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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper
Hay, Robert Drummond-

Tues 25. [25 March 1902] Reached Tripoli [Trablous] about 6. The
beloved Lebanon deep deep in snow. Breakfasted before 8 and
went on shore with Mr Paton and Mr Killalea. Most lovely hot day. Out
boatman was the same fat cheerful little man who took me about 2
years ago. Mr Paton and I took the tram and went up to the upper
town. Talked to 2 nice little children going to school and learning their
French lesson on the way. One was the son of the Turkish Kaimakam.
An obliging gentleman hooked himself on to us and took up up to the
castle built by Raymond of Toulouse, a magnificent place. The fine
gateway is Saracen. We got permission to go up to the very top - it is
enormously big and is now used as a convict prison. There I took a
photograph. The Kadesha comes down in a deep valley which splits
the town in two. A little higher up is the beautifully situated Malawiyah,
the dervish monastery, lying on the side of the valley. We visited the
mosque which was the Ch. of St John and has a pool in it which was
part of the Phoenician Venus - Atergate's[?] worship. There is a
cap[?] over the doorway from the bazaar carved in stone. The
present work is the finest Saracen - stone in stripes of black and white,
beautiful pendentives over the doorways and very fine Arabic
inscriptions in panels. We could not however go inside the mosque
itself as it was closed till midday. One attached himself to us who
turned out to know me - his name is Elyas and he is a cook and to be
found at the big hotel at Beyrout [Beyrouth (Beirut)]. He knows Hanna
and says he is well and has a child. We drove down to the port and
walked about there. There is a hotel there called Hotel de Belle Chos
(sic!) Mr Killalea joined us and we returned to the boat getting back at
11.30. Off at 12.30 - most exquisite running down the coast with the
great snows above the Cedars in front of us. Reached Beyrout at 4
and went to the Consulate for my letters. The Drummond Hays not in.
Met Mr Paton in the town and he walked with me back to the boat. I
found her coming into the harbour and waited till she was moored.
Read old Timeses all the evening. We did not get off till 1.30. From
12 to 1 looked out of my cabin window and watched the tall splendid
Beyroutis unloading bags of grain under the moon, crying to each
other across the smooth waters of the harbour, springing up the ship's
side and cutting surreptitious holes in the sacks through whence to
extract the grain wh. they pocketed or eat.

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