23rd – Left Baalbak – crossed the plain of Bukkak and ascended
a portion of Mt. Lebanon until we came to Ain Ata, which is situated at
the base of the snowy part of the mountain. We start for the Cedars tomorrow.
Tuesday - April 24th – Started for the Cedars this morning at five o’clock and arrived in 3½ ______, after a toilsome journey. We rode up as far as the horses could walk. They carried us over two steep places covered with snow. At the first, my horse fell on his breast. This, however, did not cause me to fall. We had five men as guides and to assist in taking care of the horses. When we rode over the snow, they took hold of the halter and led the horses. As we approached the top we were obliged to alight from our horse and walk. Our dragoman assisted me in going up and down the steepest places. Soon after we reached the summit we had a view of these renowned trees. One is always disappointed upon first seeing them. They appear quite insignificant at so great a distance. We were the first party of travelers that had passed this year, it being earlier in the season than usual. In some places the snow was many feet deep. There are about one hundred trees, seven or eight of which are nearly forty feet in circumference. We were not surprised on a close examination to find that they were more look pine than cedar. The wood smells like cedar and is a light color – the leaves are more like the spruce pine.
April 25th – Left Ain Ata this morning and had a very rough stony ride over the ___ Lebanon range of Mountains until we reached the plains of Bukkah. Here we rode all the afternoon until we came to Abla, our camping ground. Before we reached this grassy spot we bought some very antique coins from the neighborhood of Baalbak. Our tents are just outside the village and men, women and children have come out to see us. We are gazed upon as if we were members of a menagerie. After dinner tonight some Arab women with several children asked permission to come to see us in our tent. We gave it and about a half dozen come in and talked to us, but of course we could not understand them. I was writing – at this they expressed surprise.
April 26 – This had been a fatiguing day. We have ridden five or six hours on the Beirut and Damascus road. It was built by the French – is a splendid carriage road, but very tiresome for horse-back riding, it being very hard.
April 27th – We have just arrived at Beirut after a most delightful ride on the turnpike road from our last camping place. We left camp about seven o’clock and rode around the terraced hills of Lebanon until we arrived here. We saw numbers of vineyards; groves of Olives, orchards of apricots, figs and mulberries. We took our last lunch in a grove of pines like those they have in Spain, trimmed up close to the top. This is done to get fire wood. It is from these trees that they got the nuts.
April 28th – Our dragoman gave us a banquet.
April 29th – Sunday – We have had a pleasant sojourn in
Beirut. Have met with some of the protestant missionaries. Last night
we were invited to spend the evening with Mr. and Mrs. Bliss to meet Messrs.
Tiffany and Chittenden from New York. We had a very pleasant evening.
They have several interesting children who sang sweetly for us. There
were 15 American Guests. We also met the American Consul. We heard a sermon
from Mr. Atterbury. The missionaries have a very neat church. Their work
is very encouraging. Among the congregation there were several natives,
some of whom were females. Just after we came out of church we saw five
or six beautiful young girls, who had white muslin veils gracefully thrown
over their heads. While standing there, we were introduced to the Rev.
Dr. Thompson, author of the Land and the Book. Adjoining the church is
the churchyard. There we saw the graves of some of the first missionaries
to Syria. Our room at the hotel looks out upon the sea, giving a fine
view of the harbor. From the house top we had a beautiful view of the
city and the Mts. of Lebanon. We left at five o’clock in company
with twelve Americans and went aboard of one of the Loyd and Austrian
Monday – April 30th – At Cyprus walked through the bazaars. Visited the Church of St. Lazarus and a Greek School. The next morning found us at Rhodes, where the knights of St. John lived. We engaged a boat and were rowed through the harbor over which the colossus stood. We walked through the old part of the city, where the knights of St. John lived. Saw their coats of arms and shields carved on marble tablets and sat in the walls of their houses; also marble tablets of statues in the old town walls and towers. We walked over the ruins of the Church of St. John. We saw numbers of cannon balls lying around which were used in the attack. We have had charming weather and after leaving Rhodes our passage through the Isles of Greece was beautiful. We saw Patmos and Miletus as a distance.