Saracens, and unless Christians themselves bring food with them, they do not get it in that country; and from the abundance of its waters it is never easy to traverse it, save in winter, and then it is not easy except there is abundance of snow on the back of the ice. There is no one in that country without a club leg. a stove), and to the men of the world outrageous is its winter-cold because of its being so far north.