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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Ramsay, W.M.

37.718336, 30.282333

Sat Ap 27 [27 April 1907] Fortunately a most delicious day sunny,
cold at first and later quite hot for a few hours. We got off at 7, I on my
new gray [sic] pony which proves a most desirable animal. Sent the
muleteers direct to Buldur [Burdur] and rode with Fattuh and my suwari
Mustafa round by Kechiborlu [KeÁiborlu], a beautiful road over a low
pass. The tops of the great hills, Uluburlu D and Egerdir D
wonderfully white with snow. Got to Kechiborlu in 3 hours. There are a
few old stones built into the walls and fountains and bits of columns
said to be inscriptions in the cemetary [sic] but I did not bother with
them as Sterrett has been here. So down the level plain to G¸lbashi
where there are worked stones in the cemetary, and across the head
of the Lake of Buldur [Burdur Gˆl¸] and down between the hills on the
E side. We got to a spring near Cherchen about 1 and stopped to
lunch. Lovely gardens with peach cherry and plum in flower. A few
storks and many swallows. At the next village, Eski Yer, saw an
inscription on a fluted broken column in front of the mosque and
copied it. Nothing else here except a stone built into a fountain with a
shield and crossed spears behind it and a sort of armorial coat round
the corner thus [sketch]. All the scenery round the lake charming, to
the south high snows. At Kyshla broken fluted columns in the mezerlik.
Got to Buldur about 3. Charmingly situated; bare mud hills above, the
orchards stretching below to the lake. Found a place to camp and
then went to the khan where I drank coffee. Took the Khanji with me to
show me the town. Saw 3 large churches, all I think on ancient sites
but all rebuilt. In the largest where there was a school, I noticed little
bits of old work round about. Tombstones outside 100 or 200 years
old. It was a basilica with protruding apse and an open narthex. Saw
too a curious spring, now dry, with steps leading down to it - it was
under a house - and worked Xian stone built into the wall above it. So
back at 5 to find Fattuh pitching the tents. Lovely night with a full moon.
We are camped just outside the town between it and the immense
cemetaries on the site of an old mosque I am told. The military have
just been trying to persuade me not to go to Aghlasun and Isbarta
[Isparta] tomorrow because I should have to start early and it is so
cold. The soldiers here seem to fear everything cold, mountains,
rivers! Fattuh says the people of Aleppo [Halab] are more turbulent
than any other city. Every night there are two or 3 murders and the
prisons are always full. Occasionally they open the doors and let
them out and many escape by burrowing under the walls. The Xian
population though it is but half the Moslem does not fear the other at
all. A child of 12 killed a man the other day with a knife. The new Vali
tried to stop arak drinking but with so little success that he gave it up.

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