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Sat 29. [29 April 1899] I was wakened at 3 by a great ringing of bells
and firing of guns. The villagers were all walking in procession with
lighted candles a priest chanting and a bell ringing. Great firing off of
guns. Left at 6. Stormy threatening morning but it gradually cleared.
Passed over the battlefield of Plataea crossing the Asopus [Asopos].
Then up Kithaeron [Kithairon Oros] the top of which was covered with
cloud. Uncle Tom walked up a hill to admire the view and was
brought back in disgrace by Papa and the Cook. Over the top of the
pass the landscape at once took on an air of Attica [Attiki], bare
hillsides with the small soft pines, every shade from bright green to
olive, in 1/2 hour got to Eleutherae a magnificent fort with great towers
and walls on a hill blocking the road. Lovely views of pine clad hills.
Lunched at a pleasant khan. In the next village there was a great
killing of pascal lambs going forward. Road from Eleusis [Elevsis]
very bad. Reached Athens [Athinai] at 4.30, the town looked
splendid as we came down upon it. Washed, left cards and called on
Mrs Hogarth. Mr Bell and Mr Barron[?] dined, and M. Perdrizet came
in afterwards. At 11 tremendous passing of soldiers[?], I slipped on
some clothes and went to the midnight mass in the square. All the
town alight and everyone with a candle. An estrade with an altar in the
square in front of which lots of generals with whom I stood. At 12
arrived the Crown Prince and Princess, a brother and sister of his.
Then the Patriarch and a company of shining ones in cloth of gold
came out of the hotel and said the end of the mass on the estrade.
Just before the end I came away.