Such scanty vegetation as there is is confined to these dolinas, which form the only oases in this barren and thirsty land. The whole region is swept by the Bora, a wind which is the enemy alike of plant and man. Save for the lizards that bask upon its furnace-like floors, the Carso is as lifeless as it is treeless and waterless.

Its surface of naked, sun-flayed rock is broken here and there with gigantic heaps of piled stone, with caves and caverns, with sombre marshes which sometimes become gloomy and forbidding lakes, and with peculiar crater-like depressions called dolinas, formed by centuries of erosion.

The posts for the snipers were armored with inch-thick plates of steel cemented into the rock. The dolinas were converted into machine-gun pits and bomb-proof shelters. In one of these curious craters I saw a dugout it was really a subterranean barracks electrically lighted and with neatly whitewashed walls which had sleeping accommodation for a thousand men.

The Karst, like the Carso, is dotted with curious depressions called dolinas, some of them as much as 100 feet in depth, the floors of which, varying in extent from a few square yards to several acres, are covered with soil which is as rich as the surface of the surrounding plateau is worthless.