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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Syria ยป Hama

35.1408881, 36.7551993

Thurs 16. [16 March 1905] Took photographs of the capitals inside
the castle gates. My old friend, Emir Mustafa Milban tells me they are
all Ismailieh here (that is not the right plural) including himself and his
family. It is disappointing not to have found any other remains. Off at
7.15, chill early and hot later. We rode along over the hills which were
covered with flowers, anemones of all colours. Pretty tedious
however. We crossed the Sarut twice, once it was rather deep. At
{12} 11.45 we came to a bridge over it and here we lunched on a tell
on the right bank which is partly artificial for it is banked up with rough
walls of huge stones right up to the top. Mikhail found a Roman coin.
There are traces of a rasif on the way from Masyat [Masyaf] - I think
the final letter is a T. We waited till 1.30 for the mules, then on over a
very boring plain of corn, getting in about 4. We were joined on the
way by a charming old Turk, a telegraph official, by origin from near
Sofia [Sofiya]. His family emigrated here at the time of the Russian
war but some returned to Roumenia because they cd not get on in a
country without trees. I rather sympathise with them. One does not
see Hamah till one actually arrives for it lies deep down in the Orontes
['Asi] valley. It is surrounded by a perfect entanglement of
graveyards. Hunted for a camping ground and found a delightful one
to the north on the edge of the high ground looking over the river and
bridges and the town and gardens of trees. The almonds in flower.
Went to call on the Mu'amur[?] of the railway who is a Syrian speaking
French very well. His sister teaches in Miss Ramsay's school at Acre
['Akko] from which town he is. Had a struggle with the authorities who
insisted on giving me 8 watchmen. I was equally persistent and sent
all away but 2. I wonder what the result will be! Dined out of doors with
a great groaning of the Na'oura below me.

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