It was nearly six o’clock when we reached the Pursek. There was no sign of the city, but we could barely discern an old fortress on the lofty cliff which commands the town. A long stone bridge crossed the river, which here separates into half a dozen channels. The waters are swift and clear, and wind away in devious mazes through the broad green meadows. We hurried on, thinking we saw minarets in the distance, but they proved to be poplars. The sun sank lower and lower, and finally went down before there was any token of our being in the vicinity of the city. Soon, however, a line of tiled roofs appeared along the slope of a hill on our left, and turning its base, we saw the city before us, filling the mouth of a deep valley or gorge, which opened from the mountains.
But the horses are saddled, and Francois tells me it is time to put up my pen. We are off, over the mountains, to the Greek city of OEzani, in the valley of the Rhyndacus.
Kiutahya and the Ruins of OEzani.
Entrance into Kiutahya—The New Khan—An Unpleasant Discovery—Kiutahya—The Citadel—Panorama from the Walls—The Gorge of the Mountains—Camp in a Meadow—The Valley of the Rhyndacus—Chavduer—The Ruins of OEzani—The Acropolis and Temple—The Theatre and Stadium—Ride down the Valley—Camp at Daghje Koei
“There is a temple in ruin stands,
Fashioned by long-forgotten hands;
Two or three columns and many a stone,
Marble and granite, with grass o’ergrown!
Out upon Time! it will leave no more
Of the things to come than the things before!”
Daghje Koei, on the Rhyndacus, July 6, 1852.
On entering Kiutahya, we passed the barracks, which were the residence of Kossuth and his companions in exile. Beyond them, we came to a broad street, down which flowed the vilest stream of filth of which even a Turkish city could ever boast. The houses on either side were two stories high, the upper part of wood, with hanging balconies, over which shot the eaves of the tiled roofs. The welcome cannon had just sounded, announcing the close of the day’s fast. The coffee-shops were already crowded with lean and hungry customers, the pipes were filled and lighted, and the coffee smoked in the finjans. In half a minute such whiffs arose on all sides as it would have cheered the heart of a genuine smoker to behold. Out of these cheerful places we passed into other streets which were entirely deserted, the inhabitants being at dinner. It had a weird, uncomfortable effect to ride through streets where the clatter of our horses’ hoofs was the only sound of life. At last we reached the entrance to a bazaar, and near it a khan—a new khan, very neatly built, and with a spare room so much better than we expected, that we congratulated ourselves heartily. We unpacked in a hurry, and Francois ran off to the bazaar, from which he speedily returned