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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

38.963745, 35.243322

Sun 16. [16 April 1905] Still pouring but I wd stop no longer so we set
out at 9 in streaming rain. All the path water but no mud. We passed
through 2 charming villages deep set in vegetation almost tropical.
Wild vines, lemon in flower, blue lupin in the fields. The first was
Ozerlu, the second Tshaila (the river before it was very deep and
bridgeless.) At Tshaila we stopped to buy a hen at the house of one
Hajji Mustafa and it began to rain in torrents so I went in and lunched
and they gave me coffee. Tried to stammer Turkish. Off again after
over an hour, down to the coast passing quite near the big mound of
Issus. At the corner of the sea we entered a wide plain covered with
ruins, capitals, columns, some white and some black volcanic stone.
They lasted all the way to {Payas} Geuzenne which we reached
about 4. The ruins here are all black stone, very curious building, a
polygonal facing of small stones and a core of rough stone and
mortar and lots of brick layers especially about the spring of an arch
or the vaulting, mortar about as thick as the bricks. Several
inexplicable buildings, baths near the big acqueduct [sic], a theatre
on the hillside, all of the same sort of building. Near it I take to be the
ruins of a church, but the door and window openings were quite
indistinguishable as the small stones break away and have a ragged
edge, and the whole was overgrown with grass and weeds. It
seemed to have 2 aisles of which the vaulting of one remained. Near
it a big building which was perhaps the gymnasium. The acqueduct
ends at the theatre, or rather at a big mound to the E of it. All dripping
wet and deep in grass. Returned to find Mikhail drunk and mad,
broke the arak bottle in his khurj. Sent my soldier Ibrahim back to
look for the men. (He had borrowed an umbrella at Tshaila and rode
with it open, a most unmilitary appearance it gave him in spite of his
gun.) Clouds blew up and I took miserable refuge in a broken vault of
the gymnasium. At 7.30 the kadsh came in. Mikhail by this time past
words and I lost my temper and sent him away screaming and
roaring. As the men fumbled with the tents the rain came on again.
Finally went to bed worn out on a supper of biscuits and the
Kaimakam's bottle of beer.

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