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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Monday May 1. [1 May 1905] Up at 4.30. Fattuh put the work through
in no time and I left them loading at 5.30. A most exquisite dawn
striking the island castle. Mahmud and I and the old man rode off
down the coast and Fattuh presently joined. Exquisite bays of clear
water. The Yuruks all on the road going up to their yailas. They have
tribes and sheikhs and are Muslims. I stopped on my way and tipped
Hajj Hassan. After an hour's ride we reached a bay with a ruin on it
and a spring quite close to the sea. (One spring at Korgoz [Corycus]
was also at the water's edge.) Here we dismounted and tied our
horses to some pomegranate trees which were in their first flower and
walked up half an hour to the Corycean cave. Most of the way the
paved road was visible. There are a good many ruins about the big
hole in the ground and on the very edge of it a church in a temple. It
was a joy to see a well built wall again. All round it there appeared to
be a polygonal fort. On the S side the temple wall seemed to be up
against the fort wall, on the W it formed a court, on the N it was 16
paces from the temple wall and on the E I think the church apse must
have been built up against it at least the outer wall beyond the apse
for that which was at present standing had brackets for outer arches
and holes for beams. So we descended into the great gulf which the
Yuruks call Jinneh and at the S end of it we came to the great cave. It
has a charming temple church in front of it with traces of fresco in the
apse. The Christ in the middle and two rows of saints standing round.
The rows of tiny windows on the N and S walls very pretty. A long
inscription over the W door. So we came back to our horses after
21/4 hours and rode on down the rock Poecile and out onto the edge
of the long spit of marsh that runs out here to the sea. Here I lunched
by a spring - it was very hot - and Fattuh rode on to catch up Faris. It
was about an hour and a half on to Selefke [Silifke (Seleucia)], we got
in at 1.30 or 2 and found the camp just pitched by the edge of the
Calycadnus [Gˆksu Nehir], opposite the bridge. The castle opposite
very fine. Faris had fallen off his horse and was dreadfully sorry for
himself. I was rather concerned but Fattuh said nothing but that there
were plenty of graves here, which was true as we were on the outskirts
of the cemetary [sic]. I washed and changed and the Bimbashi came
down to call, a pleasant old man with a little Italian. Then at the 'asr I
went to see the Muteserrif who seems to be rather a swell. He is a
general. He was most polite and showed me a collection of coins,
Seleucid. He said he had a very complete collection of {Arab}
Muslim coins which he made at Mardin. There was an obliging little
man who spoke French and interpreted between us. The Konak is a
great big place and in the court of it are some fragments of statues
which I photographed. For the rest Selefke is a miserable hole. I
walked up to the top of the castle. The ground round it was covered
with the remains of public buildings. There was a huge tank of
masonry and the theatre was hereabouts. Fine view over the mts and
the sea with Cyprus in the distance. So down to my tents and the
Muteserrif came to call. Dined on a dish of beans, a dish of rice, 3
eggs and 3 small fishes. The hen refused to be cooked, being as
Fattuh said, very makineh.

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