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LETTER XXXII                         LAKE   VAN                                          341


BITLIS, Nov. 10.

I AKRIVED here two days ago, having ridden the ninety
miles from Van in three and a half days. Dr. Eeynolds
accompanied me, and as we had a couple of zaptielis 011
good horses we deserted the caravan, and came along at
as good a pace as the mountainous nature of the road
would allow. The early winter weather is absolutely
perfect for travelling. All along I am quite impressed
with the resemblance which the southern shores of Lake
Van bear to some of the most beautiful parts of the
Italian Eiviera—Italian beauty seen under an Italian
sky. Travellers lose a great deal by taking the easier
route round the north shore of the lake.

The first day's half march ended at Angugh, an
Armenian village on the river Haslial, on the plain of
Haizdar or Haigatsor, where the people complained of some
Armenian women having been despoiled of their jewels
by some Kurds during the afternoon. The views are
magnificent en route, especially of the Christian village of
Artemid, on a spur on a height, with a Moslem village
in gardens below, with green natural lawns sloping to
the lake. At Angugh I was well accommodated in a
granary on a roof, and as there was no room for my bed,
found a comfortable substitute in a blanket spread upon
the wheat. The next day's march was through ex-
quisitely beautiful scenery, partly skirting deep bays on
paths cut in the rock above them, among oaks and ferns,