Request a high resolution copy

Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

36.465278, 34.154167

Sun 30. [30 April 1905] Rather a profitless day. Rode at 6.30 up the gorge with Ali and an old Yuruk and the aged party who owns Fattuh's kadish. The gorge was a most wonderful place with high cliffs on either side, rising steep up to about 500 ft. The oleanders just out, bay and wild olive and the red trunked white flowering shrub. In the winter the water races down and makes it impassible. Now there is a stony track up it. After about an hour we came to the bas reliefs high up in the cliff and scrambled up a breakneck climb over rocks and through brushwood. They were funeral stelae, very rude but not without charm, some 11 or 13 of them. So we climbed down to our horses and having praised God who had delivered us from such perils, went to the Yuruk's tent and drank coffee. They are off in a few days to their Yaila. They come from Ermenek, the name of my old friend was Hajj Hassan and he knew how to write. In a fortnight or so this whole coast will be deserted. I suppose some must stop behind till after the harvest. Returned to lunch and sleep after which there came a kaik to take me to the Armenian castle. Much bargaining - we finally settled for half a mejdieh[?]. The boat usually carried manure. Two ragged soldiers joined the party, one wishing to gather grass for his horse in the castle court, Fattuh with my gun in the hope of finding pigeons (they were there - till we came) Mahmud and a promiscuous one or two more. Fortunately the traverse was short. The castle occupies nearly all the island. There was an Armenian inscription over the door of the main tower. The court was overgrown with grass and bushes and olives and in it great blue flags were flowering. There were also the largest grey blue thistle balls I have ever seen. Fortunately this castle they cannot carry away piecemeal. The land castle is being demolished inside for the bazaars at Mersina [Mersin (IÁel)]. One of the sailors told me there were lots of jinn in the island. He showed me a plant with a trefoil leaf that was a good charm against them. They don't do anything but whisper to people of weak intellect and drive them mad. Bathed in the pool by the watergate. It was full of fish. Drew out one of my churches to scale. An appalling amount of fleas here.

IIIF Manifest