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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

38.963745, 35.243322

Wed 26. [26 April 1905] Up at 5 and off at 6. A beautiful clear morning
not very hot. My soldiers are Ali Onbashi and his brother Mahmud.
We rode through the steamy gardens of Mersina [Mersin (IÁel)] and
out onto the road along the coast - a very decent road it was.
Carriages go along it. After 2 hours I reached Soli Pompeiopolis and
went up to the ruins. Nearly all the stones have been taken away to
build Mersina. Only the great columns of the colonnaded street
remain - some of them bracketed like those of Palmyra [Tadmur].
Very beautiful deeply cut Corinthian caps. The whole place was
deeply overgrown with corn and yellow daisies. The castle mound
had a guard house and a few soldiers on it to protect what remains of
the ruins. That was all I cd see in the corn, except a few bits of rubble
masonry. Of the theatre I cd make out only the shape under the corn.
We crossed the Mezetli Chai just before the ruins and rode down by
the remains of an acqueduct [sic] which goes right up to the hills.
Then another Mezetli Chai apparently and then the Teje Chai which
comes down from a little castle the Teje Kalassi. Then the Ghudere
Chai over a very high bridge and at 12 (we had spent 1/2 an hour at
Pompeiopolis) we got to the Arbaj Chai (Kiepert puts the river on the
wrong side of the ruined kala - the tell is to the west of the river) Here I
lunched and waited for the beasts which arrived about 12.45, well
driven by Fattuh. I went off with Mahmud to see the castle (very little
remains, Murray calls it a Khan) and then to the N of the road to see
some rock cut tombs, not very interesting. They were apparently of
the shape of deep wells in the slabs of rock. There was another
soldier post on the Arpaj tell. It was about an hour on to the Alata Chai
- we got in soon after 2 and pitched camp between the river and the
zaptiehs' house on the road. The river comes down from a great
gorge in the hills. Clouds had been blowing up over the hills for the
last hour or 2 and it had thundered. When we had got into camp it
began to rain a little. It felt so cold after the great heat that I returned to
my fur coat. Peaceful hours planning my route.

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