LETTERS and DIARIES of Dorothy Dix

 

Dorothy Dix (Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer)

 

Travel Journal – Europe and North Africa, 1924

 

Transcribed and Edited by Elinor Howell Thurman, 2002.

 

 

 

[Inscribed inside front cover:]

 

            Dolly, there was another trip

                You never made a note on,

            And wrote from memory, every bit,

                The ‘Joy Ride’ that we dote on;

            So this small book’s for helping when

                Upon your safe return we

            Shall look to your inspired pen

                To take us on this journey!

 

May 1924.                 Ella Bentley Arthur.

 

 

[Autographs inscribed on flyleaf:]

 

           Ada B Bentley

                   How I envy the hearty laughs you & Helen are going to have!

          Jean M. Gordon   F. M.

          Florence Dymond

          Judith Hyams Douglas

          Ednah W. Remick

          Jean Cushman Pond

          Eva C. Walls

          Mel Russell Caffery

          Helen Pitkin Schertz.  Special Rep.

          Mattie W. Dinwiddie

          Mrs Howard McCaleb

          Mrs Henry Chambers.

 

 

 

Date        May 29, 1924

 

To          New York

 

Route     via Guthrie and Philadelphia.  Arrived Phila June 1st[.] 

 

 

June 2 – [1924] 

 

     New York – hectic four days getting ready to flit[.]

 

 

June 7 [1924]

 

     Sailed on the Rotterdam.  Pleasant but uneventful trip over.  Reached Plymouth Sunday June 15.

 

     London – Thackeray hotel, Great Russell street – opposite British Museum -  Nice old fashioned very English place –

 

 

June 17 – [1924]

 

     Wonderful trip by motor bus first to Stoke Poges in whose quiet churchyard Gray wrote his immortal elegy using a tombstone for a table, & finding his quiet drama of human life going on all about him -  Quaint old 13 century church -  Then a drive to Maidenhead where we took a boat for an hour & a half ride on the Thames.  Lovely villas with green sward & flowers running down to the water, gay punts & house boats on the river, just as in a Duchess novel[.]  Lunch at a little hotel over hanging the water – then Windsor castle, very stately on the outside & invisible on the inside, royalty being in residence[.]

 

     Opposite Eton college where they say England wins her battles on the cricket field - & where the boast is made good by its roll of honor – 1667 names stretching in gold letters all the way across the entrance to the court, of boys who had been educated at Eton & died for the faith bred in them.  The little boys - & they are so little they must bring them here straight from the maternity hospital – look too cute in their little short jackets & high hats.  Then on to Hampton Court[,] Cardinal Wolseys old home which Henry 8 took from him -  Here Anne Boleyn vamped Henry – wonderful gardens.  Memo[:] get some seed S

Salmon queen Clarksia & Iaxia.

 

 

June 19 [1924]

 

     Spent the day at Wimberly doing the colonial fair.  Exhibits of all the manufactures and products of English [sic] & her colonies -  Second class stuff from India & Hong Kong with fair, buxom English lassies dressed up in saris & mandarin coats.  Fine art exhibit -  Most interesting thing Queen Marys doll house – Buckingham Palace in minature [sic].  Returned with a blister on my heel & the firm determination never to go to another exhibition.  But all rural England is out to see this one & it was priceless to see so many women dressed like our late dear Queen.

 

 

June 19 [1924]

 

     Went by train to Oxford.  Had lunch at the Clarendon & a four hour tramp with a literary guide thro’ all the colleges.  What a wonderful sight they are with their hoary walls, many dating back to Henry 8 & Cardinal Wolsey, lapped by velvet turf that has been rolled for more than a thousand years until it is like a thick green carpet, shaded by immemorial elms & with gardens of gay spring flowers blooming about their feet.  In these dim old halls the men who have made English literature & statesmanship the greatest in the world were trained, & you thrill as the guide says here were Chaucers rooms, here Pitts, Channing, here Lewis Carroll wrote his immortal Alice in Wonderland when he wasn’t writing abstruse mathematical treaties [sic], here Dr Johnson lived, here most of the great & near great studied & strove -  Here even the Prince of Wales rooms, no better than any other students.  No secret fraternities are permitted, they being considered too undemocratic for England -  We were shown the Kitchen of Christ Church College where at Xmas a whole ox is roasted on a spit.  Also the dining hall where the fellows of that college dine at night.  Lunch & breakfast being served in their rooms -  The rooms were plainly furnished[.]  In my opinion Winchester is the most picturesque of all the colleges, tho it is not nearly as fine as the others -  This being commencement season we went to Divinity Hall & saw the simple graduation exercises – no speeches, no oratory -  Those who had won degrees simply appeared before the President, knelt & made obeisance – then they went out, donned their new cap & gowns, appeared before him again, knelt, had 3 words of Latin murmured over them & marched out – M.A’s or B.A’s –

 

     Went to Lamington [Leamington] where we spent the night at a heavenly hotel called the Regent, set in the midst of a lovely flower garden.

 

 

June 20 [1924]

 

     Glorious day motoring thro lovely Warwickshire – first to Stratford on Avon to Shakespeares birth place, then to Ann Hathaways cottage, then to the Church & theatre -  Back to Leamington thro’ green fields for lunch, then to Kenilworth where a guide, who confided he was a poet, made the old ruins rise in their pristine splendor before us.  He said that in the space which was once the great hall of the castle democracy was born for there Sir Charles de Montford forced the king to give the vote to trades people.  Thus was given the first turn of the wheel that more than 1000 years later resulted in a labor leader ruling England.  He painted for us the splendor of a vanished day when there was a pleasuance [pleasance] around the castle, reached by marble steps, filled with flowers & fountains & aviari [sic] of singing birds, when there was a lake that covered 150 acres on which gay pleasure craft floated, & the great halls had their walls covered with silken tapestries.  Here Elizabeth & her court came to visit Leicester while the unhappy Amy Robsart cowered in her room, & the Virgin queen carried on her unvirginal amours.  All is a ruin now.  Surely God must be doing something awful to Cromwell for destroying so much beauty.

 

     On to Warwick castle[,] still stately & romantic & picturesque & so, as Pepys would say – on to London & bed[.]

 

 

June 21 – [1924]

 

     Batting about town – lunch Cheshire Cheese where we sat in the seat of the mighty -  Matinee to see a gay soap bubble play of Milnes –

 

 

June 22 – [1924]

 

     Sunday to St Pauls to church[.]

 

 

June 23 – [1924]

 

     Left London at 11.45[,] arrived at Immingham at 5 p.m.  Went immediately on board the Arcadia, a big fine boat, where we each had a darling little room.  By morning we were steaming along the coast of Scotland, off of Edinboro [sic].  At 9 we reached Leath & took on board a number of Scotch passengers.  The boat is jammed mostly with English & Scotch, very few Americans[.]  Among them Mr & Mrs Hamman & a nice Cleveland couple named Kling –

 

 

June 24 – [1924]

 

     Very cold & raw day at sea –

 

 

June 25 – [1924]

 

     All day we have sailed over a sea like a sheet of apple green jade.  On either side rise hughe [sic] cliffs, stark out of the water – brown bare rocks, or else covered with small firs, with tiny green valleys.  In the background are low mountains with snow in the defiles.  Here & there are scattered farm houses, with an occasional hamlet.  The scenery – the green sea & the greener hills & bleak bare mountains form a scene of indescribable grandeur.  And I never saw such atmospheric effects[.]  The shore line is swathed on [in] layer on layer of blue ranging from palest blue & azure, to mauve to violet to royal purple.  At 3 we reached a little village called Norheimsun.  We went ashore in a small boat & put our feet on Norweigian [sic] soil for the first time.  It is a quaint little place clean as a pin, with Hardanger embroidery & painted wooden stuff for sale.  We went into a charming little hotel where the maids all wore the native costume & where you can get board for $1.75 a day[.]

 

 

June 26 – [1924]

 

     Had the most wonderful drive from Norheimsun to Torse -  Started at 9 in the quaintest little two wheeled carts, called stollkaes, pulled by sturdy cream colored ponies.  The road goes over the mountain, & crosses the Tokagjlet Gorge, than which there is no grander bit of scenery of earth -  On every side are rugged mountains, rock ribbed & with their tops still covered with snow, & down their sides pour waterfalls that make shimmering veils of silver before they join the roaring torrents in the valley.  The valleys themselves are lush green, & the bottoms of the mountains are covered with white spruce trees – the whole making a picture of indescribable beauty[.]

 

 

June 27 – [1924]

 

     Lovely day at sea, always in sight of the wonderful snow capped mountains.

 

 

June 28 [1924]   Trondhjeim [Trondheim] –

 

     Went ashore in the coldest, wetest [sic] rain I ever saw -  Drove thro the little city of 50,000 inhabitants – very uninspired plain frame houses built close together.  Immaculate white lace curtains at every window & in every window pots of blooming flowers in brass jars.  The most interesting building is the cathedral, said to be the finest in Norway[.]  Founded by St Olaf the Militant who brought Christianity to Norway & who gave his subjects the chance to be baptized or massacred.  He is supposed to be buried under the altar & a fine statue of him adorns the public square.

 

     Another interesting building is the palace – a huge ugly frame house where the King comes occasionally.  Drove out into the country over the river Nid, & past a magnificent waterfall, which is harnessed to electric wheels -  The country much more pastoral & less rugged than Trondhjeim -  Had lunch at a famous road house where the food was fine & the view superb – a great vista of streams & lakes & mts that stretched to the Sweedish [sic] border[.]

 

     The weather cleared up for the first time since we left England & we had a gorgeous sunset that lasted until after eleven o’clock -  In fact there was little, or no darkness during the entire night[.]

 

 

June 29. [1924]   Torghatten Island

 

     Went ashore & climbed a steep rocky cliff & floundered into bogs.  There is a fine natural tunnel thro the rocks here, but Miss R & I turned back before we reached it[.]

 

 

June 30. [1924]

 

     Reached Dergarmulen at 9. a.m.  It is a tiny fishing village set on a strip of verdure along the fjord & with its back to a snow covered mountain.  There’s a pathetic little grave yard on the side of the hill where are buried ten young people who started out gaily in a boat to a wedding.  The boat capsized just without the harbor & all were drowned.  All the afternoon we sailed thro’ fairyland.  The sea a sheet of silver & on every side the snow capped mountains that seen thro’ the blue haze looked like alabaster & pearl.  At midnight again the splendor of sunset & dawn, with such cloud effects as balk human description[.]

 

 

July 1 [1924]

 

     Anchored in a marvelous bay off the shores of Lapland, & went ashore to the Lap settlement which consists of only a few huts with half a dozen men & women & a horde of children -  The most of the men are still in the mountains where they rear reindeer.  The country was the most habitable we have yet seen, & the houses the best, but the[y] belong to Norweigians [sic] – the Lapps being still nomads.  The men here are whale & seal fishers & in the little church hangs a tiny ship before the altar as mute evidence of the danger that always hangs over those who go down to the sea in ships & do business in deep waters[.]

 

 

July 2 [1924]

 

     Hammerfest, a pretty little town of 2700 inhabitants, the most northerly town in the world.  Place where the whalers & fishers start from – millions of herring drying on racks.  Bought old hand drawn scarf for $4.50 -  At three started for North Cape, a great granite cliff that rises sheer out of the water, the outpost of civilization[.]  Ship anchored in a quiet little bay while the adventurers scaled the cliff from which they saw nothing – mists obscured the sun partially so the sunset & sunrise was [sic] not so good as usual.  Bitterly cold.

 

 

July 3 [1924]

 

     Tromso -  Largest town in Arctic circle.  Had a long & weary walk thro the town to the museum which contained interesting collection of arctic birds, & old church carvings in wood that seemed to go back to the time of the militant St Olaf – there were two particularly grotesque figures of Adamd [sic] & Eve.  Saw the midnight sun for the last time, & it was particularly lovely – an orb of gold shining on milk white clouds & mist.

 

 

July 4 – [1924]

 

     Ship celebrated the glorious 4th by running up the Stars & stripes, playing the star spangled banner [sic] & having clam chowder & baked beans for dinner[.]

 

 

July 5 [1924]

 

     We were at the great Svartisen glacier when we arose in the morning & the sun glinted resplendently on a great field of ice that starting on the mountain top ran right into the sea.  We were anchored in a little land locked harbor, with green mountains closing in on the ice floe on every side, very odd & picturesque[.]

 

 

July 6. [1924]

 

     Molde, a lovely little town picturesquely situated in a valley at the foot of snow topped mountains, & fronting on a saphire [sic] bay.  Went to the church which has a fine picture of the angel at the tomb.  Then to a folkfest – quantities of pretty girls in the Norweijian [sic] costume – a black skirt, white shirtwaist with embroidered collar & cuffs[.]  The black skirt & bodice elaborately embroidered in collars [colors] as was [sic] also the cuffs.  The men had short black jackets with many silver buttons -  They sang old Norse songs & had much speechifying to which the audience listened in absolute stolidity.

 

 

July 7 – [1924]   

 

     Aandalsnaes[.]  Another lovely village at the base of mountain[.]  Wonderful ride in the country.

 

 

July 8 – [1924]

 

     Arrived at Bergen[.]  Had a marvelous auto [ride] of 35 miles around city & environs.  Went to an old house on the Quay that belonged to the Hanseatic League – a company of German merchants who dominated the trade of Europe as the East India Co did that of the orient -  The master had his rooms on the 2nd floor – with a built in bed in the wall – between this room & that of the chief clerk was that of the prentices - & a whip with a nail studded lash showed how cruelly these were treated.  The rooms are full of old furniture, brass etc -  The clerks were not permitted to marry & to avoid complications with women there was a window in the wall – all the beds were built in, thro which the maid could make the bed.  I could but observe, however[,] that any lady love under 300 lbs could have crawled thro.  [Words crossed out: The rooms are all filled with interesting old furniture, chief]   Staid all night at a funny place, up 4 flights of immaculately scrubbed steps[,] called the Free Simonton pensiduat –

 

 

July 9 – [1924]

 

     Left at 8.10 for Kristiana by rail – most marvelous twelve hour scenic trip, up & up the mountains, thro glaciers, pass [past] fjords & lovely valleys.  Towards Christiana the roads passed thro a lovely green farming country.

 

 

July 10 [1924]

 

     Staying at Grand Hotel – fine fashionable place where they jazz most of the night -  Busy day sightseeing – Kings palace, museum where we saw a Viking ship in which a King was buried – picture gallery etc.  In afternoon took a long auto ride of[f] to a suberb [sic] where we had a superb view of the city & fjords.  Name of restaurant Holmenkollen[.]  Left by night train for Stockholm – all night trip[.]

 

[July] 12 [1924]

 

     Stockholm is the most beautiful city I have ever seen.  It is built on an archipeligo [sic] of small islands where Lake Malaren meets the baltic sea [sic].  We are staying at Grand Hotel & have room overlooking the water, the Kings palace, the house of Lords & so on.  Took a lovely auto ride thro wild Djurgarden Park past Prince Whelms [sic] palace & thro the fine residential section.  I am celebrating by having a terrific cold so Miss R & H have gone without me to a resteraunt [sic] to see some folk dancing[.]

 

 

[July] 13 [1924]

 

     Staid in bed all day[.]

 

 

July 14 [1924]

 

    Staid in bed all morning.  In afternoon walked thro’ the old town, a maze of little narrow, crooked streets.  Went to the old Reddacholms Kyrka where the Swedish Kings are buried.  The walls are blazoned with the arms of the Knights of the Seraphim, the highest order in Sweden & the floor is made of  tombstones[,] the inscriptions in many places being worn off by the passing feet of hundreds of years.  The ceiling is hung thick with old banners, falling to pieces.  Here are buried all the Kings since the time of Augustus Adolphus.  In a cript [sic], there were piles & piles of coffins, one on top of another, resting on rough wooden racks of the lesser royalties.  A grim commentary on the vanity of human pride & pomp that all in the end comes to a pinch of dust[.]

 

 

July 15. [1924]

 

     Wonderful morning in the National Museum which contains one of the finest archeological collections on record, tracing the history of man from the Flint Age to the present.  Fine collection of furniture & pictures -  Then went over the palace which has good Gobelin tapestries[,] very pretty state rooms, etc, & saw guard mount -  The rawest looking lot of soldiers I ever saw - & the worst drilled.  The present King is Gustavus V.  His son Wilhelm is a naval officer, a poet & an author -  He has made explorations to South Am. & Africa -  The King has 3 brothers – Oscar who devotes himself to religion, Prince Charles the president of the Red X & prince [sic] Eugene who is an artist of recognized ability[.]

 

 

July 16. [1924]

 

     Arose early & went to Upsalla, ancient seat of government & stronghold of heathendom[,] now the seat of the largest university in Sweden.  Fine, picturesque building[,] wonderful library whose chief treasure is the Codex Argentius, a translation of the 4 gospels into Moeso-Gothic made by Bishop Ulphilas [Ulfilas] in the 4 century.  It is written in letters of colors & gold on red parchment – 187 leaves & boung [bound] in chased silver.  Students of the Gothic have to come here to study this -  Also letters from Marie Antoinette & Luther, Voltaire & others[.]  There is a lovely old church that was once a Franciscan cathedral in which are buried Gustavus Vasa, Swedenborg, Linnaes [Linnaeus] & others[.]  A particularly charming old town.

 

     In afternoon went to one of the Kings summer palaces[,] Drottinholm[,] a lovely imitation of Versailles, charmingly furnished - & with a marvelous situation on an island.

 

 

July 18. [1924]

 

     Visited the City Hall in company with some hundred Swedes – had a Swedish guide who made endless oration in every room.  An amazing place – half French – half oriental -  Every room a medley of occident & orient[.]

 

 

July 19 – [1924]

 

     Left on the Wilhelm Thane – a tug ship for the Gota Canal.  This is a 240 mile trip thro a series of lakes & rivers that have been connected by canal – started 400 years ago & only finished about 100 years. We went out thro beautiful Lake Malaren with its 1100 islands & many summer resorts – then into the canal which runs thro some of the richest farming country in Sweden.  There are 77 locks & we rise 301 ft -  In some places where the locks are one above the other we seem to be going up a water stair way].

 

 

[Note at top of page: Vadstener]

 

 

July 20 [1924]

 

     A lovely day now thro the narrow canal, now thro a lake past the mediaeval Vadstener Castle or a ruined monastery, past the old nunnery St Bridget founded, past innumerable prosperous villages & big estates.  Everywhere the crowds of natives, with an occasional woman in holiday native costume, down to see the boat.  Scenery lovely beyond words – green fields & forrests [sic] of white birch & the shining green waters – so clear & smooth every tree is mirrored in it.

 

 

July 21 – [1924]

 

     Awoke to find ourselves lost in Lake Vettern -  Seems that the locks hereabout are magnetic & put a compass out of commission, so they have to steer by the chanel [sic] marks -  Big fog put these out of commission & when the capt suddenly bumped a rock he stopped dead still, afraid to move an inch.  Admitted he was off his course & afraid to move.  Fog cleared & proceeded on our way.  Reached Tolhatten rather late so the walkers hurried on the long way to see the falls which appear to have been no great shakes.  Reached Gothenberg about 11 p.m.

 

 

July 22 – [1924]

 

     Spent morning sightseeing about Gothenberg[.]  Beautiful modern city, lovely park.  Laid out by the Dutch merchants Adolphus Gustavus invited to help him build a sea port, with canals like a Dutch city – has one particularly beautiful street with 4 rows of old Linden trees, that meet overhead[,] & a wide canal.  Left at 3.20 for Copenhagen[,] which we reached at 10.45.  Passed by Elsinore[,] the legendary castle on whose ruined ramparts Shakespeare made the ghost of Hamlets father walk.  [words crossed out: July 23] – Arrived at Copenhagen at 11, dead tired.  Went to Hotel d’Angletterre [sic] which we found crowded, but they put Miss A. & me to sleep in a private dining room[,] a hughe [sic] apt, with crystal chandeliers & rickety beds & washing arrangements on a serving table[.]

 

[Note at top of page:] Gotenberg – Hotel Express

 

 

July 23 – [1924]

 

     Spent morning at the Rosenberg castle, once the home of royalty[,] now a royal museum.  It is a beautiful mediaeval building in a lovely green park.  Within it is a treasure house of all the goods kings & queens have collected & had given them – crown jewels, decorations, spoils of war, more silver than I knew existed in the world, great pier glasses, candle sticks, chandeliers, the three royal lions that figure in all ceremonies of state, Gobelein [sic] tapestries, marvelous collection of ornaments & vessels of amber, etc.  A room is set apart for each King & the things he used in life, even his clothes are in it.  I was much interested in Christian 12th -  Over a cluttered writing desk hung the pictures of 3 children[,] the two little girls who were to be Queen Alexandria [Alexandra] of England & the Czarina of Russia & the boy who was to be the fuddling King of Greece.  Went across to the art gallery which seemed Mediveil [sic] & got caught in a heavy rain.

 

 

July 24 – [1924]

 

     Went to Thorwaldsen Museum.  To honor its greatest sculptor Denmark has built this splendid gallery & gathered together in it most of his best work, & He [sic] is buried in its patio under a little bed of pansies.  If ever there was a great man fittingly honored it is he.  Went to the Glytothek, a fine museum built by a rich brewer & presented to the city – name Jacobson – he & his wife are buried in a magnificent mausoleum in it surrounded by beautiful things from all over the world -  Went to the fine city hall & to the Church of Our Lady where the coronation takes place.  It is a plain little church except that Thorvaldsens genius makes it glorious for [word crossed out: against] behind the Altar stands his superb statue of Christ & ranged round the walls are the 12 apostles[,] each a flame of genius[.]

 

 

July 25 – [1924]

 

     Long drive in the country[.]  Stopped at Fredericksborg castle, now a historical museum[.]  The benevolent Jacobson has also restored this to more than its former splendor.  This was the Kings hunting lodge in the old days & there is one great banqueting room with plaster stags in relief on the walls with real horns.  Also a great onxy [onyx] & silver room that is a dream -  Wonderful collections everywhere of furniture from the ancient periods, pictures, silver, everything -  Went to Kings summer palace – lovely gardens – not very fine furniture -  Then to Kronisburg castle at Helserion [Elsinore] where Shakespeare located Hamlet.  Walked on rampart where H’s fathers ghost promenaded -  It’s a beautiful mediaeval castle, with a fine moat, & dungeons, & is now used as a military school.  Left Copenhaven [sic] at 11.30 for Hamburg on sleeper.

 

 

July 26 [1924]

 

     Had to get up at six o’clock for the customs, but the inspectors never even opened our bags.  Found Hamburg a splendid city with the finest shops & private houses we have seen any where. Everything very fine & expensive -  Hotels sky high -  Went out to the old Hagenbeck zoo, which is a melancholy wreck of its former splendor -  Empty cages, with only a few mangy lions -  Went to a wonderful cemetery where the planting is so artfully done you see only a forrest [sic] of green with here & there a gleam of marble –

 

 

July 27 [1924]

 

     Left for Amsterdam[.]  A long day on the train mostly thro Germany which has bumper crops, acres of new houses, every body fat, well dressed & well fed.

 

 

July 28 [1924]

 

     Spent day shopping, going to Cathedral, & riding about town on trams[.]

 

 

July 29 – [1924]

 

     Spent day at Museum & picture gallery & shopping.

 

 

July 30 – [1924]

 

     Went to Monnchendam [Monnikendam], Vonderdam [Volendam] & Markin [Marken] -  Vonderdam especially interesting –

 

 

July 31 [1924]

 

     Driving trip around town, thro Jewish quarter, Vondel Park, etc[.]

 

 

Aug 1 – [1924] 

 

     Came to Hague – left 9.52 – one hour trip[,] staying at Hotel Central[.]  In afternoon took pleasant drive to Schvenengen [Scheveningen], parks, around town & to tea house –

 

 

Aug 2 [1924]

 

     Went by tram to Delft -  Had interesting morning in the old palace where Wm the Silent of Orange was murdered, also went to the church where he is buried & where there is a beautiful monument to him.  In the crypt of this church the Dutch royal family are buried -  It is very beautifully restored as a gift to the Queen in commemoration of the 25 year of her reign -  The main body of the church is very plain[,] white washed, with funny pews -  Some lovely frescoes reminiscent of the time when it was a Catholic church were uncovered some years since when the church was repaired[,] but they were whitewashed over again[.]  At Delft also saw a lovely old house once the home of a rich Dutch merchant but now a museum.  Full of lovely old things -  The making of Delft china is nearly extinct in Delft[,] only one factory being in operation[.]  In aft went to Dutch house of Lords & old prison where we saw the instruments of torture used in Middle ages, when the Spanish inquisition tried to force Catholocism [sic] on the Dutch[.]

 

 

Aug 3 [1924]

 

     Went to Schevengen [Scheveningen] where it rained -  Then waited an hour for the Peace Palace to open[.]  It is one of the most beautiful & impressive of modern buildings.  Every nation has given something to its adornment – the most exquisite fountain from Denmark – mahogony [sic] walls & rooms from Brazil – carved oak from Norway – stained glass from England – embroidered wall panels from China & Japan etc[.]  There is a noble staircase of white marble on the landing of which smirks a bust of Andrew Carnegie who gave 1,500,000 towards building it[.]

 

 

Aug 4 – [1924]

 

     Left 9.24 for Brussels – arrived at 12.45 – Hotel Metropole.  Took Am Ex drive all over city – went to place, one of the most wonderful in Europe where there is the splendid Hotel de Ville – the old Guild Houses, picked out in gold, - with the insignia of their craft on them – to Museums & art gallery, past the gorgeous Bourse & the Palace of Justice & the Kings Palace etc.  Finally to the military history gallery where Edith Cavel [Cavell] & Gabrielle Petel & 35 others were shot during the war by the Germans[.]  Gabrielle was one of the editors of the paper called Free Belgium that was surreptitiously printed during the war first in one cellar then in another.  Every week a copy was laid on the desk of the German governor of Brussels[.]  Nobody could find how it got there until at last Gabrielle was discovered putting it there.  She was offered her life if she would tell who her fellow writers were but she refused -  When a German officer went to tie the bandage over her eyes she refused saying she would show the Germans how a Belgian could die for her country -  The spot where Edith Cavel sat in a chair as she was shot is marked by a square slab of iron – a bronze plate contains her name & that of the other political prisoners who were shot here -  The Germans so fully expected to keep Brussels that they did not destroy or loot it -  It chanced that we arrived on the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Belgium by Germany & all the flags were flying[.]  At night Helen & I had wonderful drive – leaving at 7.30 – for Maline, or Mechelin – where there was a wonderful carillon or concert by chimes in the old church which was built in the 12 century & whose tower started out to be the highest in the world.  Its ambition was never realized & the tower never completed, but it houses a magnificent set of 43 bells which are played by means of a keyboard, as an organ is.  The concert began at 9 o’clock at night & it was a wonderful experience to sit in the dim old square, with the tall tower of the gray old church silhouetted against the sky, & listen to the music of the bells float down from on high.

 

 

Aug 5 [1924]

 

     Left at 8.30 on motor trip to Ghent & Bruges.  Went thro the little village where the fighting was going on when the armistice was signed -  This was the devastated region of Belgium & every house almost showed bullet holes, but the ruined places are being rebuilt, & the country was gorgeous with flowers -  Around Ghent is a vast garden from which plants are sent to all parts of the world & traveling thro’ it was like going over a land spread with a gay Turkish carpet.  Ghent is a quaint old city which used to be the home of the Counts of Flanders, & you are shwon [shown] their gaunt mediaeval castle, now more or less of a ruin.  There is a fine old church Saint Bavon in which is the masterpiece of the Brothers Ten Eyck, who originated the art of painting in oils.  This picture is called The Adoration of the Lamb, & its principle [sic] feature is the panels of Adam & Eve.  During the war the Germans took this picture to Berlin but a special demand made at Versailles at the Peace Conference forced its return.  Ghent has many interesting old Guild houses.  From Ghent drove to Bruges which is a fascinating old city with as many canals as Venice.  We took a motor ride thro’ one bordered with flowers & trees & quaint houses -  Went to the Beguinage, a beautiful home for old women, & the Chapel of St Basil[,] famous for its old master[s], & the Chapel of the Holy Blood, & most interesting of all to a museum filled with lovely old carved Flemish furniture & with a most gorgeous kitchen, shining with old brass & copper & with all sorts of fancy toasting forks & spits[.]

 

 

Aug 6 – [1924]

 

      Batted around town & rested[.]

 

 

Aug 7 – [1924]

 

     Fine drive thro’ a lovely green park to Watterloo [sic] – which doesnt seem much shakes of a battle now.

 

 

Aug 8 – [1924]

 

      Left on 8.21 for Paris[.]

 

 

[Note: Here ends the first of the two journals for 1924.  There is a gap of a month between the end of this journal and the beginning of the second journal for that year.  D.D. probably spent that time in France.] 

 

There is an inscription on the flyleaf of the second journal: ‘A thousand thanks --- “Dearest”’.]

 

 

Sep 11 1924

 

     Left Bordeaux on the Figuig at 3 o’clock and arrived at Casablanca on Sunday [word crossed out: after] at 7 p.m.  The boat was small & had no ballast so danced about like a cork on the waves, with the result that almost all of the passengers were seasick[.]  Aside from that the journey was beautiful as the weather was perfect, there was a gorgeous moon, & the sea placid.  Much of the way we skirted the coast of Portugal, and were guided on our way by so many light houses it was almost like a promenade down a city street.  Our fellow passengers consisted of a company of soldiers going to do duty in Morocco, & returning officers & their wives & children & colonists coming home from a vacation in France.  Pleasant looking people shut from us by the Tower of Babel[.]

 

 

Sep 14. [1924]

 

     Our courier, Brovear by name, met us at the boat & escorted us to the car in which we are to make our long journey, a splendid big Reynault, roomy as a Harlem flat.  Brovear is much like Ernesto, & pleases us much. 

 

 

Sep 15 [1924]

 

     Awakened by the din of an oriental city getting ready for the days work.  From my window I watched men in Fezes & jellabas & brurnneses [burnooses] sauntering forth, veiled women, with children on their backs – tall, stately negresses with baskets of fish on their heads, & dapper Frenchmen in white all a melange of color & movement.

 

     After breakfast we took a long walk.  First thro the new part, fine modern houses Arabian without, Parisian inside for the French have wisely ordained that no European houses shall be built in the city, everything must be pure Moroccan in style.  In ten years they have accomplished marvels[.]  Reedemed [sic] the desert & made it blossom like the rose.  Built fine Govermental headquarters, modern stores, fine streets, parks etc.  Went into the Mellah, which is the most Arabian & picturesque part of the city.  The Mellah is the name given to the Jewish part of all Mohammedan cities & is so called because the warring Sultans were in the habit of cutting off the heads of their ennemies [sic], salting them to preserve them & nailing them up as a warning to other unfriendly individuals.  The Jews were forced to do this loathsome task, & as the word “Mellah” means salt it was given to their quarters.  Until the French took over Morocco a Jew was not permitted to ride a horse or mule, he had to walk in the middle of the street & if he met a man of rank he must kneel & kiss the grandees foot; he had to wear a black gaberdine [sic], & leave one arm exposed; & he had to live in a certain part of the town which was locked & barred at night.  The French removed all these restrictions & the Arabs complain mightily that now the Jews are getting insolent.

 

 

[Sep] 16 – [1924]

 

     Left Casablanca at 8.30 in our fine big car.  A perfect road for many miles along the sea shore then we turned inland & plunged into the “vled”[veld], the bleak, arid plane [sic] that looks like a hopeless desert yet under the Spring rains brings forth an amazing carpet of wild flowers & good crops.  Thro’ this desolate country the French have made a fine, hard road, planted on either side for miles & miles with trees that they are still watering to keep alive.  On either side the bleak plain, parched by a six months drouth rolled away with here & there a white walled farm enclose [sic] & oftener still a huddle of dirty pup tents – a pile of dried stalks, or thorns with a bit of burlap over the top for a roof, the temporary home of some nomad tribe whose cattle or sheep or goats were confined for the night in a corall [sic] of prickly pear.  The road was jammed for the 200 miles of the journey with a never ceasing throng – slow padding camels with great sacks of grain going to market, donkeys with panniers, or ridden by burnoused men or veiled women, men of quality on sleek mules adorned with scarlet & gold saddles with hughe [sic] silver stirrups, flocks of sheep & goats & camels.  Three or four times we met processions with banners going on a pilgrimage to a Marabout.  Once we came on a big market with hundreds of people buying & selling & chaffering.  Everywhere people, people, people milling around like ants.  At sundown we reached Marrakesh, built on an oasis at the foot of the Great Atlas Mountain[.]  We entered thro a gate in the crumbling red walls, made our way thro the narrow crooked streets & stopped at a low gateway thro’ which we could see a flash of green.  It was the court of the picturesque hotel which has been made out of a pshaws [pasha’s] dwelling[.]  Miss R & Mrs A & I have rooms in the harem opening out on the court where hundreds of women must have spent their lives.  Our room is a narrow cell like apartment with walls 3 ft thick & a grand tiled doorway cut in the shape of a key hole as the Prophet ordained to show he held the keys to Heaven & Hell -  I have omitted to say that on the way to Marrakesh we stopped at Azemmour[,] a beautiful old city built on a hill by the Portuguese & once one of their strongholds.  From its walls we had lovely views of the city & also looked down into the courts of the veiled women who never come out of their homes except twice a week, once when they go to the public baths & once to pray.  They are not allowed in the Mosques -  We had lunch at Matazan[,] another Portuguese stronghold in the old piratical days.  The walls of this city once wide enough for six horsemen to ride abreast are now crumbling & the old watch tower has become a minaret from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer[.]   A beautiful fountain covered with fine Delft tiles owes its ornamentation to the Portuguese pirates who probably took a Dutch ship & when the Moors drove them out left behind this & many other tokens of their loot[.]

 

 

Sep 17-18-19- [1924]

 

     Three wonderful crowded days at Marrakesh -  First thro the souks, narrow, crowded little streets where the sun is shut out by bamboo screens laid from roof to roof & where the merchants squat among their wares in their tiny shops.  Everywhere jostling crowds & a continual cry of “Baalek” – Watch out! as a laden donkey or a lumbering camel, or fine mule crowds by.  Every trade has its own souk, & you go by the vegetable & fruit souk, the pottery souk, the souk for selling brass, or leather, or inlaid guns & daggers, & so on[.]  Unforgettable scenes of squalor, & color especially in the dyers souk where there were glorious greens & blue & purple & crimson hanks of yarn & silk – where a man & a boy were pounding pomegranite [sic] skins to a powder to make a die [sic] & brown men dipped their arms in vats of red the color of blood.  Went to the Jama El T’ha, the great market square which is crowded with swirling mobs of people especially towards evening, and which form into circles that break & spread & reform -  Here is a snake charmer, there a story teller relating some romance as old as the Arabian Nights, there a circle five deep have gathered about a Marabout, a man dressed in a white robe over a blue one.  He has long wavy black hair that he shakes over his face as he dances.  His lips are white with foam.  Men & women hold out money in beseeching hands, begging him to listen to their cry.  He passes one & another & takes the money of a third, drags the man or veiled woman into the circle, whispers something[,] then the drum & fife of his accomplices strike up & he begins shaking his hair over his face & dancing -  There are men with trained monkeys & dogs – one man has a pallid, tired looking little dancing boy whom he puts thro his tricks, there are acrobats, & two commedians [sic,] all the crude amusements that appeal to a child like mind, & each has its audience until the sun goes down a ball of fire & the sudden tropical darkness falls.  We have seen the Koutoubia, the splendid tower El Mansour built to celebrate his victory  & which is mate to the Giralda in Spain & El Hassan in Rabat -  We have seen the great mosque & the Merdersa but were not allowed in either being females -  There was once a mosque attached to the Koutoubia but some rebels took refuge in it & were slain there by the Sultans troops & to wipe out the sacrelege [sic] the Mosque was pulled down.  We have driven to the lovely green gardens of the Aguedal & walked under its oranges & pomegrantes [sic] & olives – once a Sultans palace now free to the public, & been to the fine French hospital in another grand viziers palace where France[’]s white & black & yellow soldiers sleep in rooms once sacred to the Pride of the Harem.  We visited the Saadien [Saadian] tombs, the finest flower of Moorish art, where dead kings lie under slim carved marble scarcophigi [sic] in a room of [word crossed out: carved] vaulted pillars & with a carved ceiling finer than any in the Alhambra.  These tombs were known to exist by only a few people & had been so jealously guarded to prevent their being desecrated that they were practically forgotten.  The building in which [they] exist had been walled in & when the French government got permission to hunt for them they had to cut a hole thro a wall to reach them.

 

     It seems that under the Moorish belief it is bad luck for a son to live in the house his father has built, each man must build for himself, so nothing is repaired, nothing kept up, or venerated, & if the antiquities of Morocco are preserved it will be because the French do it as England has preserved those of India.  The is true of the Palace of Ba Ahmed which is now the home of Marechal Lyauety [Lyautey] - & which is an Arabian Nights dream come true.  And not least interesting of all we attended the big market outside of the gate where there were hundreds of camels & horses & mules for sale & flocks of sheep & goats, & where we saw some of the wonderful horsemanship for which the Arabs are famous.

 

     In many of the palaces & lying in the slime & mud of many fountains are exquisite columns of Carrara marble brought here from Italy in the days of some great conqueror & paid for pound for pound in sugar.

 

     Marrakesh is built of sun dried brick that crumbles away & there are vast areas in which there are only tottery walls, uninhabited that look like deserted birds nest[s].  Some one has said of it that it is a city of red clay which the sun & storms, & wind of ten centuries has been tearing away & which man has continually rebuilt.  But it has been a great city in its day & one that has sent hordes of desert warriors who swept north as far as Madrid & conquered all in their way.

 

 

Sep 20 – [1924]

 

     Left Marrakesh at 9.30 for the drive to Casablanca.  Passed across the plain on which El Hiba, who revolted against the Present [sic] Sultan & the French Protectorate, made his last stand.  He had convinced his fanatical adherents that he had a message from Allah & that it not only told him that he was to be Sultan but that the French bullets would be harmless & turn into showers of sparkling water as they touched them.  Gen Manjin waited until the Arabs were almost upon his troops & opened fire with his machine guns with a result that showed how worthless prophecy is in war.  That ended the war in Southern Morocco & established the French control.  The Glaoui, the great Lord of the Atlas who had espoused the French side took all the Europeans in Marrakesh & put them in a fortress in the hills & protected them, thus saving them from massacre at Marrakesh.  Passed thro miles of wonderful sand hills, pink & blue & mauve, & saffron, like the painted desert of Arizona.

 

 

Sep 21 – [1924]

 

     Pleasant drive of about 60 miles to Rebat [Rabat] -  Road runs along the seashore the entire way & there was always the blue Atlantic on one side & the brown vled [veld] on the other.  Passed innumerable caravans of tribes on their annual trek South -  Camels laden with household plunder & with 2 or 3 veiled women on top of the pile, donkeys[,] men in gay burnooses & richly caparisoned mules[,] sheep, goats, dogs, cattle – all that the nomads have they take with them.  Rabat is one of the cities of the Barbary Coast from which the pirates sallied forth on their bold adventures.  It has a Kashba built on a headland that juts out in the sea from which those who watched the Corsairs sail forth could watch their return laden with booty.  Secret passages from it run down to the water & up these narrow stairs was brought the loot & the prisoners taken in the raids.  Close by is the Old Pirate school where Moorish youth were trained in the gentle art of boarding a vessel & hamstringing the crew & passengers.  Later on it was the Medersa of a near by mosque.  Much of it had fallen into ruins & it was a dump heap, hideous & malodorous until the French came.  Gen Lyauety [sic] had the old building reconstructed out of the ruins of the old.  The garbage pile was removed & the place turned into a most exquisite garden with a lovely little Moorish restaurant built in the space overlooking the water.  Here with French officers & their wives & grand looking sheiks we had hot mint tea & little almond cakes.  In the old-new Medersa there is a fine exhibit of the Arabian arts – lovely carpets & embroideries & brass.  Also there is a shuddery [word crossed out: exhibit] collection of the instruments of torture – the neck rings & leg irons that were riveted on the Christian prisoners, & the long heavy chains that bound them together[.]  Rabat is the Capital of the French protectorate[,] home of Marshall Lyauety [sic], & the seat of government.  There is a garrison here, many foreigners & officers are to be seen on the streets.  Sultan Mulai [Moulai] Youssef also lives here.  Many Moors settled here when they were driven out of Spain & the Spanish blood is in evidence[.]

 

     [words crossed out: Sep 22, In afternoon]

 

     Went over to Sale, once the home of the “Sally Rovers” [Robinson Crusoe was captured by the “Salee rovers” at the beginning of his adventures], also a pirate city in the old days.  It is a picturesque old place, very untouched, & was regarded as a holy city until the last few years, when dogs of Christians have been permitted to roam at large thro its street[s].  Only the Bou Regreg “the shining river[”], separates the two towns[.]

 

 

[Sep] 23 [1924]

 

     Pleasant drive to Meknes across the rolling foothills of the Atlas Mts.  Fine vistas of painted mountains.  Many French settlers starting vineyards & farms[.]  This is the richest farming land of Morocco & much wheat is raised.  Saw many wheat markets with hordes of Arabs standing around their little piles of grain[.]

 

 

24 Sep – [1924]

 

     Meknes is called the African Versailles because Mulai [Moulay] Ismail, the cruel, tried to outdo Louis Quatorze in the size of the building he erected.  The remnants of it still stand, & over saw the courts in which probably the most pitiless man who ever lived practiced his atrocities. It is said he tested out the temper of his sword by snipping off a courtiers head, & to see that his marksman ship [sic] was up to form would transfix any passerby with his spear.  He furiously slew 36000 people.  Many thousands of Christian prisoners & slaves labored on his buildings & when one died, or was killed his body was put in the mud & tamped down in the wall -  All of the walls are made in these ancient palaces of mud, mixed with lime & stone, beaten down in molds, exactly like our concrete, without the concrete.  Mulai also demolished Volubillis [Volubilis] to make his palace, so there are many carved marble pillars.  He was a much married man, having 4000 wives & 867 sons.  Most of his daughters were strangled at birth[.]

 

     We went to a beautiful Merdersa, the only one in Morrocco [sic] in which a woman is permitted.  A Merdersa is a sort of dormitory of theological students – the mosque gives them a loaf of bread, & they can stay as many years as they like in the room, spending their lives in calm contemplation & study -  This Merdersa has a beautiful court with carved plaster, & a fountain in the middle in which to make ablutions before prayers -  On the second gallery tiny windows in a carved cedar grille opened into the room of the Tholba[.]  The souks were particularly interesting because many of them had painted shutters & doorways[.]

 

 

Sept 24 [1924]

 

     Left Meknes at 8.30 in the morning.  Stopped en route at Mulai [Moulay] Idriss where Mahomets grandson is burried [sic], & which is next to Mecca in sacredness as a shrine.  The town, which centers about the tomb is built on a steep hill.  We climbed that going along an arduous road where hundreds of goat skins intended for water jugs were drying in the hot sun.  The animal had been extracted out of the skin as a glove is peeled from the hand.  Of course we were not permitted to more than glance in at the holy tomb, but we climbed a cliff & looked down on it – a calm green tiled place with quiet white robed men making their prayers before it.

 

     A couple of miles on is Volubilis, now nothing but a pile of ruins but interesting because it marks the farthest spot the Roman legions reached in Morocco.  Reached Fes after a delightful drive thro the Zeroum [Zeroun] hills at 12 –

 

 

Sep 24-26-27 – [1924]

 

     Who shall describe Fes so as to picture it for any one who has not seen it?  A rabbit warren of narrow crooked streets in which 115,000 people burrow, & in which they mill about like ants.  Most of these streets are roofed over with bamboos so the light of the sun never strikes them, & those who live in them have the dead, pasty white complexions of those who lack air, & sunshine & exercise.  The streets are very narrow, & thro them defile a continual procession of horses & mules & donkeys, so that you have to watch every step to keep from being run over.  Some of the streets are so narrow you have to step into a doorway to keep from being [word crossed out: run d] mashed against the wall.  And everywhere is the sound of running water for the river Fes is conducted thro a hundred artificial channels [word crossed out: this] under the houses & streets.  Fes is the oldest educational center in Morocco & has the famous university in which students are prepared for the priesthood or Marabouts.  This centres around the Kaouine [Kairaouine] Mosque[,] the largest & most holy one in Morocco -  About it, & near by are numerous Medersas, for the accommodation of the students, all beautiful with tiles & carved doorways [words crossed out: & tiles].  Another famous Mosque is the Mulai Idriss.  This shrine possesses the right of sanctuary & any criminal may take refuge there.  A few years ago when a crazy fanatic murdered an English missionary this right was violated & it brought about a revolution. The sanctity of the tomb is so great it extents [sic] for blocks & those who live in them must lead pure lives, speak no evil, converse with no strange women, & sell no unlawful goods.

 

     Went to the beautiful Jamai palace[,] now used as a hotel by the Trans at [TransAtlantique] Party[.]  A typical rich mans home – sheltered gardens, fountains, luxurious rooms, but brooded over by the tragic story that is so typical of this ferocious land.  The brothers Jamai under Sultan Mulai [Moulai] Hassan rose to be Grand Viziers, men of great power.  When the Sultan died & his minister Ba Ahmed seized the throne for the second son, he feared the Jamai & planned to ruin them.  So when the elder brother, riding in state, went to pay his respects to the new sultan at Meknes the minister asked him some question.  Pretending to be offended at the answer he threw Jamai in prison, arrested the other brother & chained them together.  After a few years the older brother died, but for 12 days his rotting corpse was chained to that of his brother.  For 14 yrs Jamai was kept a prisoner, & when at last he was released he was a broken old man[,] his property had been confiscated & his wives & children dead of want.  Nobody knew what had become of them – a few women & children do not matter in Morocco.

 

    Went to the tomb of a famous Marabout near which Sultan Mulai Hassan asked to be burried [sic] so he could share in its sacredness.  It appears that a Marabout may be either a learned man, or be an ignorant self elected one, or be set up by a family as a means of distinction.  At Meknes a very famous one is an idiot who used to lie in the gate & beg.  Somebody decided he must be holy because he was so indifferent to the weather & put a mat over him[.]  Somebody else built a small hut.  Now he has the regular domed Marabout dwelling, & guard[s] protect him from the villagers.  Often a family will erect a shrine to some member who has been dead for years, & proclaim him a saint -  Soon people come to worship, miracles are proclaimed & the marabouts fame established -  Mahomet made a bitter fight against priests & priestcraft & miracles but human nature was too strong for him.  People must have something supernatural to believe in.

 

 

Sep 29. [1924]

 

     Left Fez at 1 p.m for Taza.  Beautiful ride across the mountains[.]  The peculiar soil of the mountains makes them appear to be painted every shade of red & pink, yellow & saffron.  The gorges showed purple against this glory of color & produced an effect almost spectacular in its beauty.  Every now & again on the top of a mountain we would pass a crude fort which marked the French advance in their effort to conquer the Berbers.  The hotel at Taza is a pretty little bungalow inn in which a gallant French man & his wife are doing their bit towards helping to build up France[’]s North African empire.  There is a garrison here for the fighting still goes on with the warlike Berbers, & several French officers & their wives came in for dinner – also a Franciscan friar, his brown robe ornamented with a row of service stripes.  The old city is being rebuilt, & has a wonderful situation over looking a wide valley flanked with mountains.

 

 

Sep 30 – [1924]

 

     Left Taza at 8 -  At first we passed thro beautiful mt scenery – met many caravans of camels – then drove for miles across a plain without any road, guided only by the faint track of wheels that had been before us.  But the road is under construction now -  Had lunch at Tairout [Taourirt], at a ‘buffet’, & reached Oujda at 4.  Very uninteresting place.

 

 

Oct 1. [1924]

 

     Left Oujda at 9.30 and had a superb drive along a picturesque road cut out of the side of the mountain in many places.  On every side the most lovely vistas of painted mountains & brown vled [veld], & purple shadows.

 

 

Oct 2 – [1924]

 

     Most interesting stay at Tlemcen which has a charming little hotel, & where the weather was cool & bracing.  Tlemcen is one of the old cities of North Africa, was once a place of 125,000 people but is now a mere village.  It has been fought over hundreds of times, & we went to the ruins of what had once been a palace covering 300 acres, built by Yarcob [Yacoub] when he besieged it.  In it he & his lady love & doughty warriors lived during the 7 years he besieged it, but it is nothing now but a few crumbling walls & the wreck of a lovely minaret[.]

 

     On the road between Oudjda [sic] & Tlemcen we passed the boundary between Morocco & Algeria & immediately the whole tenor of the country changed.  Instead of barren wastes there were vineyards & olive groves. In place of huts pretty homes.  It marked the measure of the miracle France has wrought in 70 years.  In Tlemcen for the first time we were permitted to enter a mosque & a saints tomb.  We also attended a Moorish funeral of the lower class.  The body, wrapped in green was enclosed in a conical grass mat from which he was slipped when he was laid in the grave.

 

 

Oct 3. [1924]

 

     Left Tlemcen at 8 for Oran.  Superb drive thro marvelous mountain scenery.

 

 

Oct 4 [1924]

 

     Oran is a prosperous French city with hardly a trace of Orientalism -  Took drive up mountain to Belvedere from which there is a fine view of the city & the Meditteranean [sic].

 

 

Oct 5 – [1924]

 

     Left Oran at 8.  Beautiful drive thro’ the mountains & along the sea shore -  Every where thrifty olive orchards & vineyards & comfortable farm houses attested what France is doing for Algeria.  Had picnic lunch in a pretty [word crossed out: olive g] pine grove in which the Cie General has built a little tea room.  Reached Tenes about 5[.]

 

 

Oct 6 – [1924]

 

     The hotel at Tenes is a camp.  Slept in a tent with the sound of the waves of the Meditterean [sic] to lull me to sleep.

 

 

Oct 7 [1924]

 

     The drives [sic] from Oran – Tenes – to Algiers is the most beautiful in the world.  It is called the Corniche d’Or, & has all the other corniches backed off of the map.  A superb road has been cut in the side of the mountains, & for miles - & miles - & miles you hug this great cliff & look down below out as far as the eye can reach at a sea of lapis lazuli.  Sometimes you are sheer above the water, sometimes you cross a little valley where are the brown huts of the Berbers, sometimes the way is shaded by pines, sometimes there are only rocks & desolation, but always the view is superb.

 

     We reached Algiers, physically & emotionally exhausted[,] at 4.30 & to my disappointment went to the Hotel d’Oasis – very bum but with a grand view of the harbor[.]

 

 

Oct 8-9 – [1924]

 

     Sight seeing in Algiers.  Lovely drive thro’ the fine new French part & tea on the top of the Hill of Soap from whence we had grand view of the city & harbor -  The native quarters here are even more awful than those at Marrakesh & Fes, as the streets all run up hill, & are dark slimy steps, worn into ruts by the feet of the millions who have trodden them.  On these dank ways dark doors opened into squalid houses that didnt seem decent habitation for a pig, and men & women & little children staggered up under crushing burdens.  Went to the Kasba that was once the Moorish citadel, & the slave market where Christian women were stripped naked & prodded by prospective buyers as if they were cattle - & the various Mosques in which the pirates used to pray before setting out on their nefarious cruises, & in which they returned thanks to Allah for putting dogs of Christians to death.  But Algiers is now more French than Moorish - & has little atmosphere for one fresh from Morocco –

 

 

Oct 10 – [1924]

 

     Left Algiers at 8 o’clock[.]  Lunch at Tizi Ouzou.  Wonderful all day drive over the mountains.  Part of it over the 22 kilometers the French built in 17 days during their last fight with the Kabyles, to bring up their guns.  Fighting all the time while they were building this marvelous corkscrew that doubles & curves so often that you look back often on 4 loops you have traversed.

 

 

Oct 11 [1924]

 

     Spent day at Michelet, a beautiful spot in the heart of the Kabyle country.  In the morning drove to the very top of the mountain for a superb view.  The Kabyles are perhaps the original of the Berber stock, mixed with all the conquerors that have come in.  They are fairer than the Berbers & more industrious but savage.  The women are mere beasts of burdens & are sold by father, husband, brother, cousin or head man in their village – or druar.  A boy of 12 or less rules the family when the man is gone -  Wives often kill the favorite -  Have their own blood feuds.  In spite of the fact that a wife who is unfaithful to her brute of her husband is taken before a Marabout [and] made to eat dirt – literally[,] & then strangled the Kabyle women are noted for their immorality -  Saw the women everywhere carrying stones on their heads, & heavy markets [baskets] of manure with which they were fertalising [sic] their rocky fields while the men sat on a rock & watched them work.  The Kabyles 3 times rebelled against the French, the last time had their land taken from them as a punishment but they are now buying it back[.]

 

 

Oct 12 [1924]

 

     Another marvelous drive thro the mountains, & thro’ some wonderful cork forrests [sic] to Bougie[.]

 

 

Oct 13 – [1924]

 

     In the morning went for a drive along the Corniche to the light house.  Helen, Mr Brouca & I walked down the lower path – missed the car & had to foot it to town to the terror of Mrs A – who thought a monkey had me[.]  In the afternoon took a 80 mile ride to the Grotto Marvellous along a road cut into the side of the mountain & that overhung the sea.  Some 2000 years ago Bougie was a great city of 100,000 people & a seat of learning.  It dwindled to a village of 2000[,] but now the French are building great docks & making it an export city for this district so it is looking up again.  There are 99 Marabout tombs here so it [is] a sacred city to which hundreds of pilgrims come[.]

 

 

Oct 14 [1924]

 

     Another wonderful drive to Constantine.  Went thro a gorge as beautiful as the Royal Gorge in Colo.  Saw monkeys in the trees.  Ascended to the High Plateau which is a rich farming country.  Met many caravans of camels coming in from the desert with dates to exchange for grain.  Arrived Constantine about five[,] hotel kept by another ex-chef & wife.

 

 

Oct 15 – [1924]

 

     Constantine is a city of 80,000 about evenly divided between Arabs & French.  It is built on a gigantic rock 1000 ft high on the edge of a gorge over the edge of which it appears to be slipping.  This chasm which separates the 2 sides of the city has been worn by the river Rummel [Rhumel] which in winter is a raging flood but now is a small creek.  The gorge is so narrow & so deep it looks a mere ribbon of light from the top -  Went thro the Mellah & saw many beautiful Jewesses - & many old hags – the women all wore voluminous skirts[,] gay handkerchief[s] & jewels on their heads & hoop ear rings as big as saucers.  The little girls wore printed witches caps on their heads.  There is a beautiful cathedral made out of what was once the Mosque of the Market of the Gazelles.  There is also a fine Merdersa which is a school for both Arab & French boys.

 

 

Oct 16. [1924]

 

     Left Constantine at 8.  Arrived at Batna for lunch.  Batna an uninteresting French village.  After lunch drove 19 miles to Timgad[,] the most perfect Roman ruin in the world.  It was a large city built by the Emperor Constantine & contains a theatre, a forum, market, baths etc in a wonderful state of preservation.  The streets are particularly impressive.  Paved with great blocks of granite they still show the marks of the chariot wheels that once thundered through them, & thro Trajan[’] s magnificent triumphal arch[.]

 

 

Oct 17 [1924]

 

     Left Batna at 8.  Monotonous drive thro’ the High Plateau until we came to El Kantra, the gateway thro’ the mountains to the Sahara.  This is considered the most beautiful gorge in the world – high cliffs on either side of a stream – the rocks every shade of red & brown & pink & mauve.  Our first glimpse of the Sahara was of vast, rolling waste of gravelly hills with here & there tufts of coarse grass.  Out of this bleakness appeared a green oasis, a mass of waving palm trees in which is Biskra.  The first glimpse very disappointing to a mind fed up on [sic] Hichens -  Took a walk thro’ the town in the afternoon – was much amused at the rows of sewing machines on which men were making burnouses, each machine being draped with a cotton cloth on which was a large hand of Fathma to keep off the evil luck of using a devil’s invention.  At night a Marabout arranged a dancing dervish performance – man stuck pins thro’ his cheek, neck & tongue, ate fire etc.  Afterwards to the streets of the Ouled Nails & an Arab coffee house.  The girls were very pretty, but short & fat, & gorgeously gowned in brocaded silk one piece frocks & covered with jewels.  They had on anklet[s] & French heeled slippers.  One fat white woman was the disgusting one of the crowd.  The dancers were simply stomach dancers – very crude & ugly[.] 

 

 

Oct 18 [1924]

 

     Went shopping.  Bought “circelet Arabe” made by the Chiaouus, 2 months by caravan from Biskra[.]  In afternoon went to the garden Lardon – the Garden of Allah made by a rich Frenchman – a wilderness of palms & trees, with the murmur of running water – house built in sections -  The sand diviner who told Dominis fortune told ours -  Had sacred sand blessed by marabout – made first the sign of the seal of Soloman [sic], then our hand print, then queer dabs with his own fingers – made shrewd guesses.  Very stately old fakir[.]

 

 

Oct 19 [1924]

 

     Went to the village of Sidi Okba where is buried Mahommets chief lieutenant.  He went with the Koran & sword as far as the Atlantic & called on heaven to witness that only the sea stayed his missionary prowess.  Very interesting old mosque[,] one of the oldest in Africa.  The village is a typical Saharan one of dried mud houses & there were billions of flies – the meat was covered with them[.]

 

 

Oct 20 [1924]

 

     Went to Touggourt by train[,] a distance of 140 miles that it takes 8 hours to make.  The train is painted white to guard against the sun & travels only by night in the summer time.  The scenes along the way were most interesting as we crawled across the Sahara.  At first a vast expanse of rocky, sandy soil covered with hillocks of coarse grass that looked like sage brush, on which herds of camels were feeding.  Then wells, and green oases & palm gardens in which the dates are now ripe.  We reached Touggourt at 3 – went to the miserable little hotel, the TransAt [TransAtlantique] not being open & then wandered thro’ the mud house town.  The streets are built over, so they are dark tunnels only open at the ends & dark even at midday -  Out of these open the houses that must never have either light or air.  At sunset ascended the tower of a mosque.  The view was superb – stretches of sand with here & there an oasis – the sunset turning everything to purple & crimson & gold – in a neighboring minaret a muezzin holding a thread against the darkness, then calling out in bell like tones Allah Akbar – the call to prayer.  On a nearby roof a slim woman in a crimson dress silhouetted against the sky as she prostrated herself in prayer.  Went to the barracks of the Sengalese soldiers – jolly, black lads who come in mere savages & are drilled in the ways of civilization.  On the wall were hughe [sic] blackboards with the letters of the alphabet & a clock where they are taught to read & tell the time. 

 

 

Oct 21 – [1924]

 

     Started for the desert at 9[.]  Our caravan consisted of 8 camels, 5 mules, 15 men & 5 tents.  I rode a devil camel, who snarled & bit at anyone but got along better than I expected.  We reached the sand dunes at 12 – found the tents pitched & dinner cooking. Everything de luxe – good beds, chairs, tables etc.  Had a wonderful dinner, or rather lunch, a nap, then mounted our steeds again & went farther into the sand dunes.  They were of every conceivable fantastic shape & patterned by the wind into the likeness of waves.  The sunset on them was marvelous.  Then back to our tents, & dinner after which the men made a big bondfire [sic] & sat about it in a shadowy row in their flowing white burnouses & turbans & sang & danced the dance of the ouled Nails.  A wonderful picture under a sky of lapis studded with stars.

 

 

Oct 22 – [1924]

 

     The ride over the desert on a mule nearly finished me – hot as hades - & a slipping saddle.  Had a picnic lunch in a beautiful palm orchard –

 

 

Oct 23 – [1924]

 

     A long ride back to Biskra on the dinky little train, relieved only by a glorious sunset –

 

 

Oct 24 [1924]

 

     Drove from Biskra to Constantine stopping for lunch at Batna where we had a fine couscous.

 

 

Oct 25 – [1924]

 

     Rested all day at Constantine & faith we needed it.

 

 

Oct 26 [1924]

 

     Drove from Constantine to Bone.  Stopped for lunch at Hanmon Meskoutine, the famous hot baths known to the Romans & mentioned by Pliny.  The boiling hot water gushes from innumerable little boiling springs and falls in cascades of steam over a bluff[.]  There is so much lime & carbonates in the water it precipitates a snow like substance that forms beautiful stalactites & rocks.  A queer formation of stones made by this water in prehistoric ages resembles grotesquely human forms, & is called the petrifactions[.]  A legend says that an Arab was marrying his sister, & that all those engaged in the unholy business were turned to stone[.]

 

 

Oct 27 [1924]

 

     Bone is a thriving little French seaport, with the worst musquitoes [sic] I ever saw.  It is on the sight [site] of the ancient Roman city Hifone whose ruins are being dug out.  They have some beautiful mosaics.

 

 

Oct 28 [1924]

 

     Beautiful drive to Les Chenes thro cork forrest [sic].  Cold & stormy night in a bad hotel with a heavenly cook.

 

 

Oct 29 [1924]

 

     Long drive to Tunis stopping by way of some more Roman ruins[,] that of Dougga being particularly interesting.  There is a magnificent theatre built on the side of a hill commanding a view, thro’ the Corinthian columns of the stage of a great panorama of valley & mountains that is perfectly magnificent -  Certainly the greatest drop curtain in the world[.]

 

 

Oct 30 [1924]

 

     Tunis is a fine prosperous city, very French as to the French part, with wide streets, handsome European shops, a minature [sic] Paris.  The Arabian part has gorgeous color effects in its souks which are hung with gay embrodieries [sic] & rugs & leather goods.  We spent a most interesting day wandering thro them, buying attar of roses, & essence of the harem in the perfume souk in a little shop that was all gay mosaics of glass, & little bottles, & where the proprietor sat in a cubby hole & dispensed his wares.  Had coffee in an Arabian coffee house where we smoked a bubble pipe & sat on the matting, with the tombs of three marabouts just behind us.  At one end of a souk is a house with a latticed gallery on which the Bey appears every week to hear the petitions of the poor people who kneel in the streets & shout their petitions to him.  A farce, since French justice deals with these matters with a fairness the successors of the “Sultans of the hour” as the Arabian Nights puts it, never dreamed[.]

 

 

Oct 31 – [1924]

 

     Went to the Bardo, which was once the palace of the Bey & is now reconstructed into what is perhaps the greatest museum of antiquities of the world.  There are carvings, relics that go back 700 years before Christ.  One that interested me particularly was a portrait of the deceased executed on a grave stone & was like this [circle for a head with horizontal slits for eyes and mouth and vertical line for nose] the crude drawing every child makes of a man.  There are 2 rooms full of wonderful bronzes, & statues that were rescued from the bottom of the sea about 15 years ago & were [words crossed out: taken for] evidently the cargo of some ship that was wrecked near Sfax, & were intended for the beautification of some one of the then proud Roman cities – Punic, Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, Arabic – all the civilization[s] that have had their day on this strange Barbary coast all may be traced in this wonderful museum.

 

 

Nov 1 – [1924]

 

     Splendid drive down to Kiouwan, where the Khalif of Bagdad nominated Sidi Okba to be ruler of North Africa.  Sidi built Kiouwan as his headquarters, & from there went forth with the Koran in one hand & the sword in the other to convert the world.  He was so eminently successful, that when he reached the Atlantic on the far side of Morocco he rode his horse in the water & called Allah to witness he had not left an unbeliever behind him, & only the ocean kept him from continuing his proselyting career.  There are 87 Mosques in Kairman & it is still a place of pilgrimage, & so holy that until the French established the protectorate no foreigner was allowed to set foot in it.  The Grande Mosque is an enormous place with 500 carved columns in it, the loot of Carthage & the Roman cities -  There is a sacred well at whose outside we gazed in awe as Sidi built it & announced it connected with the holy well in Mecca -  Whether Sidi is the patron saint of flies or not, I know not, but certainly at no other place save his tomb at Biskra, & here at Kiouwan have we seen such swarms of these pests.  Lunched at Kairman - & went by the scene of where a brutal murder had been committed the night before then on to Sousse for to sleep[.]

 

 

Nov 2 – [1924]

 

     Sousse is a lovely sea side city, with nothing particularly interesting in it, but some fine catacombs near[.]

 

 

Nov 3. [1924]

 

     Pleasant drive back to Tunis which seemed almost like getting home, so welcome was the clean, dainty hotel, the good hot bath, & the delicious, well served dinner.

 

 

Nov 4 [1924]

 

     Went to Carthage, the old Phoenician city founded by Dido, the daughter of the King of Tyre who according to tradition asked of the natives only the room to be covered by an ox hide, & when this was granted cut her skin into shreds & stretched it into a goodly real estate holding.  Once upon a time, centuries B. C.[,] Carthage was a great port, from which sailed cargoes of ivory, & apes, & pea cocks, sandalwood & sweet white wines[.]  It is most ideally situated on a hill that overlooks the blue-green bay of Tunis, but all that remains are ruins of theatres & ampitheatres [sic] in which Christians were thrown to the wild beasts -  We saw where St Perpetua was gored by the bull, & St Tiberta met martyrdom, both memories enshrined in the chapel built in their honor -  There is a marvelous museum full of Punic, Roman, & Byzantine relics – jewels that might have come from a modern shop that were taken from the old tombs[.]  Drove to the village of Sidi Bou Said where the wealthy Arabs live & where Baron d’Erlanger has a picturesque villa.

 

 

Nov 5-6-7 – [1924]

 

     Delightful days of resting & leisurely wandering thro’ the souks, buying chains of silver & amber & ambergris, drinking Turkish coffee in the cafes, mingling with the mobs of handsome Arabs & fat Jewesses, & listening to stories with the flavor of the Arabian Nights in them.

 

     One concerned a French girl who lived here with her parents, but who loved an Arab servant & wished to marry him.  Her parents sternly forbade this & took her to France where they arranged a suitable match for her[.]  Before the wedding she gave her Arab lover her jewels & told him to return to Tunis, sell them & start in business for himself.  On her wedding night she fell dead at the feet of her husband.  The servant in the meantime returned to Tunis & offered a necklace for sale in the souks.  Whereupon a man accused him of having robbed the grave of the mans uncle who was buried with just such a jewel on him.  The servant protested his innocence & told how he came by the necklace but he was thrown into prison & was about to be beheaded for his crime when a wise Marabout ordered that the uncles tomb be opened to see if his jewels were still intact.  This was done, but instead of the body of the wicked uncle there was the corpse of the girl.  “Because the maiden was a true Mohammedan at heart Allah has translated her body here to be among believers,” said the Marabout, “& in her grave in Paris you will find the body of the uncle who was faithless to Islam” –

 

      The other story told how the Jews were first permitted to live inside the city walls of Tunis.  There was a Jew craftsman who made the most beautiful daggers in the world.  He fashioned two of superlative loveliness & took one to the Bey to whom he offered it as a present, saying: There is only one other such knife in the world.  Where is that? Asked the Bey -  [“]In Mecca, at the Tomb of the Prophet,” replied the swordmaker.  “How am I to know that?” inquired the Bey,  “Ask the Marabout to bring it to you within 24 hours,” said the man.

 

     Thereupon the man went to the Marabout, & telling him what he had done said: “The Bey will demand that you fly thro’ the air to Mecca & bring him the knife.  This you can not do & you will be slain if you fail.  But here is the knife, twin to the Bey’s.  When he orders you to bring him the one from Mecca assent & then give him this knife.  Then ask a favor of him as a return for the miracle[.]  Ask that one Jewish family be permitted to live within the city walls.”  To this the Marabout agreed & it all fell out as the wily plotter had forseen [sic], but as all the Jews were of one household, they all moved into the city.  To determine where they should abide a stick was thrown from the tower of the Mosque, & where it fell was set apart as the Mellah, which it remains to this day.

 

 

[Note: There is one further entry in this journal, undated, on the last page:]

 

     Moulai Hassan, called the greatest Sultan, died in 1894.  His death was kept secret by his ministers until his successor could be elected.  His Grand Vizier proclaimed his second son Moulai ab-el Aziz Sultan.  He was dethroned by his brother Moulai Hafid who unable to keep peace & seeing his power weakening called in the French to help subdue the Berbers & establish peace.  This done, & feeling he could go alone he betrayed the French in 1912 when the French resident was in Fez & let the Berbers attack the town.  Then he resigned & fled to Spain where he still lives & was a great help to Germany during the war.  The French put in his brother Moulai Youssef who is now Sultan[.]  

  

 


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