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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

Sat 22. [22 March 1902] We left Mersina [Mersin (IÁel)] at 10 so I did
not go ashore. Printed photographs and talked to an American who
is learning Arabic at Strassburg [Strasbourg] under Nˆldecke and a
friend of his called Yahuda - a Syrian Jew, rather a beast. Toned in
the afternoon and sat on deck with Mr Paton reading Arabic. At 4 we
reached Alexandretta [Iskenderun (Alexandria ad Issum)], lying under
most lovely mountains. Already at Mersina they talked Arabic - to my
great relief. We went on shore. It is a horrid little place in the midst of
a marsh. We walked along a tiny toy railway to a place where we sat
and had coffee by some tanks and running streams. Then back. A
great storm was hanging over the hills the low red sunset light striking
the slopes below the clouds. The water the brightest blue in the low
clear W light and white seabirds flitting over the blue of the sea and
the red and violet of the hills. We hurried back and got to the ship at 6,
but the storm passed over without touching us. There is to the NE of
the town a wonder cleft in the hills, full of shadow. It looked like the
gate of the Inferno. Frenckel is the name of the Austrian.

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