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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper

37.153841, 32.341311

Monday May 1. [1 May 1899] Papa all right, so we decided to go to
Troy. Got to Kum Kaleh [Kumkale] at the mouth of the strait about 7
and to Dardanelles [Canakkale] at 8. Mr Calvert sent a Jew, Jacob,
to meet us on board. He took us to the inn and thence to the
Consulate, a delightful big cool house. Mr C. very friendly, a beautiful
old man. We arranged to start at once and set off in a victoria at 9.30.
Delighted to see minarets and veiled women again. Drove along the
sea for 11/2 hours, then up a steep hill, very bad road. We had a
mounted soldier with us, a Zaptieh. At the top of the hill saw the
Dardanelles [Canakkale Bogazi] with Imbros [GˆkÁeada (Imroz)] and
Samothrace [Samothraki] beyond, the plain of Troy with the long low
ridge at the end of which is Ilium and Tenedos [Bozcaada] beyond
that. Beautifully fertile, corn and oak woods, yellow jasmine, irises, a
white flowered shrub like an orange; purple anemonies. At Eren Keui
[Intepe (Erenkoy)], a Greek village at the top of the hill, we lunched
and rested an hour. A train of camels passed through Then down
the hill and along the corn covered plain. Crossed the Simois
(Dumbrek) a muddy brook and along under the hill, covered with low
scrub. Got out into the great open plain, grass with shepherds' tents,
feeding herds. Corn, no trees. The mound itself is covered with the
debris of the excavations. We entered by deep walls, sloping, the
walls of Priam's Troy. The Acropolis is covered with a confused
mass of ruins, the 2nd town and the squared Roman blocks being
most distinguishable. Above the ruins rise the steep mounds of earth
left to show the depth of the excavations; they look as if they were the
topless towers of Ilium. Walls and gates on the S. S.E and S.W. very
clear. On the foundations of the 2 Megarons, clay walls a ft or two
high. A great paved ramp leads up from the SW gate. As for the
view, the plain is edged all round by the Aegean and the Dardanelles
with a low line of hills on which the great pyramidal funeral mounds
stand out against the sky. In one place the hill breaks and you see
the bay where the Greek ships lay. The Scamander [Menderes,
Kanal] winds through the plain far away and nearer a tiny sluggish
stream marks its old course. Behind are Ida and Olympus far away.
Tenedos puts up a peak in the Aegean, Imbros rises in the gap of the
hill, with a tall point of Samothrace behind it. Stayed till 5 and then
drove to Thymbrae, an hour away; white farm house lying on the
green hillside, storks' nests and storks on all the roofs. Mrs Calvert,
Mr Frank Calvert's sister in law, (her husband is dead) and her
daughter in law, a pretty Greek; received us most hospitably and
gave us tea. Charming little garden full of roses. Rested till supper at
8 after which we talked of Schliemann and saw Dˆrpfeld's
photographs of Troy. They have a cupboardful of Greek vases found
in tombs on the estate. Early to bed.

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