|May 16th –
Took horses to the sweet waters, which is a very pretty ride. While there
we visited one of the palaces of the Sultan. The rooms were more handsomely
furnished than any we have seen. One room was yellow, one pearl and one
in crimson damask with carpets to match. Each room had handsome mirrors
in it. There were several paintings in some of the rooms, one representing
the different Sultans and the priests. Returning from this ride, we rode
about half around the walls of the city. Saw the Seven Towers. There were
towers every few hundred yards. They are said to be the best preserved ancient
walls in the world. The towers were round, square and octagon.
May 17th – Made some purchases in the bazaars and about two o’clock went over to Scutari to see the howling dervishes. It was a cloudy day. We had rather a rough passage and greatly to our disappointment when we arrived we were not able to find their place of meeting. We walked through the town a short distance, but could find no one with whom we could make ourselves understood. It really appeared like a deserted village. It was a Greek feast day. The weather appearing more threatening, we thought it best to return and engaged a good sail boat. In going over we shipped sea and several of us were quite wet. We soon arrived and went to purchase some photographs.
May 18th – Went aboard the steamer this morning and left soon after ten o’clock. Turned our course to the Bosporus - we had a fast steamer. The passage was very interesting. It was Friday, the day that the Sultan goes to the Mosques – he visits a different one each week. All the Men of War and several _____ which we saw were docked with flags with the sailors standing on the yard anxiously awaiting the arrival of their sovereign who was to pass in his ____ from his palace on his way to the mosque. We soon drew near his palace situated on the right shore of the Bosporus. As we passed we saw two or three caiques with the Sultan’s escort. We had not the pleasure of seeing him, as he did not come out until after we had passed. There were two regiments drawn up on the opposite shore and soon after we passed we heard the salute which was given him. The view of the shore on either side was perfectly beautiful. Every now and then we saw kiosks picturesquely situated, little villages, castles, etc., cultivated fields. In a few hours we were in the Black Sea – had rather a smooth passage to _______, which place we reached the next morning.
May 19th – There we took the cars and arrived at the Danube in a few hours, where we went aboard a fine steamer going up the river. The scenery on this river is said to be very fine. We still have Turkey on each side of us. The banks are very low and swampy in some places – in others hilly – all are covered with the fresh verdure of spring. It has been raining this evening.
May 20th – Today is Sunday – we are still on board of the
steamer. A number of passengers came on last night. We have a great many
passengers. I should judge that nearly every nation of Europe is represented.
We still have nearly all of our party with us – the six gentlemen
we met at Sinai, etc. It is so _____ that we are unable to get upon deck,
but we have fine views of the banks on either side from the windows.