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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Sat 8. [8 March 1902] Grey. Breakfasted at 8.30, Mr Hatton also
appearing, after wh he and I and Mr S. [Sarandides] and various
servants went out to see the town. At the top of the hill are the site of
the Stadium and Theatre but all the stones have been carried away.
Above them the Acropolis with a few bits of Byzantine masonry. From
here we saw the whole town shrivelled somewhat within the limits of
the Byzantine walls which cd be clearly seen all round. Behind us
beautiful mts with snow on them - part of the Bos Dagh [Boz Daglari] I
think. We walked up towards them through a lovely bit of country full
of olives, apricots plums and Judas trees to a great wall built by Timur
of Christians - you can see there bones. Then on to the hot springs at
the foot of the hills. Here we met M.S's carriage and drove down to a
spring of mineral water and so to the remains of the ch; two great piers
of masonry, rubble faced with great stones, with a cornice above and
a brick vault springing from {them} it. Traces of fresco especially on
the E pier - circles with saints' heads in them. It all stands in the back
premises of a Turkish house of which the owner came out and gave
us a Khush Gueldinez. So through the bazaar - it was market day -
home to lunch, after wh M. and Mme S came with us to the station. We
left at 1.30. I photographed the daughter in the old Smyrna [Izmir]
costume in wh. she looked very pretty. The railway doctor was
travelling up, a pleasant young Greek. At Gunai Keui the station
master joined us, Maksouri a cheerful little party. the line runs up very
steep 1/40, and passes through bare mts covered with oak scrub
from which they get the stuff they use for dyeing. Almost unpeopled
and uncultivated. All the population Turkish. We got out at Inai where
we found a sleeping carriage for us to pass the night in. The station
master is a Maltese and an English subject, Lacorti by name. He lost
a good post by getting across the Kaimakan and has been in this
desolate place 3 years. His wife died a year ago today and his 2
boys are at school in Smyrna. His sister in law lives with him, a
delicate unhappy little thing from Smyrna. Her mother died 3 months
ago. They gave us tea and Mr Hatton prepared an excellent dinner in
the station master's office. After which we had coffee upstairs and
listened to the phonograph which is all the amusement they have. I
am housed in a sleeping carriage of 2 compartments of wh Mr Hatton
has the other. Most comfy. Wrote my diary and read Adam Bede.
["Sardis. March 7." with dried flower attached to page.]

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