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The following Notes were written during two 
journeys through part of Turkey in Europe: — the 
first, from Saloniki in a north-western direction 
through ancient Macedonia, to Illyrian Albania, 
and by the western coast through Epirus to the 
northern boundary of modern Greece at the Gulf 
of Arta : — the second, in Epirus and Thessaly. 

Since the days of Gibbon, who wrote of 
Albania, — "a country within sight of Italy 
less known than the interior of America," — 
much has been done for the topography of 
these regions ; and those who wish for a clear 
insight into their ancient and modern defini- 
tions, are referred to the authors who, in the 
present century, have so admirably investigated 
and so admirably illustrated the subject. For 
neither the ability of the writer of these 


2 l\ I R0D1 i 1 1 1 

journals, nor their -cope, permil of an) attempt 
on his pari to follow in the track of those 
learned travellers: enough if he may avail 
himself of their Labours by quotation where 
such aid is necessary throughout his memo- 
randa <»!' an artist's mere tour of search among 
the riches of far-away Landscape. 

T<> the unlearned tourist, indeed, Albania is 
a puzzle of the highest order. Whatever he 
may already know of ancient nomenclature — 
Epirus, Molossia, Thesprotia, &c, — is thwarted 
and confused bv Turkish divisions and Pasha- 
liks j beyond these, wheel within wheel, a 
third set of names distract him in the shape of 
native tribes and districts — Tjamouria, Dibra, 
&c. And no sooner does he begin to un- 
derstand the motley crowd which inhabits 
these provinces — Greeks, Sclavonians, Alba- 
nian-, Bulgarians, or Vlachi — than he is anew 
bewildered by a fresh list of distinctive sub- 
splittings, Liape, Mereditti, Khimariotes, and 
T6skidhes. • Races, religions, and national 
denominations seem so ill-defined, or so entan- 
gled, thai he would give up the perplexing 
study in despair, were it not for the assistance 

Leake, " Northern Greece," Vol. I, p. 01. 


of many excellent books already published on 
the subject, a list of the principal of which is 
subjoined.* Of these, the works of Colonel 
Leake stand highest, as conveying by far the 
greatest mass of minutely accurate information 
regarding these magnificent and interesting 
countries. Invaluable and remarkable as is the 
amount of erudition set forth in these volumes, 
the untiring research by means of which it 
has been obtained is not less extraordinary, 
and can only be fully appreciated by those 
who are aware of the impediments with 
which travelling in all seasons in those coun- 
tries must, at that period, have fettered the 

Geographer, antiquarian, classic, and poli- 
tician, having done all in their power for a 
region demanding great efforts of health and 
energy to examine it, there is but little oppor- 
tunity left for the gleanings of the landscape- 

* " Travels in Northern Greece," by Colonel W. Martin 
Leake; "A Journey through Albania, &c." (1809—10), by 
J. C. Hobhouse; "Travels in Albania, Thessaly, &c." 
(1812—13), by Henry Holland, M.D. ; "Travels in Greece 
and Albania," (1813— 11), by the Rev. T. S. Hughes, B.D. ; 
"The Spirit of the East/' (1830), by D. Urquhart, Esq. 

B 2 


painter. Yel of parts of A.croceraunia — of Kr<5ia 
(the cit) of Scanderbeg), and of scenes in the 
neighbourhood of Akhridha — the Lake Lych- 
nitis, the Author believes himself to be the 
onlj Englishman who has published any 
account ; and scanty and slight as his may 
be, it is something in these days to be able 
to add the smallest mite of novelty to the 
travel] re' world of information and interest. 

The general and most striking character of 
Albanian landscape is its display of objects, in 
themselves beautiful and interesting — rarely to 
be met with in combination. You have the 
simple and exquisite mountain-forms of Greece, 
bo perfect in outline and proportion — the lake, 
the river, and the wide plain; and withal you 
have the charm of architecture, the picturesque 
mosque, the minaret, the fort, and the serai, — 
which \<>u have not in modern Greece, for war 
and change have deprived her of them ; you 
have that which i< found neither in Greece 
nor in Italy, a profusion everywhere of the 
most magnificent foliage recalling the green- 
nc^ of our own island — clustering plane and 
chesnut, growth abundant of forest oak and 
beech, and dark tract- of pine. You have ma- 
jestic cliff-girl shores; castle-crowned heights, 


and gloomy fortresses ; palaces glittering with 
gilding and paint; mountain- passes such as you 
encounter in the snowy regions of Switzerland ; 
deep bays, and blue seas with bright, calm isles 
resting on the horizon ; meadows and grassy 
knolls ; convents and villages ; olive-clothed 
slopes, and snow-capped mountain peaks ; — 
and with all this a crowded variety of 
costume and pictorial incident such as be- 
wilders and delights an artist at each step he 

Let us add besides that Olympus, Pindus, 
Pharsalia, Actium, &c, are no common names, 
and that every scene has its own link with 
some historic or poetic association, and we 
cannot but perceive that these parts of Turkey 
in Europe are singularly rich in a combina- 
tion of qualities, hardly to be found in any 
other land. 

These remarks apply more strictly to the 
southern parts of Albania than to the extreme 
north (or Ghegheria); for nearer the confines 
of Bosnia the mountains are on too gigantic 
a scale, and the features of the landscape too 
extensive and diffuse to be easily represented 
by the pencil. There is, however, abundance 
of grandeur and sublimity through the whole 

(i [NTR0D1 ( Tlu\ 

(<»uii!i\ ; though the farther you wander north 
of EpiruSj the less ym find of that grace and 
detail which is so attractive in southern Greece, 
and more especially in Attica and the Pelopon- 

Regarding the besl mode of travelling, it is 
almost superfluous to write, as the Hand-book 
for travellers in the East* supplies excellent 
information on thai head; yet the leading 
points of a traveller's personal experience are 
frequentlv worth knowing. A good dragoman, 
or interpreter, is absolutely necessary, how- 
ever man\ languages you may be acquainted 
with: French, German, and Italian are useless, 
and modem Greek nearly as much if you 
travel higher than Macedonia : Bulgarian, 
Albanian, Turkish, and Sclavonic are your 
requisites in this Babel. Those who dislike 
account-books and the minutiae thereof, may 
rind it a good plan to pay their dragoman a 
certain sum per diem — as C. M. C. and I 
did Lasl year in Greece, where for one pound 
five, including their own pay, the guides 
are accustomed to provide for all your daily 

d-bool I avellers in the [onias [glands, Gn 

'i'n i, M 1845.) 


wants — food, lodging, and conveyance, that is, 
if you travel singly — or for one pound from each 
person, if your party be two or more. In the 
present case, I gave the man who accompanied 
me one dollar daily, and settled for all the ex- 
penses of food, horses, &c, at fixed times ; 
the result of which plan, at the end of the 
journey, was about the same, namely, that 
one pound five a-day covered the whole of 
my expenditure. 

Previously to starting, a certain supply of 
cooking utensils, tin plates, knives and forks, 
a basin, &c. must absolutely be purchased, 
the stronger and plainer the better ; for you 
go into lands where pots and pans are un- 
known, and all culinary processes are to be 
performed in strange localities, innocent of 
artificial means. A light mattress, some sheets 
and blankets, and a good supply of capotes and 
plaids should not be neglected ; two or three 
books ; some rice, curry-powder, and cayenne ; 
a world of drawing materials — if you be a hard 
sketcher ; as little dress as possible, though you 
must have two sets of outer clothing — one for 
visiting consuls, pashas, and dignitaries, the 
other for rough, everyday work ; some quinine 
made into pills (rather leave all behind than 

s [NTB0D1 < TIOW 

this); a Boyourldi, or genera] order of intro- 
duction to governors or pashas ; and your 
Tesker£, or provincial passport for yourself and 
guide. All these are absolutely indispensable, 
and beyond these, the less you augment your 
impedimenta by luxuries the better; though a 
long strap with a pair of ordinary stirrups, to 
throw over the Turkish saddles, may be 
recommended to save you the cramp caused 
l»\ the awkward shovel-stirrups of the country. 
Arms and ammunition, tine raiment, presents 
for natives, arc all nonsense; simplicity should 
be your aim. When all these things, so generi- 
c-ally termed kk Roba" by Italians, are in order, 
Mow them into two Brobdignagian saddle-bags, 
united by a cord (if you can get leather bags 
so much the better, if not, goats'-hair sacks); 
and by these hamrinir on each side of the bag- 
gage-horse's saddle, no trouble will ever be 
given from seceding bits of luggage escaping at 
unexpected intervals. Until you adopt this 
plan, (the simplest of any,) you will lose much 
time daily by the constant necessity of putting 
the baggage in order. 

Journeys in Albania vary in length accord- 
ing to your will, for there are usually roadside 
khan- at from two to four hours* distance. Ten 


hours' riding is as much as you can manage, 
if any sketching is to be secured ; but I gene- 
rally found eight sufficient. 

A khan is a species of public-house rented 
by the keeper or Khanji from the Govern- 
ment, and is open to all comers. You find 
food in it sometimes — sometimes not, when 
you fall back on your own rice and curry- 
powder. In large towns, the khan is a three- 
sided building enclosed in a court-yard, and 
consisting of two floors, the lower a stable, 
the upper divided into chambers, opening into 
a wooden gallery which runs all round the 
building, and to which you ascend outside by 
stairs. In unfrequented districts, the khan is a 
single room, or barn, with a raised floor at one 
end for humanity, and all the rest devoted to 
cattle — sometimes quadrupeds and bipeds are 
all mixed up together. First come, first served, 
is the rule in these establishments ; and as any 
person who can pay the trifle required by the 
Khanji for lodging may sleep in them, your 
company is oftentimes not select ; but of this, as 
of the kind of khan you stop at, you must 
take your chance. 

The best way of taking money is by 
procuring letters on consular agents, or mer- 


chants from toWD to town, so as to carry 
as little coin as possible with yon ; and 
your l>a<i- of piastres yon pack in your 
carpet-bag by day, and use as a pillow by 

In the orthography of names of places, &c. 
throughout the tour, I have implicitly followed 
Colonel Leake. 




September 9, 1848. 

After severe illness in Greece, and repeated 
subsequent attacks of that persevering enemy, 
fever, six weeks of repose in the house of 
the British Embassy, on the banks of the 
Bosphorus, under the care of the kindest of 
families, have at length restored energy, if not 
perfect health ; and as the summer flies, and 
the time for travelling is shortened, a long- 
anticipated plan of visiting parts of ancient 
Greece, Albania, &c, must be put in effect 
now, or not at all. To see the classic vale of 
Tempe, the sacred mountain of Athos, and the 

1 2 JOl ELNAL8 OF 

romantic Ioannina, have always been among 
m\ wishes; and I bad long ago determined 
on making, previously to returning to England, 

B large collection of sketches illustrative of 
the landscape of Greece. So, now that change 
of air and place is desirable as a matter of 
health, ni\ motives for making this journey 
;ii- more powerful than ever, and overcome 
even the fear of renewed illness on the way. 
('. M. ('. is already gone before me to the 
Troad, and from thence will meet me in the 
peninsula of Athos, whence we shall pursue 
our travels together as heretofore. 

:* p.m. — Came on board the ' Ferdinando,' an 
Austrian steamer running between Constanti- 
nople and Saloniki; and a pretty place does it 
seem to pass two or three days in ! Every point 
of the lower deck — all of it — is crammed with 
Turks, .lews, Greeks, Bulgarians, wedged to- 
gether with a density, compared to which a 
crowded Gravesend steamer is emptiness : a 
-eetion of a fig-drum, or of a herring-barrel 
is the only apt simile for this extraordinary 
crowd of recumbent human beings, who are 
all going to Saloniki, as a starting-point for 
Thessaly, Bosnia, Wallacbia, or any part of 
Northern Turkey. This motley cargo is not of 


ordinary occurrence ; but the second Saloniki 
steamer, which should have started to-day, has 
fallen indisposed in its wheels or boiler ; so we 
have a double load for our share. 

Walking carefully over my fellow-passengers, 
I reached the first-class part of the deck — a 
small, raised triangle, railed off from the throng 
below, half of which is allotted to Christians 
(the Austrian Consul at Saloniki and his family 
being the only Christians besides myself), and 
the other half tabooed for the use of a 
hareem of Turkish females, who entirely cover 
the floor with a diversity of robes, pink, blue, 
chocolate, and amber; pea, sea, olive, bottle, 
pale, and dark green ; above which parterre of 
colours are numerous heads, all wrapped in 
white muslin, excepting as many pair of eyes 
undistinguishably similar. There is a good 
cabin below ; but owing to a row of obstructive 
Mussulmen who choose to cover up the grated 
opening with shutters, that they may sit quietly 
upon them to smoke, it is quite dark, so I 
remain on deck. We are a silent community : 
the smoking Turks are silent, and so is the 
strange hareem. The Consul and his wife, and 
their two pretty daughters, are silent, because 
they fear cholera at Saloniki — which the young 

I I Jul |i\ \|.s 0? 

ladies declare is " un pessimo esilio"* — and 
because the\ are regretting aorthern friends. 1 
am Bilent, IVoni much thought, and some weak- 
uess consequenl on Long illness: and the extra 
cargo in the lower deck arc silent also — per- 
haps because they have not room to talk. At 
four, the anchor is weighed, and we begin 
to paddle away from the many domed mosques 
and bright minarets of Constantinople, and 
the gay sides of the Golden Horn, with its 
caiques and its cypresses towering against 
the deepening blue sky, when lo ! we do 
not turn towards the sea, but proceed igno- 
miniously to tow a great coal-ship all the 
way to Buyukdere, so there is a moving 
panorama of all the Bosphorus bestowed on us 
gratis, — Kandili, Baltaliman, Bebek, Yenikoi, 
Therapia, with its well-known walks and pines 
and planes, and lastly Buyukdere, where we 
leave our dingy charge and return, evening 
darkening over the Giant's Hill, Unkiar 
Skelessi, and Anatoli Hissar, till we sail 
forth into the broad Sea of Marmora, leaving 
Scutari and the towers of wonderful Stamboul 
first pale and distinct in the light of the 

* An odious banishment. 


rising moon, and then glittering and lessen- 
ing on the calm horizon, till they, and 
the memory that I have been among them 
for seven weeks, seem alike part of the world 
of dreams. 

September 10. 

Half the morning we lie off Gallipoli, taking 
in merchandize, and indulging in eccentric 
casualties, — demolishing the bowsprit of one 
vessel and injuring divers others, for which 
we are condemned to three hours of clamour 
and arrangement of compensation. In the 
afternoon we wait off the Dardanelles, not an 
inviting town as beheld from the sea ; C. M. C. 
(says the Consul's son) sets off for Athos in two 
days to meet me. Again we move, and day 
wears away amid perplexing twinges foresha- 
dowing fever (for your Greek fever when once 
he has fairly secured you is your Old Man of 
the Sea for a weary while ; you tremble — and 
fly to quinine as your only chance of escape). 
Towards four or five the mountains of the 
Troad fade away in the distance ; later we 
pass near the isles of Imbros and Samothrakos ; 
and later yet, when the unclouded sun has 


Slink clown, a mountain pile of awful form 

looms sublimely in the west — rising from the 
glassy calm waters against the clear amber 
western sky: it is Mount Athos. 

September 11. 

At sunrise the highest peaks of Athos were 
still visible above the long, low line of Cape 
Drepano, and at noon we were making way 
up the Gulf of Saloniki, Ossa and Olympus 
on our left — lines of noble mountain grandeur, 
but becoming rapidly indistinct as a thick 
scirocco-like vapour gradually shrouded over all 
the features of the western shore of the gulf. 
N 'import e — the Vale of Tempe, so long a dim 
expectation, is now a near reality ; and Olympus 
is indubitably at hand, though invisible for the 
present. There were wearily long flat points of 
land to pass (all, however, full of interest as 
parts of the once flourishing Chalcidice), ere 
Saloniki was visible, a triangle enclosed in a 
border of white walls on the hill at the head of 
the gulf; and it was nearly six p.m. before we 
reached the harbour and anchored. 

Instantly the wildest confusion seized all 
the passive human freight. The polychromatic 


hareem arose, and moved like a bed of tulips 
in a breeze ; the packed Wallachians, and 
Bosniacs, and Jews started crampfully from 
the deck, and disentangled themselves into 
numerous boats ; the Consular Esiliati departed ; 
and lastly, I and my dragoman prepared to go, 
and were soon at shore, though it was not so 
easy to be upon it. Saloniki is inhabited by a 
very great proportion of Jews ; nearly all the 
porters in the city are of that nation, and now 
that the cholera had rendered employment 
scarce, there were literally crowds of black- 
turbaned Hebrews at the water's edge, 
speculating on the possible share of each in 
the conveyance of luggage from the steamer. 
The enthusiastic Israelites rushed into the water, 
and seizing my arms and legs, tore me out of 
the boat, and up a narrow board, with the most 
unsatisfactory zeal ; immediately after which 
they fell upon my enraged dragoman in the 
same mode, and finally throwing themselves 
on my luggage, each portion of it was claimed 
by ten or twelve frenzied agitators, who pulled 
this way and that way, till I who stood apart, 
resigned to whatever might happen, confidently 
awaited the total destruction of my " roba." 
From yells and pullings to and fro, the scene 



I s JOURU \l> 01 

changed in a few minutes to a real fight, 
and the whok' community fell to the most 
furious hair-pulling, turban-clenching, and robe- 
tearing, till the luggage was forgotten, and 
all the party was involved in one terrific 
combat. How this exhibition would have 
ended 1 cannot tell, for in the heat of the 
conflict niv man came running with a half- 
-core of Government Kawasi, or police; and 
the way in which they fell to belabouring the 
enraged Hebrews was a thing never to be 
forgotten. These took a deal of severe beating 
from -ticks and whips before they gave way, and 
eventually some six or eight were selected to 
carry the packages of the Ingliz, which 1 
followed into the city, not unvexed at being the 
indirect cause of so much strife.* 

In Saloniki there is a Locanda — a kind of 
hotel — the last dim shadow of European 
v * accommodation" between Stamboul and 
taro : it is kept by the politest of Tuscans, 
and the hostess is the most corpulent and 
blackest of negresses. Thither we went; but 

* The Jews in Saloniki arc descended from those expelled 
from Spain in the fifteenth century : they are said to amount in 
Dumber to four thousand. 


I observed, with pain, that the state of the 
city was far more melancholy than I had 
had reason to suppose : all the bazaars (long 
lines of shops) were closed and tenantless : 
the o^loom and deserted air of the streets was 
most sad, and I needed not to be told that 
the cholera, or whatever were the complaint 
so generally raging, had broken out with 
fresh virulence since the last accounts received 
at Constantinople, and nearly three-fourths of 
the living population had fled from their houses 
into the adjacent country. And no sooner was 
I settled in a room at the inn, than, sen ding- 
Giorgio to the British Consulate, I awaited his 
return and report with some anxiety. 

Presently in came Giorgio with the dreariest 
of faces, and the bearer of what to me were, in 
truth, seriously vexatious news. 

The cholera, contrary to the intelligence 
received in Stamboul, which represented the 
disease as on the decline, had indeed broken 
out afresh, and was spreading, or — what is 
the same thing as to results, if a panic be once 
rife — was supposed to be spreading on all sides. 
The surrounding villages had taken alarm, and 
had drawn a strict " cordon sanitaire" between 
themselves and the enemv ; and, worse than 

c 2 

>20 .K»i. i:\ \i> 01 

all, the monks of Mount Athos bad utterly 
prohibited all communication between their 
peninsula and the infected city; so that any 
attempt on my part to join C. M. C. would 
be useless, no person being allowed to proceed 
beyond a few miles outside the eastern gate of 
Saloniki. No one could tell how lon<r this 
state of things would last; for, although the 
epidemic was perhaps actually decreasing in 
violence, yet the fear of contagion was by no 
means so. Multitudes of the inhabitants of 
the suburbs and adjacent villages had tied to 
the plains, and to pa*>s them would be an 
impossibility. On the south-western road to 
Greece or Epirus, the difficulty was the same : 
even at Katerma, or Platamona, the peasants 
would allow no one to land.* 

Here was a dilemma ! — a pleasant fix ! yet 
it was one that required the remedy of resolve, 
rather than of patience. To remain in a city 
full of epidemic disease, (and those only who 
have seen an Oriental provincial town under 

* Such were tliv representations made to me at the time, 
and which naturally deterred mc from attempting to reach 
Mount Athos; but 1 have since had reason to believe thai the 
state of alarm and panic was greatly exaggerated. 


such circumstances can estimate their horror), 
myself but convalescent, was literally to court 
the risk of renewed illness, or at best com- 
pulsory detention by quarantine. Therefore, 
after weighing the matter well, I decided 
that my first step must be to leave Saloniki 
at the very earliest opportunity. But whither 
to go ? Mount Athos was shut ; the west-coast 
of the gulf was tabooed. There were but 
two plans open : — the first was to return 
by the next steamer to Constantinople ; but 
this involved a fortnight's waiting, at least, in 
the place of pestilence, with the chance of 
being disabled before the time of departure 
came ; and even could I adopt such means of 
escape, the expense and mortification of going 
back was, if possible, to be shunned. 

The second " modus operandi" was to set 
off directly, by the north-west road, through 
Macedonia to Illyrian Albania, by the ancient 
Via Egnatia, and so rejoin C. M. C. at Ioannina. 
This plan, though not without weighty ob- 
jection — of which the being compelled to go 
alone, and the great distance of the journey 
were prominent — appeared to me the only 
safe and feasible one ; and, after much reflection, 
I finally determined to adopt it. After all, 

._>._) 11 i;\ Oi8 OF 

looking at things on their brightest side, when 


once they were discovered to be inevitable — 
though I was unable to meet my friend, I had 
a good servant accustomed to travel with 
Englishmen : health would certainly improve 
in the air of the mountain country, and 
professional objects, long in view, would not 
be sacrificed. As for the risk run by thus 
rushing into strange places, and among un- 
known people, when a man has walked all over 
the wildest parts of Italy, he does not prog- 
nosticate danger. Possibly one may get only as 
far as Monastir — the capital of Macedonia — and 
then make southward, having seen Yenidje and 
Edessa — places all full of beauty and interest ; 
or, beyond Monastir, lies Akhridha and its lake, 
and farther yet Elbassan, or even Scodra — 
highest in the wilds of Gheghe Albania. 
Mak . thought I to myself, no definite 
arrangement beyond that of escape from 
Salorukj ; put yourself, as a predestinarian 
might -ay, calmly into the dice-box of small 
<Miii-, and I)- shaken out whenever circum- 
stances may ordain : only go, and as soon as 
you can. So, Giorgio, have horses and all 
minor matters in complete readiness at sunrise 
the da\ after to-morrow. 


September 12. 

This intervening day before my start " some- 
where or other" to-morrow, I set apart for 
lionizing Saloniki with a cicerone.* 

Whatever the past of Saloniki, its present 
seems gloomy enough. The woe, the doleful- 
ness of this city ! its narrow, ill-paved streets ; 
(evil awaits the man who tries to walk with 
nailed boots on the rounded, slippery stones 
of a Turkish pavement !) the very few people 
I met in them, carefully avoiding contact ; the 
closed houses ; the ominous silence ; the 
sultry, oppressive heat of the day ; all con- 
tributed to impress the mind with a feeling 
of heavy melancholy. A few Jews in dark 
dresses and turbans ; Jewesses, their hair tied 
up in long, caterpillar-like green-silk bags, 
three feet in length ; Greek porters, aged 
blacks, of whom — freed slaves from Stamboul 
— there are many in Saloniki ; these were the 
only human beings I encountered in threading 

* Yov accounts of Saloniki, the ancient Thcssalonica, see 
Leake, "Northern Greece," Vol. Ill, p. 239; Dr. Holland, 
p. 320. 

•_> i J01 EtNALS "I 

a Labyrinth of lanes in the lower town, 
ascending towards the tipper part of this 
formerly extensive city. Once, a bier with a 
corpse on it, borne by some six or eight of 
the mosl wretched creatures, crossed my path; 
and when 1 arrived at the beautiful ruin called 
the Ineantada, two women, I was told, had 
jusl expired within the court-yard, and, said 
the ghastly-looking Greek on the threshold, 
" Yon may may come in and examine what 
you please, and welcome; but once in you 
are in quarantine, and may not go out," an 
invitation I declined as politely as I could, 
and passed onward. From the convent at 
the summit of the town, just within its white 
walls, the view should be most glorious, as 
one ought to see the whole of the gulf, and 
all the range of Olympus; but, alas! beyond 
the silvery minarets relieving the monotonous 
surface of roofs below, and the delicately 
indented shore and blue gulf, all else was 
blotted out, as it were, by a curtain of hot 
purple haze, telling tales to my fancy of miasma 
and cholera, fever and death. 

Willing to exercise the mind as much as 
possible in a place so full of melancholy 
influences, I examined, in order, every ruin 


and record of old Thessalonica — the mosques 
in the lower town, and in the courtyard of 
one of these the pulpit said to be St. Paul's, 
the Roman arch, with its bassi rilievi, and 
the Hippodrome; and, although there was no 
one of these I particularly regretted that I 
could not draw, yet I saw an infinity of 
picturesque bits, cypresses, and minarets, and 
latticed houses ; and doubtless, under more 
cheering circumstances, a week in Saloniki 
might be well spent. But the fear of fever 
deterred me from great exertion, and sent me 
home long ere noon. Sad, gloomy and 
confused memories of Saloniki are all I shall 
carry away with me. In the afternoon, 
Mr. C. Blunt, our Consul, came to me, and 
strongly recommended my own decision as 
the best, his account of Athos and the 
west coast being confirmatory of that I had 
previously heard. The evening was passed 
with his agreeable family, long resident here 

September 13. 

By 7 a.m. the four post-horses and the 
Soorudji are ready. In these parts of Turkey, 
blessed with a post-road, you have no choice 

•_)(i JOURNALS 01 

as to your mode of travelling, nor can you 
stop where you will, so easily as you may with 
horses hired from private owners. Yenidje 
being the next post from Saloniki (reckoned 

ten hour-), thither must I go. The Soorudjl 
or post-boy, always rides first. Leading the 
baggage-horse, and is almost always fair food 
for the pencil, for he wears a drab jacket with 
strange sky-blue embroideries, a short kilt, and 
other arrangements highly artistical. 

The morning was sultry and uninviting. 
We left the ill-paved, gloomy Saloniki by the 
Vardhari gate, which, at that early hour, was 
crowded with groups of the utmost picturesque- 
uess, bringing ^oods to market in carts drawn 
by white-eyed buffali : immense heaps of 
melons appeared to be the principal article 
of trade ; but their sale being prohibited 
within the walls of the city, on account of 
tlie cholera, the remaining inhabitants came 
outside to buy them, taking them in "nascos- 

The broad, sandy road, enlivened for a 

time by these peasants, soon grew tiresome, 

it stretched over a plain, whose extent and 



beauty were altogether hidden by the thick 
haze which clung close to the horizon. Hardly 
were the bright white walls of Salomki long- 
distinguishable ; and as for the mountains and 
Olympus, they were all as if they were not, 
— a colourless, desert " pianura" — such 
seemed my day's task to overcome. Never- 
theless, though the picture was a failure as a 
whole, its details kept me awake and pleased, 
varieties of zoology attracting observation on 
all sides. Countless kestrils hovering in the 
air, or rocking on tall thistles ; hoopoes, 
rollers, myriads of jackdaws, great broad- 
winged falcons soaring above, and beautiful 
grey-headed ones sitting composedly close to 
the roadside as we passed — so striking in 
these regions is the effect of the general system 
of kindness towards animals prevalent through- 
out Turkey — the small black-and-white vulture 
was there too, and now and then a graceful 
milk-white egret, slowly stalking in searchful 

The usual pace of the Menzil* is a very 
quick trot, and the great distance accomplished 
by Tatars-^ in their journeys is well authenti- 

* Menzil, the Turkish post. t Tatar, a courier. 


cated; l)iit not being up to hard work, I rode 
slowrj : besides, the short shovel stirrups and 

peaked saddle are troubles you by no means 
gel used to in a first lesson. At half-past 
eleven we reached the Vardhari, a broad river, 
(the apple of discord between Greek and 
Turk, as a boundary question), and here 
crossed by a long structure of wood, bristling 
with props and prongs : near its left bank 
stands a khan — destined to be our mid-day 

A sort of raised wooden dais, or platform, 
extends before the roadside Turkish khan : here 
mats are spread, and day- wayfarers repose, 
the roof, prolonged on poles, serving as shelter 
from sun or rain. Three Albanian guards — 
each a picture — were smoking on one side, 
and while Giorgio was preparing my dinner 
of cold fowl and an omelette on the other, I 
sketch the bridge, and watch the infinite 
novelty of the moving parts of the scene, 
which make this wild, simple picture alive 
with interest, for the bridge and a few willows 

* Vardhari, anciently the Axius : the bridge is eighteen 
hundred feel in length. Leake, "Northern Greece," Vol. ITT 
. !58. 


are foreground and middle distance : remote 
view there is none. Herds of slow, bare-hided 
buffali, each with a white spot on the forehead, 
and with eyes of bright white, — surrounded by 
juvenile buffalini, only less awkward than 
themselves ; flocks of milk-white sheep, 
drinking in the river ; here and there a 
passing Mohammedan on horseback, one of 
whom, I observed, carried a hooded falcon, 
with bells on his turban ; how I wished all 
these things could be pourtrayed satisfactorily, 
and how I looked forward to increasing beauty 
of costume and scenery when among the wilder 
parts of the country. 

1 p.m. Again in travelling trim, and crossing 
the ricketty bridge; we trotted, or gallopped 
for three hours across a continuous, wide, 
undulating bare plain, only enlivened by 
zoological appearances as before, all the distant 
landscape being hidden still. Near the road 
many great tumuli were observable on either 
side during the day, and a large portion of 
the plain near the Vardhari was white with 
salt, a kind of saline mist appearing to fall 
for more than an hour. At the eighth hour 
we had approached so near the mountains that 
their forms came out clearly through the 

30 •'" l RNAL8 Of 

haz) atmosphere, and one needle-like white 
column, the minaret of the chief mosque of 
Yenidje was visible, the town itself being 
nearly reached at the ninth hour, an event 
which, with a stumbling horse and fatigued 
Limbs, I gladly hailed. 

It would not do to let a day pass without 
making a large drawing, so 1 waited outside 
the town or village, to work until sunset. 
Yenidje- is near the site of ancient Pella, 
the birthplace of Alexander the Great ; in 
our days it i> a beautiful specimen of Mace- 
donian town-scenery, situated in proves of rich 
foliage, over-topped by shining white minarets, 
with here and there, one or two mosque domes, 
and a few tall, dark cypresses ; these are the 
most prominent features ; all the little dirty 
houses, which a nearer acquaintance makes 
you too familiar with, are hidden by the 
trees, so that the difference between that 
which seems, and that which is, is vastly 
wide. Yet as (my drawing done) I entered 
the place, nothing can be more striking and 

* Or Jannitza : Apostolus, a village at a small distance, is 
the nearest place to the actual site of Fella. Leake, "Northern 
Oreece," Vol. 111. p. 270. 


characteristic than the interior of the village, 
though the poetry and grandeur vanish. Lanes, 
rich in vegetation, and broken ground, animated 
by every variety of costume, surround the 
entrance, and conduct you to streets, narrow 
and flanked with wooden, two-storied houses, 
galleried and raftered, with broad-tiled eaves 
overshadowing groups of Turks or Greeks, 
recumbent and smoking in the upper floor, 
while loiterers stand at the shop-doors below : 
in the kennel are geese in crowds, and the 
remainder of the street is as fully occupied 
by goats and buffaloes, as by Turks or Christians. 
Beyond all this are mountains of grandest form, 
appearing over the high, dark trees, so that 
altogether no artist need complain of this as a 

Curious to know how one would be off for 
lodgings in Macedonia, I found Giorgio at the 
postmaster's house, where, in one of the above- 
noticed wooden galleries, (six or eight silent 
Turks sat puffing around) I was glad of a 
basin of tea. But it is most difficult to 
adopt the Oriental mode of sitting ; cross- 
leggism, from first to last, was insupportable 
to me, and, as chairs exist not, everything 
must needs be done at full length. Yet it is a 

32 ■ l "' KN \1.> "I 

great charm of Turkish character that they 
uever stare or wonder at anything; you are 
not bored by any questions, and I am satisfied 
thai if you chose to take your tea while 
suspended by your feet from the ceiling, not 
a word would be said, or a sign of amazement 
betrayed; in consequence you soon lose the 
sense of the absurd so nearly akin to shame, 
on which you are forced to dwell if constantly 
reminded of your awkwardness by observation 
or interrogation. 

Whatever may be said of the w r retchedly 
* k bare" state of a Turkish house, or khan, that, 
in my estimation, is its chief virtue. The closet 
(literally a closet, being about six feet six inches 
by four, and perfectly guiltless of furniture) in 
which my mattress was placed, was floored with 
new deal, and whitewashed all over, so that a 
few minutes' sweeping made it a clean, respect- 
able habitation, such as you would find but 
seldom in Italian Locande of greater pretension. 
One may not, however, always be so lucky; 
but if all the route has accommodations like 
this, there will be no great hardship to 


September 14. 

To make sure of as long a day as possible, 
the elaborate northern meal of breakfast may be 
well omitted ; a good basin of coffee and some 
toast is always enough, and is soon over, and 
until starting-time there are always stray 
minutes for sketching. The inhabitants of 
Yenidje seem to know little of the " malattia"* 
(though but nine hours distant) at Saloniki, 
and ask few questions about it ; but Turks are 
such imperturbable people that it is not easy 
to discover their thoughts. The outskirts of this 
quiet town are most peaceful and rural, and the 
picturesque odds and ends within might occupy 
the man of the pencil pleasantly and profitably. 

While taking a parting cup of coffee with 
the postmaster, I unluckily set my foot on a 
handsome pipe-bowl, (pipe-bowls are always 
snares to near-sighted people moving over 
Turkish floors, as they are scattered in places 
quite remote from the smokers, who live at 
the farther end of prodigiously long pipe- 
sticks) — crash ; but nobody moved ; only on 
apologizing through Giorgio, the polite 

* Illness. 


H\ JOl l:\ LLS 01 

Mohammedan said: "The breaking such a 

pipe-bowl would indeed, under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, be disagreeable ; but in a friend 
every action has its charm !" — a speech which 
recalled the injunction of the Italian to his 
son on Leaving home, " Whenever anybody 
treads upon your foot in company, and says, 
' Scusatemi,' only reply: ' Anzi — mi ha fatto 
un piacere !' "* 

The morning seemed lowering, and a drizzling 
rain soon fell. This perpetual haze must end 
in some one or two days' hard rain before the 
weather clears, and I speculate where the 
durance is to be borne the while. Avoiding the 
grass-grown raised pavement, which is the 
post-road in Turkey, wherever mud or water 
prevent your using the broad track parallel to 
which it leads, we advanced by well-worn 
paths over a plain somewhat similar to that 
of yesterday, but which became more marshy, 
and in parts more cultivated, as we approached 
the hills of Vodhena, backed by the dark cloudy 
mountains beyond. From time to time we pass 
herds of buffaloes ; falcons are numerous on all 
>ide^, and, added to yesterday's ornithology, 

I beg pardon. On the contrary, you have done me a pleasure. 


there are hooded crows, rooks, coots, quails, 
and plovers. At eleven, we arrive at Arnaoutlik, 
a village of Greek and Bulgarian Christian pea- 

Of Giorgio, dragoman, cook, valet, inter- 
preter and guide, I have had as yet nothing to 
complain ; he is at home in all kinds of tongues, 
speaking ten fluently, an accomplishment com- 
mon to many of the travelling Oriental Greeks, 
for he is a Smyrniote by birth. In countenance 
my attendant is somewhat like one of those 
strange faces, lion or griffin, which we see on 
door-knockers or urn-handles, and a grim twist 
of his under-jaw gives an idea that it would 
not be safe to try his temper too much. In 
the morning he is diffuse, and dilates on 
past journeys ; after noon his remarks become 
short, and sententious — not to say surly. Any 
appearance of indecision evidently moves him to 
anger speedily. It is necessary to watch the 
disposition of a servant on whom so much 
of one's personal comfort depends, and it 
is equally necessary to give as little trouble as 
possible, for a good dragoman has always 
enough to do without extra whims or worrvings 
from his employer. 

At Arnaoutlik the horses rest, and the fire 

D 2 


of the khan is in request, for rain has fallen all 
the morning, though capotes and plaids kept 
it off pretty well. The village, composed of 
scattered wooden houses, is full of prettiness; 

but fierce dogs, when the rain ceases, prevent my 
going near any of the buildings, as much as a 
multitude of wasps do my eating a peaceful 
dinner on the khan platform. Yet, spite of dogs, 
wasps, and wet, distances veiled over by cloud, 
and all other hindrances, there is opportunity to 
remark in the scene before me a subject some- 
what ready-made to the pencil of a painter, 
which is marvellous : it is not easy to say why 
it is so, but a picture it is. Copy what you 
see before you, and you have a picture full of 
good qualities, in its way — a small way, we 
grant — a mere village landscape in a classic 
land. Blocks of old stone — squared and cut 
long ago in other ages — overgrown with 
very long irrass, clustering lentisk, and glossy 
leaves of arum, form vour nearest foreground ; 
among them sit and lie three Soorudgis, 
white-kilted, red, brown and orange-jacketed, 
red-capped, piped, moustached, blue-gaitered, 
bare-footed. Your next distance is a flat bit 
of sandy ground, with a winding road, and 
on it one white-capoted shepherd : beyond. 


yet still near the eye, is a tract of gray earth, 
something between common and quarry, broken 
into miniature ravines, and tufted with short 
herbage : here, lie some fifty white and black 
sheep, and a pair of slumbering dogs, while 
near them two shepherd-boys are playing on 
a simple reed-like flute, such as Praxiteles might 
have put in a statue's hands. A little farther on 
you see two pale stone and wooden houses, with 
tiled roofs, mud walls, and long galleries hung 
with many a coloured bit of carpet. Close by, 
in gardens, dark-cloaked women are gathering 
gourds, and placing them on the roofs to dry. 
Gray, tall willows, and spreading planes over- 
shade these houses, and between the trees you 
catch a line of pale lilac plain, with faint blue 
hills of exquisite shapes — the last link in the 
landscape betwixt earth and heaven. 

At half-past one p.m. a re-start. Sky clearing, 
and high mountains peeping forth. Cultivation 
increases, and fields of gran-turco or Indian corn 
are frequent as we approach the valley of the 
Karasmak,* which we cross by a bridge, and 
the country becomes more and more thickly 
studded with groups of planes and various trees. 

* Karasmak or Mavroneri — anciently the river Lydias. 

38 J01 ELNAL8 OP 

At half-past three we are in sight of Yodhcna,* 
and a more beautifully situated place can hardly 
be imagined, even shorn as it is just now by cloud 
and mist of its mountain background. It stands 
on a long ridge of wooded cliff, with mosques 
sparkling above, and waterfalls glittering down 
the hill-side, not unlike the Cascatelli of Tivoli, 
the whole screen of rock seeming; to close up 
the valley as a natural wall. 

The air began to freshen as the road 
ascended from the plain through prodigiously 
huge walnut and plane-trees shading the 
winding paths, and as the valley narrowed, 
the rushing of many streams below the waving 
branches was most delicious ; between the fine 
groups of dense foliage, the dark mass of the 
woody rock of Vodhena is irresistibly beautiful, 
and before we reached the dreary scattered 
walls and suburb lanes, by climbing for half 
an hour up a winding pass between high rocks, 
I was more than once tempted to linger and 
draw. From the proud height on which this 
ancient city stood, the combination of green 
wood, yellow plain, and distant mountain was 
most lovely, and I can conceive that when the 

.l._;< "i- Odessa, the capital of ancient Macedonia. Lc-akr, 
Northern Greece," Vol. IH . 272. 


atmosphere is clear, and all the majesty of 
Olympus, with the gulf of Saloniki (and perhaps 
Athos) also are visible, few scenes in Greece can 
surpass the splendour of this. 

After six, we arrived at the postmaster's 
house in the centre of the town — one of those 
strange, wide-eaved, double-bodied, painted and 
galleried Turkish abodes which strike the 
stranger with wonder ; but the whole place 
was full of the retinue of some travelling Pasha 
— guards above, and horses below — a small 
outhouse abounding with cats and cobwebs 
being also full of a large party of Bulgarian 
merchants. So Giorgio set out to seek a 
lodging in some Greek tradesman's house, and 
I wound up the evening by a prowl through 
the streets of the town, in which, to all the 
varieties of Yenidje, is added a profusion of 
fountains of running water, and numerous 
streams half the width of its sloping streets. 
Tea and lodging (so called) I found prepared 
over a large stable — a great falling off from 
last night's accommodation — the floor of the 
barn being of that vague nature that one 
contemplated the horses below through various 
large cavities, by means of some of which one 
might, by any too hasty movement, descend 
unwittingly among them ere morning. 

,\{) .1(11 li\ U,S Ol 

September 15. 

By five 1 was out on the road to Yenidje, 
at a dervish's tomb, not far from the town, a 
spot which I had remarked yesterday, as pro- 
mising, if weather permitted, a good view east- 
ward. All the plain below is bright yellow as the 
sun rises gloriously, and Olympus is for once 
in perfect splendour, with all its snowy peaks ; 
but the daily perplexity of mist and cloud 
rapidly soars upward, and hardly leaves time 
for a sketch ere all is once more shrouded 

The dervish's, or saint's tomb, is such as 
you remark frequently on the outskirts of 
Mohammedan towns in the midst of wide 
cemeteries of humble sepulchres — a quadrangu- 
lar structure three or four feet high, with pillars 
at the corners, supporting a dome of varying 
height ; beneath its centre is usually the carved 
emblem of the saint's rank, his turban, or 
high-crowned hat. As these tombs are often 
-haded by trees, their effect is very pleasing, 
the more so that the cemeteries are mostly 
frequented by the contemplative faithful. Often, 
in their vicinity, especially if the position of 
the tombs commands a tine view, or is near 


a running stream, you may notice one of those 
raised platforms, with a cage-like palisade, 
and supporting a roof, in the shade of which 
the Mohammedan delights to squat and smoke. 
There is one close by me now, in which a 
solitary elder sits, in the enjoyment of tobacco 
and serenity, and looking in his blue and yellow 
robes very like an encaged macaw. 

A quick run down the rocky pass of last 
evening, brought me to the great plane-trees, 
and the bright stream, whence Vodhena, on 
its hill, is so lovely — a scene difficult to match 
in beauty. I met many peasants, and long 
strings of laden mules, but no one took the 
faintest notice of me — a negative civility 
highly gratifying, after all one hears of the 
ferocity of the aborigines of these regions. 
That the road as far as Vodhena is considered 
carriageable was proved to me by the strange 
spectacle which passed me on my way up to 
the town — eight horses pulling up the steep 
ascent with a carriage full of masked ladies, 
the beloved of some Mohammedan dignitary. 
Eight armed outriders preceded this apparition, 
and a troop of guards followed the precious 

Before an early " dejeuner ' at ten, there 

J ) JUL' UN \1> OF 

was yet time to draw a street-scene, though 
the curiosity of half the people of Vodhenii 
obliged me to stand on a stone in the midst of 
the kennel to draw. Their shouts of laughter, 

as 1 represented the houses, were electrifying : 
" Scroo ! scroo ! scroo !" (He writes it down ! 
he writes ! lie writes !) they shouted. But it 
was all good nature : no wilful annoyance of 
any kind. 

Before eleven I had quitted this beautiful 
place, and was once more on the road to 
Monastir, not that one hoped to get there 
ere nightfall, but only to some midway khan, 
or village. Rain began to fall as I turned 
away from woody Vodhena and its streams, 
and heavier showers fell in the narrow 7 culti- 
vated valley through which our route lay, on 
the left bank of the Karasmak. Having 
crossed it, we ascended towards the higher 
mountains, their heads hidden in mist, and, 
as the road rose rapidly among their steep 
sides, many a lofty summit, towering above 
screens fringed with hanging wood, was more 
and more magnificent, while, looking back 
over Vodhena", the plain of Yenidje and the 
hills of Salonika were visible afar off. But as 
we scaled the highest part of the pass, and 1 


saw the last glimpse of the eastern sea, the 
rain fell in tremendous torrents, and we urged 
the horses to the full speed of Tatar trot and 
gallop. A vale and marshy lake lying at the 
foot of chesnut-clothed hills, and a world of 
purple rock and waterfall reminding me of 
Borrowdale — high peaks frowning through the 
driving clouds, stony lanes, paths through 
overhanging oakwoods, rivulets, clay ravines, 
slippery rocks — all flitted by in rapid succession, 
as we gallopped on, without a halt, till the 
drenching tempest ceased about half-past one, 
and I found myself looking down on the 
Lake of Ostrovo, whose dark gray bosom 
stretched dimly into worlds of clouded heights 
on either side of its extent. The whole of 
the pass from Vodhena to Ostrovo, I doubt 
not, is full of great beauty, and I lost it with 

At Ostrovo I decided to remain,* too fearful 
of returning fever to hazard the seven hours' 
journey between it and the next village — 
Tilbeli ; and on descending a steep path 
to the lake, the little town and mosque shone 

* Counted as four hours from Vodhenii. 


out brightly against the lead-coloured waters 
and cloud-swept mountains, a scene of grandeur 
reminding me, in its hues, of Wastwater and 

Keswick, while the snow r peaks, dark cypresses, 
and gay white minarets stamped the whole 
as truly Moslem-Macedonian. But, notwith- 
standing all these ecstacies, what a place is 
( >s1 rovo for a night's abode ! This most wretched 
little village contains but one small khan, with 
two tiny rooms on the ground-floor, in one of 
which, half suffocated by the smoke of a 
wood fire, I was too glad to change dripping 
garments and don dry ones ; — let the traveller 
in these countries be never forgetful of so 
wrapping up his "roba," that he may have 
dry changes of raiment when needful. Happily 
the weather cleared after the storm, and 1 
drew till dusk, none the w r orse for the morn- 
ing's wetting, and feeling hourly the benefit of 
the elastic mountain air. 

Broiled and boiled salmon trout, rice sou}) 
and onions awaited me in the Mivart's of 
Ostrovo — and, let me say, that is by no means 
a bad supper to find in a Macedonian khan. 
The evening passed in the intellectual diver- 
sion of drying one's wet clothes by little 
bits of firewood, and in packing one's self so 


as to sleep tolerably, spite of there being no 
bolt to the door. But, in truth, in so forlorn 
a spot as this, no precautions could ensure 
safety against force, were robbery intended. 
Never, in the wildest of countries, have I met 
with any robber adventure, and not being 
troubled by suspicions of danger, I have come 
to believe that carelessness as to attack is the 
best safeguard against any. Mats hung to 
the roof and window keep out some of the 
air, (for an unglazed hole in the wall, and a 
series of apertures in the roof, add to the 
charms of this hotel,) but the wood-smoke is 
the worst enemy, and I am glad to seek refuge 
from it in slumber. 

September 16. 

Bitter cold saluted me at rising — if that may 
be called rising which, in this chair-less land, 
consists in a perpetual scramble on the floor, 
reminding the performer of such creatures as 
swallows and bats, of whom naturalists relate 
that their difficulty of leaving the ground, 
when once there, is extreme. Brightly silvered 
with snow were all the great mountains round 
the lake, and till half-past seven I drew, 


charmed with the grandeur and beauty of this 
noble scene. However miserable the village 
of Ostrovo, (it bears marks of greater size 
and prosperity,) its position is magnificent ; 
the people also seem thoroughly quiet and 

The route to Monastir lies round the head 
of the lake, where, on the marshy tract, stalk 
numbers of ivory-white herons, and after leaving 
the shores, we mount high above their level, 
by zigzag paths, whence there is many a 
wide and brilliant view over all the waters of 

For two hours we proceed by brushwood- 
covered hills, possessing small share of beauty 
or interest, to some bleak downs, where on 
our left stands a village, half an hour beyond 
which is a magnificent view of another lake, 
(which I somewhat believe to be that of 
Kastoria, the ancient Celetrum), the shores 
of which were beautifully indented and varied 
with promontories and bays, and the lines of 
hills on all sides graceful and striking. But 
beyond this oasis, two hours and a half of 
weariness followed, treeless, bare hill-sides, 
unbroken by the least variety of interest, and 
I began to repent heartily of ever having come 


to Macedonia, the more that rain again began 
to fall as I approached Tilbeli, still three 
hours and a half from Monastir. But it was 
necessary to rest the horses here, the roads 
of the morning having been unusually stony 
and fatiguing, and after such halt, it would 
be too late to start afresh, as another tempest 
was evidently gathering. So at Tilbeli I remain 
for the night, much against my will, for this 
straggling village in a wide green valley presents 
little for the pencil. By way of compensation, 
the khan is very decent, and my lodging is in a 
little chamber like a pigeon-house, over the 
gate of the court-yard, the ascent to which 
is by a ladder, which being removed, the 
dweller above remains suspended in air. This 
comfortless weather is very dispiriting, for it 
is bitterly cold, and the pigeon-loft trembles 
spasmodically in every gust of wind. Yet 
writing letters on the floor, and drinking tea out 
of a plate (for the basin is broken) wear away 
the evening quickly after all. 

September 17. 

The ornithological attractions of the village 
of Tilbeli seem divided between jackdaws and 


geese ; it is difficult to imagine the numbers 

of these feathered musicians in every lane and 
on every roof; their noise is perfectly stunning. 
Off h\ six, and a dreary commencement is 
prolonged for three hours in a bitter cold wind, 
over hideous hill-plains, stony and shrubless, 
and recalling the melancholy Murgie of Alta- 
mura in South Italy. Descending about half- 
past nine to the great plain of Bitolia, or 
Monastir, (the military centre and capital of 
modern Macedonia and Northern Albania), 
white minarets, extensive buildings and gardens 
were a pleasant sight, as the city seemed to 
expand on our approaching the high mountains 
at the foot of which it is built. 

Had it not been for the caprices of our 
guide, a wild gipsy Soorudgi, we should sooner 
have arrived at our destination than we did ; 
that worthy having met with a fellow-gipsy 
on horseback, the twain indulged in convivial 
draughts of rakhee at two roadside khans to so 
great an extent, that their merriment became 
boundless, and having loosened the baggage 
and led horses, they drove them facetiously 
in and out of fields of maize and corn — for we 
were now near the city — till their sport 
terminated in the lively new-comer subsiding 


into a quagmire, where his horse, anxious to make 
a good meal in the next field of gran-turco, left 
him to his fate. This catastrophe rather pleased 
me than not, till, on entering Monastir, our own 
Soorudgi suddenly gave way to pangs of 
conscience, and neither threats nor entreaties 
could prevent his returning for his lost friend, 
which meritorious act caused us an hour's 
delay ere we reached the barrier of the city. 

Here we were interrogated by an official, 
who, in the matter of passports, was soon satisfied 
by the avrog pXof Jo* hyxlq of Giorgio — (" this English 
Milord," all English travellers being so termed 
in the East) — and we passed onward. Close to 
the town, on the eastern side, stretches a wide 
common, used as a cemetery, and forming the 
unmolested abode of troops of dogs, who lie in 
groups of ten or twenty till the town scavengers 
bring them their morning and evening meal. 

Monastir (or Bitdlia) contains not less than 
fourteen or fifteen thousand inhabitants, and is 
the metropolis of these remote provinces, a pre- 
eminence evidently justified by its activity and 
prosperity. It is also a place of the greatest im- 
portance, as commanding the direct entrance 
from Illyria into Macedonia by the passes of the 
river Drilon or Drin, and as a military centre from 


.-,() JOURNAL* n| 

which Epirus and Thessaly arc equally acces- 
sible. ' 

Anticipating — as in every previous case during 
this journey — that the glitter and beauty of 
< ml ward appearance would be exchanged on 
entering the city for squalor and dreariness, I 
was agreeably surprised at the great extent of 
public buildings, barracks, and offices at the 
entrance of the town, and, within it, at the 
width and good pavement of the streets, the 
cleanliness and neatness of the houses. The 
bazaars are exceedingly handsome, some entirely 
roofed over, and lighted from above with win- 
dows, others only partially sheltered, or semi- 
roofed with matting on poles. Great numbers of 
vendors and buyers throng these resorts, the 
principal part of the former being merchants — 
Greek or Bulgarian Christians, — and of the 
latter Christian peasantry from the neighbour- 
ing villages and country. The Turks resident in 
Monastir are for the most part either military or 
officials : Greeks and Bulgarians form the majo- 
rity of the inhabitants. Albanians there are few, 
excepting guards or exiles ( .Monastir is a frequent 

* Leake, Vol. Ill ; Urquhart, Vol. I, p. 17G. 


place of banishment for rebel Beys) : of Jews a 
vast number. Bein^ the central situation for 
all military operations relating to North and 
South Albania, Thessaly, Macedonia, and Bosnai, 
the bustle and brilliancy of Monastir is re- 
markable, and its effect appeared particularly 
striking, coming to it, as I did, after passing 
through a wild and thinly-peopled region. You 
are bewildered by the sudden re-appearance 
of a civilization which you had apparently 
left for ever : — reviews, guards, bands of music, 
pashas, palaces and sentry-boxes, bustling scenes 
and heaps of merchandize await you at every 

The natural beauties of Monastir are abund- 
ant. The city is built at the western edge of a 
noble plain, surrounded by the most exquisitely 
shaped hills, in a recess or bay formed by two 
very high mountains, between which magnificent 
snow-capped barriers is the pass to Akhridha. 
A river runs through the town, a broad and 
shifting torrent, crossed by numerous bridges, 
mostly of wood, on some of which two rows of 
shops stand, forming a broad, covered bazaar. 
At present, three of these bridges are in ruins, 
or under repair after the winter's Hoods. The 
stream, deep and narrow throughout the quarter 

e 2 

52 JOURN LLS 01 

of private houses and palaces, is spanned In two 
good stone bridges, and confined 1>\ strong 
walls ; bnt in the lower, or Jew's quarter, where 

the torrent is much wider and shallower, the 

houses cluster down to the water's edge with 
surprising picturesqueness. Either looking up 
or down the river, the intermixture of minarets 
and mosques with cypress and willow foliage, 
form- subjects of the most admirable beauty. 

We went to the largest and best khan of 
Monastir — Yeiii khan, — an extensive building, 
surrounding three sides of a court-yard, which 
was full of Greek merchants in blue tunics, or 
white-coated Albanians, with laden horses, &c. ; 
and luckily I obtained a corner room overlooking 
all this moving scene, amongst which I mean 
to halt two days, as I shall hardly see a more 
beautiful place. A clean, whitewashed cell, 
with glazed windows, and new mats, betokens 
the comparative luxury of this little metropolis. 

Late in the day, I devote an hour or two to 
reconnoitring and choosing sites for to-morrow's 
work. The bazaars with the groupes of figures 
in them are endless kaleidoscopes of pictures. 
The houses are mostly of unpainted wood, though 
the larger palaces are whitewashed and orna- 
mented, and some are as grav as red and white 


paint can make them : the neatness and cleanli- 
ness of the place is delightful. 

At sunset, I find myself at the edge of the 
cemetery-common, and pass the last half-hour of 
day in watching the effects of light and shade 
on the noble plain, glittering like gold in its 
frame of purple mountains. 

September 18. 

The wind blows keenly off the snowy moun- 
tains on the west of the town, but the sun 
rises brightly as I begin the day by sketching 
in the suburbs. Greek peasantry from the hills 
are entering the town with market wares. 
The costume of the women is a black outer 
capote with red borderings, worked petticoats, 
dresses, gaiters, and handkerchiefs ; scarlet- 
striped aprons, and enormously thick, long 
bunches of black silk tied to their hair, tail- 
fashion. But my wanderings are soon stopped 
by an ancient Turk, who yells forth : 
' Teskere — Teskere,' namely, a passport ; and, 
as I had it not about me, the unbending 
policeman would not listen to any explanations 
from Greek passers-by, but hurried me — some- 
what as I was once served on a similar occasion 


in the kingdom of Naples— -before the bar of a 
judge, who unluckily lived a Long win off, so 

that half in\ morning was wasted by this foolish 
adventure, the end of which was a horrible 
scolding from the dignitary to the old Mahome- 

dan — who. after all, was not in fault. 

When at length 1 endeavoured to draw in 
the streets of Monastir I found it impossible to 
work, so great was the crowd which collected 
to see my operations, and I was fairly mobbed 
to the khan, resolving that 1 would use my 
Boyourldi to procure me a guard forthwith, — 
for one does not come to Macedonia every day, 
and time and opportunity are not to be thrown 
away. But the <rreat man here — the Seraskier 
Pasha, or commander of the forces — is unwell, 
so 1 passed my afternoon in sauntering warily 
to distant points of the surrounding hills to 
obtain some general view of the city, dodging 
about to avoid lurking companies of dogs, 
and shunning sentinels and passport-hunters. 

Marking a dervish's tomb on the northern 
side of the city, 1 threaded my way through 
narrow lane- to the river, at this season a 
scant) stream, and crossing it where the 
broken bridges and the lone strings of laden 
mules, four or five hundred together, — their 


loads covered with white and brown striped 
cloths, made the most perfectly picturesque 
scene, I arrived at the cemetery on the hill 
whence all Monastir is visible. A more mag- 
nificently placed city it is hardly possible to 
imagine, and the great quantity of cypress and 
plane setting off its delicate white and pink 
mosques is wonderfully beautiful. But the 
evening began to draw on, and fearful of being 
massacred for a ghoule, I left the home of the 
dead, and made my way to the khans, pass- 
ing over the common near the Barracks, that 
" Piazza de' Cani," where from eighty to a 
hundred wolfish dogs were snarling, and howl- 
ing over a dead horse. Meanwhile his High- 
ness Emim Seraskier Pasha had sent, requesting 
me to come to him to-morrow. 

September 19. 

Sunrise : and I am drawing the plain and 
hills from the " Piazza de' Cani ;" lines of con- 
victs are passing from the Barracks, carrying 
offal in tubs to the ghouly burying-grounds 
and followed by some hundreds of dogs, who 
every now and then give way to their feelings 
and indulge in a general battle among them- 

;,lj JOl RNAL8 "1 

selves. It is no eas) matter to pursue the fine 
arts in Mouastir, and I cannot but think — will 
matters grow worse as I advance into Albania? 

for all the passers-by having inspected my 
sketching, frown, or look ugly, and many say, 
" Shait&n," which means, Devil; at length one 
quietly wrenches my book away and shutting it 
up returns it to me, saying, " Yok, Yok !"* so 
as Qumbers are against me, I bow and retire. 
Next, I essay to draw on one of the bridges, but a 
gloom) sentinel comes and bullies me off direct 1\ . 
indicating 1>\ signs that my profane occupation 
i» by no manner of means to be tolerated; 
and farther on, when I thought 1 had escaped 
all observation behind a friendly buttress, out 
rush legions of odious hounds (all bare-hided 
and very like jackals), and raise such a din, 
that, although by means of a pocket full of 
stones I keep them at bay, yet they fairly beat 
me at last, and give me chase open-mouthed, 
augmenting their detestable pack by fresh re- 
cruits at each street-corner. So I gave up this 
pursuit of knowledge under difficulties, and re- 
turned to the khan. 

\o, no ' 


Giorgio was waiting to take me to the Pasha ; 
so dressing in my " best/' thither I went, to 
pay my first visit to an Oriental dignitary. All 
one's gathered and hoarded memories, from 
books or personal relations, came so clearly to 
my mind as I was shown into the great palace 
or serai of the Governor, that I seemed some- 
how to have seen it all before ; the ante-room 
full of attendants, the second state-room with 
secretaries and officers, and, finally, the large 
square hall, where — in a corner, and smoking 
the longest nargilleh, the serpentine foldings of 
which formed all the furniture of the chamber 
save the carpets and sofas — sat the Seraskier 
Pasha himself — one of the highest grandees of 
the Ottoman empire. Emhn Seraskier Pasha 
was educated at Cambridge, and speaks English 
fluently. He conversed for some time agree- 
ably and intelligently, and after having pro- 
mised me a Kawas, the interview was over, and 
I returned to the khan, impatient to attack the 
street- scenery of Monastir forthwith under the 
auspices of my guard. These availed me much, 
and I sketched in the dry part of the river-bed 
with impunity — ay, and even in the Jews' 
quarter, though immense crowds collected to 
witness the strange Frank and his doings ; 


and the word, " Seroo, Seroo,"* resounded 
from hundreds of voices above and around. 
Hul a clear space was kept around me by the 
formidable baton of the K;i\va>, and I contrived 
thus to carry off some of the best views of the 
town ere it grew dark. How picturesque are 
those parts of the crowded city in the Jews' 
quarter, where the elaborately detailed wooden 
houses overhaiur the torrent, shaded by grand 
plane, cypress, and poplar ! How the sunset 
lights up the tire-tinged clouds — floating over 
the snow-capped eastern hills ! How striking 
are the stately groups of armed guards clear- 
in ir the road through the thronged streets of 
the bazaars for some glittering Bey, or mounted 
Pasha ! Interest and beauty in profusion, 
O ye artists ! are to be found in the city of 

The Seraskier's letter to the principal Bey of 
Akhridha awaits my return to the khan, together 
with a large basket of pears for which a deal of 
baksheeshf is required. Tea, and packing for a 
start to-morrow, rill up the evening. Giorgio 
seems by no means to like the idea of commit- 

* Sec page 42. t Baksheesh, a present of money. 


ting himself to Albanians, Gheghes, and Mere- 
ditti, and avoids all speech about Albanians in 
general or particularly. Three of these men 
occupy part of the gallery near me, and seem 
to pass life in strutting up and down, in grind- 
ing and drinking coffee, or in making a dimi- 
nutive sort of humming to the twanging of an 
immensely long guitar. Sitting on their crossed 
legs they bend backwards and forwards and 
from side to side, shaking their long hay- 
coloured hair, or screwing their enormous 
moustaches ; now and then they rise, whirl 
their vast capotes about them, flounce out 
their full skirts, and then bounce up and 
down the gallery like so many Richard the 
Thirds in search of Richmonds. But Giorgio 
by no art can be induced to say more of 
them than, " Sono tutti disperati ;"* and by all, 
this race seems disliked and mistrusted most 

September 20. 
At Monastir the Muezzeens, or callers to 

* They arc all miserable creatures. 


public prayer from the minarets, are delightfully 

musical : none of the nasal Stamboul monotony 
is heard, but real bits of melody, echoing at 
night or early morn from the still city to the 
cloud-veiled hills. 

Good horses are ready before sunrise, though 
it was past six ere we escape from the full 
bazaars and narrow suburban streets; carl-, 
oxen, laden mules, buffali in herds 

" Choked up each roaring gate ;" 

and when we had a little cleared these obstacles, 
all the luggage suddenly lopsided, and after 
fruitless attempts to balance it with stones, all 
had to be finally re-adjusted. I had not yet 
adopted the bi-sack principle. 

The morning's journey was not interesting, 
the less so that its monotonous features were 
gloomy with dark and lowering clouds, making 
the miow above look unnecessarily cold, and 
shading the vale below, where large herds of 
ii-oats browsing wandered among the stunted 
herbage under the guarding eare of ferocious 
(logs. About five hours were consumed in 
winding through two valleys or passes shut 
in between lofty hills, in all which expenditure 
of time and patience no object of beauty or 


interest presented itself. But in these regions 
such a cause for complaint is of no long duration, 
and about noon, the road — a wide, dishevelled, 
stony track — emerged from the pass into a 
valley, which opened into a plain, disclosing at 
its southern extremity a bright lake, walled 
in by high, snowy mountains.* Westward, a 
charming village, embosomed in plane and 
chesnut, and spangled with two or three glitter- 
ing minarets, enlivened the scene with all the 
characteristic loveliness of Albanian landscape, 
and surrounded, except on the southern side, by 
most richly- wooded heights. 

But, as usual, all the charm is outside. The 
village of Peupli possesses only the filthiest of 
khans, and it was difficult to find a spot to cook 
the mid-day meal. Wandering meanwhile, I 
succeeded, between heavy showers, in making a 
drawing from a rising ground, whence village, 
lake and hills formed a most beautiful scene ; 
dark purple mountains delicately and sharply 
delineated against sweeping rain-clouds ; a fore- 
ground of massy chesnut trunks ; foliage in 

* I believe, the lake of Peupli — but neither my guide nor 
Soorudgi knew ; and I foolishly omitted to ask at the place 


gloomy, forcible masses against the silver lake 

and light parts of the sky; and in the plain 
below, the village, with its tufts of shade. Spite 
of threatening, no more rain fell, so I resolved 

that it was wisdom to go on to Akhridha, 
where Lodgings could hardly he worse than 
at Peupli, and scenery probably more valu- 

At half-past two, left Peupli. Its inhabitants 
are a different order of beings to those 1 have 
\et seen, a wilder and more savage race than 
the inhabitants of Macedonian plains ; there are 
fewer Greeks and Bulgarians apparently, and 
more Turks and Albanians ; the Bulgarian 
lainmage is also on the decrease. 

If the morning's ride were all valley, this of 
the afternoon is all mountain. Straightway out 
of the valley of Peupli went we up the steepest 
of heights, climbing it by a constantly winding 
staircase-road, though a better one than might 
be expected in these parts. Beautiful was the 
afternoon, and rejoicing in all sorts of cloud 
effect. As we ascended towards magnificent 
hanging beech-woods, the plain and moun- 
tains behind, with the blue lake of Peupli, 
its southern side fringed with pale hills 
fading into the distance, were a scene of the 


most gorgeous description. At the summit of 
the pass is a guard-house, (a hut containing 
two armed Albanians, and an irritable dog, 
who watch over the interests of passers-by), 
and here, ere the western descent begins, the 
view is one of the loveliest eye can see. From 
this great height, one looked over all the lake 
of Peupli, to plains beyond plains, and hills, 
and blue Olympus beyond all ; the whole seen 
through a frame, as it were, of the gnarled 
branches of silver-trunked beeches crowning 
the ridges of the hill, whose sides feathered 
down to the lake in folds of innumerable 
wood screens : it was difficult to leave the 
scene, and I resolved, at any hazard, to 
revisit it. 

Less than half an hour was occupied in cross- 
ing the height we had been scaling — a narrow 
rocky plain, interspersed with stunted beeches 
— and here, properly speaking, begins my 
tour in Albania, for all I have passed through 
is Macedonia, nor is the Albanian tongue in 
much use eastward of Akhridha. 

Soon a new world charmed the eye, and 
on arriving at the edge of the western face 
of this high ridge, the beautiful plain and lake 
of Akhridha burst, as it were, into existence ; 

64 JOTJRN Uj8 01 

gilded in the setting sun, and slumbering 

below hills, forest, and snow, piled up and 
mingled with cloud midway in heaven. It is 
scarcely possible to dream of finer scenes than 
these, their beauty perhaps enhanced by grand 
storm effects, which -gave them more than 
ordinary magic of colour and variety of 
interest. Bright, broad, and long lay the 
great sheet of water — the first of Grecian lakes 
— and on its edge the fortress and town of 
Akhridha, (in form singularly resembling the 
castle rock of Nice, in the Sardinian States), 
commanding the cultivated plain which stretches 
from the mountains to the shores of the lake. 
Such sublime scenery obliterated from the me- 
mory all annoyances of travel, and astonished 
and delighted at every step, I already re- 
pented of my repentance that I had undertaken 
this journey. 

The descent to the plain of Akhridha is 
exceedingly steep, and one watches the lake, 
as one slowly reaches its level, diminishing most 
beautifully in perspective. Nor was time want- 
ing to observe it, for the downward passage was 
uncomfortably obstructed by numerous mules 
laden with long planks of wood, which, as 
their bearers jolted down the sharp turns of 


he discover the form of the castle, on the paper 
than shrieking out " Shaitan !" he fled rapidly 
from me, as from a profane magician. A 
mizzling rain began to fall, and when — avoiding 
herds of buffali, and flocks of sheep, with large 
dogs on the look-out — I made for the lake through 
some by-lanes, several of these wild and shy 
people espied me afar off, and rushed screaming 
into their houses, drawing bolts, and banging 
doors with the most emphatic resolve against 
the wandering apparition. Returning to the 
khan, I prepared to visit Shereeff Bey, the 
Governor and principal grandee of Akhridha, 
to whom the Seraskier Pasha's letter was 

The fortress, towering over all the town of 
Akhridha, and commanding an equally good 
view of lake, plain, and mountain, contains 
the serai, or palace of the Governor ; its over- 
hanging, ornamented roof, lattices, and bow- 
windows, and the groups of wild, strange crea- 
tures peering and lounging about the narrow 
stairs and wooden galleries, were all objects of 
curiosity to one who had seen but little of 
barbaric pomp and circumstance, for in 
Monastir the dignitaries are like great officials 
in any other great town ; and were a traveller to 


<>() to that city after visiting the wilder parts of 
Albania, its effect would be unprntitably flat 
and civilized, though, to those coming from 
Stamboul, it is striking enough 

The room in which Shereef Be\ was sitting 
— a square chamber (so well described in 
Urquhart's ki Spirit of the East") of no very 
meat size — was full enough of characters and 
costumes to set up a dozen painters for life. 
The Bev* himself, in a snuff-coloured robe, 
trimmed with fur, the white-turbaned Cogia,f 
the scarlet-vested Gheghes, the purple and 
gold-brocaded Greek secretary, the troops of 
long-haired, full-skirted, glittering Albanian 
domestics, armed and belted — one and all 
looking at me with an imperturbable fixed glare 
(lor your nonchalant Turkish good-breeding 
is not known here) — all this formed a picture I 
greatly wished I could have had on paper. The 
Iky, after the ceremonies of pipes and coffee, 
offered a letter to Tyrana, a town on the road to 
Skddra, and expressed his willingness to send 
guards with me to the end of the world, if I 

• Bey, ;i person of superior rank, frequently governor of a 
t . ;i pries! 


pleased, declaring- at the same time that the roads, 
however unfrequented, were perfectly safe. 
Mindful also of missiles, 1 begged for a Kawas 
to protect me while drawing in the town of 
Akhridha, and then returned to the khan to dine, 
and afterwards passed the afternoon in sketching 
about the town with my Mohammedan guard, 
unannoyed by any sticks or stones from the 
hands of true believers. 

At sunset the view from the portal of the for- 
tress becomes a scene of placid splendour one can 
never tire of contemplating, and both in mass and 
in detail, Akhridha has already far surpassed 
my expectation. They talk of the Monastery 
of St. Naum at the far, or southern end of 
the lake, as the great lion of the district ; but I 
rather postpone the wish to see it until I am in 
the neighbourhood of Berat, as a visit thither 
at present must involve a return here, and 
occupy two days. 

The certainty of night-rest is not among the 
good things of Akhridha ; in the small cell I 
inhabit, a constant clawing and squalling of cats 
on one side of my pillow, and quacking of ducks 
on the other, is not favourable to sleep. 

72 ■ l " 1 RNALS 01 

September 22. 

A cloudless morning, fresh and brilliant, 

induces me to put in execution my plan of 
retracing the route to the mountain pass by 
which I came hither, for the purpose of sketch- 
in g the Lake of Peupli ; wherefore my armed 
Kawas and horses were ready at seven, a.m. 
At the foot of the hills, the little Monasters 
was exquisitely pretty in the clear shadows of 
early morning, and an outline of it occupied 
me some time; after which 1 began the 
steep ascent to the beech forests, and in the 
course of the upward progress, many were my 
pauses to contemplate the wide silver lake, and 
its castled rock. A Government " avant- 
courier," blazing in scarlet and white, his robe 
trimmed with fur, and his kilt and gilt belt 
looking afar off like the plumage of some 
tropical bird among the dark-green foliage, nut 
us when half-way up the mountain, and shortly 
afterwards the Bey-Governor of Tyrana, with 
a long string of laden mules and glitter- 
ing retainers added interest to the novel and 
beautiful scene. By half-past ten, we had 
passed the little plain at the mountain's sum- 


mit, and had reached the solitary guard- 

I was glad to have devoted a day to revisiting 
this most noble scene. Soothing and beau- 
tiful is that vision of the Lake of Peupli, so 
dreamy and delicately azure, as it lies below 
ranges of finely-formed mountains, all distinct, 
though lessening and becoming more faint, till 
the outline of Olympus closes the remote view. 
Then the nearer hills, with their russet smooth- 
ness and pard-like spots of clustering forest 
groups ; — and closer, the dark masses of feathery 
beech glowing with every autumnal hue! It 
is long since I have tasted hours of such quiet, 
and all the roughnesses of travel are forgotten 
in the enjoyment of scenery so calm and lovely. 
Many a day — month — summer passed among 
the beautiful forests of Monte Casale, amid the 
steep ravines and oak-tufted rocks of Civitella 
di Subiaco, in the sheltered convent and the 
gleaming village of the woody Apennines ; — 
many a recollection of the far plains of Latium 
and the Volscians — of the brightness of Italian 
mornings — -the still freshness of its mountain 
noon — the serenity of its eventide, when laden 
villagers wind up the stony paths to aerial 
homes, chaunting their vesper chorus, — all this. 


and a great deal more, Hashed strongly on my 
memory as I sate hour after hour on this glo- 
rious hill-summit, when the present, by one of 
those involuntary actions of thought which all 

must have experienced, was thus linking itself 
with places and persons of the once familiar past, 
with all the decision and vivacity of reality. 

At half-past two, after a rural dinner of 
excellent cold fish (the trout of the Lake 
of Akhridha are surpassingly fine), I retraced 
my way westward, and was once more at the 
khan before dusk. 

September 23. 

One more day in Akhridha, and then westward 
and northward. There is a street scene below the 
castle, where a majestic plane shades bazaars 
rich with every sort of gay-coloured raiment. 
Through its drooping foliage gleams the bright 
top of a minaret, and below it are grouped every 
variety of picturesque human beings. To carry 
away a sketch of this was the work of half the 
morning; the rest was occupied in a walk on 
the eastern shore of the lake, an excursion I was 
obliged to make alone, as the protecting Kawas 
was sent to procure horses for to-morrow's 


journey. Beautiful was the castle on its rock 
reflected in the clear bright water; but what 
most amused me was the infinite number of 
birds which, all unsuspectingly sociable, enli- 
vened the scene ; thousands of coots fraternising 
with the domestic ducks and s;eese — white esrrets 
performing stately tours of observation among 
the reeds — magpies (a bird remarkably abundant 
in the vicinity of Akhridha), hooded crows and 
daws — a world of ornithology. Far away at the 
end of the lake* glitters a solitary white speck, 
which they tell me is the monastery of St. Naum, 
but that is out of my track for the present ; so I 
sauntered back to the khan, lingering now and 
then to look at the Greek women who, with em- 
broidered handkerchiefs on their heads and 
dressed in scarlet and black capotes, were wash- 
ing linen in the lake, when, having watched their 
opportunity, and seeing me unescorted, a crowd 
of the faithful took aim from behind walls and 
rocks, discharging unceasing showers of stones, 
sticks, and mud. May my spectacles survive the 
attack ! thought I, as forced into an ignominious 
retreat I arrived at the khan considerably 

* They count six hours' journey from Akhridha to the 
southern end of the lake. 


damaged about the nose and ears, and not a 
little out of humour. 

In the afternoon, with my guide, I was able 
to laugh at my enemies, while I drew a fine old 
Greek church, now turned into a mosque, and 
obtained lastly an extensive view from the eloek- 
tower on the castle hill, whence the town tran- 
quilly lying among tufted planes and tall 
e\ presses recalls the lines of Childe Harold — 

" And the pale crescent sparkles in the glen 
Through many a cypress grove within each city's ken." 

Certainly Akhridha is a beautiful place. All 
the hill- side below the fortress is thickly studded 
with Mohammedan tombs — little wedges of 
rough stone growing out of the soil, as it were, 
like natural geological excrescences — by thou- 
sands. From the streets below, parties of 
women clad in dark-blue, and masked in white 
wrappers, wander forth to take the air, and near 
me several crimson and purple coated Gheghes 
>iiioke abstractedly on scattered bits of rock; 
when the sun throws his last red rays from 
the high western mountains up the side of the 
castle hill, long trains of black buffaloes poke 
hither and thither, grunting and creaking forth 
their strange semi- bark, which sounds like the 


cracking of old furniture. On the whole, the zoo- 
logical living world of Akhridha is very oppres- 
sive ; what with dogs, geese, buffali, asses, mules, 
and horses, jackdaws, goats, and sheep, the 
streets are a great deal too full of animated 
nature to be comfortable, however confiding and 
amiable the several species may be. As for the 
white-eyed buffali, they are lazy and serene 
brutes, very opposite in character to their rela- 
tives in the marshes of Terracina and Pesto. 
You may bully them, either by pushing their 
noses or tugging at their horns as much as you 
please when they are in your way, and they 
never resent the indignity. 

The khan was swarming with magnificence 
when I returned to it, the Bey of Tyrana and 
all his train having arrived. Simplicity is the 
rule of life with Albanian grandees ; they sit 
silently on a mat and smoke, but their retinue 
bounce and tear about with a perfectly fearful 
energy, and after supper indulge in music accord- 
ing to their fashion until a late hour, then throw- 
ing themselves down to sleep in their capotes, and 
at early morning going through the slightest pos- 
sible form of facial ablution — for cleanliness is 
not the most shining national virtue. These at 
Akhridha seem a wild and savage set, and are 


not easy to catch by drawing. Yet to-morrow 
I enter the wildest parts of Ghegheria, and 
must expect to see "a rugged set of men" 
indeed. In preparation, the Frangistan " wide- 
awakes" are packed up, as having a peculiar 
attraction for missiles, on account of their 
typically-infidel appearance. Henceforth 1 
adopt the fez, for with that Mohammedan sign 
on the head it matters not how you adorn the 
rest of your person. 

September 24. 

The wind, which whistles through the planks 
and holes of my " bedroom" here, is conducive 
to cold in the head, and seems to prevent my 
neighbours, the ducks, from sleeping any more 
quietly than myself. Why these domestic ani- 
mals inhabit the " first floor" I cannot divine. 
Some fifteen of them thrust their heads through 
the lower crevices of the wall, and resting them 
on my mattress and pillow, look at me with 
one eye in the most comical manner, and seem 
to wish I was made of barley or duckweed. 
Although we were ready at 5 a.m., yet our 
guard was not, and it was six ere he joined us, 


flaunting in crimson drapery, and we made for 
the land of the "poveretti, paurosi, desperati, 
spaventati, fuor di loro, fuor di tutti",* as Gior- 
gio distinguishes the Albanesi. 

On leaving the suburbs large parties of Zin- 
gari or gipsies, employed by Shereef Bey in 
various agricultural works, were setting out to 
their labour. These people are very numerous 
in Albania, and their peculiar physiognomy and 
dark complexion at once distinguishes them 
from the natives, who are mostly light-faced and 
yellow-haired. Our route lay westward by the 
shore of the silver lake, now enchantingly quiet 
and bright in the cloudless morning sun. High 
in air was a large falcon — possibly an eagle- — 
hovering over a great colony of jet black coots, 
who were swarming together in dismay, every 
one drawn up in a long straight line, and all per- 
forming simultaneous dives whenever the spoiler 
made a downward swoop. I saw three sets of 
these battles, waged by one against many, but 
could not observe that the persevering watchers 
gained aught by their warfare. 

By eight we reached Istruga, a picturesque vil- 

* Poor, timid, despairing, afflicted ; wanting sense ; wanting 


laee not far from the egress of the river Drino, 
and as all the women here (with that caprice 
or love of variety which characterises the cos- 
tume of every Greek province), wore white 
and pink capotes instead of black and crim- 
son, there was a pleasant air of gaiety in 
the bazaar. From hence, the native place 
of Bekir our Albanian guard (whom I had 
taken with me, not knowing certainly if the 
road were or were not unsafe), we proceeded 
after a short delay through pleasant groves of 
chestnut, until quitting the beautiful Lake of 
Akhridha, we toiled for three hours up a dull 
pass, walled in by low hills covered with 
stunted oaks. The sun was hot ; and a fez, 
if you are not used to wear it, is an unsatis- 
factory substitute for a " wide awake" felt hat, 
so that, after a descent as uninteresting as the 
ascent, and beyond that two hours of a narrow, 
dull valley, I was most heartily tired, and re- 
joiced to see a khan, never more welcome 
than when seven hours of sleepy riding in an 
abominable Turkish saddle have made a man 
anything but happy. 

Luckily we had brought food, for at this 
forlorn place there was literally nothing to be 
procured, not even a drop of water, nor did 


the situation of the khan possess interest, 
though I contrived to pass an hour by sketch- 
ing it from the shelter of an oleander bush, 
surrounded by scores of tame kids. At half- 
past 2 p.m. we were again in the saddle. A 
most desolate and wild country does this part 
of Albania seem, with scarcely a single habi- 
tation visible in so great a space ; stern- 
wrinkled hills wall in the horizon, covered 
midway with oak forests ; but after passing 
another range of low hills we came to the 
valley of the Skumbi,* and thenceforth the land- 
scape began to assume a character of grand 
melancholy not to be easily forgotten. About 
five, the infinitely varied lines of the western 
heights were most glorious, their giant-rock 
forms receding into golden clouds as the sun sank 
down, while below stretched the deep widening 
valley of the Skumbi, a silvery stream winding 
through utterly wild scenes of crag, forest, and 
slope as far as eye could see. By six we 
crossed over the river on a high single arch, and 
shortly began to ascend the heights on the left 
bank, where, among dark clusters of trees 

* Anciently Genusus — the mountain range between Akhridha 
and Elbassan, in the lllyrian Candavia. Leake. 



a straggling village was perceptible far above a 
solitary khan, at which we were to rest, for 
there is here but little choice of a night's 

Until it was too dark to discern either pencil 
or paper, 1 worked away at a sketch of this 
lonely place, half hidden among huge rocks and 
walnut trees, and then turned into the single 
room or floor of the little windowless khan, 
which is the first and only inn of Kukues — so is 
the spot named. The accomplished dragoman 
had swept it perfectly clean. In the middle was 
a bright wood fire, the smoke escaping by a hole 
in the roof. On one side was my bed on a mat, 
while six or seven of the sons of the soil w r ere 
preparing their kabobs* at the blazing logs, 
squatting quietly enough, and busying them- 
selves about their own cookery, without over- 
much remarking the tea and toast Giorgio 
prepared for me. Scenes of this kind are most 
striking and picturesque, and the traveller lies 
down, as it were, with one eye open — the savage 
oddity of all around fixing itself with his last 
waking thoughts in the imagination. Long after 

* Kab6bs. slices of moat cooked on wooden skewers. 


all the inmates of the khan were fast asleep I 
lay watching the party by the dying embers. 
The Albanians were slumbering in their capotes, 
each with his bare feet turned, and closely, to 
the hot charcoal ; and if years of shoeless walk- 
ing have not hardened the said feet, they must 
inevitably become altogether broiled before 


September 25. 

In spite of the apparent discomforts of the 
place, T slept well enough. The lively race of 
" F sharps" do not abound in these solitary khans 
half as much as in an Italian locanda. The 
Albanians never stirred ; and as the fire burned 
more or less all night, their feet must have been 
handsomely grilled. Once, only, I was awakened 
suddenly, by something falling on me — flomp — 
miaw — fizz ! — an accidental cat had tumbled 
from some unexplored height, and testified great 
surprise at having alighted on a moveable body. 
Would that her disturbance of my slumbers had 
been her only fault, and that she had not carried 
off a whole fowl and some slices of cold mutton 
— the little all I had to rely on for dinner 
through to-morrow's journey ! Our Albanian 

c; 2 


co-tenants of the khan would assuredly have 
been blamed for this " mancanza,"* had not a 
fierce quarrel over the fowl, between the invading 
robber and an original cat belonging to the 

establishment, betrayed the cause of evil — the 
bigger cat conquering and escaping from the 
roof with the booty. 

At half-past five a.m. we were off; the red 
morning sky, and the calm shade of that broad 
valley Avere very striking ; and the line of coun- 
try we were to pursue promised a hard da\ 's 
work. Continuing to ascend, on the left bank 
of the Skumbi, towards those gigantic rocks I 
had drawn yesterday evening, and once or twice 
pausing to make hasty memoranda sketches, we 
advanced by perilous paths along the moun- 
tain-sides towards a village at a great height 
above the river. It is very difficult, on such 
days of travel as this, to secure anything like 
a finished drawing. Even let the landscape 
be ever so tempting, the uncertainty of meeting 
with any place of repose or shelter obliges the 
most enthusiastic artist to pass hastily through 
scenes equal or superior to any it may be again 




his lot to see. Our progress here, too, is of the 
very slowest : either along sharp narrow paths 
cut in the rock, at the very edge of formidable 
precipices, or by still narrower tracks running on 
the bare side of a perpendicular clay ravine, — or 
winding among huge trunks of forest trees, 
between which the baggage-mule at one time, 
is wedged — at another loses her load, or her 
own equilibrium, by some untimely concussion ; 
such was the order of the day for travelling ease 
and accommodation ; so that Dragoman Giorgio, 
greatly desirous of reaching Elbassan ere night- 
fall, strongly besought me not to linger. Never- 
theless, after diving by a tortuous path into the 
depths of an abyss — (the home of a lateral 
stream which descended from the mountains to 
the Skumbi) — and after mounting a zigzag 
staircase out of it to the village above-men- 
tioned, I could not resist sitting down to draw 
when I gazed on the extraordinary scene I had 
passed; it combined Greek outline — Italian 
colour — English luxuriance of foliage — while 
the village with its ivory minarets peeping from 
huge walnut and chesnut groves, was hanging, 
as it were, down the stupendous precipices to 
the stream below ; — all these formed one of 
the wildest and grandest of pictures. 

N(j 101 RNAL8 "K 

Beyond this (to appease Giorgio I made but 
a slight outline of that which I should gladly 
have employed a day to pourtra\ ), the road 
was perhaps more dangerous, and our progress 

still slower; at the narrowest point we en- 
countered some fifty laden mules, and a long 
time was consumed in arranging the coming 
and going trains, lest either should jostle and 
pitch into the abyss beneath. At another sharp 
turning lay a dead ox skinned, tilling up half 
the track (the edge of that track a sheer pre- 
cipice of sixty or eighty feet in depth), and 
l)\ no measures could we cause our horses to 
pass the alarming object ; nor till our united 
strength had dragged the defunct to a niche 
in the rock, could we progress one foot's 
length. At a third cattivo passo* a pro- 
jecting rock interfered with the sumpter horses' 
idea of a straight line ; and, lo ! down went 
all the baggage, happily to no great distance, 
but far enough to occasion a half hour's delay 
in readjusting it. Every stony descent, and 
every toilsome climb up this mountain ridge 
side, brought us, if possible, to more vast and 

* Bad |ia>s. 


wondrously beautiful scenes ; far below in the 
valley the river wound among dark dense 
oaks, sparkling like a silver thread, while 
above towered a mountain screen, whose snow- 
crowned, furrowed summits, frowned over 
slopes richly clothed with hanging woods. 
Perhaps the extreme beauty and variety of the 
colour in these scenes was as attractive as their 
sublimity, and in some degree offered a com- 
pensation for a certain clumsiness and want of 
refinement in many of the larger mountain out- 
lines ; while tracts of green wood, of bright 
pink or lilac earth, of deep grey hollows, or 
silver sides of snowy barriers, fascinated the 
eye from hour to hour. 

On approaching the midway khan, (really 
four hours and a-half from Kukues, but which 
it took me till eleven to reach), I drew till 
dinner was ready, many peasants opportunely 
passing on their way to a fair or bazaar at 
Tyrana. The female costume is a blue dress 
and white petticoat, with white or yellow 
aprons, embroidered with crimson. The khan 
was situated as most of these halting places 
are, in a dell, whence there is no discernible 
object of interest; and as soon as dinner was 
despatched, two old cats and an army of 


ducks and fowls assisting at the repast, I was 
affair en route by noon. 

After three hours of winding along fright- 
ful paths at the edge of clay precipices and 
chasms, and through scenery of the same 
character, but gloomier under a clouded sun, 
we began to descend towards the seaward 
plains, and were soon effecting a steep and 
difficult passage between trunks of oak trees 
to the purple vale of the Skumbi, which wound 
through the plain below till it was lost in a 
gola or chasm through which is the pass to 
Elbassan. We crossed the Skumbi, here a 
very formidable stream, by one of those lofty 
one-arched bridges so common in Turkey, 
and as the baggage horse descended the last 
step, down came the luggage once more, so 
that my sketches would have been lost, " senza 
rimedio,"* had the accident occurred two 
seconds sooner. Two hours were occupied in 
passing the opening between the rocks, which 
admitted only a narrow pathway besides the 
stream, and after another hour's ride through 
widening, uncultivated valleys, and Elbassan is 

* Without remedy. 


in sight, lying among rich groves of olives on 
a beautiful plain, through which the Skumbi, 
an unobstructed broad torrent, flows to the 
Adriatic. The same deceptive beauty throws 
its halo over Elbassan as over other Albanian 
towns ; and, like its fellow paesi,* this was as 
wretched and forlorn within, as without it 
was picturesque and graceful. It was six p.m. 
ere we reached its scattered and dirty suburbs, 
and threaded its dark narrow streets, all roofed 
over with mats and dry leaves, and so low 
that one had to sit doubled over the horse 
to avoid coming into sharp contact with the 
hanging sticks, dried boughs, loose mats and 
rafters. The gloomy shade cast by these 
awnings did not enliven the aspect of the town, 
nor was its dirty and comfortless appearance 
lightened by a morose and wild look — a settled, 
sullen, despairing expression which the faces 
of the inhabitants wore. At length, thought 
I, these are fairly the wilds of Albania ! 

Three khans did we explore in vain, their 
darkness and vermin being too appalling to 
overcome ; luckily there was still a fourth, 

* Towns. 

90 jourwi- 01 

which was a palace in comparison, though its 
accommodations were scanty, consisting of a 

row of perfectly dark cells, cleanly white- 
washed and empty, but without a glimmer of 
any light but what entered at the doors, which 
opened into a corridor exposed to the street; 
so \<m had your choice of living in public or 
in the dark. 

September 26. 

A grey, calm, pleasant morning, the air seem- 
ing doubly warm, from the contrast between 
the low plains and the high mountains of the 
last two days' journey. 

I set off early, to make the most of a whole 
day at Elbassan — a town singularly picturesque, 
both in itself, and as to its site. A high and 
massive wall, with a deep outer moat, sur- 
rounds a large quadrangle of dilapidated houses, 
and at the four comers are tow T ers, as well as 
two at each of the four gates : all of these for- 
tifications appear of Venetian structure. Few 
places can offer a greater picture of desola- 
tion than Elbassan ; albeit the views from the 
broad ramparts extending round the town 
are perfectly exquisite: weeds, brambles, and 


luxuriant wild fig overrun and cluster about the 
grey heaps of ruin, and whichever way you 
turn, you have a middle distance of mosques 
and foliage, with a background of purple hills, 
or southward, the remarkable mountain of To- 
mohr, the giant Soracte of the plains of 

No sooner had I settled to draw — forgetful 
of Bekir the guard — than forth came the popu- 
lace of Elbassan, one by one, and two by two, 
to a mighty host they grew, and there were soon 
from eighty to a hundred spectators collected, 
with earnest curiosity in every look ; and when 
I had sketched such of the principal buildings 
as they could recognise, a universal shout of 
" Shaitan !" burst from the crowd ; and strange 
to relate, the greater part of the mob put their 
fingers into their mouths and whistled furiously, 
after the manner of butcher-boys in Eng- 
land. Whether this was a sort of spell against 
my magic I do not know ; but the absurdity of 
sitting still on a rampart to make a drawing, 
while a great crowd of people whistled at me 
with all their might, struck me so forcibly, that 
come what might of it, I could not resist going 
off into convulsions of laughter, an impulse the 
Gheghes seemed to sympathise with, as one 


and all shrieked with delight, and the ramparts 
resounded with hilarious merriment. Alas ! 
this was of no Ions: duration, for one of those 
tiresome Dervishes — in whom, with their green 
turbans, Elbassan is rich — soon came up, and 
yelled, " Shaitan scroo ! — Shaitan !"* in my ears 
with all his force ; seizing my book also, with 
an awful frown, shutting it, and pointing to the 
sky, as intimating that heaven would not allow r 
such impiety. It was in vain after this to 
attempt more ; the " Shaitan" cry was raised in 
one wild chorus — and I took the consequences of 
having laid by my fez for comfort's sake — in the 
shape of a horrible shower of stones, which 
pursued me to the covered streets, where, finding 
Bekir with his whip, I w r ent to work again 
more successfully about the walls of the old 

Knots of the Elbassaniotes nevertheless 
gathered about Bekir, and pointed with angry 
gestures to me and my ' scroo.' " We will not 
be written down," said they. " The Frank is a 
Russian, and he is sent by the Sultan to write 
us all down before he sells us to the Russian 

* The Devil draws ! — the devil. 


Emperor." This they told also to Giorgio, 
and murmured bitterly at their fate, though 
the inexorable Bekir told them they should not 
only be scroo'd, but bastinadoed, if they were 
not silent and obedient. Alas ! it is not a 
wonder that Elbassan is no cheerful spot, nor 
that the inhabitants are gloomy. Within the 
last two years one of the most serious rebel- 
lions has broken out in Albania, and has been 
sternly put down by the Porte. Under an 
adventurer named Zuliki, this restless people 
rose in great numbers throughout the north- 
western districts ; but they were defeated in 
an engagement with the late Seraskier Pasha. 
Their Beys, innocent or accomplices, were exiled 
to Koniah or Monastir, the population was 
either drafted off into the Sultan's armies, slain, 
or condemned to the gallies at Constantinople, 
while the remaining miserables were and are 
more heavily taxed than before. Such, at least, is 
the general account of the present state of these 
provinces ; and certainly their appearance speaks 
of ill-fortune, whether merited or unmerited. 

Beautiful as is the melancholy Elbassan — with 
its exquisite bits of mosques close to the walls — 
the air is most oppressive, after the pure 
mountain atmosphere. How strange are the 

!) | JOURNALS 01 

dark covered streets, with their old mat roof- 
ings hanging down in tattered shreds, dry 
leaves, long boughs, straw or thatch reeds ; one 

phosphorus match would ignite the whole town ! 
Each street is allotted to a separate bazaar, or 
particular trade, and that portion which is the 
dwelling of the tanners and butchers is rather 
revolting, — dogs, blood, and carcases filling up 
the whole street, and sickening one's very 

At three p.m. I rode out with the scarlet 
and gold-clad Bekir to find a general view of 
the town. But the long walled suburbs, and 
endless olive-gardens, are most tiresome, and 
nothing of Elbassan is seen till one reaches the 
Skumbi, spanned by an immensely long bridge, 
full of ups and downs and irregular arches. 
On a little brow beyond the river I drew till 
nearly sunset ; for the exquisitely graceful lines 
of hill to the north present really a delightful 
scene, — the broad, many-channelled stream 
washing interminable slopes of rich olives, from 
the midst of which peep the si her minarets of 

The dark khan cell at tea-time was enlivened 
by the singing of some Gheghes in the street. 
These northern, or Sclavonic Albanians are 


greatly superior in musical taste to their Berat 
or Epirote neighbours, all of whom either make 
a feeble buzzing or humming over their tink- 
ling guitars, like dejected flies in a window- 
pane, or yell forth endless stanzas of a whining, 
monotonous song, somewhat resembling a bad 
imitation of Swiss " jodeling." But here there 
is a better idea of music. The guardian Bekir 
indulged me throughout yesterday with divers 
airs, little varied, but possessing considerable 
charm of plaintive wild melody. The Soorudgi, 
also, made the passes of the Skumbi resound 
with more than one pretty song. 

September 27. 

Great was my alarm, when two hours before 
sunrise the whole khan was knocked up by a 
government Tatar, raging for horses to proceed 
towards Skodra. All that were to be found 
in Elbassan I had engaged for my own journey, 
and the fear was, that should the Khanji yield 
our steeds to the new-comer, my detention in 
so charming a place as this might be in- 
definitely prolonged ; but for some reason of 
his own the Khanji chose to lie in the most 
fertile manner, saying that some of his horses 


were ill, some away ; and so the baffled Tatar 
retreated; and as the fibs were not uttered by 
m\ orders I became composed, and went to 
sleep again with a good conscience. At half- 
past six a.m. we left Elbassan, Giorgio growl- 
ing at all the inhabitants, and wishing they might 
be sold to the Czar, according to their fears. 
In any case, attachment to Abdul Medjid is 
not the reigning characteristic of this forlorn 
place. It was long before w r e left walls and 
lanes (there is more cultivation, especially of 
the olive, in these environs, than in any part 
of Albania I have yet seen), or ceased to jostle 
in narrow places against mules laden with black 
wool, and driven by white-garbed, black-cloaked 
men ; but when the route began to ascend from 
the valley, the view southward over to Skumbi, 
in which the giant Tomohr or Tomorit, forms 
the one point of the scene, was remarkably grand. 
In the early morning's ride there was but little 
interest; the greater part of it being through 
the narrow valley of a stream tributary to 
the Skumbi ; the winding bed of which torrent 
we crossed more than thirty times ere w r e left 
it ; and much after-time was occupied in pain- 
fully coasting bare clay hills till we began to 
climb the sides of the high mountain which 


separates the territory of Elbassan from that 
of Tyrana. 

How glorious, in spite of the dimming sci- 
rocco haze, was the view from the summit, as 
my eyes wandered over the perspective of wind- 
ing valley and stream to the farthest edge of 
the horizon — a scene realizing the fondest fancies 
of artist imagination ! The wide branching oak, 
firmly rivetted in crevices, all tangled over with 
fern and creepers, hung half-way down the 
precipices of the giant crag, while silver-white 
goats (which chime so picturesquely in with 
such landscapes as this) stood motionless as 
statues on the highest pinnacle, sharply denned 
against the clear blue sky. Here and there the 
broken foreground of rocks piled on rocks, was 
enlivened by some Albanians who toiled up- 
wards, now shadowed by spreading beeches, 
now glittering in the bright sun on slopes of 
the greenest lawn, studded over with tufted 
trees, which recalled Stothard's graceful forms, 
so knit with my earliest ideas of landscape. 
These and countless well-loved passages of 
auld lang syne, crowded back on my memory as 
I rested, while the steeds and attendants reposed 
under the cool plane-tree shade, and drank from 
the sparkling stream which bubbled from a 


98 jorux.vLS of 

Stone fountain. It was difficult to turn away 
from this magnificent mountain view — from 
these chosen nooks and corners of a beautiful 
world — from sights of which no painter-soul 
can ever weary : even now, that fold beyond 
fold of wood, swelling far as the eye can reach 
— that vale ever parted by its serpentine river — 
that calm blue plain, with Tomohr in the midst, 
like an azure island in a boundless sea, haunt 
my mind's eye, and vary the present with 
visions of the past. With regret I turned 
northwards to descend to the new district of 
Tyrana ; the town (and it is now past eleven) 
being still some hours distant. 

By half-past twelve we had descended into 
a broad undulating valley-plain, with limits 
melting into undistinguishable hill and sky 
(for the day was a scirocco with its dust-like 
mist, and the atmosphere like an oven), and 
were soon at a roadside khan, where a raised 
platform, with matting shelter, was by no means 
unacceptable. The magnificent Akhridhan, 
Bekir, who was charged to accompany me as 
far as Tyrana, is of very little service in any 
way ; his first care is to secure a good place on 
the platform — to take off his shoes, and smoke ; 
while Giorgio's alacrity in cooking a good 


dinner is a strong contrast to the Albanian's 
idleness. There were whispering olives hanging 
over the khan-yard; and while a simple melody 
was chanted by three Gheghes in the shade, the 
warm, slumbrous midday halt brought back to 
memory many such scenes and siestas in Italy. 

Starting at two, the scenery along the banks 
of a river, a noble stream enclosed between fine 
rocks, (the name of which I know not) was 
fine and varied; but the fear of arriving late 
at Tyrana urged me onward, to the omission of 
all drawing — though, had time allowed, it 
would not have been easy to have selected only 
one from so many continually-changing pictures 
as the afternoon's ride afforded. Other things 
also, good and bad, were included in the day's 
carte, such as capital grapes at the khan, and 
from frequent gardens as we approached Ty- 
rana ; — many objects of costume among the 
peasantry, — great flocks of turkeys, — and inse- 
cure wooden bridges over little streams, which 
obliged us, for fear of the horses falling through 
the planks, to make detours through charming 
bosky oases of cultivation. At four we forded 
the river, and hastened on, gradually descending 
by low brushwood undulations to the plain of 
Tyrana, while to the east, the long rugged 

h 2 


range of the kmia mountains became magnifi- 
cently interesting from picturesqueness and 

historical associations. 

A snake crossing the road gave Giorgio an 
occasion, as is his afternoon's wont, to illustrate 
the fact with a story. 

" In Egitto," said he, " are lots of serpents ; 
and once there were many Hebrews there. 
These Hebrews wished to become Christians, 
but the King Pharaoh — of whom you may 
have heard — would not allow any such thing. 
On which Moses (who was the prince of the 
Jews) wrote to the Patriarch of Constantinople 
and to the Archbishop of Jerusalem, and also 
to San Carlo Borromeo, all three of whom went 
straight to King Pharaoh, and entreated him to 
do them this favour ; to which he only replied, 
" No, signori." 

" But one fine morning these three saints 
proved too strong for the King, and changed 
him and all his people into snakes ; which," said 
the learned dragoman, " is the real reason why 
there are so many serpents in Egypt to this 


Wavy lines of olive — dark clumps of plane, 
and spiry cypresses marked the place of 
Tyrana when the valley had fully expanded 


into a pianura, and the usual supply of white 
minarets lit up the beautiful tract of foliage 
with the wonted deceptive fascination of these 
towns. As I advanced to the suburbs, I ob- 
served two or three mosques most hisrhlv orna- 
mented, and from a brilliancy of colour and 
elegance of form, by far the most attractive of 
any public building I had yet beheld in these 
wild places ; but though it was getting dark 
when I entered the town (whose streets, broader 
than those of Elbassan, were only raftered and 
matted half way across), it was at once easy to 
perceive that Tyrana was as wretched and dis- 
gusting as its fellow city, save only that it 
excelled in religious architecture and spacious 
market places. 

Two khans, each abominable, did we try. 
No person would undertake to guide us to 
the palace of the Bey (at some distance 
from the town), nor at that hour would it have 
been to much purpose to have gone there. 
The sky was lowering ; the crowds of gazers 
increasing, — Albanian the only tongue ; so, all 
these things considered, I finally fixed on a 
third-rate khan, reported to be the Clarendon of 
Tyrana, and certainly better than the other 
two, though its horrors are not easy to describe 


nor imagine. Horrors I had made up my 
mind to bear in Albania, and here, truly, they 
were in earnest. 

Is it necessary, says the reader, so to suffer? 
and when you had a Sultan's bouyourldi could 
you not have commanded Bey's houses ? True ; 
but had I done so, numberless arrangements 
become part of that mode of life, which, de- 
sirous as I was of sketching as much as possible, 
would have rendered the whole motives of my 
journey of no avail. If you lodge with Beys 
or Pashas, you must eat with them at hours 
incompatible with artistic pursuits, and you 
must lose much time in ceremony. Were you 
so magnificent as to claim a home in the name 
of the Sultan, they must needs prevent your 
stirring without a suitable retinue, nor could 
you in propriety prevent such attention ; thus, 
t ravelling in Albania has, to a landscape painter, 
two alternatives; luxury and inconvenience 
on the one hand, liberty, hard living, and filth 
on the other ; and of these two I chose the 
latter, as the most professionally useful, though 
not the most agreeable. 

O the khan of Tyrana ! with its immense 
stables full of uproarious horses ; its broken 
ladders, by which one climbed distrustfully up to 


the most uneven and dirtiest of corridors, in which 
a loft some twenty feet square by six in height 
was the best I could pick out as a home for the 
night. Its walls, falling in masses of mud from 
its osier- woven sides (leaving great holes exposed 
to your neighbour's view, or, worse still, to the 
cold night air) ; — its thinly raftered roof, anything 
but proof to the cadent amenities resulting from 
the location of an Albanian family above it ; its 
floor of shaking boards, so disunited that it 
seemed unsafe to move incautiously across it, 
and through the great chasms of which the 
horses below were open to contemplation, while 
the suffocating atmosphere produced thence are 
not to be described ! 

O khan of Tyrana ! when the Gheghe Khanji 
strode across the most rotten of garrets, how 
certainly did each step seem to foretell the down- 
fall of the entire building ; and when he whirled 
great bits of lighted pitch-torch hither and 
thither, how did the whole horrid tenement 
seem about to flare up suddenly and irre- 
trievably ! 

O khan of Tyrana! rats, mice, cockroaches, 
and all lesser vermin were there. Huge flimsy 
cobwebs, hanging in festoons above my head ; 
big frizzly moths, bustling into my eyes and 


fare, for the holes representing windows I could 
close but imperfectly with sacks and baggage: 

yet lure I prepared to sleep, thankful that a 
clean mat was a partial preventive to some of 
this list of woes, and finding some consolation 
in the low crooning singing of the Gheghes 
above me, who, with that capacity for melody 
which those Northern- Albanians seem to possess 
so essentially, were murmuring their wild airs 
in choral harmony. 

September 28. 

Though the night's home was so rude, fatigue 
produced sound sleep. The first thing to do 
was to visit Maehmoud Bey, Yice-Governor 
of Tyrana, to procure a Kawas as guardian 
during a day's drawing, and a letter to his 
nephew, Ali Bey, of Kroia, for to that city of 
Scanderbeg I am bent on going. Of the Bey's 
palace, nothing can be said beyond what has 
already been noted of the serais of similar 

Returning to the khan, I gave five dollars 
to Bekir of Akhridha, for his five days' 
service, an expense 1 resolved in future to 
forego, as the chance of robbery in these 


mountains seems a great deal too small to 
authorize it — the more, that the only assist- 
ance I really want (that of a guard while 
sketching in the towns) I have no difficulty in 

But even with a guard, it was a work of 
trouble to sketch in Tyrana ; for it was market, 
or bazaar day, and when I was tempted to 
open my book in the large space before the 
two principal mosques — (one wild scene of 
confusion, in which oxen, buffaloes, sheep, goats, 
geese, asses, dogs, and children, were all running 
about in disorder) — a great part of the natives, 
impelled by curiosity, pressed closely to watch 
my operations, in spite of the Kawas, who 
kept as clear a space as he could for me ; the 
women alone, in dark feringhis, and ghostly 
white muslin masks, sitting unmoved by their 
wares. Fain would I have drawn the exquisitely 
pretty arabesque-covered mosques, but the 
crowds at last stifled my enthusiasm. Not the 
least annoyance was that given me by the per- 
severing attentions of a mad or fanatic dervish, 
of most singular appearance as well as conduct. 
His note of " Shaitan " was frequently sounded ; 
and as he twirled about, and performed many 
curious antics, he frequently advanced to me, 


shaking a long hooked stick, covered with 
jingling ornaments, in my very face, pointing to 
the Kawas with menacing looks, as though he 
would say, " Were it not for this protector you 
should be annihilated, you infidel !" The crowd 
looked on with awe at the holy man's proceed- 
ings, for Tyrana is evidently a place of great 
attention to religion. In no part of Albania 
are there such beautiful mosques, and nowhere 
are collected so many green-vested dervishes. 
But however a wandering artist may fret at the 
impossibility of comfortably exercising his 
vocation, he ought not to complain of the 
effects of a curiosity which is but natural, or 
even of some irritation at the open display of 
arts which, to their untutored apprehension, 
must seem at the very least diabolical. 

The immediate neighbourhood of Tyrana is 
delightful. Once outside the town and you 
enjoy the most charming scenes of quiet, 
among splendid planes, and the clearest of 
streams. The afternoon was fully occupied in 
drawing on the road from Elbassan, whence 
the view of the town is beautiful. The long 
line of peasants returning to their homes from 
the bazaar, enabled me to sketch many of their 
dresses in passing ; most of the women wore 


snuff-coloured or dark vests trimmed with pink 
or red, their petticoats white, with an em- 
broidered apron of chocolate or scarlet ; others 
affected white capotes ; but all bore their hus- 
band's or male relative's heavy black or purple 
capote, bordered with broad pink or orange, 
across their shoulders. Of those whose faces 
were visible — for a great part wore muslin 
wrappers — (no sign hereabouts of the wearer 
being Mohammedan, for both Moslem and 
Christian females are thus bewrapped) — some 
few were very pretty, but the greater number 
had toil and careworn faces. There were 
many Dervishes, also, wearing high, white felt, 
steeple-crowned hats, with black shawls round 

No sooner, after retiring to my pig-stye dor- 
mitory, had I put out my candle, and was 
preparing to sleep, than the sound of a key 
turning in the lock of the next door to that of 
my garret, disturbed me, and lo ! broad rays 
of light illumined my detestable lodging from a 
large hole a foot in diameter, besides from two 
or three others, just above my bed ; at the 
same time a whirring, humming sound, followed 
by strange whizzings and mumblings, began to 
pervade the apartment. Desirous to know 

108 J0UENAL8 OF 

what was going on, I crawled to the smallest 
chink, without encountering the rays from the 
great hiatus, and what did I see? My friend 
of the morning — the maniac Dervish — perform- 
ing the most wonderful evolutions and gyra- 
tions ; spinning round and round for his own 
private diversion, first on his legs, and then 
pivot -wise, " sur son scant," and indulging in 
numerous other pious gymnastic feats. Not 
quite easy at my vicinity to this very eccentric 
neighbour, and half anticipating a twitch from 
his brass-hooked stick, I sat watching the event, 
whatever it might be. It was simple. The 
old creature pulled forth some grapes and ate 
them, after which he srraduallv relaxed in his 
twirlinirs, and finally fell asleep. 

September 29. 

It was as late as half-past nine a.m. when I 
left Tyrana, and one consolation there was in 
quitting its horrible khan, that travel all the 
world over, a worse could not be met with. 
Various delays prevented an early start; the 
postmaster was in the bath, and until he came 
out no horses could be procured (meanwhile I 
contrived to finish my arabesque mosques) ; 


then a dispute with the Khanjf, who, like 
many of these provincial people, insisted on 
counting the Spanish dollar as twenty-three, 
instead of twenty-four Turkish piastres. Next 
followed a row with Bekir of Akhridha, who 
vowed he would be paid and indemnified for the 
loss of an imaginary amber pipe, which he de- 
clared he had lost in a fabulous ditch, while 
holding my horse at Elbassan ; and lastly, and 
not the least of the list, the crowd around the 
khan gave way at the sound of terrific shrieks 
and howlings, and forth rushed my spinning 
neighbour, the mad Dervish, in the most foam- 
ing state of indignation. First he seized the 
bridles of the horses ; then, by a frantic and 
sudden impulse, he began to prance and circu- 
late in the most amazing manner, leaping, and 
bounding, and shouting " Allah !" with all his 
might, to the sound of a number of little bells, 
which this morning adorned his brass -hooked 
weapon. After this he made an harangue for 
ten minutes, of the most energetic character, 
myself evidently the subject ; at the end of it he 
advanced towards me with furious gestures, 
and bringing his hook to within two or three 
inches of my face, remained stationary, in a 
Taglioni attitude. Knowing the danger of 


interfering with these privileged fanatics, I 

thought my only and best plan was to remain 
unmoved, which I did, fixing my eye steadily 
on the ancient buffoon, but neither stirring nor 
uttering a word ; whereon, after he had screamed 
and foamed at me for some minutes, the demon 
of anger seemed to leave him at a moment's 
warning; for yelling forth discordant cries, and 
brandishing his stick and bells, aw r ay he ran, as 
if he were really possessed. Wild and savage 
were the looks of many of my friend's excited 
audience, their long matted, black hair, and 
brown visage, giving them an air of ferocity, 
which existed perhaps more in the outAvard, than 
the inner man ; moreover, these Gheghes are all 
armed, whereas out of Ghegheria no Albanian 
is allowed to carry so much as a knife. 

I was <Had enough to leave Tyrana, and 
rejoiced in the broad green paths, or roads, 
that lead northwards, through a wide valley 
below the eastern range of magnificent moun- 
tains, on one of which, at a great height from 
the plain, stands the once formidable Krdia, so 
long held out against the conquering Turk, by 
Iskander Bey. Certain of its historical interest, 
I was now r doubly anxious to visit it, from its 
situation, which promised abundance of beauty. 


After four hours' ride, over ground much 
intersected with marks of inundation, we arrived 
at a khan where, under a sort of " pergola "* of 
dry matting, I remained to dine, and to draw 
the sublime view before me over the plain, and 
wide beds of torrents towards the bare, craggy, 
dark mountain of Kroia, with the town and 
rocks glittering like silver aloft, below a heavy 
curtain of black cloud. At two we left the 
Skodra, or post-road — the Soorudji growling 
frightfully at my so doing — and struck directly 
across the vale to Kroia — a winding ascent 
through o-reen wooded hill-buttresses or shoul- 
ders, changed ere long for a sharp climb up to 
the foot of the great rock round which the town 
clusters and hangs — at which point I arrived at 
half-past four p.m, and where I gladly paused 
to sketch, rest, and enjoy the view above, 
below, and around. Few prospects are more 
stately than those of this renowned spot ; and 
perhaps that of the crag, with its ruined castle 
projecting from the great rocks above, and lord- 
ing over the spacious plain country north and 
south from Skodra towards Durazzo, reminded 

* In Italy a vine trellis. 

112 JOURNALS 0] 

me more of Olevano, that most lovelj landscape 
in a land of loveliness, than any place I ever 
saw. At the base of this isolated rock lies the 
town — a covered semicircular line of bazaars ; 
and overlooking all is the Bey's Palace, and a 
tall white minaret against the blue sky. The 
peasants who passed me while drawing, lingered, 
whispering quietly while observing the sketch, 
all thoroughly well-behaved, and a great contrast 
to my spectators of Elbassan. But evening 
advanced, and I was compelled to shut up my 
book, feeling for the hundredth time how diffi- 
cult it is to pourtray scenery in a country where 
the mere daily occupation of journeying from one 
town to another is attended by so much labour 
and hurry. Ascending through the dark-roofed 
bazaars — the huge crags towering over which 
reminded me of Canalo in Calabria — we arrived 
at All Bey's palace — a singularly picturesque 
pile of building, composed of two-storied, 
painted galleries, with irregular windows, pro- 
jecting roofs, and innumerable novelties of archi- 
tecture — all in a dreary court-yard, the high 
walls of which shut out effectually the glorious 
landscape below. 

In the arabesqued and carved corridor, to 
which a broad staircase conducted me, were 


hosts of Albanian domestics ; and on my letter 
of introduction being sent into the Bey, I 
was almost instantly asked into his room of 
reception — a three-windowed, square chamber 
(excellent, according to the standard of Turkish 
ornament, taste, and proportion) — where, in a 
corner of the raised divan, sate All, Bey of 
Krdia — a lad of eighteen or nineteen, dressed in 
the usual blue frock-coat now adopted by 
Turkish nobles or officers. A file of kilted and 
armed retainers were soon ordered to marshal 
me into a room where I was to sleep, and the 
little Bey seemed greatly pleased with the fun 
of doing hospitality to so novel a creature as a 
Frank. My dormitory was a real Turkish 
chamber ; and the raised cushions on three sides 
of it — the high, square, carved wooden ceiling — 
the partition screen of lofty woodwork, with long 
striped Brusa napkins thrown over it — the 
guns, horse-gear, &c, which covered the walls 
— the fire-place — closets — innumerable pigeon- 
holes — green, orange, and blue stained-glass 
windows — all appeared so much the more in 
the light of luxuries and splendours when found 
in so remote a place as Kroia. It was not easy 
to shake off the attentions of ten full-dressed 
Albanian servants, who stood in much expecta- 



tion, till, findin g I was about to take off my 
shoes, they made a rush at me as the Jews did 
at Saloniki, and showed such marks of disap- 
pointment at not being allowed to make them- 
selves useful, that I was obliged to tell Giorgio 
to explain that w r e Franks were not used to 
assistance every moment of our lives, and that 
I should think it obliging of them if they would 
leave me in peace. After changing my dress, 
the Bey sent to say that supper should be served 
in an hour, he having eaten at sunset, and in 
the meantime he would be glad of my society ; 
so I took my place on the sofa by the little 
gentleman's side, and Giorgio, sitting on the 
ground, acted as interpreter. At first Ali Bey 
said little, but soon became immensely loqua- 
cious, asking numerous questions about Stam- 
boul, and a few about Franks in general — 
the different species of whom he w T as not 
very well informed. At length, when the con- 
versation was nagging, he was moved to discourse 
about ships that went without sails, and coaches 
that were impelled without horses ; and to 
please him 1 drew a steamboat and a railway 
carriage ; on which he asked if they made any 
noise ; and T replied by imitating both the 
inventions in question in the best manner 1 


could think of — " Tik-tok, tik-tok, tik-tok, 
tokka, tokka, tokka, tokka, tokka — tok" 
(crescendo), and " Squish -squash, squish- 
squash, squish-squash, thump-bump" — for the 
land and sea engines respectively — a noisy 
novelty, which so intensely delighted All Bey, 
that he fairly threw himself back on the divan, 
and laughed as I never saw Turk laugh before. 

For my sins, this imitation became fear- 
fully popular, and I had to repeat " squish- 
squash," " tik-tok," till I was heartily tired, 
the only recompense this wonderful little 
Pasha offered me, being the sight of a small 
German writing-box (when new it might have 
cost three or four shillings), containing a 
lithograph of Fanny Ellsler, and two small 
looking-glasses in the lid. This was brought 
in by a secretary, attended by two Palikari,* 
at the Bey's orders, and was evidently con- 
sidered as something uncommonly interesting. 
So, when this very intellectual intercourse 
was over, I withdrew to my wooden room, and 
was glad of a light supper before sleeping. 

* Palikari — Albanian or Greek military. 

» 2 


Ski»tkmber .'U). 

But one day can be allotted to Kroia, so how 
to make the best of that day ? Little liberty 
do I look for, the more, that while I take my 
caf§, an Albanian stands at the door, who shies 
off his slippers if I only move a finger — rushing 
forward to know if I want anything. How- 
ever, I have caused it to be known through 
Giorgio, that I only require a single attendant, 
and that that one should be well paid. Spite 
of forebodings, I actually escaped from the 
palace, and having re-passed the bazaars, was 
at work on a drawing of the castle rock, one 
of the most imposing of subjects, ere yet the 
sun had risen over the eastern hills. Above 
the town the view is still more majestic, and 
although many of the inhabitants came and sat 
near me, yet no one annoyed me in the least, 
and I drew comparisons between these well- 
bred people and the rude men of Elbassan and 
Tyrana. At eleven I returned to dine with 
Ali Bey, an amiable little fellow, who was evi- 
dently anxious to make my stay agreeable, 
though he could not long control his childish 
curiosity from bidding Giorgio (who could ill 


bowl into which we dipped in rotation. So 
ended my first Turkish dinner. 

It is not easy to keep conversation going, on 
terms so unequal as those in which my host and 
I communicated, so I was not sorry to be once 
more at work, and the outside of Ali Bey's 
palace, fretted, and galleried, and painted, occu- 
pied me an hour or two, while the castle rock, 
taken from the east, filled up my time till sun- 
set. After this, I was devoted for two hours 
to the little Bey, during which my employ- 
ment was repeating in English the names of the 
days of the week, and the twelve months, and 
the letters of the alphabet, varied by " squish- 
squash, squish-squash, thump, thump, tikka-tok- 
katok," and by occasional contemplations of the 
Fanny Ellsler writing-box. Later, Ali Bey 
showed me the rooms of his hareem (the first 
and last I am most probably destined to see), 
which he was repairing with an indistinct view to 
future matrimony. Very picturesque and Arabian- 
night-like chambers they were, with a covered 
gallery, looking down on the (now) still bazaars 
and the tall minarets, to the rocks and the oak 
woods sloping down, down by undulating hills 
to the boundless plains, moonlit sea, and far 
faint hills of Skodra. Imagination peopled this 

120 JOUBNAL8 mi 

gallery with houri tenants, waving feringhees, 
and laughing faces, hut the halls of All Bey were 

silent for the present. 

Supper — a fac-simile of the dinner, save that 
I did not upset the soup — concluded my day in 
Kroia, and I took leave of good-natured little 
Ali Hey with the sort of half regret with which 
any human being, whose salt one has eaten more 
than once in wilds such as these, is bade a 
farewell for ever. 

October 1. 

The muezzins' call to prayers is more delight- 
fully musical at Kroia than at any place I have 
yet been to — it is the wildest of singular melodies. 
We were off by six a.m. While the horses 
were being got ready, Ali Bey desired to see 
nie again, and accordingly we had series the 
last of coffee, pipes, " squish-squash, tikka- 
tok," and the alphabet. He had asked Giorgio 
of his own accord, how the Franks saluted each 
other, and hearing that it was by shaking hands, 
lie seized both of mine, and shook them as a 
London footman might a door-knocker. Long 
after I had left the palace, he was watching me 
from his corner-window, and doubtless will longer 


remember the Frank who ran about and wrote 
down houses, and divulged to him the noises of 
steam-ships and coaches. All is representative 
of his uncles, Suleiman and Machmoud Beys, 
governors of Tyrana, and as their deputy, judges 
all disputes in Kroia. Young as he is, he has a 
good deal of energetic character, and keeps the 
people in strict order, " I took away all their 
guns," said he, " directly I was chief here : for 
why ? they shot more men than birds." Among 
other amusing questions which he asked, one was, 
after long and accurate observation of my dress : 
" How does the Frank make the collars of his 
shirt stand upright ?" Giorgio informed him, 
by means of starch, on which he inquired the 
nearest place where he could purchase a Frank 
laundress ; and being told Trieste, he expressed 
his determination to send for one shortly. 

The morning was clouded and gray, and a 
heavy mist over the northern plains and shore 
foretells rain. We be^an to descend from 
Kroia through graceful olive woods and pretty 
scenery, above which, on the right, the tops of 
the high mountain range peeped out through 
gathering clouds. Great fragments of dark 
rock cumber the downward path, and on the 
left the distant view would have been glorious, 


if the spreading mist had been less dense. 
Crossing a stream by a high-arched bridge, the 

route lay through ever increasingly beautiful 
oak forests, stretching from hill to hill, and 
wrapping the bald and gloomy mountains in 
their grey and brown robes; and had not the 
day become more threatening each minute, I 
should have enjoyed the scenery more. In the 
thickest of the wood, down came the rain in 
torrents ; the paths were slippery, our progress 
was slow ; and Giorgio, who considers Albania 
and Albanians as the most depressing of horrors, 
made the morning truly melancholy by inces- 
sant croaking about robbers ; besides all which 
evils, a most odious impish little Soorudji, who 
had brought me from Tyrana, and who was 
aggrieved at being taken, as he called it, up into 
the hills, delayed me out of spite in every pos- 
sible way, by rushing into quagmires, and leaving 
the path suddenly to search for imaginary pools 
of water in impenetrable copses, that his horses 
might drink thereof ; these symptoms of unruli- 
ness we were at last obliged to check, by leading 
his horse forcibly, spite of his yell of " Sui-sui."* 

* " Drink, drink \" 


In about three hours from Krdia, we reached the 
Skddra road once more, and in half an hour ar- 
rived at a khan situated in a close jungly wood, a 
small spot of ground being cleared around the 
tenement, which, says the Khanji, is five 
hours from Alessio, the place meant to be the 
end of my day's journey. Here I resolve to 
halt, as the rain cannot be more violent than it 
is at present. Moreover, there is a fine fowl 
roasting, which I seize on, and purchase for two 
piastres. These bye-road khans are infinitely 
preferable to the vile places in the towns of 
Albania ; a floor and a fire are comforts, and 
the stable at the far end of the long building 
did not incommode me, whose luncheon on the 
fowl, with rice, was only more or less disturbed 
by little chickens and kittens, who continually 
ran over me, snatching at casual bits of fugitive 
food. No parasitical creatures are more worrying 
to a traveller in Albania than chickens ; they 
swarm by scores in these khans, and their in- 
cessant chirp and flutter are incorrigible, nor 
until they have shared the picking of their ances- 
tors' bones can they be quieted. 

At eleven o'clock — the rain ceasing unexpect- 
edly — we were off again, ever through a thick 


wooded tract of country, the tangled branches 
heavy with the rain, greatly impeding our pro- 
gress, and the roads being deep in mud and 
water. Often, to avoid the high raised cause- 
way (the government post-road) — the unequal 
pavement of which it is misery to ride over — 
we went aside into quiet glades of green, return- 
ing when the too thick foliage prevented the 
secondary pathway being followed. At an 
hour's distance another khan stands on the 
right of the road, and beyond this the wood 
gives place to more open glades, until we 
reached the plain of the broad and rapid river 
Mathis, which, always a disagreeable process, 
was forded about one p.m. Hence the hills we 
had passed began to gleam in returning sun- 
shine, and covered with thickest foliage, seemed 
like vast piles of moss ; while northward, and 
to the west, flat ground, with occasional spots 
of cultivation, appeared to spread to the sea — 
the high rocks of the ancient Lissus rising 
directly in front of our route. Having passed 
a third khan on the left at half-past one, the 
road enters a thick copse or jungle, a belt of 
underwood stretching over the low marshy 
grounds near the Drin. The staple productions 


of this region are tangled brambles and low ilexes 
through whose green growth tall whispering 
reeds shoot up, while, above all, trees scattered 
at intervals tower, their branches bending with 
the weight of vines and creepers which 
swing in graceful festoons, in all the luxuriant 
rankness that surely indicates a condition of 
atmosphere fatal to man, but favourable to vege- 
table life. 

In these narrow and intricate paths we met 
many peasants returning from the bazaars of 
Alessio, the women clad in fringed and tasselled 
dresses, the men all armed; for the Gheghe 
Albanians, from not having formed any union 
with their brethren of Toskeria and Tzamouria 
in the last rising against the Turkish Govern- 
ment, are still allowed the privilege of carrying 
arms, which is denied to all south of the Skumbi. 

About four o'clock I reached Alessio* — a 
miserable village representing the ancient Lissus, 
many remains of which exist around and upon the 
remarkable pointed hill (the ancient Acropolis) 
rising above the street of bazaars which forms 
the chief part of the modern town ; the rest of 

* Or Leah. 

126 JOURNALS 01 

Alessio consists of houses standing in gardens 
on the banks of the Drill — in which the Chris- 
tian population chiefly dwell — or in suburban 
residences of the Mohammedans on the hill- 
side. On the summit of the rock is a mosque, 
and here tradition says that the remains of 
Scanderbeg repose beneath the ruins of a 
Christian church. 

The khan of Alessio was too bad to think of 
as a lodging ; so, by means of a letter from the 
Bey of Tyrana, we proceeded to a quarter in the 
house of a Greek Christian residing here as 
agent to the Austrian Consul at Skodra; and 
leaving Giorgio to make the best of this refuge — 
a sort of loft in a courtyard, bearing all the tokens 
of vermin — I went forth with its master, Signor 
Giuseppe, and by way of finding a general view 
of Alessio, crossed the river in a punt-ferry, and 
proceeded to a Latin convent which stands on a 
height opposite the town. Nearly all the 
Christians in this part of Northern Albania 
(that is, on the north-western coast, where the 
Venetian Republic was once so powerful) are 
of the Latin Church, and the residents of the 
Greek persuasion are the minority. From this 
spot the views are most exquisite. Looking 
south, they extend towards the high mountains 


above Kroia and Tyrana ; and northward, they 
range over a beautiful river which winds down 
from the heights above Skodra, reflecting trees 
and hills in the clear water. 

The sole tenant of the convent, a Capuchin 
Friar, came forth to meet me, when, having 
advanced a few yards, he set up a shout, ejacu- 
lating, "O, possibile ! Si : — e il Signor Odoardo !" 
while I on my part recognised him as a monk 
I had fallen in with some years back when 
staying with some friends in the Maremma near 
Corneto, and afterwards had frequently seen at 
Ara-Coeli in Rome ; but the singularity of the 
circumstance — that we should meet again in 
this remote corner of Illyria — was one of those 
events that we should reject if in a novel, as 
too impossible to happen. Fra Pietro exhi- 
bited great glee at seeing a " Christian," as he 
called me ; and on the other side, I was glad 
enough to hear good Roman speech. " But," said 
I, " the people of Alessio are Christians, are they 
not ?"* — " Cristiani si, lo sono," said the monk ; 
" ma se domani volesse il buon Dio far crescere 

* Yes they are ! but if it pleased Heaven to-morrow so to 
swell the river as that they might be all swept off into Paradise, 
1 should be happy, &c. &c. May they all die of apoplexy ! 


il fiume per portargli tutti in Paradiso, ci avrei 
gusto! — Cristiani? Ladri! Cristiani? — porchi! 

— Cristiani ? Lupi, anhnali, sciocchi, scimie, 
brutte bestie, Grechi, Turchi, Albanesi — che gli 
piglia ad uno e tutti un accidente. O che Cris- 
tiani ! O che rabbia !" Seeing that a sojourn in 
the Latin bishopric of Lissus had by no means 
improved my friend Fra Pietro's disposition to 
suavity (he was never, in the days when I 
formerly knew him, of the calmest or happiest 
temper), I hastened to change the conversation, 
but during the rest of our discourse, this victim 
of exile in " partibus" continued to growl out 
bitter anathemas at all his Alessian flock. At 
sunset I left the angry friar (after all, a solitary 
life here must be no slight penitenza), and, 
promising to visit him on my return, I re-crossed 
the Drin to Signor Giuseppe's house, where 
I found bed and supper ready in the upper 

An old Skodrino, who talks Italian, squats on 
the opposite side of the fire, and tells me a great 
deal about Skddra and other places hereabouts, 
which I ought to have remembered, but I fell 
fast asleep. Eight hundred Latin Christian-, 
according to him, live at Skddra ; and he says, 
" there may be some twenty Greek Christian 


families." The Roman Catholic Bishop of Lissus 
resides there. In spite of all his intelligence, 
the old gentleman was a bore, as he was seized 
with a literary fit in the middle of the night, 
and smoked, and scribbled, and conghed, to the 
utter driving away the little chance of sleep 
which mice, musquitoes, and fleas had left me 

October 2. 

It is half-past four a.m., and torrents of rain 
are falling ; they may fall for two or three days, 
in which case I am a prisoner here, as all the 
rivers will be impassable, so I order the horses 
to proceed to Skddra at all risks, though of 
course the obstinate little Soorudji would not 
bring them till seven. 

The journey was of the wettest, and kept 
always along the banks of the Drino, beneath 
enormous abele trees, with fine forms of moun- 
tains looming through the downward mist. To 
a man who wears spectacles, a fez is not advan- 
tageous as a covering for the head on a rainy 
day ; the glasses are soon dimmed, and little 
does he see of all above, below, and around. 
In three hours we arrived at the ferry over the 


\Ui) J0URNAL8 0] 

Drino, having passed two or three scattered 
villages, which were proclaimed as Christian by 

the fad of pigs (lean, hairy pigs they were) 
roaming around them. Nothing in the world 
could be more picturesque than the ferry and 
its capoted rowers ; but the incessant rain for- 
bade attempts to draw, nor did I halt again, till 
at eleven, when we reached a khan, distant still 
three hours from Skddra. A small bit of salt 
cheese, and some very bad wine, was all the food 
I could obtain ; but the loss of luncheon was 
compensated for by the increasing interest of 
the costumes of the peasantry ; their scarlet and 
crimson capotes, short coarse kilts, long black 
hair, dark faces, and immoderately long pistols, 
gave them an air of romance and savageness 
I had not yet seen. 

Half-past eleven — on again, through clay and 
water, and willowy tangles, and high broken 
causeways. Turkish paved roads, even when in 
repairs, are miserable ways and means of travel ; 
but when you have twenty yards of elevated 
stonework, and then a four feet interval of mud, 
the causeway being often two or three feet in 
height, the alternation of ups and downs is not 
pleasant. Vast mountain forms are lowering 


remotely on all sides, till the castle of Skodra* 
appears in sight. In all the objects of this, to 
me, new district, extreme wildness is the domi- 
nant impression. The peasantry were pictu- 
resque to an incredible degree. Flocks of sheep 
and goats, guarded by the most savage-looking 
fellows, armed to the teeth, and magnificent in 
all the colours of Gheghe clothing, were fre- 
quently in our path, and more than once fierce 
dogs sprang out on our half wild Soorudji, from 
hidden ambushes. Once, the young pickle made 
as if he would pursue one of the invaders, with 
his raised whip, but the herdsman rose from his 
lair, and coolly pointed his long gun at the 
offender, till he resumed his course. 

Skodra is situated to the south of the lake of 
the same name, on a point of land between two 
rivers, one of which,f the Boyana, sweeps below 
the south side of the isolated ridge of hill on 
which the fortress stands, which ridge, shutting 
out the plain and lake is, as it were, split into 
two, by a deep hollow immediately to the east- 
ward of the fortress, wherein, and on the southern 
side of the hill, appears to stand the town. But 

* Or, Scutari d'Albania. t The other is the Drino, or Drill. 

K 2 

L32 JOl RNALS 01 

this is all deception; for having crossed the 
Boyana — at this season a fordable stream — you 
arrive at the southern suburbs, only to discover 
that they are deserted; the Avails of numerous 
houses, ruined in some of the late sieves of this 
unquiet capital of Illy nan Albania, one or two 
handsome mosques, and a considerable extent 
of garden constitute the real condition of the 
place ; while ascending through this scene of de- 
solation to the long lines of bazaars, which cluster 
below the domineering fortress, and fill up the 
hollow pass in the ridge of hill, you are still sur- 
prised to find that you are not yet in Skodra. For 
these bazaars, by the oddest arrangement pos- 
sible, are only tenanted by day ; a busy scene 
throughout the forenoon, they are regularly 
closed an hour before sunset ; every male inhabi- 
tant coming to his warehouse early in the morn- 
ing, and returning as regularly to what is now 7 
really the town of Skodra (though it is some- 
times called "The Gardens"), namely, a wide 
collection of villages and detached houses, 
scattered over the plain on the northern side of 
the eastle-hill and bazaars, between them and 
the lake. The lake, stretching far and wide to the 
mountains of Montenegro, is not seen except by 
climbing high up the rock toward the castle. 


On arriving in the piazza in the centre of the 
bazaars, I was told that Signor Bonatti (the 
English Vice-consul to whom I had letters) 
resided at some distance : it might be a mile, or 
two, or four, said the bystanders, with happy 
vagueness, — the mercantile world of Skodra 
seemed unprepared to give a decided opinion. 
However that might be, the odious little 
Soorudji of Tyrana instantly vowed he would 
go no further, and in spite of threats and 
entreaties became unmanageable. Unloading 
all the baggage in a rage, he threw it into 
the mud in the piazza, and decamped with the 
horses, swearing at all Christians with most 
emphatic zeal. All the Gheghes looking on, 
maintained a provoking composure. To have 
sent to the Pasha in his castle would have been 
an operation of an hour's length, and after all of 
uncertain result : the Consul's abode was afar 
off, and so little seemed known of him that it was 
to be doubted if his succours would have availed 
anything : so, in this climax of discomfort — 
hard rain falling all the while — we had to 
wait until another horse was procured for the 
baggage ; and with a very lame guide we left 
the bazaars, and descended to the suburban or 
" garden part of Skodra, in the northern plain. 

134 JontXALs 01 

A pretty chase ensued for tlie Consul's dwell- 
ing; for in this strange place your house, or 
your mosque, or your garden stands, indepen- 
dently of any other building, among walls and 
labyrinths of lanes intricate beyond belief. 
Much of this flat ground is afflicted by inundation 
— the communications across it being formed by 
very narrow raised causeways, crossing intervals 
of mud or water as the case may be; and a full 
hour was consumed in walking among these weary 
pavements without apparently being any nearer 
the object of our search. At last we arrived at 
a door at the end of a cul-de-sac lane, when the 
lame old man stopped and said: "to o-7rm,* 
[ngliz Consul." But this was wholly an inven- 
tion of his own, for no consul lived there ; and 
had not a friendly scarlet-cloaked Christian 
woman volunteered acting as guide, I cannot 
tell when the real house might have been found. 
Signor Bonatti, a native of Corfu, and British 
Vice-consul in the city of Skodra, is an active 
and lively little man, full of kind anxiety to do 
the agreeable to the few passers-by in these 
regions ; but having a large family of nine or 

* to oniTi, \\\v h0US€ 


ten children, he is unable to exercise so much 
hospitality as he is known formerly to have 
done : the more the pity, for a more amiable set 
of people one could not be indebted to. He 
recommended me to a lodging in the village- 
city ; and after a short stay with his family, 
thither I went. 

By sunset I was settled in the house of Signor 
Marco, a Venetian apothecary, whose substantial 
dwelling standing in a good cortile and garden, 
contains two or three large rooms. Here — 
possibly the last place in which rest will be 
accessible before I arrive at Ioannina — I pur- 
pose staying three days before turning south- 
ward — Skddra being the furthest point of my 
Albanian wanderings ; — even were not money 
becoming scarce, autumn advances, and I 
shall have scarcely time to reach Malta ere 

October 3. 

Half the morning passed by in endeavours to 
find the lake — which, after all, I — who have no 
organ of locality — did not succeed in doing. 
So, after walking in a circle among lanes, 
houses, tombs, mosques, drains, bridges, and 

136 •" ,l RNAL8 OF 

w wiled gardens, I returned to the apothecary's 
as wise as when I set out. Repairing to the 

Consul, and walking -with him about the 
suburbs, I came to the conclusion that the most 
picturesque points of Skddra are to be found on 
the southern side of the ridge — or at least that 
whatever views were to be obtained in the 
north would occupy, from their remoteness, 
more time than I commanded, merely to select. 
To an artist who could remain here for a 
month, much noble material could be gained 
on the shores of the lake at the foot of the 
Albanian mountain-boundary to the east; and 
greatly did I long to penetrate towards Podgo- 
rizza, and the land of the Montenegrini. 

At three p.m. I set out with Sismor Bonatti 
on a visit to the Pasha of Skodra, to whom Mr. 
Blunt of Saloniki has given me a letter; and 
after a visit to some of the merchants in the 
bazaars, we climb the steep castle-hill, whence 
the line of the lake and mountains are surpass- 
ingly lovely. The castle occupies the whole of 
the summit of the hill, and by its area-walls 
and numerous decaying forts within, betokens 
greater extent and power in bygone day-. The 
palace of the Pasha is a building with no pre- 
tention- to size or picturesqueness, nor is its 


interior otherwise than of the commonest kind. 
From the windows, however, the view is truly 
magnificent on all sides : northward, it sweeps 
across the village, the dotted plain, and wide 
blue lake to the jagged Montenegro or Tcher- 
nigore mountains ; southward, it extends over 
the ruined town at the foot of the hill to the 
plains of the Drino ; westward, along the wind- 
ings of the Boyana to the Adriatic ; and east- 
ward, to the third part of this oddly arranged 
place — the busy bazaars. 

Osman Pasha, the dignitary who at present 
governs the city of Skddra and its surrounding 
district, is a Bosniac by birth, and is said to be 
in great favour with the Porte from having, 
while in his present command, made some suc- 
cessful warfare against the Montenegrini, who 
are ever at feud with the Mohammedan Govern- 
ment. His Highness is short and fat, with an 
intelligent and amiable expression of counte- 
nance ; and spite of his Oriental attitude as he 
squatted in his corner, a pale frock-coat and 
European-made trousers gave him little of the 
air of a Turk. Beside him sat an individual, 
whose closely-buttoned grey vest, clerical hat, 
gold chain and cross, proclaimed the Roman 
Catholic bishop ; this was Monsignore Topicka, 


the diocesan of Lissus, in which is included the 
district of Skodra. By means of the Vice- 
consular Dragoman, the conversation became 
animated. The Pasha was remarkably affable, 
and asked me to dine with him on the 5th. 
And then came pipes and coffee — pipes, pipes, 
sweetmeats — pipes, sherbet, and pipes ; through- 
out which ceremony, discourse was extremely 
plentiful when compared with the usual run of 
Turkish visits. 

They call this place the Siberia or exile of 
Turkey in Europe ; and indeed it must be little 
less than banishment to those who have lived in 
Stamboul. The Pasha made several remarks, 
showing that he w T as by no means an ill-informed 
man. He asked if " Lord" Cook (chi girava il 
mondo,*) had left any children, and if so whether 
they also went intorno l'universo ? Various anec- 
dotes — some very facetious, at which His High- 
ness laughed immoderately — were told by the 
Consul and Bishop ; and on the whole the 
visit, though rather long, was a merry one. 
There was much talk also regarding reports of 
battles between the Cattaresi and Montenegrini 

* Who went round the world. 


on the far side of the lake. After the departure 
of the Vescovo, I was invited to walk on the 
ramparts ; and, said the Pasha, " You may note 
down all the state of the fortress, if you please : 
you may look at everything, for your Sovereign 
is a friend of ours." It would have been in 
vain to have said that I had no commission to 
report upon fortresses, or that I was totally 
incapable of so doing : any attempt to disabuse 
the august mind of so natural a conception would 
have had no other result than that of appearing to 
confirm it. After this I had hoped the visit was 
over, and was horrified to find that we returned 
to the divan, when fresh pipes and rose-water 
ensued, and pipes — pipes — like Banquo's pos- 
terity, till I was utterly weary ; by the time 
we had taken leave and re-passed the gal- 
leries full of retainers, the sun had set, and it 
was dark ere we reached the plain, where we 
fell in with long lines of Scutarini leaving the 
bazaars and returning home, each with his 
empty sack. 

October 4. 

All day the weather looks threatening, but 
the clouds add a charm of magnificence to the 


dark blue mountains surrounding the plain of 
Skodra. The Skodra merchants cross it in 
troops at early morn on their way to the 
bazaars ; many of these are men of consider- 
able property, and trade largely to the coasts 
of Italy, especially Venice, the dialect of which 
place nearly all of them speak as well as Greek, 
Sclavonic- Albanian, and Turkish. They live in 
a homely style in their own town, and never 
adopt the fustianell or kilt, being clad in dark 
loose capote-vests, with blue or black linen 
trousers like those of Corfiotes, or the popu- 
lation of the Greek isles ; below these are 
scrupulously white stockings — changed daily, 
wonderful to say — but the Scutarini are totally 
different in appearance, habits and manners, to 
the southern Albanians. The women have their 
faces covered, so that when out of doors you 
cannot distinguish Christians from Mohamme- 
dans, and one and all dress in scarlet cloaks with 
square hoods. But it is in Venice or Cattaro that 
the Skodra merchant unfolds himself, as it were, 
for at home his fear of exciting the cupidity of 
the Turks prevents any such display. Abroad 
he exhibits all the blazing richness of full 
Gheghe costume ; while it is at home that the 
Skodra lady indulges in a magnificence of 


costume almost beyond belief. In domestic 
arrangements the Latin Christians of Skodra 
have much in common with their Mohamme- 
dan rulers, under whose power they have so 
long dwelt as to adopt most of their practices 
— such, for instance, as the marriages being 
fixed by the parents, the bride and bridegroom 
never meeting till she is brought to her be- 
trothed's house on the day of the marriage. 
As in Turkey, also, the female of each family are 
almost close prisoners, excepting when masked, 
and in no case hold communion with the males 
of any other household. 

While sketching about the village I was 
plentifully pelted by little Gheghe boys, until 
the arrival of a Kawas from the Pasha secured 
me from annoyance. The Skodra Albanians 
have the reputation of excessive ferocity and 
turbulence ; and to say truth, their countenances 
do not belie the report. The Latin Christian 
populace, on the contrary, seem as timid as 
civil. By the aid of a tractable Kawas I drew 
throughout the whole day unremittingly, from 
various points below the south side of the 
castle, whence the view is very imposing, and 
near a wondrous old bridge across to Bryana, 
constructed of pointed arches of irregular width, 

142 J0UBNAL8 "I 

and baring somewhat the effect of the columns 

in a Gothic cathedral, suddenly resolved on 
spanning the stream, some with little steps, 
some with long. Everywhere the various groups 
of buffalo cars and peasants, or of scarlet-coated 
Gheghes sitting on the ground, were full of 
interest ; but the thin population of a place so 
extensive as Skodra is very 7 apparent, and it is 
a great contrast to the lively and thriving 

Perhaps the grandest of all the views of 
Skodra is from the rock eastward of the bazaars ; 
the castle, the mountains above — the ruined 
town below, — the river winding beneath its 
1) ridges into far distance, form one of the finest 
of pictures. As the sun was sinking low, 
his rays, clouded through the day, lit up the 
northern side of the landscape brilliantly, and 
from the steep castle hill — my last halt — 
nothing could be more splendid than the rich 
foliage and glittering dwellings on the one side, 
and the dark ranges of deep blue and violet 
hills against the bright sky. But there is far to 
go, and it is time to set out homeward over the 
ankle-twisting paved causeways of Skodra. 


October 5. 

It rained hard all night, and at ten a.m., 
(when we should have been going up to the 
Pasha's dinner), torrents descended, with vio- 
lent thunder and hail. Towards eleven it held 
up a little, so as the invitations of three-tailed 
Pashas are not to be neglected, I set off to 
the Vice-consul's, taking Giorgio, with a supply 
of shoes, linen, and cloth clothes, as a remedy 
against the wetting there was small chance 
of escaping. Whereupon, fresh storms com- 
mencing, Signor Bonatti, myself, the Dragoman 
Pazzini and a Kawas, all rushed desperately 
through the falling torrents, by odious paved 
paths to the castle, arriving there in a perfect 
deluge. Having changed our dress, the time 
till dinner was served (about noon), passed 
in continual repetitions of sherbet, sweetmeats, 
pipes and coffee, the Pasha being always very 
lively and merry. 

Osman Pasha affects European manners, and 
(to my great relief) we all sat on chairs round 
a table ; a Bimbashi (or captain on guard) ap- 
pearing about as much at ease in his new posi- 
tion as I had done when in that of the natives. 


A.s for the Legion-dinner, it is not to be de- 

scribed. I counted up thirty-seven dishes, 
served, as is the custom in Turkey, one by one 
in succession, and then I grew tired of reckon- 
ing (supposing that perhaps the feast was going 
on all day) though I think there were twelve or 
fourteen more. But nothing was so surprising 
as the strange jumble of irrelevant food offered : 
lamb, honey, fish, fruit ; baked, boiled, stewed, 
fried ; vegetable, animal ; fresh, salt, pickled ; 
solid ; oil, pepper ; fluid ; sweet, sour ; hot, 
cold — in strange variety, though the ingredients 
were often very good. Nor was there any order 
in the course according to European notions ; — 
the richest pastry came immediately after 
dressed fish, and was succeeded by beef, honey, 
and cakes ; pears and peaches ; crabs, ham, 
boiled mutton, chocolate cakes, garlic, and fowl ; 
cheese, rice, soup, strawberries, salmon-trout 
and cauliflowers ; — it was the very chaos of a 
dinner ! Of those who did justice to the repast 
I was not one ; and fortunately it is not con- 
sidered necessary, by the rules of Turkish 
etiquette, to do more than taste each dish ; and 
although the Pasha twice or thrice helped me 
himself, it is sufficient to eat the smallest atom, 
when the attendant servant removes your plate. 


As for drink, there were marsala, sherry, hock, 
champagne, Bass's pale ale, bottled porter, rakhi, 
and brandy, — a large show of liquor in a Mo- 
hammedan house ; nor did the faithful seem to 
refrain particularly from any fluid ; but there 
was no unbecoming excess, and as is remarkably 
the case with Turkish manners, quiet and 
order were observable throughout the festivity. 
Only the Bimbashi, a heavy, dull man, seemed 
marked out for practical jokes, and they 
made him take an amazing mixture of porter 
and champagne, assuring him it was a species 
of Frank soup, which he seemed to like little 
enough. As the entertainment draws to a close, 
it is polite to express your sense of the host's 
hospitality, by intimating a sense of repletion, 
and, by pointing to your throat, the utter impos- 
sibility of eating any more ; and perhaps the last 
delicate act of complimentary acknowledge- 
ment, which it is not easy to describe otherwise 
than as a series of remarkable choral ventrilo- 
quism, was the queerest and most alarming trait 
of the whole fete. On the whole, there was 
much to amuse, though I should not like to dine 
with Pashas often. Osman Pasha surprised me 
by his questions concerning Ireland, Scotland, 
the game laws, &c, and appeared to have read 

]4 fi JOUKN LLS 01 

and understood a good deal about European 
nations. After dinner, I amused him greatly by 

drawing one or two of his attendants, and 
should have obtained the portraits of more, had 
not the Mufti, or Mollah, or Cadi, in an ortho- 
dox green and white turban, been suddenly an- 
nounced, a visit which put a stop to my 
unholy pastime. At six we came away. How 
disagreeable the raised pavement of Skodra is, 
none but those who have slipped off it into deep 
mud and water every five minutes can tell. 

October 6. 

An April day of sun and showers. Early I 
went to the Consul's, to make a drawing of a 
Gheghe chief, Abdullah Bey, who was magni- 
ficently attired in a full suit of scarlet and gold ; 
and afterwards one of Calliope Bonatti, the Con- 
sul's second daughter, a very pretty girl, who 
good-naturedly sate to me in a bridal Scutarine 
dress, which Madame Bonatti had most 
obligingly borrowed. No toilet can be more 
splendid : purple silk and velvet, elaborately em- 
broidered in gold and silver, form the outer 
garment, the patterns worked by hand with the 
greatest taste ; two or three under rests cow red 


with embroidery, full purple trowsers, innu- 
merable chains of gold and silver coins and 
medals, with a long white veil, complete the cos- 
tume, excepting several coloured silk handker- 
chiefs, which are sewn inside the outer vest, and 
have a tawdry and ill-arranged look, when com- 
pared with the rest of the dress. This gay attire 
is only worn on great fete days, or on marked 
occasions, such as marriages and christenings. 

The Consul and his wife are in great distress 
about the ways and manners of Skodra, as to 
face-hiding, for, since Christian as well as Mo- 
hammedan women conceal their faces, no woman 
can stir out unmasked without receiving some 
insult, as indeed to appear barefaced marks 
total loss of character. Consequently, Mesde- 
moiselles Bonatti do not like to go out under 
such risk of reproach, while, on the other hand, 
their mother will not allow them to wear the 
yashmack ; for she says : " Are you not Chris- 
tians ? and why should you be ashamed of 
showing your face ?" 

Their being one of the few families here pro- 
fessing the Greek form of Christianity, probably 
makes this objection stronger ; and the result 
of this difference of opinion is, that the young 
ladies never leave the house at all, from one 

L 2 

11^ JOI l;\ LLS OJ 

year's end to another. Bitter complaints of 
Sk6dra a^ a residence may be heard on all sides. 


The clashing of various races, religions, and 
castes, must render it an odious abode ; while 

alarms and feuds, risk of property and life 
hatred and petty warfare, prevail among all. 

At one p.m. dinner was served at the Vice- 
consular table, the only guest being Antonio 
Summa the merchant, a very good specimen of 
hi- order. Of the host and hostess it would be 
difficult to speak too favourably. The eldest 
daughter alone is wedded to Skodra fashions ; and 
the being obliged to appear in the company of 
men was evidently a great pain to the unfortu- 
nate girl, who with difficulty refrained from 
crying if looked at or spoken to : so strong is 
the force of habit. 

At four we adjourned to the house of Antonio 
Summa — a substantial building in a large court - 
\ ardj all the appurtenances about which indicated 
opulence and comfort. The usual compliments 
of pipes, coffee, and lemonade were gone through, 
and I made a drawing of the worthy merchant 
in his Skodra costume ; but on his younger 

V * 

brother coming in (both were men of about 
forty \ car- of age ), and requesting to be sketched 
also, I, for want of paper, was obliged to make 


a small though accurate portrait of him on the 
same page as that on which I had drawn his 
eldest brother, on a larger scale. 

" O, santo cielo !" said the younger, in a 
fury of indignation, when he saw the drawing ; 
" why have you done this ? It is true I am the 
youngest, but I am not smaller than my brother ; 
and why should you make me so diminutive ? 
What right have you thus to remind me of my 
inferior position ? Why do you come into our 
house to act so insultingly ?" 

I was so amazed by this afflicting view of my 
innocent mistake, that I could hardly apologise, 
when the elder brother took up the tale. 

" I, too," said he, " am vexed and hurt, O, 
Signore ! I thought you meant well ; but if 
you think that you win my esteem by a compli- 
ment paid me at the expense of the affection of 
my brother, you are greatly mistaken." 

What could I say ? Was there ever such a 
lesson to unthinking artists in foreign lands ? 
I had made two enemies by one sketch, and was 
obliged to take a formal addio, leaving the 
injured brothers bowing me out with looks of 

A settling regarding horses and luggage, and 
the procuring a fresh supply of money in bills, 

150 JOI UN LL8 ni 

OD Avlona and Ioannina, at the hospitable 
Casa Bonatti, concluded my fourth and last day 
in Skodra. 

October 7. 

The apothecary's house has been no bad 
resting-place in the Illyrian metropolis. It hath 
very few disagreeables. A large doe sits and 
howls at the window during the night, and a 
good many mice and rats course about its 
rooms — but that is all. Don Marco is a mys- 
terious little man ; and his household con- 
sists of one old and three young women, of 
whom two are very pretty, but timid to the last 
degree of Skodra bashfulness — catching up 
towels, or saucepans, or whatever comes to 
hand if they are unfortunate enough to meet a 
man when their face is uncovered. The 
apothecary tells Giorgio that he came there 
from Venice to try his fortunes, and found this 
widow and family, who let him the house : 
" And," said he, " while I hesitate as to which 
of the three daughters I shall marry, time 
passes, and we all grow r old !" 

All things being in readiness for starting, I 
went to take leave of the Vice-consular family 


— the members of which I left with regret, 
almost the only feeling of the kind I had 
experienced in a month's travel. How different 
are these to the days of Abruzzo and Calabria ! 
Poor Signora Bonatti with her ten children ! 
There is something very sad in snch isolation as 
Greek Christians are here doomed to live in. 
And considering the hopeless character of Skd- 
dra, " vendette, nasconderie, sospetti, incendie,"* 
— the extremes of revolutionary and despotic, 
Turk against Christian, Latin opposed to Greek, 
— no place seems more fully fraught with the 
evils of life. Addio, Skdclra ; and here termi- 
nates the northern extent of my Albanian 
journey — though much novelty yet is in store 
in the south. I looked my last on the Ulyrian 
city as we came round the eastern side of the 
castle ridge to avoid the bazaars, and were 
soon on the flat ground beyond the Boyana. 

The day was bright ; and the horses being 
good, we soon reached the khan I had halted at 
on the 2nd — the roads beins: far better than was 
to have been expected after the heavy rains. 

* " Revenge, intrigue, suspicions, incendiaries," represented 
to me as the daily ingredients of Skodra existence. 

I.V2 J01 K\ H8 0] 

Grand in form and colour arc the ranges of hills 
east of the Drino, and beautiful arc the huge 
white-stemmed abclc trees, their branches loaded 
with wild vine festooning into the water. At 

half-past two we reached the river, and crossed 
it in a crowded ferry-boat. Large parties of 
Toskhide Albanians, known by their white caps 
and grey capotes, were waiting in many a 
picturesque group to pass the broad stream, for 
there is some great bazaar at Skodra to-morrow, 
and a world of travelling merchants are hasten- 
ing to it. 

After an hour of quick trotting, below the 
silver armed abeles — by the Latin villages with 
the hairy lean pigs and scrubby yellow goats, 
and beyond these, after some slow pacing over 
ground inundated by the rains, we entered the 
melancholy Alessio at half-past five. Small 
time, alas ! was there for sketching, since I had 
still to recross the Drino, a feat soon accom- 
plished by the aid of the Soorudji (a good-na- 
tured fellow pleasantly contrasted with that wild 
ouran-outang who guided me from Tyrana), 
but it was nearly dark ere I arrived at Padre 
Pietro's convent, and with a desperate energy 
I outlined the proportions of the hills as they 
loomed out from the grey sky, hoping that a 


bright morning would console me for this 
second failure in my attempt to sketch Alessio. 

I found the friar more energetic than ever in 
abuse of his Albanian flock, " Maledetti tutti 
dal cielo," being his mildest expression con- 
cerning them ; the fact of a favourite servant 
having been that morning found murdered at a 
short distance from the convent, being no slight 
excuse for his anger. The tenantless cells, and 
large gloomy refectory of the monastery, joined 
to the unceasing vituperation of its sole occu- 
pant, did not add liveliness to the evening. 
My own stores set forth a very tolerable supper, 
and the Monk's acid wine contributed to vary 
the repast. In the first part of the evening 
the poor man was diffuse about his own situa- 
tion. " Vita d'inferno," &c. ; and with that of 
his co-mates in exile, " Sparsi siamo noi altri 
frati della religione vera. Sparsi qua, e la ne' 
boschi come majali spaventati."* This sub- 
ject exhausted, he fell upon Pope Pio IX., 
whose inaptitude to govern, he predicted, was 

* " We brethren of the true religion are dispersed here and 
there in these woods like frightened pigs." 


about to bring great miseries on Rome and the 

Church ; then he lashed out against the Turchi 
of the district, attributing vices by wholesale to 
their community in a comfortless category of 
bitter accusation; nor did the Christians escape. 
A black list of crimes, falsehood, unbelief, im- 
morality of all kinds covered them with blots, 
and he summed up his maledictions by say- 
ing : — "In fine, sono tutti porchi pregiati del 
gran Diavolone nero." Poor Signor Bonatti 
came in for his share, too, though poverty 
seemed to be the only evil condition to be attri- 
buted to him ; and a slight seasoning of flattery 
to, " Quella nazione tanta forte che amabile, 
quel gran popol d'lnghilterra," filled up his 
eloquent discourse. After supper, Padre Pietro 
insisted on giving up his room to me, a 
favour I firmly resisted as long as it was pos- 
sible, for I should greatly have preferred the 
bare corridors to a close dormitory filled with 
books and furniture; but the monk Avas in- 
exorable, so I retired for the night to wrap my- 
self in my plaid, and endeavour to think lightly 
of the gnats, which are very numerous from the 
vicinity of the river. In the chamber hang 
engravings of the Piazza del Popolo and San 


Pietro. How clearly and sharply in this remote 
place do they bring back the memory of years 
passed in Rome ! 

October 8. 

With difficulty I contrived to obtain two 
views before it began to rain ; and by the time 
horses and luggage were ferried over the river, 
a blackening thunderstorm was fast rising in 
hard edged masses of cloud from all the plains 
below Krdia, soon to burst over the hill of 
Alessio. To proceed while it lasted was im- 
possible, so I sate in the empty, dark bazaars ; 
it was Sunday, and no Christians were at their 
shops, though the few passing peasants were 
worth observation, the female costume covered 
with fringes, tassels, and embroidery, and the 
men wearing a capote sort of short spencer, the 
hood of which, square and oddly fashioned, 
protects the head against rain, and looks like a 
tuft or crest of some strange black bird. Such 
deluges fell, that the rattling roofs seemed about 
to give way ; but, as the sky gave token of 
clearing, we thought it better, towards noon, 
to remain for the mid-day meal before starting, 
and accordingly I adjourned to Siguor Giu- 

[56 J0UBNAL8 01 

Seppe's house once more, where the old Scu- 
tarino still lingers on his way to Skddra. 

At one we started, as I was resolved to make 
some progress, if possible, seeing that the road- 
side khan below Kroia cannot be a worse abode 
than this, and one is further out of the low 
country, which may be inundated if the bad 
weather lasts ; but, though the soft scirocco air 
threatens no distant change, all is bright and 
clear for the present. Soon we entered the 
briery copse, with its tall, creeper-hung trees; the 
pathway which led through its tangled mazes — 
never very obvious — w r as now, from the heavy 
rains, which had beaten down the branches, and 
half obliterated the narrow, winding track, well 
nigh impassable. At one moment the long 
drooping boughs, and drapery-like clematis, 
seemed to defy all progress ; at the next, a tract 
of mud, two feet deep, threatened to become a 
stable for the night to our luckless steeds. 
Many w r ere my misgivings as to the chance of 
ultimately passing through this hideous swamp; 
but thanks to patience and our very good 
horses, we crossed it after two hours' hard 
work, and were glad to rest for a short 
space by the road-side khan nearest Alessio, 
and then to proceed by le^s disreputable roads 


to the Mathis, which was much swollen, and 
barely fordable. 

The Kroia range of mountains were magnifi- 
cently indistinct in a watery haze ; and as the sun 
sunk, a thousand tints were thrown over all the 
wide landscape. After this, the beautiful oak 
wood was reached, and the green oases, with 
the scattered flocks, and the slippery causeway 
or selciata, winding beneath the fresh, tall trees 
seemed a perfect paradise, after the frightful 
copse-wilderness on the plain of Alessio. About 
five we arrived at the first khan in the forest ; 
but as there was a moon, or three quarters of 
a moon, it was judged feasible to press on to 
the khan at which we lunched on the 1st, 
making a better division of distance between 
Alessio and Tyrana ; so on we went. As the 
moonlight gained strength, nothing could exceed 
the beauty of those silent groves ; where the giant 
aerial stems of abeles, with their white branches 
loaded with wild vine grouped together, with 
the majestic oak, and spreading beech — it is long 
since I have enjoyed so exquisite a forest scene 
fc by moonlight. Yet some drawbacks were notable 
by a short-sighted man ; the projecting boughs, 
against which I came often with great force, 
had more than once well nigh done a mischief to 


head and eyes. By seven p.m., furious barking 
proclaimed the neighbourhood of the kk roast fowl 
khan," and there we shortly arrived. The raised 

part of it was already occupied by five ven 
unclean-looking Albanians, but one side of the 
fire was at liberty, and soon sw r ept and arranged 
for me ; and Giorgio, ere long, prepared tea on 
the little squat stool-table, after which sleep 
quickly followed ; not, however, before I had 
leisure to meditate on the fact, that I w r as now 
actually in the very wildest phase of Albanian 

Those five wild creatures, blowing the fire, 
are a scene for a tale of the days of past 
centuries. When they have sipped their coffee 
they roll themselves up in capotes, and stretch- 
ing out their feet to the embers, lie motionless 
till an hour before daybreak. The large khan 
is now r silent (for even the vile little fussy 
chickens cease to scrabble about in the dead of 
night), and only the champing of the horses in 
the farther part of this great stable-chamber is 
heard ; the flickering light falls on these out- 
stretched sleepers, and makes a series of wonder- * 
ful pictures never to be forgotten, though I fear, 
also, never to be well imitated by the pencil. 
That I do not speak the language, and that I 


had not previously studied figure-drawing, are 
my two great regrets in Albania. 

October 9. 

During the night, a shrill and wild cry echoes 
through the forest several times, and the bark- 
ing of distant dogs follows it. This proceeds 
from shepherds, who perceive the vicinity of a 
wolf by some movement of the flock, and there- 
upon alarm their watch-dogs. 

With morning comes the reflection that I 
must go to Tyrana to-night, and no further — per- 
haps even to that very foulest of pigstyes, with 
the circulating Dervish seen through the hole in 
the wall. 

The day begins badly, according to Giorgio's 
way of regarding omens ; for, firstly, as he 
has made an admirable basin of coffee, with 
toast, a perverse hen, either owing to the 
infirmity of a near sight, or a spasmodic presen- 
timent that she should one day become broth 
in a similar piece of earthenware, suddenly 
came down from the rafters above with a great 
shriek and flutter into the well-filled breakfast 
platter, upsetting coffee and toast together into 
the fire in her efforts at self-extrication. Giorgio 

160 JOURNALS "i 

meekly prepared to make it all over again ; 
but, said he, a day so commenced must have 

other ill-luck in it before sunset. — Secondly 
(and consequently), the horses being all in 
starting trim, — when an obese buffalo foolishly 
persisted in walking all among them into the 
centre of the khan, and when the alarmed 
beasts put themselves, us, and the luggage in 
jeopardy, amid a fearful confusion of flying 
fowls and barking dogs, then Giorgio saw the 
spell of ill-luck at work, and foreboded more 
evil ere we reached Tyrana. — Thirdly, on start- 
ing, down came the rain, and for a lonir time 
we could only advance at the very slowest rate 
through the thick forest, athwart pendant vines 
and dense foliage, beaten down across the nar- 
row pathways. The day, however, cleared, and 
we soon entered beautiful undulating wood 
scenes, where paintings of Hobbima or Swan- 
veldt start to life at every moment ; such were 
the tall and spreading, or light fairy-like oaks, 
with misty grey distances of hanging foliage on 
the green hills below Kroia, seen through open- 
ing boughs, while below were red winding paths, 
amid a carpeting of dear old English fern : most 
lovely were these scenes. At half-past eight the 
khan of Presa was passed on the right, and after 


two and a-half more hours of riding over alter- 
nate wooded undulations or flat ground, we ar- 
rived at the khan where, on September 29th, 1 
had drawn majestic Kroia, soaring high over the 
plain on the opposite mountain side. Poor little 
Ali Bey ! perhaps he is yet sitting in his corner, 
meditating on tik-a-tok, squish-squash, A, B, C, 
&c. Here I halted to dine and ruminate on cold 
veal — wasps — and clouds ; the first I eat, the 
second I killed as fast as may be ; the third grew 
hideously black, and threatened the most violent 
of storms. 

At two, we were again on the road ; the cur- 
tain-clouds above the hills gradually lost their 
outline, and draw a gradual gray veil over all na- 
ture, and torrents soon fall. Lucky have I been 
to get drawings of Kroia before this wet season's 
commencement ! Few intervals of light, or of 
cessation of rain, ensued ; and long before Ty- 
rana was reached, I was drenched thoroughly; 
it was some consolation that we had really 
good horses, and an active, good-natured Soo- 
rudji, so that we gallopped on at a great rate. 
Luckily, too, a better khan was found on this, 
than at our last visit to Tyrana ; since only a 
part of its broken roof admitted the rain, and the 
walls were tolerably sound. Clearly it is my best 


[62 JOURNALS 0] 

plan to make for the south without delay, for 
the great rivers and swampy land of these 
Gheghe regions will shortly become totally 
impassable, and who can tell how long one 
may be detained among them ? Had I re- 
mained at Alessio, this afternoon's rain must 
have rendered the Mathis, and the marshy copse, 
a bar to all further progress for the present. 

October 10. 

It is four a.m. and the Muezzins chant, so 
plaintively beautiful in these wild North xllba- 
nian places, awakes me. There are other symp- 
toms too of approaching day peculiar to these 
places ; none more so than the incessant tremu- 
lous cackle of numberless geese. At seven, 
spite of the threatening looks of cloud, we 
prepare for a start ; the smallness of this smoky 
den — for den is the mildest term that can be 
applied to even this, the best khan here — pre- 
vents anything being dried, and one may just as 
well be making progress in wet clothes as sitting 
still in them. Yet it is nine o'clock before horses 
come, by reason of the postmaster being in the 
bath as before, — this delay is the more unde- 
sirable, inasmuch as that there is every prospect 


of fresh storms ere we can finish our day's 
journey. Durazzo is the next place in my 
route, as I plan to return southward by the 
coast, striking inward only to Berat, whence 
to Avldna, and thence, if it be possible, to 
Acroceraunia — the great point of novelty in 
the tour. Shortly after leaving Tyrana, we 
overtook and joined company with a Moham- 
medan Albanian of that town. He calls it but 
eight hours or less to Durazzo, though you pay 
post for nine. This Osman, who speaks 
Italian, is diffuse on his domestic circumstances 
— he talks of how much substance he had col- 
lected during twelve years' service with a Trieste 
merchant — of what property speculation had 
since procured him — buffali, terre, cavalle, and 
two wives ; and hints that one grows old, and that 
he should shortly get a third. After two hours' 
riding we crossed a wide river by a fine stone 
bridge, built, according to our Albanian compa- 
nion, by a Trieste merchant of Tyrana, and 
shortly afterwards we rode into the river itself, 
the bed of which occupies all the narrow valley 
down which we proceeded, the broad but shal- 
low stream winding from side to side, so that 
before we arrived at Dirocchio, we had passed 

m 2 

l(j i JOURNALS "I 

it eight times — always an unpleasant task. At 
DirocchiOj a scattered village among olive 
grounds, the banks advance, and the river runs 
between high cliffs; in another half-hour the 
valley widens out towards the sea, into which, as 
we rose over heights commanding a broad view 
of the coast, the silver stream can be traced by 
it- white torrent track. There was now a high 
and barren range of hills to cross, along the 
sides of which, deeply indented into hollows, 
runs a pathway so narrow, that had it rained, 
the slippery clay soil would have prevented the 
surest footed beast from making progress ; for 
in parts, eight inches of slanting earth were all the 
foot had to depend on ; and 1 looked down the 
deep-shelving abyss with a conviction that I 
might be better acquainted with it before long, 
the rather, that towards the summit the horses' 
nerves were miserably troubled by the ferocious 
attacks of some fourteen or fifteen dogs, who 
saw us from afar off, and expended a most un- 
necessary amount of labour and breath in crossing 
a deep ravine before they reached us. When we 
arrived at length at the highest point, the view 
was very beautiful, with a wide expanse of blue sea 
stretching southward to the plains of Kavaya, and 


northward to the long slender promontory of 
Durazzo,* on the point of which stands the 
ancient castle of that once important city ; and 
doubtless there was much more of extended dis- 
tance now hidden by heavy cloud and mist. A 
rapid descent brought us to the shore ; and a 
gallop on the smooth sand was no bad contrast 
to the tiresome hill-paths. 

By four (a seven hours' journey after all) we 
reached a large khan standing in a suburban 
street outside the walls. The town itself has 
now shrunk to the dimensions of a single street 
running to the end of the promontory, and 
overlooked by the massive gray towers of the 
castle, which are built on considerably higher 
ground. Towards these I speedily set out to 
procure a good view of Dyracchium. The castle 
is a building apparently Norman, though much 
patched and repaired ; its fortifications extend 
down the hill-side to the water's edge, where 
they join the town- walls ; and in various parts 
of them I observed armorial shields having owls 
carved on them in basso-rilievo. The combina- 
tions of scenery around are very elegant and de- 

* Durazzo — Epidamnus; afterwards Dyracchium. 

[g(J J01 TvNALS OF 

liirhtful, and extremely unlike any Albanian view 
I had \ e1 seen. At this point I thought I was safe 
from intruders, but all the children of the town 
soon espied me, and climbed up to my retreat, 
so that I was surrounded by a host of red- 
capped, red-robed urchins, all calling out, 
lfc Capitagno ! O capitagno ! Para! para!" I 
adopted one as guide and safeguard against the 
rest of his brethren, promising paras* on return- 
ing to the khan ; whereon, armed with a little 
brief authority, he dealt promiscuous blows 
among his brethren, and kept them at a respect- 
ful distance. My sketch finished, I w r ent down 
to the town, and entering the gates, walked 
through the single street of modern Durazzo 
which occupies nearly the whole of the narrow 
point of land projecting into the sea, and ending 
in a mole. The houses here are far neater 
than in the interior of Ghegheria ; and although 
the line of bazaars was as usual partly covered 
over, it was with rich pergolata of vine-trellis, 
not with old mats — a substitute which gave an 
Italian air to the scene. The tradespeople, too, 
seem to speak Italian, — whether from com- 

* A small Turkish coin. 


merce with the opposite coast, or from old 
links of former Venetian existence, I know not. 
As I walked down the bazaars nearly every- 
body spoke to me — an odd contrast to the 
savage indifference of Elbassan or Tyrana — and 
mostly with complete familiarity, as if I had 
been an old acquaintance. " Ah, Signor Capi- 
tano ! (for the knowledge of foreign parts being 
confined at Durazzo to the medium of cap- 
tains — omne ignotum pro capitano). Come 
stai, Capitano ? Donde vieni, caro Capitano 
mio ? onde sei ? dove vai ? Comprate qualche 
cosa, &c." At the end of the bazaar-street is a 
fortress, through which a quay is reached, 
where a Turkish garrison were smoking. The 
Bimbashi or Captain desired to interrogate me, 
merely looking at my teskere as a matter of 
form, and asking sundry news about the 
" malattia" of Salonfki — whether it was coming 
that way, &c. — the first I had heard of it since 
we left Yenidje. The familiar people of Durazzo 
nevertheless inveigled me into purchasing some 
of their wares before I quitted the town, of 
which an oke (three pounds) of walnuts and 
apples, though costing one penny only, was not 
a sample of excellence. Returning to my cell 
in the khan at dusk, to supper, I was greatly 

K;s J0URNAL8 01 

charmed by the singing df a man in the street 
(according to GtogiOj a Sclavoniatt of Monte- 
negro), who appeared to enthral the whole 
neighbourhood by his tuneful voice, and I 
regrett( d not being able to take down, otherwise 
than very imperfectly, the wild and strikingly 
beautiful airs he sang. His audience seemed to the 
highest degree enthusiastic, and frequently inter- 
rupted him with applause, forcing him to repeat 
many verses. But there is a musical atmo- 
sphere in Durazzo, and 1 hear many melodious 
hummings, of which most of Albania seems 

October 11. 

Rain again ! — but it subsides into drizzle, and 
meanwhile I prowl about Durazzo. It possesses 
singularly little of artistic interest, considering 
its former extent and grandeur, though many 
tine pictures might still be made in its neighbour- 
hood, the castle being always to be introduced as 
the principal feature. From eight to ten, 
between showers, I jotted down scraps of 
the town and bay, but clouds obscure the line 
of hills towards Acroceraunia, which ought to 
be seen from this place, and the damp prevents 


steady drawing, besides which, the Gheghes came 
and bullied me (as it was not worth while asking 
for a Kawas), by shaking my sketch-book in 
paroxysms of orthodox piety, by secreting pencils, 
and asking for paper. So I gave up Dyracchium, 
and retreated to the khan through groups of iras- 
cible female buffaloes, which creaked and grunted 
as I passed, following me with their porcelain- 
white eyes, as if I intended to embezzle their 
calves — strange little beasts, motionless except 
the twinkle of their ears, and lying crouched 
together like bits of hairy Indian rubber on the 

At twelve, early dinner being over, it is time 
to start for Kavaya, but from this place there 
is no more posting, and henceforth throughout 
Albania, the journeys must be on horses hired 
from place to place, and adieu to Soorudjis and 
leather saddles. In the present instance the 
horses are good, but there are only pack, or 
wooden saddles to be procured (I, for one, 
think them far more comfortable than your 
Turkish penance), rope stirrups and bridles 
made of string. The route lay at first along 
the shore, with a green and troubled sea break- 
ing on the sounding sands, but in two hours 
we left the coast and struck inland, and after 


crossing some low hills, the mosques of Kavaya 
were already in sight standing in the flattest 
and widest of plains. The aspect of this part 
of Albania is very striking ; the immense plains 
which reach in an almost unbroken level from 
Durazzo to Avlona southward, and extending 
to the foot of Tomorit, and the hills of Elbas- 
san towards the east, the sea being their western 
limit, may, indeed, rather be called one vast 
meadow .* Their appearance from the neigh- 
bourhood of Kavaya — perfectly green and 
dotted with numberless herds and flocks — is 
as novel as beautiful, "while northward the long 
promontory of Durazzo resembles an island on 
the water's edge. 

Kavaya is the most southern town of the 
Gheghes on the coast,*and*'the entrance to it 
by a long dirty street was not prepossessing, or 
prophetic of a comfortable dwelling ; there 
were two or three more than ordinarily pic- 
turesque mosques, and long bazaars matted and 
roofed as usual to the jeopardy of the heads 
of the incautious. The khan stood beyond the 
town, and in our way to it, I met the Governor 

* This district is termed the Mizakia. 


with a suite of some twenty guards, taking that 
minute portion of exercise which these people 
call their afternoon walk. Remotely considered, 
the khan was not a bad khan, but on a near 
inspection, it proved to be a negative abode, 
and quite out of the question as a lodging for 
the night, for there were no walls to the rooms, 
no ceiling, no floors, no roofs, no windows, no 
anything, so that I was in despair as to where 
to go, when a Greek Papas,* who had followed 
us, came up, and in good Italian offered me his 
house, which I gladly accepted, and after a 
tour of half the town, we arrived at a galleried 
picturesque place in a court-yard thronged with 
geese, and incumbered with barrels. " Camera 
vostra," said the priest, showing me into a 
large and handsome room occupying one wing 
of the upper floor of the building, and I, with 
the utmost innocence, supposing that this offer 
was all hospitality such as one may find in dear 
old Abruzzi or Calabria, made fifty apologies 
and agreeable speeches to the reverend man, 
till I accidentally caught sight of Giorgio 's 
knocker-like visage writhing itself into amazing 

* Papas, a Greek Christian priest. 


contortions in the background, by way of ex- 
pressing that I was quite wrong, and should 
have to pay full dearly for my place of refuge. 
So I settled myself for the night with Papa 
Andrea, the Eeonomos of Kavaya, taking occa- 
sion to sketch his house between falling showers 
— for there seems no chance of settled weather ; 
and how Herat is to be reached, if these storms 
last, I know not. Meanwhile, at eight or 
nine o'clock, supper is brought in, composed 
of various dishes of fish, salad, beans, &c. ; the 
Eeonomos (who resembles the statue of Moses 
in S. Pietro de' Vincolis — I mean as to his length 
of beard), with his son and two grandsons, 
continually waiting on me much more obse- 
quiously than I could wish. Lastly, a bed and 
sheets are brought in by the clergyman and his 
descendants, but though very picturesque and 
antique, there were many objections to availing 
myself of them in preference to my own. 

October 12. 

The morning is brilliant, and I make early 
use of it, taking an armed Kawas as well as 
the priest's son, to keep off intruders. Close 
above Kavaya there is a rising ground, whence 


the view is delightful, and full of rural quiet ; it 
consists of large olive trees spreading over paths 
and broken banks ; of lanes, mosques, and a high 
clock tower ; Gheghe figures, bright in black, red 
and white ; burying grounds with sparkling 
tombs ; garden trees anon, tower above dark red 
roofs and tall white chimneys ; waves of blue- 
green groves of olive ; and then vast flat meadows 
stretch to the sea, with " endless flocks and 
herds," while a line of pale low hills to the 
south-west, and the blue Adriatic with Durazzo 
on its promontory melts tenderly into the 

At half-past eight I went with Giorgio to 
Achmet Bey, the Governor, whose palace, 
though highly picturesque, is inferior to Ali 
Bey's of Krdia. The great man sat in his corner, 
in a large ancient square room, gilded and 
carved all over so that it resembled the inside 
of some gigantic toy. Blue-vested and furred 
Muftis, with some red and black Gheghes, 
composed groups of wondrous colour, and the 
Governor himself was all politeness. Among 
other matters, he wished me to see a surprisingly 
excellent map of London and Frangistan, in 
the finding of which there was much delay, and 
great fuss in presenting it for my inspection. 


Lo ! it was a chart of the Japanese Seas, and a 
map of Java, published in Holland a century 
back ! " Pecche ?" said the Bey, " is it good ? 
Is London like ?" After this morning call, I 
drew in the town, but with great difficulty, 
owing to the press of people, besides the vicinity 
of odoriferous slaughter-houses ; for your only 
points for sketching in these places are sure, 
by infallible rules of destiny, to be close to 
some horror. There is a very curious burying- 
ground in the centre of Kavaya surrounded 
by numerous columns, apparently antique and 
mostly wanting their capitals ; but I could learn 
nothing of whence they came (possibly from 
old Apollo nia, or Dyracchium). While sketch- 
ing this, there was a hum and hush among 
the crowd, " Gynaike* — gynaike !" said some 
of them to me, and all retired to the side 
of the street, allowing room for some twenty 
ghost-like females to pass, shrouded in dark 
feringhis with white head- wrappers. It seemed 
an etiquette with the world of Kavaya to look 
another way while the fair procession was 
near us. 

* Women. 


The patriarchal family of the Ecdnomos had 
prepared "an unnecessarily sumptuous repast 
against my return; but the horses which his 
reverence had procured for us were not in 
harmony ; all four were in evil condition, yet 
no^others jwere to be had. We started at noon. 
Berat I cannot hope to reach to-night, but 
Leustri,* six hours hence, is to be aimed at, and 
the weather seems to favour the possibility. 

The great meadow-plains of Kavaya, bounded 
by low down-like hills, clothed with growth of 
olive-trees, were most pleasant to look on ; and 
in consequence of the baggage horse falling, by 
which all the roba was disarranged, one had the 
more time to^contemplate the oxen and buffali 
without number, and the sheep and geese that 
enliven the wide green surface. Throughout the 
extent of flat country great flocks of geese are 
taken out to pasture every morning by a goose- 
herd ; they are carefully watched from sunrise to 
sunset, for fear of vultures by day and wolves 
by night ; and are then driven home to their 
respective villages, after the fashion of goats in 
Italy. We met many peasants, but the gay 

* Or Lusna. 


Ghcghe colours are giving place to white 
costume. They all furnish a bad account of 
the great river of Elbassan, the Skumbi, which 
is to be crossed, and which they say is rising 
rapidly in consequence of the mountain rain^. 
About three we met a bridal party — the bride 
being conveyed on horseback to the future hus- 
band's house ; she seemed to be a strange thing, 
like a large doll — so closely swaddled and 
wrapped up that neither face nor figure were 
visible, while a tall sprig of rosemary, which 
finished off her head-dress, gave her the ap- 
pearance of some exotic plant in process of 
careful conveyance to a gardener's ground. 

Several times we turned towards the river, 
but always retreated at the approach of peasants 
who exclaimed : " Yok, yok !" " Mir ist !"* said 
some Albanians, pointing to the sea, so on we 
went for two hours — the plain becoming more 
and more beautiful as the sun sank lower in 
the horizon, and the great monarch Mount 
Tomdhr, frowned in purple grandeur amid cloud 
and storm. At last we arrived at the formid- 
able river — one too broad, deep, and rapid, to 

* " No, no !" « Yonder it is sood l M 


be forded, while the bridge, a long and narrow 
structure of a shaking and incoherent nature, 
presented wide gaps through which you saw 
the rushing stream between the loose wattles 
that formed its floor. The transit was really 
not a little dangerous. I felt relieved when 
the last man had passed over it, each lead- 
ing his horse very slowly from end to end 
before the next put foot on the crazy fabric, 
which would not have supported two parties at 
once : — if the river continued to rise, we must 
assuredly have been the last who ever made use 
of that bridge as a medium of passage. 

For half an hour we returned eastward on 
the left bank of the river, and then proceeded 
by broad lanes, deep in thick black mud, to 
the village, or scattered collection of hive-like 
thatched huts, called Tjermi. I have now left 
Ghegheria, and am in the land of the Tos- 
kidhes — a new tribe ; the people, at least these 
of Tjermi, seem a poorer and more squalid 
race ; their dress is white — even to their little 
scull caps ; but dirt and squalor of the outer, and 
timid wretchedness of the inner man, seemed 
the characteristics of these pauper-beings, who 
arose from the ground in their rags as I passed, 


17* .lol'RNALS OF 

and saluted me with looks of terror — widely 
differing from the haughty gaze of the crim- 
son-coated Gheghe. Here, too, the defeat of 
the last Albanian movement under Zuliki, is 
recorded in the absence of arms, as well as in 
the appearance of the peasantry. 

I never saw grander landscape than that of 
these plains, as majestic Tomohrit grew gray in the 
waning light. It w r as dusk when we arrived at 
the khan of Tjermi — a place far short of our ori- 
ginal destination, for it is in reality only three 
hours distant from Kavaya, though it has taken 
six to reach it, owing to the long detour the 
swollen river has compelled us to make. Khan 
Tjermi is a wretched looking den, standing all 
alone on the wide waste, yet its little loft to 
which one climbed by a ladder, possessed at 
least a new floor, clean walls and mats, and 
wooden window shutters. 

Four Delvino Greeks, or Epirotes, had arrived 
before me, but there w r as still a corner, and the 
fire was by no means disagreeable, either from 
its heat, or from calling up many pictures of 
light and shade so often remarked in these night 
scenes. Giorgio, who expected to have been 
unable to pass the Skumbi, or possibly to have 


fallen through that alarming bridge, is in great 
glee and makes a capital supper. They talk of 
nine or ten hours from here to Berat. 

October 13. 

A fearful night of wind and storm-rain. 
Doubts passed through my waking thoughts if 
we should not all be carried away into the river, 
khan, Epirotes, Frank, and Dragoman, by one 
of those thunderful gusts which swept over the 
plain at intervals with terrific force. In the 
pauses between the rage of the tempest, all the 
surrounding country seemed alive with dogs, 
whose howling and barking added point to the 
furious din of the elements. 

" Water — water — every where, but not a drop 

to" wash in ; for, in spite of the pouring rain, 

the supply of fluid within reach was of the 
smallest, and that little was seized for coffee — 
breakfast versus cleanliness. Long before sun- 
rise the three Delviniotes should have set off, but 
the utter blackness of the tempest confined us 
all to the circle round the embers, waiting till day- 
light should bring better times. The Khanji, an 
emigrant Acharnanian, diverted me by his scraps 
of polyglot discourse : " Bavarese nichts gut — 

N 2 


tittotk, - [ngliz, Franciz, *a\x, x«xa, MoscofFs 
oichts. Bavarese ™au wein drinkt, oxiyov wasser," 

&c. At six the rain ceased, and the scowling 
clouds curtained themselves into gloomy folds, 
so, hoping for the best, (though assuredly my 
Albanian journey does not prosper at present), 
1 was again at half-past six on my way towards 
Herat, over plains surrounded by the roots of 
hills, whose heads were hidden in cloud, except- 
ing a low, bare, ill-outlined range on the left, 
which was ugly enough to have been obscured 
without any loss. Farther on, the downs on the 
west sink into the plain, and a lake stretches out 
almost to the shore. Perseverance through mud 
and water brought us to Leustri at half-past ten ; 
but hoping to arrive at Berat I did not halt, 
except to rest horses at a wayside khan ; its floor 
was occupied by a Skodra merchant, w T ho was 
making himself as comfortable as circumstances 
permitted — considering that neither bread nor 
water could be obtained, and that the rain came 
through the roof plentifully. To have lingered 
in such a place would have been folly, so hey for 
Berat once more at eleven. They said it required 
but five hours to reach it, so in spite of fresh 
falling deluges, 1 persisted in advancing, though 
never was there less inducement to do so, for, 


apart from the vexation an artist feels who 
knows that he is surrounded by beautiful scenery, 
the only chance in his life of seeing which is so 
adversely destroyed by unlucky weather, the 
physical annoyance of sitting hour after hour in 
drenching rain and high wind, on a stumbling 
horse — advancing one half-mile per hour (at 
the quickest pace) through thick mud and over- 
inundated meadows — this is no trifle, added to 
the loss of time and money, from such unprofit- 
able pastime, which is very trying to purse and 
temper. During this part of the day our late 
host, the Ecdnomos of Kavaya, was regarded by 
Giorgio with the most acrid feelings of disgust, 
(that reverend man of Ghegheria having charged 
us unseemly prices for steeds which were posi- 
tively next to useless), and the recollection that 
I had so foolishly fancied the priest a hospitable 
man, who was offering his home for the use of 
me as a wanderer and foreigner, embittered the 
oppressed Dragoman to such a degree, that at 
each stumble of his horse, strong expressions 
escaped from him to the prejudice of Papa 
Andreas, and Greek Papades in general. 

After three hours of this miserable work, 
feeling that there might be six or eight more at 
the rate we advanced to Berat, and as the track 

1 S .2 JOURNALS 01 

became andistinguishable from the increasing 
rain, I gave in, the rather, that Giorgio was 
hurt by the last fall of his horse, and seemed 
unwilling to proceed. So having passed the 
fast -rising Beratino* by a bridge opposite to the 
khan Tehuka — a large building on a rising 
ground above the river — here we halt for the 
night. kk Do I lie on a bed of roses ?" was the 
substance of my remonstrance to Giorgio, who 
grumbled for awhile with deep groans about all 
this " soffrire per niente ;"f but the worthy 
Fanariote soon came to himself as we bustled to 
secure the two sides of the fireplace in the huge 
lofty-raftered khan-stable : — first come first 
served being khan-law. 

The difficulty of changing all one's w r et 
clothes (and to escape fever this precaution is 
always most requisite) can only be appreciated by 
those who have made their toilette under similar 
circumstances; but this done, a good dinner of 
rice, pilaf, and kabobs, with coffee and a cigar, 
are beyond description refreshing ; and the way- 
farer soon forgets the inconveniences of travel 

* Anciently Apsus ; above Berat it is called the Uzuini. 
I, rake. 

; Suffering for nothing. 


while recording with pen or pencil its excitements 
and interests. Truly, in such weather as this of 
the last week, there is little pleasure in travels 
even where better accommodation exist : so to 
Ioannina, unless times grow better, must be my 
direct path. 

At three the storm cleared, and then came 
the pleasing reflection, that had I proceeded, I 
might have reached Berat, though possibly it 
was more prudent to stop here. I go on to the 
bridge — the river rolls furiously below, and 
heaps of purple and golden-edged clouds hang 
over the shaded base of Tomohrit. 

Midnight, — O khans of Albania ! Alas ! the 
night is not yet worn through ! I lie, barri- 
caded by boxes and bundles from the vicinity 
of the stable, and enduring with patience the 
fierce attacks of numberless fleas. All the khan 
sleeps, save two cats, which indulge in festive 
bouncings, and save a sleepless donkey, which 
rolls too contiguously to my head. The wood- 
fire, blazing up, throws red gleams on disco- 
loured arches within whose far gloom the eye 
catches the form of sleeping Albanian groups. 
Bulky spiders, allured by the warmth, fall thick 
and frequent from the raftered ceiling. All is 
still, except the horses champing straw within, 


and the gurgle of the rapid river chafing 

October 14. 

The principal event of the night was the don- 
key's walking unexpectedly into the fire-place, 
thereby causing a confusion in my nocturnal 
arrangements only to be remedied by a complete 
decamping. By half-past four, therefore, coffee 
is taken, the horses are ready, and I once more 
on my way to the unreachable Berat. There 
was a brilliant full moon, but big clouds are 
Hitting over it, and the road is now in bright 
light, now dark as Erebus ; nor is it too warm 
at this early hour, the more, that wet apparel 
is as yet barely dried. The wild Gheghe guide 
from Kavaya insists on loading Gionrio's turn- 
ble-down horse with the baggage, and all we 
can do in opposition is fruitless, as the mind of 
a Gheghe, when once arranged, is immovable. 
So on we advance by the strange flickering moon- 
light. Presently clouds gather, and down comes 
rain as usual. 

AYe are crossing the great plain of Berat, 
and following a sort of track two feet deep 
in mire and water; when lo ! — the baa^aire- 


horse falls, as I foreboded, — but gets up again, 
which I did not look for. An old sick 
Albanian on his mule joins us, and we jog on 
slowly for an hour, when losing the right path, 
that wretched baggage-horse falls plump into a 
ditch, and no art can extract him. This is not a 
pleasant matter in a tempestuous moonlight 
night, but there is no help for the evil but the un- 
loading the oppressed beast, and transferring his 
burden to another. During this operation, the 
contrast between the conduct of Giorgio — who, 
knee-deep in water, and suffering from a fall 
yesterday, spake never a word — and that of the 
Kavaya guide, who swore himself into convul- 
sions, is edifying. The priest, of whom the 
horses had been hired, seemed the chief object of 
his eloquence, as the word prift (Albanian for 
priest) was frequently heard among the clatter 
of strange monosyllables — Dort beer, dort bloo, 
dort hitch, hitch beer, blue beer, beer chak, dort 
gatch, with other musical sounds. During this 
delay the sick Albanian was reposing on a knoll 
of turf (rather a damp bed,) raised above the 
water ; and when at length we were ready to 
start, in getting up he missed his footing, and 
rolled down into the very ditch whence we had 
just extricated the steed ; so there was a fourth 


halt, to pull out and set up this feeble old man 
of the mountains. 

A very break-down procession did we make, 
slowly plodding through quagmire and stream, 
when at last we were fairly under-weigh, and 
right glad was I when cocks crew, dogs barked, 
the moon faded, and gray day coldly and slowly 
(Mine, unveiling " vast Tomohrit" a long way off 
beyond a weary expanse of plain. Yet over that 
have I yet to go, for Berat lies immediately at 
the foot of the mountain. About the third 
hour the journey became interesting, for Tomoh- 
rit is a noble mountain, and the multitudes of 
sheep scattered over the wide, shrub-dotted 
meadow-plain, formed beautiful features in the 
landscape. At length the celebrated fortress of 
Herat appeared — dark blue, and diminutive, on 
a pointed hill. Approaching the capital of Cen- 
tral Albania — a place I had so long desired to 
see — every step leads into grander scenes. The 
river Apsus or Beratino is repassed on a stone 
bridge, and the road winds over the plain on the 
banks of the wide stream, through a tract of 
country of the finest character ; the high form 
of Tomohrit, here seen from end to end, being 
the principal feature throughout. I do not 
remember to have known a finer specimen of a 


simple river scene than this — it combines the 
broad white-channelled serpent-stream, with its 
broken and reed-clad banks varied by sheep, 
goats, kine, and buffali ; while above rises the 
giant mountain's single form, wrinkled into a 
thousand furrowed chasms, towering aloft over 
the uninterrupted and decided lines of the plain 
in grand simplicity. 

Owing to the deep mud, it took us two long 
hours to ride from the bridge over the Beratino to 
that in the town ; and at ten a.m. we entered 
this magnificently picturesque place, which, much 
as I had imagined of its grandeur, far surpassed 
my expectations. 

Berat* is situated in a narrow gorge or pass 
of the Beratino, which seems to have forced a 
passage through the tremendous rocks on either 
side, leaving merely a narrow space between the 
cliff and the water. The great Tomohr fills up, as 
it were, all the eastern end of the pass ; and to the 
west and south the mountains through which the 
vale of the Beratino winds, seem equally to 
enclose this singular place, though the fortress 
height looks over the plains to a great distance. 

* Bcnit, anciently Autipatria. Leake. 


The city is placed chiefly on the right bank 
of the river, as also is the Acropolis or castle- 
hill which rises immediately above the town — 
the houses and mosques are piled one above 
another on the steep ledges of rock which slope 
from the frowning fortress and its stupendous 
cliffs down to the water's eds;e, and constitutes 
■x view that combines Tyrolese or Swiss grandeur 
with all the pretty etcetera of Turkish archi- 

Passing below the cliffs of the gorge, and 
entering the street of bazaars which runs quite 
through the town, I was at once struck by the 
entire change of costume in this district — that 
of the Toskidhes. Instead of the purple frock, 
scarlet vest, black w T aistcoat, and short kilt of 
Ghegheria, here all is white, or spruce fluffy 
gray cloth, with long, many-fluted fustianells, 
while the majority, instead of the red fez, wear 
white caps. Beyond the bazaars, which are 
extensive and well filled, is a wide open space 
by the river, whence the view of the dark 
gorge of the Beratino, the town and castle are 
truly wondrous. On one side of this piazza or 
market-place is a large new khan, and here I 
took possession of a corner room looking out on 
to the busy scene that extends to the foot of the 


hill —a space in which hundreds of figures sat 
continually before me for their pictures without 
suspicion or restraint. This was a khan-ar- 
rangement which pleased me not a little, besides 
the comfort of the room, which was new and 
clean, and had well-glazed windows. Nothing 
could be more amusing than the variety of life 
below. There was the Dervish with high white 
or green caps — the Mohammedan, as well as 
most of the Christian women, in loose blue 
feringhis and closely veiled — while infinite num- 
bers of carts drawn by coal-black buffali — 
Greeks, Turks, Albanians, mingled and moved 
in profusely changing groups. 

Having a letter to the Pasha (Berat, with 
Skodra and Ioannina, are the three existing 
Pashaliks of Albania), I sent Giorgio with a 
request for a Kawas, who shortly arrived, and 
after early dinner I began to sketch (there is 
no time to be lost in places so full of interest) 
on the river-side below the castle, hundreds of 
people pouring forth to see my operations ; but 
all were violently repelled by the active guardian 
Kawas with a stick, which he threw with all his 
force at the legs of such unlucky individuals 
as pressed too closely on me, or interfered with 
the view. When this club was ejected from the 


incensed authority's hand, the rush to escape 
was frightful, and the yells of those who received 
the blows very disagreeable to my feelings. 
After a time my guard got tired of his work, 
and sitting down calmly to smoke, delegated 
his power to a young pickle of a boy, who took 
infinite delight in using his temporary dignity to 
the utmost, greatly to the disgust of his elders, 
who durst not complain. 

Towards evening I walked through the town 
and over the bridge to that part of Berat which 
is built on the left bank of the Beratino ; but the 
best general views are from the side on which 
the castle stands. 

October 15. 

The mountain Tomohr is nearly clear ; I draw 
figures from the window till eight; then putting 
on " society dress," I go with Giorgio and a 
Kawas to make a morning call on Hussein, Pasha 
of Berat. A most picturesque palace is his resi- 
dence ; galleries and courtyard full of the pomp 
of attendant guards as usual, and in the recep- 
tion-room is no lack of secretaries and officials, 
among whom a Cadi, in white turban, and 
long brown gold-embroidered robes, shone 


resplendent. The visit was much like other 
Turkish visits. The Pasha was agreeable in 
manner ; and conversation, by the aid of con- 
tinual pipes and coffee, dragged its slow length 
along. The cholera at Saloniki being touched 
upon, Hussein Pasha asked Giorgio to inquire if 
I had known in that city (where he, the Pasha, 
was educated), an English Bey called "Jim," 
who resided there, and used to take the Pasha 
out hunting, with " cani magniiici," and " fucili 
stupendi ;"* but I, never having heard of " Jim," 
could give no information. I made a point of 
asking for good horses, for the journey from 
hence to Avlona, remembering what I had suf- 
fered by those of theKavaya priest; and his High- 
ness ordered the matter to be looked to instantly, 
for he said : " It is a pleasure, as well as a duty, 
to assist an Englishman ; Inghilterra, and his 
master the Sultan, loved each other, and so 
should all the subjects of both countries." After 
this visit, I employed two hours by sketching 
from the door of the khan, supported by the 
Kawas, the crowds gazing at a respectful dis- 
tance ; not that this self-restraint on their parts 

* Magnificent dogs, and stupendous guns. 

1 <jo JOURNALB 01 

Bayed them from disgrace and evil, for a huge 
Bolubashi (or head of the police), casuallypass- 
Lng, and being seized with an extemporaneous 

conviction of some impropriety requiring castiga- 

tion, thereupon he rushed wildly into the midst of 
the spectators, with the energy of a Sampson, 
dashing his stick at their legs, heads, and backs, 
and finally dispersed the unresisting crowd. After 
this, the enraged guardian of public manners gave 
my Kawas a blowing up for allowing the slightest 
symptom of interruption, and finally committed 
two large staves to some lively juveniles, 
with a stern charge that they should use them 
well and frequently. This unnecessary harsh- 
ness grieved me, and on finding my remon- 
strances were unheeded, I gave up my sketch. 
Of all the numerous Beratini so unceremo- 
niously struck, I observed but one who did not 
exhibit great signs of fear and dismay ; this man 
remained steadily till he was twice hit, when he 
picked up a stone, and walked away scowlingly, 
and muttering suppressed anger. A pleasant 
land to live in ! 

Sketching on the bridge, and on the west side 
of the town, occupied me for two or three hours. 
The women of Berat are all veiled. They wear 
a close-fitting, dark blue cloth vest, or pelisse. 


not at all unbecoming; and their very thin 
muslin "face-cover" is so well and cleverly 
adjusted, particularly by the younger and pretty 
part of the female population — and these are 
numerous — that the outline of the features can 
easily be distinguished. 

Towards evening, the lines of purple Tomdhrit 
were exquisitely fine. Every wrinkle and chasm 
in its vast sides is perfectly delineated; and 
from the market-place (that is, in fact, at this 
season, the dry bed of the river, which does not 
rise so high until much later in the year), the 
broad foreground of yellow sand, covered with 
a never-failing succession of reposing groups, 
was charming. A great part of the people sit 
about and smoke, by tens and twenties, after the 
indolent fashion of the Albanians ; and the com- 
munity seemed to enjoy keenly the pranks of a 
little imp whom they called Mdostafa. Long 
mounted lines of elderly men, on asses, were re- 
turning to Berat, from vineyards or village gar- 
dens, higher up the river ; and as they passed by, 
Mdostafa teazed the old-men-bearing-quadrupeds 
to a fearful degree, by pulling their tails, avoiding, 
with will-o'-the-wisp activity, all the blows 
aimed at him by the incensed riders. At length 
the furious victims dismounted, when behold 

|<) | J01 l<\ \l> 01 

Little Puck was running away like lightning; and 
the exasperated ancients, knowing all hope of 
chase t<> be out of the question, remounted 

slowly and sullenly, to find their graceless 
persecutor at their backs in two minutes, 

when the same scenes occurred again, "da 
capo." All the crowd, of four or five hundred 
spectators, were greatly interested at these gam- 
bols, and yelled with delight at each of Mdos- 
tafa's exploits, though they nearly ended by a 
kicking horse putting the little buffoon's head 
in jeopardy. 

As for me, I finished the day in a cemetery 
eastward of the town, whence the fortress and 
river are extremely grand. There is an air of 
seclusion and sternness about the pass of Berat 
which makes it certainly one of the most inte- 
resting of scenes. Home to the khan early, to 
try if, by getting some more sleep, I can have a 
longer day to-morrow. But oh ! the way in which 
eats bounce and tear about these places all night 
long ! and then the mode of singing adopted by 
the Tdskidhes Albanians, all through the dead 
hours of darkness ! There is a large party of 
them in the next room to mine : four begin to 
form a sort of chorus ; one makes a deep drone 
or bass ; two more lead the air ; and the re- 


mainder indulge in strange squeaking falsettos, 
like the winnings of uneasy sucking-pigs. 

October 16. 

As this day was to be passed on the banks of the 
Apsus, for the purpose of sketching Tomohr, I 
awoke and rose at three, and by daylight the 
mountain sparkled like clear crystal. A sketch of 
the palace, and a visit to Hussein Pasha's brother, 
Achmet Bey (an hour of pipes and coffee), and 
ten o'clock is arrived. A Kawas and horses were 
ready, for I had planned to go some miles from 
the city, and was soon on my way upon a 
white charger, most gorgeously bedecked, with 
my armed guide on another, trotting (for the 
deep mud of last week's rain is already dry) by 
the river side as far as the bridge, by which I 
had arrived on the 14th. The Kawas put 
up his horses at an hut, and I drew very satis- 
factorily till it was time to return ; and although 
a gray scirocco had thrown a cloud over all the 
beauty of colour, yet the form of Tomohrit is in 
itself a picture, combined with the broad Bera- 
tino in its stony channel and cliff banks, and the 
distant fortress of Berat perched on its rocky 
hill. My ever-smoking iruide, too, is now and 

o 2 

]<h; joukn ua oi 

then meeting a fellow rider, when the two guards 
greet each other by rushing forwards impetu- 
ously with drawn swords in attitudes of wrath, as 
if the last moments of one or both had come, 
firing off their pistols, and closing with their 
hands at each other's throats as if for mortal 
combat. Below the fortress a company of 
Turkish cavalry were exercising, wheeling about, 
discharging fire-arms, and charging full speed 
into the low ground by the river. Such inci- 
dents, united with the scenery, were wildly 

I was back at Berat by four or five, and rode 
over the castle hill, whence there is a superb 
view of the mountain, with the valley of the 
Beratino at its feet, and the minarets of the 
town in the near foreground. 

October 17. 

Rain, hail, and thunder all night long, and 
at daybreak small chance of starting. Weary 
of this bad weather, I could half bring myself 
to go straight hence to Tepeleni, and thence to 
Ioannina, giving up Avlona and Acroceraunia. 
Gleams of sunshine burst forth at nine, and the 
arrival of the horses decides me in favour of 


Apolldnia, which I cannot, however, reach to- 
day OAving to my start being so late. So, at 
half-past ten, declining the escort of six foot 
guards sent me by the polite Hussein Pasha, 
and taking a mounted armed Kawas, we set off. 
We were soon out of the gorge of Berat, and 
I could not help regretting having left a scene 
of such great magnificence ; for an artist may go 
easily enough at any time of his life to Rome 
or the Rhine, Matlock, Constantinople, Jeru- 
salem, Killarney or Calcutta, but Berat and 
Illyria are not easy places to re-visit. The 
horses are good : two of them belong to the 
sick old man whom we call the Filosofo, by 
reason of his remaining so placidly in the 
ditch on the morning of the 14th, he being 
on a return journey to Avlona; the other 
two belong to a man of Berat, who walks by 
our side : — (if you hired fifty horses of fifty men 
in this part of the world, you would have all 
the fifty owners for company, because in Al- 
bania nobody lends anything to anybody). Our 
party is farther illuminated by a Greek priest 
in his blue dress, black cap, and floating hair 
and beard, and by a friend of his, a lean, tor- 
toise-necked Albanian, in a bran new capote 
and white cap ; these, with my Kawas, who 

198 J( J' Rfl LLS "I 

glittered in blue and gold, made a picturesque 

caravan, and we all gallopped over the plain, 
which, at a little distance from the first bridge 
(for we must retrace our steps as far as the 
second bridge), was capital ground. The plains 
of Herat, dotted over with infinite flocks of 
sheep, and spotted with clumps of dark reeds 
or briers, were beautifully cheerful ; the sun 
-hone brilliantly across their wide expanse, and 
light clouds climbed around the highest rocks of 

At half-past two we reached Khan Teh ilka, 
re-crossed the Beratino, and following its right 
bank quitted the road by which we had come 
from Kavaya and Leustri on the right hand. 
The priest and his friend advise me to go for 
the night to the Greek convent of Ardhenitza, 
which, say they, is but three or four hours from 
Apollonia, and stands on a high hill command- 
ing a view of all the world. Meanwhile he 
tells me a marvellous story of his having travelled 
here with a part) of six friends some years back 
in a violent thunderstorm. The horses took 
sudden fright at the lightning while passing 
along the narrow path we are now upon, and 
one and all fell into the river ; swimming over to 
the other bank with the seven riders holding fast, 


when all of them landed safely and undamaged, 
excepting that one of the party became entirely 
deaf, and has ever since remained so. The history, 
if true, is uncomfortable to hear just now, be- 
cause the path is so slippery and narrow that 
I contemplate the ducking, if not the deafness, 
as extremely probable occurrences. At half- 
past three we came in sight of a long, low, 
isolated hill, a dark spot on the highest part 
of which is pointed out to me as the convent 
trees ; but though another hour was passed in 
wading through mud in uncultivated places, 
where now and then remote from every other 
sign of life, a tranquil young buffalo peered 
calmly out of a pool of black water, yet still 
Ardhenitza on its hill seemed " never the 

At half-past four we passed Ghourza, a village 
of detached thatched houses, in gardens, and full 
of furious dogs ; here we had intended to stay 
the night had it not been resolved to go to the 
convent. A little farther on is Kadipasha, our 
companion priest's residence, and at a most pic- 
turesque little spot, embosomed in plane and 
abeles, we halted. It was the court-yard sur- 
rounding the Greek Church, and over the 
gateway leading to it were two rooms, the 

•_)()() JOURNALS 01 

abode of our reverend comrade. \nd wr\ 
glad was I to rest there awhile, for gallopping 
in shorl Turkish stirrups is not refreshing to 
the gasterocnemii muscles, nor is a small cup 

of coffee sufficient support from four a.m. to 
four p.m. Some capital cheese, less salt than 
the generality of that of Greek manufacture, 
and wine less savouring of resin, were by no 
means disagreeable additions to the repose on 
the cushions of the hospitable priest's little 
room. Before we left him, he shewed me some 
old bassi-relievi on the walls of his church, where 
numerous ancient bits of material bore witness 
to some pre-existing building of days by-gone; 
several twisted columns also, and a remarkably 
hideous St. George and the Dragon were part 
of this antiquarian feast, after which we set off 
to Ardhenitza once more. 

Beautiful green meadows like those of Kava\ a. 
stretch on all sides (indeed, from Durazzo to 
the Yiosa is one continued meadow), unbroken 
by any division. Sheep, geese, and turkeys 
whitened these plains, the goose-herds and 
turkey-drivers sitting by their charge. The 
sheep have bells; and now and then a song, 
not unlike the jodeling of the Swiss, breaks the 
quiel "I" these placid meads, or a huge dog 


rushes to attack the Albanian pietone.* The 
bright sun was setting behind the hill of Ard- 
henitza as we arrived at its foot, and having 
passed another village we began to wind upward 
to the summit, by paths through pleasant under- 
wood, where the monastery, a plain building, 
stands among cypresses and ilex. The interior of 
this, the first Greek convent I have seen, is pic- 
turesque ; and a painter is ever sure of a group 
of bearded brethren in the fore-ground. The 
view, as might be supposed from the isolated 
position of the hill, is truly stupendous — it in- 
cludes the meadow-plain to Durazzo — the far 
mountain ranges of Tyrana and Skodra — the 
near majesty of Tomohr and its dependent 
heights, and the plain again to Apollonia. At 
dusk I was taken to a most comfortable little 
room surrounded with sofas, where for two 
hours or more I awaited the reverend house- 
hold's performances in cookery, though I had 
much rather have had a simple meal at once. 
But at eight the chief Papas, with five or six 
others, entered with dishes unnumbered ; pilaf, 
roasts, boiled, fried, — fish and fruit — honey. 

* Foot-travcllcr 


cheese, walnuts and wine. \> SOOB as I could, 
I begged to dispense with my host's attendance, 
and as Giorgio and the Kawas had, like myself, 
fasted since sunrise (the refection at Kadipasha" 
excepted), I was glad to hear the festivities 
of supper beginning in the priestly halls on the 
opposite side of the corridor, whence the old 
Protopapas' voice resounded in hearty laugh 
through the monastery — a cheerful noise in these 
days of living among Turks, who hardly ever 
laugh at all. After supper they paid me a 
visit, and inculcated Romaic sentences, ™ x^i, 
won xaXprtfov enru tov wfo*,* with other similar moral 
apothegms. One old gentleman entreated, as 
some of the Albanians at Kroia had done, to be 
taken to England, the protection of my signoria 
being all he desired for the rest of his life. 
Giorgio describes the supper in the refectory, as 
M un pranzo di paradiso,"f and says that the 
Protopapas means to accompany me to a church 
and school on the way to Apollonia to-morrow, 
there to give me a roast lamb at the archiepis- 
copal residence ; an ecclesiastical attention not 

* Wine is better than water, 
t A dinner i»t Paradise. 


fully appreciated by me, as I want time to 
sketch at Apollonia. 

October 18. 

The clear and glorious sunrise from Ard- 
henitza was a sight never to be forgotten. I 
drew for an hour or two. " Scroo, scroo, 
scroo," I heard the Albanian servants saying, 
and well they may wonder what I write down 
so much. The Economo or Protopapas also, 
Papa Lazus, was a magnificent subject for a 
sketch, and in return for his likeness, he begged 
me to give him a little memorandum recording 
my reception at the convent, that he might 
shew it to Hussein Pasha, to prove how 
devoted a servant of his Highness he delighted 
to be : poor people ! naturally enough they 
seek to win golden opinions from any one having 
the least communication with their rulers. 

The Protopapas and his servant accompanied 
me, at half-past ten, down the pleasant hill of 
Ardhenitza, and in an hour we arrived at the 
ferry over the Beratino, to cross which was a 
work of time, as the boat was small, and the 
horses having to be unloaded could go but one 
at once. The day was warm, but scirocco wind 

•2<U J0UBNAL8 0! 

began to rise, dimming the colour of the beauti- 
ful prospect, which from a little height above 
the river greatly resembles that from Richmond 
Hill ; olives (for hereabouts there is much cul- 
tivation, under the auspices of the monastery), 
being placed in the picture instead of elms. On 
the southern side of the Beratino we at first 
crossed a marshy flat tract, with scattered shrubs, 
throughout which concealed dogs rushed out 
with unpleasant abruptness from innocent look- 
ing bushes. There are few peasants to be 
seen, saving here and there some women laden 
with implements of husbandry, for through- 
out the whole of Albania, females are a hardly- 
worked race. We now advanced towards a 
group of low hills — the site of ancient Apollonia 
— once more over rich smooth meadow land, 
and about twelve reached a little wood of 
plane trees, with exquisite creepers falling in 
long festoons from their branches, and over- 
shadowing a convent and church built by that 
arch-dodger, All Pasha, in the days when it 
suited him to buoy up the hopes of the Greek 
christians, as well as to support those individuals 
among them from whose care and cultivation of 
all these rich plains more advantages accrued to 
his interests than could have arisen had they been 


dispossessed of their lands for the sake of less 
industrious Mohammedans. 

This Greek church, forming one side of a 
quadrangle, the remaining three being composed 
of a convent and stables, with two lines of 
cloistered arches, the whole shaded by the high 
trees which hunsT over them, bending with wild- 
vine, is as pretty a picture as may be found.* A 
little village is scattered in the heart of this quiet 
wood scene ; and a school, a rural building, sup- 
ported by a long row of arches, and shaded by 
feathery trees, stands by the church ; some thirty 
or forty children were sitting in a row learning 
to read, or chaunting in a low tone. Many of 
these are the children of Papades resident in the 
villages of these plains, and others the offspring 
of ' well to do' peasants ; they were a bright- 
eyed, cheerful set of little ones, and added much 
to the interest of this new scene. The ground 
below the trees is perfectly carpeted with that 
beautiful little flower — the cyclamen — in full 
bloom. While I am sketching, Papa Zacaria, 
who resides at this village, comes to inform me 

* Intent on my sketching, I carelessly omitted to ask and 
note down the name of this place, though I have an imperfect 
recollection of its being Kosma. 

206 JOi l;N IL8 "I 

that the fathers of Ardhenitaa are roasting a 
turkey, a duck, and a fowl, for my lunch, and 
that the repast will (like that of Beau Tihb> in 
4 the Citizen of the World') be ready in two 
hours at farthest. This, to me, is not agreeable 
news, as I fear to lose day-light for drawing 
Apollonia by the delay ; but, as the compliment 
is well-meant, I cannot refuse it, and so I wait 
patiently till the dishes are served, Papades 
Lazus and Zacaria keeping me company during 
the entertainment. The former is one of the 
Ylachi — a tribe which in this part of Albania is 
generally found wandering as shepherds, but in 
the recesses of Pindus exists in several lance set- 
tlements. Papa Zacaria is a Khimariote by birth, 
and ijives me a good deal of information about 
Acroceraunia, which, if it be possible I am 
resolved to visit. About half-past two, p.m., I left 
these courteous people, and their establishment 
in the wood, and set off through deep mud sur- 
rounding the village (for the flocks of sheep, 
and herds of buffali, efface all vestige of a road), 
and thence over a wilder and less mead-like tract 
of flat ground, towards the hill of Apollonia ; 
but the scirocco wind which is making earth and 
sky of one uniform gray, is now blowing so 
furiously that the afternoon ride is anything but 


agreeable. At the foot of the hills — which give 
no prospect of beauty, so dreary and dull do 
they seem — we halted at the little village of 
Pdllina, which, with the convent above, is all 
the representative left of the old city. It was 
desirable to re-establish the baggage, shaken by 
the terrific wind, and to allow the old Filosofo 
to have some wine, but for this, when Giorgio 
offered a small coin as payment, the proposal was 
received by the villagers with an unanimous 
groan, and a small child who made a snatch at 
the lucre was buffetted and snubbed severely. 
A short ascent led us to the monastery of Apolld- 
nia, enclosed within walls, and standing on the 
highest part of the hill — the inconsiderable 
height of which does not prevent its command 
of a most extensive view, owing to its isolated 
position in so level a country. The exterior of 
the building offers nothing picturesque — but 
inside the walls the large courtyard, strewn with 
ruin and overgrown with grass, is very striking 
— everywhere evidences of past ages meet the 
eye — a strange mixture of ancient Greek stones, 
Roman columns, mediaeval cornices and capitals, 
later Greek brickwork, and Turkish galleries. 
The church, in a ruinous condition, occupies the 
centre of the quadrangle, and the rooms of the 

208 JOl ELN LL8 01 

convent form one of the sides — if those can be 
called rooms which are merely two half roofed 
barns over a great stable, the abode of number- 
less goats. Meanwhile the wind continues to rise, 
and it is well if the " rooms" do not take flight 
altogether; — to hold a sketch-book become- im- 
possible, and after I have with difficulty drawn 
the church, I stroll out on to the hill among 
extensive remains of what seem the walls of the 
great IUyrian city. From this spot I perceive 
the solitary column on the low rising ground 
to the south, of which a drawing is given in Dr. 
Holland's work. But the sun sinks into a red 
bank of cloud beyond the western sea, and I re- 
turn with the goats to the convent. 

One of the barn-apartments is allotted to me, 
the other to Giorgio, and what he dignifies by 
the name of my " seguita"* (namely, the Filosofo, 
the Pietone, and the Kawas,) share with two 
very poor Greek monks. Certainly, the night's 
lodgings are not obtrusively luxurious, though 
there is a romance in these solitudes, and their 
want of accommodation, which contrasts plea- 
santly with the annoyances of the populous 

* Suite. 


Gheghe towns, whose appearance led to infer 
greater expectations of comfort ; here one anti- 
cipates none, and consequently is not disap- 
pointed. The loft is wide and dark ; the planked 
floor is full of holes, through which comes up a 
perpetual jingling of goats' bells, and their sneez- 
ings and coughings — they are very asthmatic 
goats ; and it is difficult to keep a lamp burning- 
owing to the blasts which circulate on all sides ; 
— verily these are not cheerful phases of existence; 
and what is worse, I fear rain for to-morrow. 
However, from seven to ten, the lay-friars of the 
Apollonian establishment were most musical, 
and together with my " seguita," did all they 
could to enliven the dullness of an Illyrian city 
in the nineteenth century, by singing their mo- 
notonous wild airs ; the melody indeed was little 
varied, but the harmony of the voices taking- 
different parts was pretty. 

October 19. 

In spite of all those superfluous goats below, 
not a drop of milk is to be had ; but this I have 
long observed to be a general rule in Italy, as 
well as in Greece. The more goats, the less milk. 

Taking a peasant from the convent as guide, 


•210 .lOl'HNALS Ol 

I went at sunrise to the single Doric column — 
the only remaining token of Apolldnia above 

ground. It stands on a dreary little hill, 
covered with Long grass and brambly thorn, and 
a more lonely and forlorn record of old times 
cannot well be contemplated. The pillar is of 
coarse sandstone, and all the marks and dimen- 
sions of cella and temple are distinct, though 
the remaining columns have been transported 
by some Pasha to adorn Berat. On every side 
of tins single relic of grandeur, how noble are 
the objects in the distance. Eastward and 
northward, the mighty Tomohr, the convent of 
Apollonia, and the hills of Durazzo ; and south- 
ward, the smooth green plains, stretching to the 
very foot of the Acroceraunian range. Descend- 
in g from this interesting spot about nine, I was 
joined by Giorgio and the Kaw T as, and for two 
hours rode over the greenest of pasture land, 
without a single undulation. The morning be- 
came perfectly fine (contrary to expectation), 
and the clang of our shovel stirrups resounded 
merrily as we gallopped over the plain. 

The great flocks on these beautiful quiet tracts 
would inspire the stranger with a complete idea 
of peace, were they not always attended by huge 
guardian dogs, who rush out like enraged 


demons at the horses, and threaten the riders' 
legs. One company of these angry brutes was 
particularly outrageous ; and although the 
Kawas repeatedly shouted to the wild shepherd, 
as he lay on his shaggy cloak, he merely looked 
up, and neither checked his hounds by voice 
or gesture. The neglect cost him dear ; for as 
the horse on which the Kawas rode became 
unruly, from the persevering attacks of some 
eight or ten of the dogs (who gather, at the sound 
of battle, from all parts of the plain), the man of 
arms lost patience, and gallopping straight to 
the peasant, thundered over his shoulders with 
his kourbatch* till he yelled. This, however, 
did not mend the matter ; for the beaten man 
showed signs of fight, by setting on all the dogs 
at once, and threatening the Kawas with an 
immense club, so that I momentarily expected 
to see my Berat escort suffer the end of 
Acteeon ; when suddenly he changed weapons, 
and pointing his gun at the enemy, reduced him 
to terms. The doos were called off, and the 
club thrown away : and the shepherd was left 

* Whip. 

P 2 


to reflect that resistance to armed Turks, and 
setting dogs upon travellers, is unprofitable 

At eleven a.m. we reached the Viosa,-* here very 
broad and rapid, ere it joins the sea ; and as 
current and wind were both against us, it was 
some time before we reached the opposite side, 
both men and horses were stowed away in a ferry- 
boat, resembling a magnified washing-tub. Hence 
we went on again, over plains, sometimes 
marshy, sometimes greensward, and alive with 
still greater multitudes of sheep. Thirty or forty 
immense flocks were frequently in sight at once, 
and all guarded by lion-like dogs ; and by degrees 
the plain became gradually bare, and white with 
salt ; and the sea-view, as we neared the hills 
of Avlona, was shut out by the long island of 
Sazona. A most beautiful amphitheatre of 
olive-covered heights surrounds Avlona, whose 
silvery mosques peep out from deep green 
foliage, while Kanina, a town majestically placed 
upon an eminence beyond, finishes one of the 
prettiest of pictures. Full of artistic incident is 

* Viosa, the ancient Amis. L( lake 


the town itself (where I arrive before four) ; you 
have mosques, and bazaars, storks' nests,* and 
picturesque desolation ; for Avldna is but a poor 
place now ; and having suffered in the latest 
Albanian (or Zuliki's) rebellion, exhibits a 
mournful air of decay. 

Passing through the town, I made my way 

to the residence of a merchant, Herr J , 

who, with Herr S -, a doctor of quarantine 

in these coasts, lives in a two-storied wooden 
house overlooking town, plain, and sea ; and by 
means of a walled courtyard, a broad verandah, 
a gallery, and some inner rooms, has made him- 
self a very comfortable place for such an out-of- 
the-way part of the world. I was received, on 
presenting a letter from Signor Bonatti of 
Skdclra, with courtesy, though with an eternity of 
fuss and compliment I would have dispensed 
with. A good room, used as an office, was given 
me to abide in, but the difficulty of attaining 
the usual degree of travelling cleanliness was 
greater here than at the houses of either Greeks 
or Turks, seeing that the masters of this con- 

* The storks arrive at Avlona from the 15th to the 20th of 
May, and depart before August 15th. 

21 1 'i RNALfi OB 

tinually came in and out, and scrutinised with 
infantine curiosity all their guests 3 acts and 
property. Haying read with avidity sonic Ger- 
man papers conveying the latest intelligence of 

the past six weeks, (news of the most extra- 
ordinan events occurring throughout all 
Europe}, I sate with my hosts till their 
-upper-time, conversing about parts of Al- 
bania, especially Acroceraunia or Khimara, 
with which the doctor is well acquainted. 
They advise me to visit that coast and its 
unknown villages, and offer their servant 
as guide — a trustworthy Khimariote, who 
speaks Italian well, and is known throughout 
his native territory. At supper time, Herr 

S held forth on German and European 

politics with alarming enthusiasm. Prophecy 
succeeded prophecy, as to all the royal and noble 
heads to be cut off; and the plates and salt- 
cellars jingled to the thumps which accompanied 
each denunciation of tyrants, and each appeal 
to liberty. Not thinking it well-bred to expos- 
tulate with my host on the length of his mono- 
logue, and not quite agreeing with all his 
sentiments, I wished he was a silent Turk, and 
entreated to retire to sleep. 


October 20. 

The perfection of an autumnal clear day ! 
After early coffee, I went out with Anastasio, the 
Khimariote domestic — or rather Kawas — (for as 
a servant of government, he carries arms). He 
says I can go through " his country," weather 
permitting, in five or six days, and that, as he is of 
one of the best families in Vuno, everybody knows 
him, and he knows everybody. This seems an 
opportunity of seeing Acroceraunia not to be 
lost; and I shall undertake the adventure — 
leaving Giorgio Kozzachi at Avlona until I return 
from those unexplored lands. 

Avlona lies in a recess or bay of the moun- 
tains, which here leave a level space of two 
miles or more between their base and the sea. 
The town is built for the most part at the foot 
of a crescent of rock, but the sides are dotted 
with houses ; and at the two horns of this 
natural amphitheatre stand many conspicuous 
Dervish tombs of pretty architecture, sur- 
rounded by groves of cypress. From hence the 
eye looks down on Avlona in its garden of plane 
and olive-trees, its principal buildings, the tine 
palace of its late Bey, and some good mosques, 


which stand out in beautiful relief from the wide 
salt plain and gulf beyond. The gulf — shut in on 
one side by the long point of mountain called La 
Linguetta, and on the other by the island of 
Sazona — has exactly the appearance of a lake ; 
so that the effect of the whole picture is most 
complete and charming. Having drawn assidu- 
ously till twelve, I returned to the Casa J , 

where the renewed vehemence of my host's 
political ebullitions, joined to the attacks of 
numberless Hies infesting their room, made me 
rejoice when the mid-day meal was over. 

In the afternoon we are to ride somewhere — • 

Herr S being well acquainted with all the 

ins and outs of the neighbouring landscape ; and 
in the meantime I draw the portraits of two 
Mohammedan Gheghes of Elbassan, who come 
to visit my hosts. No sooner were these good 
people squatted in the little wooden gallery, 
with their garments, faces, and pipes in com- 
plete arrangement for my drawing, than a bit 
of india-rubber fell from my book ; and making 
two small hops upon the ground, as is the wont 
with that useful vegetable substance when 
dropped accidentally, caused indescribable alarm 
to the two orthodox Gheghes, who jumped 
up and hissed at it, saving, " Shaitan ! shaitan !" 


and trembling with horror as the little imp re- 
mained close to their feet. Nor did my taking 
it up calm their fears ; and when I put it in my 
pocket, their disgust was increased at such 
ostentatious truckling to the comforts of a 
familiar demon. So as I found they could not 
be again induced to remain tranquil enough to 
be sketched, I seized a moment when they were 
not looking at me, and bounced the offending 
caoutchouc on the planked floor, when up it flew 
to such a degree that the unhappy and tormented 
Mohammedans screamed aloud, and shrieking 
out " Shaitan ! shaitan !" jumped off the accursed 
platform and fled away. 

At four, horses being brought, we set off in 
quest of the picturesque, attended by a black 
slave Margiann in full-armed costume. Paths 
such as none but very sure-footed horses could 
climb, narrow slippery ridges along the brink of 
deep ravines, ascend from Avlona, through 
groves of large thick olives like the slopes of 
Tivoli. At a distance of two or three miles we 
reached the top of an eminence whence, looking 
down on the valley of the Viosa on the one 
side, the great mountain of Kiidhesi near at 
hand, and Tomohr ever towering in the distance, 
with the ruined fortress town of Kanina, forming 


tin' opposite interest of the picture, I confessed 
thi' taste of my host in matters of landscape, 
and passed an hour gladly in sketching those 
views. By sunset we returned to Avldna. 

October 21. 

A bright sun and clear sky seem to fortell 
prosperity in the beginning of my Khimariot jour- 
ney, the most romantic as well as the most novel 
of my own (or anybody else's) Albanian wander- 
ings. I shall have six days for the excursion : 
longer than that I must not stay, for by the 30th 
I should be at Arghyrd Kastro, or at least, 
Tepeleni ; and on the 7th of November at 
Ioannina, a plan of arrangement necessary by 
way of timing steamers for Malta. 

Messrs J. and S. having politely volunteered 
to accompany me as far as Kanina, I waited for 
them till past ten, grieving over the loss of 
what I always consider the best part of the day; 
hours, moreover are valuable, in a tour of this 
kind, apart from the loss of mountain shadows 
when the sun is high. After unpleasant potter- 
ings and fussings, horses brought without sad- 
dles, &c., &t\, we at length moved off, attended 
t»\ Anastasio my Khimariot guide, and the 


black Margiann whose employment was to supply 
his masters with pipes unlimited. After having 
passed a ruined fort by the sea-side, and the out- 
skirt olive-grounds south of Avldna, a strong and 
steep pull brought us over evil ledges of preci- 
pitous ascent to Kanina : but the journey was 
not rendered more pleasant by my hosts, for 
Herr J. being very slow, stopped every ten 
minutes for tobacco, and entreated Herr S., who 
was of the liveliest, not to be so rapid ; thereby 
arose contentions betwixt the two, and the 
effect of the constant jarring was to make me 
reflect on friends who do not dwell in unity. 
By degrees we reached the fortress, one of the 
most commanding positions I have seen in 
Albania. On the one hand, you have the wide 
sea beyond Avldna, its bay, and the Island 
Sazona ; on the other, Tomohr and Kudhesi, 
with inland torrents and woods, and gorges 
infinite. This crowning fort of Kanina* occu- 
pies the highest point of the hill, and has long- 
since been a heap of ruins, though the area of its 
walls still remain ; below stands the modern 
town with its two or three mosques and 
scattered little houses. Some of the lower 

• Kiiiiinn, Bullis Muritiuia. Leake. 

220 JOURNALS 01 

parts of the wall seem of very ancient work- 
manship, but I grew tired of poking into all 
the corners of the old citadel, the brothers 
being full of weary tales and surmises con- 
cerning its downfall. Among other matters, 
they say it was long the residence of the widow 
of Manfred of Sicily. 

At eleven we went down to the town, and 
therein, to the gallery of a Dervish's house, 
where two Cogias brought us coffee and pipes, 
after which our sitting broke up, and my late 
hosts returned to Avlona, leaving me in charge 
of the Khimariote, who, with a pietone, sent 
with me by the Turkish police, formed my whole 
retinue. Down the opposite side of the hill 
of Kanina we rode. A small knapsack con- 
tained all my property (the fewest articles of 
toilette ever known to have been taken by a 
Milordos Ingliz) — a plaid and great coat (for 
there are snowy mountains to cross), and a 
Large stock of drawing materials. I had 
arranged about payment of expenses, by giving 
Anastasio, who is a trustworthy servant of the 
Casa J., a sum of money, from which he is 
to defray all the outlay, and account to me 
for the same, though I anticipate no great 
prodigality, as I am to live at the houses of 


the natives, and go from village to village, 
experiencing the full measure of Khimariote 

Before one, p.m., we reached the shore, and 
made for a little cove (there are many like it on 
the coast east of Plymouth), where a spring of 
pure and icy fresh water gushes from the foot 
of a rock into the sea, and offers a natural halt- 
ing place for all who travel between Khimara 
and Avlona. Kria Nera is the name of this 
sea-side station; and it was pleasant to rest 
on a carpet thrown down on the smooth sand 
beneath the high rocks which shut in this little 
nook. Several peasants with their horses are 
resting here, and Anastasio and the policeman 
join them in a lunch of bread and cheese ; be- 
yond them are gray cliffs and green dun heights 
—a strip of white sand, and the long promontory 
of Linguetta stretching out into the gulf; the 
clear splashing sea at my feet, and above all 
the bright streaked sky. A quiet half-hour in 
such a scene crowds many a reflection into the 
tablets of thought, but such can have no place 
in journals. 

Of the peasants halting at this natural khan 
with my own party, most are Khimariots, going 
to Berat or other mid-districts of Albania ; 

222 J0UBNAL8 01 

others art Beratini These wild and rugged 
men have in general a forlorn and anxious look, 
and are clad in blanket-like capotes, their caps 
mostly white. " Some," saith Anastasio, " two 

years ago, were i roba fina cle' ladri,' "* but now 
Albania is purged of danger and romance, 
thieves and rebellion, from end to end. 

But it is past one, and time to set off once 
more, for there are four long hours to Dra- 
ghiadhes, the first Khimariot village. The path- 
way is ever along the side of the gulf, and rises 
far above the blue, blue water. Anything more 
frightful than these (so-called) paths, along the 
iron rocks of Acroceraunia, it is not easy to 
imagine : as if to baffle invaders, the ledges 
along which one Avent slowly, now wound 
inward, skirting ravines full of lentisk and 
arbutus, now projected over the bald sides of 
precipices, so that, at certain unexpected angles, 
the rider's outer leg hung sheer over the deep sea 
below. To the first of these surprising bits of 
horror-samples of the highways of Khimara I 
had come all unknowingly, my horse turning 
round a sharp rocky point, and proceeding 

■ The cleverest of robbers. 


leisurely thence down a kind of bad staircase 
without balustrades ; I declined, however, try- 
ing a second similar pass on his back, and at the 
first spot where there was safe footing, dis- 
mounted. Meanwhile the Khimariote who ever 
and anon kept shouting, " Kakos dromos, Sig- 
nore,"* fired off his pistol at intervals, partly, as 
he said, from " allegria,"f and partly to prevent 
any one meeting us in this dire and narrow 
way. When we had overcome the last of the 
Kakos dromos— lo ! a beautiful scene opened at 
the narrow end of the gulf, which lay like a still 
and dark lake below the high wall of Khimara 
territory. Draghiadhes, the door, as it were, 
of Acroceraunnia, stands on a height imme- 
diately in front, while the majestic snowy peak 
of Tchika (the lofty point so conspicuous from 
Corfu, and on the southern side of which stand 
the real Khimariot villages), towers over all 
the scene, than which one more sublime, or 
more shut out from the world, I do not recollect 
often to have noticed. At the sea-side I stole 
time for a short sketch, and then remount- 
ing, our party rode on over the sands to nearly 

* A bad road, Sir. t Mirth. 


the'end of the gulf, whence we turned off to 
the left, and gradually ascended to Dra- 
ghi&dhes. Flocks of sheep, and most ferocious 
doss abounded as we climbed higher: and 
Anastasio, never wearied of injunctions as to 
the awful character of the doss of Khimara, 
especially of the two first villages. " It is 
true," said he, " I am responsible for your life, 
but at the same time you must do just as I bid 
you ; for if you look at a dog of Khimara, 
there will hardly be anything but some of your 
Largest bones left ten minutes afterwards !" 
which unfettered poetical flight seemed about 
to become a fact in the case of the pietone, 
who shortly had to defend himself from some 
ten of these outrageous beasts ; they assailed 
him spite of all manner of missiles, and the 
battle's issue was waxing doubtful when some 
shepherds called off the enemy. As we ad- 
vanced nearer to the town Anastasio's cheer- 
fulness seemed to increase. " Mi conoscono 
tutti," * said he, as each peasant hailed him by 
the title of " Capitagno." With some he 
stopped to laugh and converse ; others he 

Everybody knows nic. 


saluted after the fashion of Albanian mock- 
skirmishes, drawing pistols or yataghan from his 
girdle, and seizing their throats with many 
yells, and between whiles he kept up a running 
accompaniment of a Greek air, sung at the top 
of an immense voice, and varied by pistol shots 
at irregular intervals. We passed the village of 
Radima high above us, and after I had con- 
trived to make another sketch, the scene 
momentarily grew finer as the descending sun 
flung hues of crimson over the lonely, sparkling 
town of Draghiadhes, and the bright peaks of 
the huge Tchika. 

Presently we came to the oak-clad hills imme- 
diately below the town, where narrow winding 
paths led upwards among great rocks and 
spreading trees worthy of Salvator Rosa, and 
not unlike the beautiful serpentara of Olevano. 
I have never seen more impressively savage 
scenery since I was in Calabria. Evening, or 
early morn, are the jtimes to study these wild 
southern places to advantages ; they are then 
alive with the inhabitants of the town or village 
gathering to, or issuing from it ; here were sheep 
crowding up the narrow rock-stairs — now lost in 
the shade of the foliage — now bounding in light 
through the short lentisk — huge morose dogs, 


226 JOUR*) LLS 01 

like wolves, walking sullenly behind — shepherds 
carrying lambs or siek sheep, and a crowd of 
figures clad in thick large trowsers and short 
jackets, and bearing immense burdens of sticks, 
or other rustic materials. These last are the 
women of Oraghiadhes, for here, and at the next 
village (Dukadhes), the fair sex adopt male 
attire, and are assuredly about the oddest look- 
ing creatures I ever beheld. Worn and brown 
by hard labour in the sun, they have yet some- 
what pensive and pleasing in the expression of 
tin eye, but all the rest is unfeminine and dis- 
agreeable. They are, as far as I can learn, the 
only Mohammedan women in these regions who 
do not conceal their faces — whether it be that 
their ancestors were Christians, and turning to 
the faith of the Prophet, did not think it worth 
while in so remote a place as Khimara to adopt 
articles of such extra expense as veils, I know 
not — but such is the fact, and they are the only 
females of their creed whose faces I ever saw. 
" But," said Anastasio, " when we have passed 
Tchfka, and are in true Khimara, out of the way 
of these Turks, then you will see women like 
women, and not like pigs. Ah, Signor mio ! 
these are not women ! — these are pigs, pigs — 
Turks — pigs, I say ! For all that, they are 


very good people, and all of them my intimate 
friends. But, Signore, you could not travel here 
alone." And, although Anastasio certainly 
made the most patronizing use of his position as 
interpreter, guide, and guard, I am inclined to 
believe that he was, in this, pretty near the 
truth, for I doubt if a stranger could safely 
venture through Acroceraunia unattended. As- 
suredly also all the world hereabouts seemed his 
friends, as he boasted, for the remotest and 
almost invisible people on far away rocks, 
shouted out " Capitagno" as we passed, proving 
to me that I was in company with a widely- 
known individual. 

At length we reached Draghiadhes, the houses 
of which were by no means pretty, being one 
and all like the figures of " H was a House," in 
a child's spelling-book. Alas ! for the baronial 
castle or the palazzo of Italy ! the whole place 
had the appearance of a gigantic heap of domi- 
noes just thrown down by the Titans. Sunset 
had given place to shadowy dusk as we passed 
below two of the very largest plane trees I ever 
beheld, where, in the centre of the village the 
trowser-wearing damsels of Draghiadhes were 
drawing water at a fountain — a strange, wild 
scene. Many came out to greet Anastasio, and 

Q 2 

228 JOURNALS 01 

all saluted me in a friendly manner, nor was 
there the least ill-bred annoyance, though I was 
evidently an object of great curiosity. Sending 
on the horses to the house Ave were to sleep at, 
we first went to one of Anastasio's friends, who 
would take it as a " dispetto"* if he did not visit 
him. I sate on the steps outside and sketched : 
the rocks of Calabria, with figures such as are 
to be seen only in Albania, gathered all around — 
how did I lament my little skill in figure draw- 
ing, and regret having so much neglected it ! 
The long matted hair and moustache — the un- 
studied and free attitude — the simple folds of 
drapery — the expression of the individual — the 
grouping of the masses — all heighten the incon- 
ceivable originality of these scenes. Let a 
painter visit Acroceraunia — until he does so he 
will not be aware of the grandest phases of 
savage, yet classic, picturesqueness — whether 
Illyrian or Epirote — men or mountains ; — but let 
him go with a good guide, or he may not come 
back again. Acroceraunia is untravelled ground, 
and might not be satisfactory to a solitary 

,f - Rudeness, slight. 


It was dark when we returned to the upper 
part of the town, and I was ushered into my 
host's house for the night — a large room on the 
ground floor — all rafters above and planks 
below, with a fire-place and fire in the middle 
of one end, and with carpets and cushions (of 
no very inviting appearance) on either side of 
the hearth. On to one of these I threw myself, 
and waited patiently for all further occurrences. 
Presently our host (whose name is Achmet 
Zinani, and who is a tall, thin, ancient Moham- 
medan, clad all in red, save a white kilt) having 
made me a speech profuse of compliments 
through Anastasio, brings two cups of coffee, 
and supper is supposed to be about to follow. 
Dirty, and queer, and wild, as this place is, it 
is far better than those Gheghe-holes, Tyrana 
and Elbassan — at least the novelty and fine 
subjects for painting all about one, and the 
friendly relation in which the stranger stands 
with regard to the natives, makes him prefer 
Khimara, even at the outset. Previously to 
supper Achmet Zinani prayed abundantly, going 
through the numerous genuflexions and pros- 
trations of Mohammedan devotion, in the centre 
of the room. After this the meal commenced. 

The plan of Khimariot hospitality is this : the 

230 JOUENAL8 01 

guest buys a fowl or two, and his hosts cook 
it, and help him to eat it. We all sale round 
the dish, and I, propping myself sideways on 
cushions, made shift to partake of it as well as 
I could ; but a small candle being the only light 
allotted to the operation, I was not so adroit 
as my co-partners, who fished out the most 
interesting parts of the excellent fowl ragout 
with astonishing dexterity and success. The 
low round plate of tin was a perpetual shelter 
for eight or nine little cats, whom we pulled 
out from beneath by their tails at momen- 
tary intervals, when they wailed aloud, and 
rushed back again, pleased even by feeling the 
hot fowl through the table, as they could not 
otherwise enjoy it. After the ragout had nearly 
all been devoured, and its remains consigned to 
the afflicted cats, there came on a fearful species 
of cheese sou]), with butter, perfectly fabulous 
as to filthiness ; and after this, there was the 
usual washing of hands, "a la turque," and the 
evening meal was done. Supper over, we all 
-at in a semi-circle about the tire. Some six or 
eight of the townsmen came in — a sort of soiree 
— and drinking cups of coffee was the occu- 
i i;it ion for some hours. Albanian only is 
spoken, and very little Greek understood here. 


About ten or eleven, all but the family gradually 
withdrew ; the old gentleman, Achmet, and the 
rest of the Albanians, rolled themselves up in 
capotes, and slept, Anastasio placed himself 
across my feet, with his pistols by his side ; and 
as for me, with my head on my knapsack, I 
managed to get an hour or two of early sleep, 
though the army of fleas, which assailed me as 
a new comer, not to speak of the excursion cats, 
who played at bo-peep behind my head, made 
the rest of the night a time of real suffering, the 
more so that the great wood fire nearly roasted 
me, and was odious to the eyes, as a wood fire 
must needs be. Such are the penalties paid for 
the picturesque. But one does not come to 
Acroceraunia for food, sleep, or cleanliness. 

October 22. 

Before daylight all were on foot, and Anas- 
tasio had made a capital basin of coffee and 
toast, an accomplishment he had learned of 
Giorgio. Anxious to see the bright sun after 
the night's penance, I ran to the door; but 
hardly had I gone three steps from it, when I 
felt myself violently pulled by the collar, and 
dragged backwards, before I had time to resist ; 


a friendly assault on the part of Achmet and 
Anastasio, the motion of which was adequately 
explained by a simultaneous charge of some 
thirty immense dogs, who bounced out from the 
most secluded comers, and would straightway 
have breakfasted on me, had I not been so aptly 
rescued ; certainly the dogs of Khimara are the 
most formidable brutes I have yet seen, and 
every wall and lane here seems alive with them. 

" () Signore !" said Anastasio, in a tone be- 
tween anger and vexation, " tanto sciocco vuoi 
essere ! Ti dico — sarai mangiato — amazzato — 
e se non vuoi far a modo mio, e tutto cio 
che ti dico di far qui in Khimara, sei morto ; 
non voglio andar piu in avante cosi ; non andrai 
mai piu fuor di vista mia !"* So I promised I 
would in future be obedient, for after all it was 
plain that the Khimariote was in the right. 

I decided on making a drawing at Dra- 
ghiadhes, before starting for Dukadhes, the 
next village, where I am to sleep to-night; for 
1 K'yond that is the great pass of the Tchika moun- 

* " 0, Sir, why will you be such a fool ? I tell you you will 
be eaten, murdered, and if you won't do as 1 bid you, you are a 
dead man. I will not go farther with you in this manner ; 
henceforth you shall not stir out of my sight." 


tain, which shuts in the Khimara coast, and 
to arrive at the further side of it would require 
more time than could be found to-day without 
hurrying. So I sate above the huge planes, and 
drew the view towards the gulf, very Poussi- 
nesque and fine ; some twenty picturesque fel- 
lows sitting smoking round me, all infinitely 
polite. One of them who speaks Italian, volun- 
teers a list of the Khimariote villages in their 
consecutive order, from Draghiadhes. All of 
these I cannot hope to see ; but I would fain 
get as far as Khimara, which gives its name to 
the whole district. 

About nine we left Draghiadhes, and began 
to ascend towards the hill of Dukadhes, first 
through a tract of low wood, and then by an 
uninteresting gorge, down which the wind came 
with frightful force, making it very difficult to 
keep a footing on the loose stones of the water- 
course, which was our road. Higher up in the 
pass the violence of this sudden and furious 
mountain storm was such that both Anastasio 
and myself were knocked down more than once, 
and towards the summit we could only advance 
by clinging from rock to rock. 

At the highest part of the pass a most singular 
scene opens. The spectator seems on the edge of 
a high wall, from the brink of which giddy eleva- 


tion he looks down into a fearfully profound 
basin, at the roots of the mountain. Above its 
eastern and southern enclosures rises the giant 
snow-clad Tchika in all its immensity, while at 
his very feet, in a deep, dark green pit of 
wood and garden, lies the town or village of 
Dukadhes, its houses scattered like milk-white 
dice along the banks of a wide torrent, which 
finds its way to the gulf between the hill he 
stands on, and the high western ridge dividing 
the valley from the sea * 

To this strange place, perhaps one of the 
most secluded in Europe, I began to descend, 
and as we slowly proceeded, halted more than 
once to sketch and contemplate. Shut out as it 
stood by iron walls of mountain, surrounded by 
sternest features of savage scenery, rock and 
chasm, precipice and torrent, a more fearful 
prospect, and more chilling to the very blood I 
never beheld — so gloomy and severe — so unre- 
deemed by any beauty or cheerfulness. After a 
weary ride over rugged places in the bottom of 
this hollow land of gloom, we stopped at length 
at one of the houses of the village — standing, 
like every dwelling of Dukadhes, in the midst 

* River of Dukhadcs — Celydnus. Leake. 


of a little garden or courtyard. Its general ap- 
pearance was very like my last night's abode, 
only that we had to climb up a very odious 
ladder to the family " reception room" — which, 
besides being several shades dirtier than that of 
Achmet Zinani, had not the advantage of being 
on the first floor. Most of these houses consist 
of two stories, the upper floor, divided into two or 
three chambers, being allotted to the women of 
the family, the lower being a single large room 
serving for general purposes. It was half-past 
one when we arrived, and before I go out to 
sketch, Anastasio cooks a lunch of eggs roasted 
and fried in butter, of which he partakes with 
the Pietone. This last accomplished person 
does not indulge in shoes, and I observe that 
when his hands are occupied, he holds his pipe 
in his toes, and does any other little office with 
those, to us, useless members. Throughout the 
whole of the day's journey I have seen numbers 
of women carrying burthens of incredible size 
and weight ; — from one hundred and fifty to one 
hundred and eighty pounds, I am assured, is no 
unusual loading. These poor creatures are indeed 
little like women in appearance, for their faces 
are worn into lines and furrows of masculine 
hardness by excessive and early toil ; and as they 


labour pitifully up the roeky paths, steadying 
their steps with a staff, or cross the stony tor- 
rent beds, bent nearly double beneath their 
loads, they seem less like human beings than 
quadrupeds. A man's blood boils to see them 
accompanied by a beast of a husband or brother, 
generally on horseback, carrying — what ? — no- 
thing but a pipe ! And when he is tired of 
smoking, or finds himself over-clad, he gives the 
women his pipe to hold, or throws his capote 
<>\ er her load ! The ponderous packages of wool, 
grain, sticks, &c, borne by these hard- worked 
creatures are hung to their neck by two strong 
straps ; their dress is dark blue, with a blue 
handkerchief on the head — dark full trowsers — 
no petticoat, or apron — and red worked woollen 
gaiters. They are short and strongly made in 
person, with very light hair; their eyes are almost 
universally soft gray, and very pretty, but the 
rest of the face, apart from the worn and ground- 
down expression, is too broad and square in form 
to be prepossessing. 

In the afternoon I made drawings of Dukii- 
dhes, a gloomy sky and threatening storm 
adding to the inherent melancholy of the land- 
scape. The lines around the town are on too 
gigantic a scale, and its houses too destitute of 


the picturesque, to supply much employment for 
the pencil ; and the chilling sullenness of this 
dreary abyss of terror did not incline me to de- 
vote much time to its ungracious qualities. I was 
accompanied in my researches by Siilio, the 
Pietone, Anastasio being engaged in finding 
mules for the morrow's ascent, since horses go 
no farther than this place — the threshold of Khi- 
mara ; and I give the last hour of daylight to 
delineating a tree full of Albanian idlers who 
sit smoking tranquilly on the gnarled wide- 
spreading branches of a huge ilex, which hangs 
over a precipice — as wild a piece of poetical 
painting as Salvator might wish for. 

At sunset, the indescribable dark terror of this 
strange place was at its full ; yet unwilling to 
retreat to my night's prison till the last moment, 
I lingered on a rock in the middle of the ravine, 
while crowds gathered round me, saying, "Scroo, 
scroo, scroo," after their fashion, and were 
greatly pleased at my drawing them. At length 
it became quite dusk, and I went reluctantly to 
my second night-home in Khimara. The loft 
had a more comfortable appearance by fire-light 
than, by day, inasmuch as its mysterious and 
suggestive gloom was more prepossessing than 
its bare walls. A rug was, as before, laid for 


me in the farther corner, fitting in between the 
wall and the wood fire, which is always made 
on a square sort of hearth projecting into 
the room. Two pillows, also, were in readi- 
ness ; but mistrusting these adjuncts of luxury, 
I wrapped myself in plaids and coats, with ni\ 
knapsack under my head. It is needless to sa\ 
the traveller reposes by night in the same dress 
he wears by day, for it is by no means possible to 
change it on all occasions. Vuno, however, 
Anastiisio's native town, is held out to me, with 
what degree of truth or poetry I know not, as a 
sort of metropolitan abode of the luxuries and 
graces, which are to atone for all privations en- 
dured previously to reaching that favoured spot. 
Meanwhile he informs me, that supposing I 
am desirous of seeing as much of Khimiiriote 
manners and society as is possible, he has asked 
two gipsies (!) to pass the evening with us, they 
being great performers on the guitar, which they 
accompany with the voice ; and as not impro- 
bably we might have a dance also, he had 
invited a Christian — one of his own friends 
(from Arghyro Kastro), staying at present in 
Dukadhes — to dine with us, a gentleman whose 
lonir dishevelled hair fell most dramaticallv over 
his shoulders, and who, like the rest of the 


' society,' rejoiced in bare feet and gaiters. In 
fact, my arrival at Dukadhes seemed the signal 
for a sort of universal soiree; and I was to 
promote the general hilarity by the gift of an 
unlimited quantity of wine — an arrangement I 
willingly acceded to for the sake of witnessing 
" life in Khimara." 

In an hour or two came in the usual round 
tin table, preceded by napkin and water, precur- 
sors of a good dish of hashed mutton, and a 
plain roast fowl, which, with tolerable wine, 
made no bad supper. After the repast is done, 
a process of sweeping always goes on, a mere 
form, but never neglected by these people ; un- 
willing to incommode me, they swept all round 
me carefully, and now there was nothing to do 
but to announce the visitors. 

Presently the company came, and queer 
enough it was ! The two Messieurs Zingari, 
or gipsies, are blacksmiths by profession, and 
are clad in dark-coloured garments, once 
white now grey -brown ; the contrast between 
them and the Albanians round them, all of 
whom nearly have light hair and florid com- 
plexions, is very striking. The gipsy, all grin 
and sharpness, who plays second fiddle, is 
continually bowing and ducking to me ere he 

240 JOURNALS <>| 

squats down ; but the elder, or first performer, 
is absolutely one of the most remarkable Look- 
ing creatures I ever beheld; his great black 
eyes peering below immensely thick arched 
brows, have the most singular expression of 
cunning and ferocity, and his black moustache 
and beard enclose a mouth which, when shut, 
argues all sorts of tragic obstinacies, but, on 
opening, discloses a grin of brilliant ivory from 
ear to ear. Take him for all in all, anything so 
like a diabolical South Sea idol I never yet 
saw r living. 

At first the entertainment was rather slow. 
The gipsies had two guitars, but they only 
tinkled them with a preparatory coquettish- 
ness ; till another friend dropping in with a 
third mandolino, a pleasing discord was by 
degrees created, and increased to a pitch of 
excitement that seemed to promise brilliant 
things for the evening's festivities. Anas- 
tasio, also, catching the melodious infection, 
led the performers by his own everlasting 
Greek refrain — sung at the full power of a tre- 
mendous voice, and joined in by all present in 
the first circle — for now, many more than the 
chorus had entered the room, remaining seated 
or standing behind, and the whole formed, in the 


flickering light of the wood torches, one of the 
most strange scenes imaginable. Among the au- 
ditors were the padrona of the house (a large lady 
in extensive trowsers), her daughter (a nice look- 
ing woman), and two pretty little girls, her grand- 
children — all unveiled, as is the mode in Du- 
kadhes. As the musical excitement increased, 
so did the audience begin to keep time with 
their bodies, which this people, even when 
squatted, move with the most curious flexibility. 
An Albanian, in sitting on the ground, goes 
plump down on his knees, and then bending 
back, crosses his legs in a manner wholly im- 
practicable to us who sit on chairs from infancy. 
While thus seated, he can turn his body half 
round on each side as if on a pivot, the knees 
remaining immoveable ; and of all the gifted 
people in this way that I ever saw, the gipsy 
guitarist was pre-eminently endowed with gy- 
ratory powers, equal almost to the American 
owl, w r hich, it is said, continues to look round 
and round at the fowler as he circles about him, 
till his head twists off. 

Presently, the fun grew fast and furious, and 
at length the father of sonj>; — the hideous idol- 
gipsy — became animated in the grandest degree; 
he sang and shrieked the strangest minor airs 


242 J0UENAL8 "I 

with incredible accompaniments, tearing and 
twanglingthe guitar with great skill, and energy 
enough to break it into bits. Everything he 


sane seemed to delight his audience, which at 
times was moved to shouts of laughter, at others 
almost to tears. He bowed backwards and 
forwards till his head nearly touched the ground, 
and waVed from side to side like a poplar in a 
gale. He screamed — he howled — he Went 
through long recitatives, and spoke prose w r ith 
inconceivable rapidity ; and all the while his 
auditors bowed and rocked to and fro as if par- 
ticipating in every idea and expression. I never 
saw a more decided instance of enthusiastic 
appreciation of song, if song it could be called, 
where the only melody was a wild repetition of 
a minor chorus — except at intervals, when one 
or two of the Toskidhes' characteristic airs 
varied the musical treat. 

The last performance I can remember to have 
attended to, appeared to be received as a capo 
d'opera : each verse ended by spinning itself 
out into a chain of rapid little Bos, ending in 
chorus thus •. " Bo, bo-bo-bo, BO ! — bo, bobobo, 
BO!" — and every verse was more loudly joined in 
than its predecessor, till at the conclusion of the 
last verse, when the unearthly idol-gipsy 


snatched off and waved his cap in the air — his 
shining head was closely shaved, except one glossy 
raven tress at least three feet in length, the very 
rafters rang again to the frantic harmony ; — 
4 'Bo, bo-bo-bo, bo-bo-bo, bo-bo-bo, bobobo, 
BO !"— the last " BO !" uttered like a pistol- 
shot, and followed by an unanimous yell. 

Fatigue is so good a preparation for rest, that 
after this savage mirth had gone on for two or 
three hours, I fell fast asleep, and heard no 
more that night. 

October 23. 

I am awaked an hour before daylight by the 
most piercing screams. Hark ! — they are the 
loud cries of a woman's voice, and they come 
nearer — nearer — close to the house. For a 
moment, the remembrance of last night's orgies, 
the strange place I was lying in, and the horrid 
sounds by which I was so suddenly awakened, 
made a confusion of ideas in my mind which I 
could hardly disentangle, till, lighting a phos- 
phorus match and candle, I saw all the Alba- 
nians in the room, sitting bolt upright, and 
listening with ugly countenances to the terrible 
cries below. In vain I ask the cause of them . 

r 2 

do one replies; but one b\ one, and Anastasio 
the Last, all descend the ladder, Leaving me in a 
mysterj which does not make the stale of 
things more agreeable; for though I have not 
" supped full of horror" like Macbeth, yet m\ 
senses are nevertheless " cooled to hear so dismal 
a oighl shriek." 

I do not remember ever to have heard so 
horrid and deadly a sound as that long shriek, 
perpetually repeated with a force and sharpness 
not to be recalled without pain; and whatmade 
it more horrible, was the distinct echo to each 
cry from the lonely rocks around this hideous 
place. The cries, too, were exactly similar, and 
studiedly monotonous in measured wild grief. 
After a short time, Anastasio and the others 
returned, but at first I could elicit no cause for 
this startling the night from its propriety. At 
length I suppose they thought that, as I was 
now irretrievably afloat in Khimara life, I might 
as well know the worst as not ; so they informed 
me that the wailings proceeded from a woman 
of the place, whose husband had just been 
murdered. He had had some feud with an 
inhabitant of a neighbouring: village (near Kud- 
hesi) nor had he returned to his house as was 
expected last night ; and just now, by means of 


the Khimariot dogs, whose uproar is un- 
imaginable, the head of the slain man was found 
on one side of the ravine, immediately below 
the house I am in, his murderers having tossed 
it over from the opposite bank, where the body 
still lay. This horrid intelligence had been 
taken (with her husband's head) to his wife, 
and she instantly began the public shrieking 
and wailing usual with all people in this singular 
region on the death of relatives. They tell me 
this screaming tragedy is universal throughout 
Khimara, and is continued during nine days, 
commonly in the house of mourning, or. when 
the performers are engaged in their domestic 
affairs. In the present instance, however, the 
distressed woman, unable to control her feelings 
to the regular routine of grief, is walking all 
over the town, tearing her hair, and abandoning 
herself to the most frantic wretchedness. These 
news, added to the information that it is raining, 
and that the weather may probably prevent 
my leaving this delightful abode throughout 
this, or who knows how many more days, are 
no cheerful beginning for the morning, for one 
may be fixed here for some time, since the Tchika 
pass is impracticable in stormy weather. Hut 
towards eight the rain ceased ; and although a 

246 • K " RNAia "i 

drizzling mist still continued to tall, the robawas 
packed under lots of covers, and we stalled on 
mules, with bad saddles and packthread stirrups. 
Bidding adieu to the harccm until my return, I 
w as soon out of Dukadhes, spite of the multitude 
of dogs ready to devour me, at every garden 
and wall. A rude tract leads across the valley, 
ascending gradually, now over undulations of 
uncultivated turf or rich fern, and now dipping 
by rough ledges and slanting paths into tremen- 
dous chasms, which convey torrents from the 
northern face of Tchika to the river of Du- 
kadhes, west of the valley. 

Advancing nearer to the pass, the giant 
Tchika appeared more formidable at each 
approach — its pine- clad sides black in the sullen 
misty cloud ; but as we descended the last cliff- 
walled abyss at the foot of the ridge or spur of 
the mountain which closes eastward the valley- 
plain of Dukadhes, driving clouds came furi- 
ously down, and thenceforth, to my great vexa- 
tion, no more of the pass was visible. Toilfully we 
wound upwards, for an hour or more, among 
rocks and superb pines, now and then a cloud 
rolling away to disclose vistas of cedar-like firs 
deep below or high above in air. It would be 
difficult to see a finer pass even for foreground 


objects : such variety of crag and shrub — such 
huge pine-trunks slanting over precipices, or 
lying along the side of the path like ante-mun- 
dane caterpillars crawling out of the way of 
the deluge. At the top of the pass the driving 
fog became thinner, the " shrubless crags seen 
through the mist" assumed their distinct shapes, 
and we entered magnificent forests of beautiful 
pine and undergrowth of gray oak, with here 
and there a space of green turf and box-trees, 
where great black and orange lizards were plen- 
tifully crawling. 

At half-past ten we began to descend, and 
soon emerged from the clouds into bright sun- 
light, which lit up all the difficulties of what is 
called the Strada Bianca, or Aspri Ruga— a 
zig-zag path on the side of the steepest of preci- 
pices, yet the only communication between 
Khimara and Avlona towards the north. The 
track is a perfect staircase, and were you to 
attempt to ride down it, you would seem at each 
angle as if about to shoot off into the blue sea 
below you ; even when walking down, one comes 
to an intimate knowledge of what a fly must 
feel in traversing a ceiling or perpendicular wall. 
Half way down the descent the long flat island 
of Fand, north of Korfu, is visible, and soon 

2 |s .loi l;\ \l> 03 

afterwards the end of Monte St. Salvador in 
Korfu itself: — a merry Bight, and something of 
a foreshadowing of England in this far-away 
land. Immediately below the Strada Bianca 
lies a lonir tract of land between sea and moim- 
tain, showing the position of nearly all the Khi- 
mariote villages, the whole territory between the 
Adriatic and the western wall of hill being 
known generally as " Khimara." Lower down 
in the descent a migration of Khimariotes — 
the most restless of people — met us ; some 
eighty or one hundred women laden as 
never women were elsewhere — their male rela- 
tions " taking it easy" up the mountain — the 
ladies carrying the capotes as well as babies and 

" Heavens !" said I, surprised out of my 
wonted philosophy of travel, which ought not to 
exclaim at anything, "how can you make your 
women such slaves ?" " O Signore," said Anas- 
tasio, "to you, as a stranger, it must seem ex- 
traordinary ; but the fact is, we have no mules 
in Khimara, that is the reason why we employ 
a creature so inferior in strength as a woman 
is ( un animale tanto poco eapaee) ; but there i- 
no remedy, for mules there are none, and women 
arc next best to mul< - Vi assicuro, Signore, 


although certainly far inferior to mules, they are 
really better than asses, or even horses." That 
was all I got for my interference. 

These Khimariote women were of all ages, and 
many of them very pretty ; their dress was a full 
white petticoat, with an embroidered woollen 
apron (worn behind, and not before!) The 
men were white capoted, strong-looking fellows, 
walking with all that nonchalance and air of 
superiority so characteristic of Albanians ; almost 
all the individuals spoke to Anastasio as a general 
acquaintance : — the whole party is on the way 
to Avlona to work in the olive grounds there 
through the winter. 

After having cleared the descent of Strada 
Bianca — a weary penance, the last part of it a 
little shortened by a steep flight of stairs cut in 
the perpendicular rock — we arrived at that ex- 
traordinary torrent which, descending in one un- 
broken white bed from the very mountain top 
down its seaward face, is known by mariners as 
' il flume di Strada Bianca,' or Aspri Ruga. 
Without doubt, this is a very remarkable scene 
of sheer mountain terror; — it presents a simple 
front of rock — awful from its immense magni- 
tude — crowned at its summit with snow and 
pines, and riven into a thousand lines all uniting 

•j;,() JOURNALS 01 

in the tremendous ravine below — which, though 

now nearly dry, is in winter a torrent of 
destructive magnitude, 

Crossing this great water-course, our route 
lay at the foot of the hills, through ground more 
and more cultivated and cheerful, and about one, 
p.m., we reached the village of Palasa* Here 
we halted, after a good morning's work, in a 
sort of piazza near a disreputable looking 
church, sadly out of repair. 

A few Khimariotes were idling below the 
shady trees, and Anastasio was soon surrounded 
and welcomed back to his native haunts, though 
I perceived that some bad news was com- 
municated to him, as he changed colour during 
the recital of the intelligence, and clasping his 
hands exclaimed aloud with every appearance of 
real sorrow. The cause of this grief was, he 
presently informed me, the tidings of the death 
of one of his cousins, at Vuno, his native place, a 
girl of eighteen, whose extreme beauty and good 
qualities had made her a sort of queen of the 
village, which, said Anastasio, I shall find a 
changed place, owing to her decease. " I loved 

* Palasa, anciently Palaeste. Lcakc. 


her," said he, " with all my heart, and had we 
been married, as we ought to have been, our 
lives might have been most thoroughly happy." 
Having said thus much, and begging me to 
excuse his grief, he sat down with his head on 
his hand, in a mood of woe befitting such a be- 
reavement. Meanwhile 1 reposed till the mo- 
ment came for a fresh move onwards, when lo ! 
with the quickness of light the afflicted Anasta- 
sio arose, and ran to a group of women advanc- 
ing towards the olive-trees, among whom one 
seemed to interest him not a little, and as she 
drew nearer I perceived that she was equally 
affected by the chance meeting ; — finally, they 
sate down together, and conversed with an 
earnestness which convinced me that the new- 
comer was a friend, at least, if not a sister, to 
the departed and lamented cousin of Vuno. It 
was now time to start, and as the mules were 
loading, the Khimariote girl lingered, and I never 
saw a more exquisitely handsome face than hers : 
each feature was perfectly faultless in form ; 
but the general expression of the countenance 
had a tinge of sternness, with somewhat of 
traces of suffering ; her raven tresses fell loose 
over her beautiful shoulders and neck, and her 
form from head to foot, was majestic and grace- 

252 JOURNALS 01 

fill to perfection; her dress too, the short, open 
Greek jacket or spencer, ornamented with red 
patterns, the many folded petticoat, and the 
scarlet embroidered apron, admirably became 
her. She was a perfect model of beauty, as 
she stood knitting, hardly bending beneath 
the burden she was carrying — her fine face 
half in shade from a snowy handkerchief 
thrown negligently over her head. She va- 
nished when we were leaving Palasa, but re- 
appeared below the village, and accompanied 
Anastasio for a mile or more through the sur- 
rounding olive grounds, and leaving him at last 
with a bitter expression of melancholy which it 
was impossible not to sympathise with. " Ah, 
Signore," said Anastasio, " she was to have been 
my wife, but now she is married to a horrid old 
man of Avldna, who hates her, and she hates 
him, and so they will be wretched all their lives." 
" Corpo di Bacco ! Anastasio, why you told me just 
now you were to be married to the girl who has 
just died at Vuno !" " So I was, Signore ; but her 
parents would not let me marry her, so I have 
not thought about her any more — only now that 
she is dead 1 cannot help being very sorry ; but 
Fortina, the girl who has just gone back, was the 
woman I loved better than anybody. " "Then 


why didn't you marry her ?" " Perche, perche," 
said the afflicted Anastasio, " perche, I have a 
wife already, Signore, in Vund, and a little girl 
six years old. Si signor, si." 

So much for the comfortable arrangement pre- 
valent throughout this country* — of marriages 
being arranged before-hand by the parents of 
the parties, independently of the individuals 
most concerned in the matter, for the refusal of 
a bride by the bridegroom, if the lady be once 
brought so far as his house, is strongly resented by 
her family : — notwithstanding which, Anastasio, 
by his own account, greatly rebelled against 
orthodox Greek rules, and told his parents that 
if his bride (a girl of Arghyrd-Kastro, and a 
relative of his mother's kinsmen) were not suf- 
ficiently agreeable or good-looking, he would not 
have her at all ; and therefore they were obliged 
to connive at their wilful son's seeing his be- 
trothed ere they set out, lest the chiefs of the 
bride's house should be outraged by a refusal at 
the eleventh hour. This occurred at Delvino ; 
and his account of being permitted to look at 
the lady through the opening of a door was 

* See page 141, Skodra. 

2fi I JOURNALS 01 

amusing, — how she was s i 1 1 i n lt down, and how 
he said, (), Signora, camminatel Camminate, 
per L'amor del cielo ; — perehe voleva vedere se 
non zoppicasse.* 

From Palasa to Dhrymadhes (the next in the 
line of Khimara villages) the route is compara- 
tively uninteresting, except inasmuch as the 
great features of the Khimara country — the 
bright blue sea on one hand, and the high 
mountain-wall on the other, were always at- 

About half-past two we arrived at another 
deep fissure or torrent-chasm, cloven from the 
heart of the mountains to the sea, and here, 
perched and thrust in all possible positions 
among the rocks of the ravine, stands Dhry- 
madhes, more magnificent in its situation than 
any of the places I had hitherto seen in Acroce- 
raunia, and not a little resembling Atrani, or 
Amain, or Canalo in Calabria, though the beauty 
of architecture in those Italian places is ill- 
supplied by the scattered and formless collec- 
tion of houses that hangs on the brink of the 

* " Madam, get up and walk, for the love of Heaven \" (for 
I wanted to see if she did not limp.) 


craggy gorge, through whose narrow sides 
remote peeps of the lofty summits of Tchika 
are visible. 

Sending on Anastasio and the mules to a 
house he indicated on the further side of the 
ravine, I remained behind to sketch, and was 
soon surrounded by curious observers ; all how- 
ever treated me with the greatest good breed- 
ing, and one old gentleman begged me, in 
Italian, to favour him by taking some coffee in 
his house. The Khimariotes are in the habit of 
using the Italian tongue more than any natives 
of Albania, a practice induced by their wan- 
dering lives and frequent intercourse with Korfu, 
Naples, &c. 

To sketch Dhrymadhes hastily was impos- 
sible ; so, trusting to draw it on my return, I 
hurried onward round the head of the gorge, 
and found Anastasio at the house of one of his 
uncles — a quiet, unpretending dwelling, remind- 
ing me of many at Sorrento, or other Italian 
places. The civilization of this part of Albania 
seems indeed (speaking of the indoor enjoyments 
of life) far beyond what I have yet seen ; and my 
surprise was great on observing the clean white- 
washed walls of the rooms I was taken to, — the 
rows of jugs, plates, &c., on shelves — the chairs 

•_>;,<; JOURNALS 0] 

and four-post bedstead, with tidy furniture, 
and everj other comfort in proportion. 

" Zia mia!"* — saidAnastasio, of a nice-looking, 
middle-aged woman : — and " my uncle ' was a 
fine specimen of a Palikar, in appearance vene- 
rable, perfectly gentlemanlike in manner, and 
speaking Italian fluently. All Khimariotes have 
great store of adventures to tell you, and one 
might collect a srood book of anecdotes from 
these roving people. " My uncle" was one of 
the Khimariotes taken by All Pasha as host- 
ages, and was long imprisoned at Ioannina ; he 
was also in the French-Neapolitan service, and 
more lately, one of Lord Byron's suite at Misso- 
longhi ; so that he had seen a variety of life. 
Promising if possible to stay with these good- 
natured people on my return, and having par- 
taken of some very tolerable wine, I left them, and 
as the mules were to go back hence to Du- 
kadhes, the little roba I had with me was 
strapped on the backs of two women 
(according to Anastasio, the best mode of 
conveyance in default of better), and sent 
onward to Vuno. 

* My aunt. 


Rapidly as a traveller but glances at a country 
in this mode of journeying, the pencil conveys 
a far better idea of it, and in a few lines, than an 
inexperienced pen can hope to do with any 
amount of description ; it is sufficient, therefore, 
to say that all Khimara is full of picturesque- 
ness, well worthy the study of a landscape 
painter. A Avild tract of rugged nature succeeds 
to Drymadhes, and in one hour I reached 
Lliattes, the third village ; it consist of a little 
knot of houses, standing in gardens of olives ; an 
oasis of cultivation which seems a rare excep- 
tion to the general barrenness of this part of 
Khimara, though closer to the sea there appears 
to be a considerable portion of more fertile 

After a halt of ten minutes at Lliattes, where 
some of Anastasio's invisible friends brought us 
some fresh water at his call, I am again walking- 
over rock and plains of lentisk, till I reach the 
last ravine, previously to arriving at Vuno, a deep 
chasm between red cliffs, much like those in the 
neighbourhood of beautiful Civita Castcllana, 
and which, according to Anastasio, runs widen- 
ing to the sea, and renders all progress by land 
impossible, except by the track we are now pur- 
suing, at the very root of the mountains. The 


258 .lor UN LL8 ui 

view of Korfu, above this long perspective <>t' 
ravines, is exceedingly beautiful, and tempted 
me to linger till the setting sun warned me to 

The bright orb went down like a globe of red 
crystal into the pale sea, and the fiery hued wall of 
tagged Acroceraunian mountains above us on our 
left grew purple and lead-coloured, yet there was 
still half an hour's hard walking to be accom- 
plished ; and before I turned the angle of the 
little ravine of Vuno, there was only light enough 
to allow of a vague impression of a considerable 
town filling up the end of the gorge, without 
being able to discern the numerous excellencies 
of a place, of which Anastasio w T as constantly 
remarking in a triumphant tone, " Ma, Signore, 
quando si vede Vuno !" as if Paris or Stambul 
were nothing to it. We passed what seemed a 
large building, which my guide said was " Casa 
di Bdbba," the house of his uncle, who was 
head of the family (his father having been a 
second son), and soon came to the paternal roof, 
now the property of his own eldest brother ; for 
Anastasio is a secondo-genito, and obliged to get 
his living kw a la Khimariote," as he can : his 
mother still resides in her deceased husband's 
house, as do Anastasio's wife and child, besides 


Kyr Kostantino Kasnetzi, the eldest brother, with 
his children, he being a widower. All this domes- 
tic crowd, joined to a great variety of nephews and 
cousins, were waiting to receive us as we en- 
tered a courtyard, from whence we ascended to a 
spacious kitchen, where the females of the family 
saluted me with an air of timidity natural to 
persons who live in such oriental seclusion. 
The manners of Anastasio towards this part of 
the community appeared to me to savour a good 
deal of the relation between master and slave ; 
and now that my guide is at home, he walks 
about with a dignified and haughty nonchalance 
very different from the subdued demeanour of 

the domestic in the Casa J at Avlona. 

I was led again up stairs, to a large octagonal 
room, panelled and closetted, and fitted up with 
sofas, &c, in the usual Turkish style ; but the 
presence of many et cetera announces a people 
of very different habits to those of the wild 
Gheghe, or rude inhabitants of Dukhadhes. A 
small four-post bedstead stands in one corner ; 
half a dozen side tables adorn the sides of the 
room, with intervening chairs ; the walls are 
whitewashed ; there are chests of drawers ; the 
centre of the ceiling is tastefully ornamented 
with dried grapes, hung in patterns ; and round 

s 2 

>_>(iO JOURN VL8 "l 

four of the sides of the chamber, shelves, thickly 
covered with iues and other crockerv-ware, com- 
plete the List of domestic small comforts. The 

windows are very small, and several loopholes in 
the exceedingly thick walls allude distinctly to 
the days of predatory warfare, when people shot 
their enemies out of the first Moor window. No 
sooner was I settled, glad enough to rest on 
the low sofa, than Anastasio's little girl, an 
exquisitely pretty child of three years of age, 
with eyes like black beads, came into the room, 
very cleanly and nicely dressed ; down she 
sate, and taking my hand in hers, began to 
sing in the prettiest manner possible, with as 
little shyness as if she had known me all through 
her short life. Next came the Capo di Casa, the 
eldest brother, Kostantino, a rough but prepos- 
sessing fellow, with moustache enough for ten. 
He spoke no Italian, so our converse was con- 
fined to Greek common-places, while Anastasio 
talks in his stead, and assures me that his 
brother is a man of extreme wisdom and attain- 
ments, and by profession a doctor. " O Signore! 
e un uomo chc sa assai — per Bacco ! sa tutto ! 
E medico. Two years ago, there was a boy of 
Vuik) who threw a stone at another little boy ; 
lie broke his head, and filled it full of bones : full, 


I say ! pieno, pieno, dico, di osse ; osse grande 
ed osse piccole, pieno, pieno ; but the learned 
man (tanto dotto e) pulled them all out — tutte, 
tutte — si, Signore — every one ! and the little 
boy lived for ever afterwards in great health and 

After the usual preliminary coffee, two or 
three Vuniote cousins came in, and among them 
one who had been at Korfu and Vido, where 
he had picked up some very lively and energetic 
samples of the English language more sur- 
prising than proper, with which he seasoned 
his broken Italian oddly enough. His stories 
were numberless, and there was no help but to 
hear them. One of the least comprehensible 
was of a lord, a grandissimo mylordos, who 
had a cootter — con tanti marinari : e con questo 
cootter il gran lordos sempre girava il mondo 
ogni anno — e sempre aveva un vescovo dentro 
il cootter ; but the name of this circumvoy aging 
lord, or that of the marine bishop, I could not 

Supper, consisting of a fowl excellently boiled 
and stewed, was brought in by Anastasio and 
his brother, and they waited while I ate ; but 
I gave them decidedly to understand, that I 
would take my meals with the family while in 

262 JOUKN LLfi OF 

their house, for as 1 had been hail fellow well 
met with all the gipsies and dirty people 
of Draghi&dhes and Duk&dhes, I did not set' 
why I should be more magnificent in Vuno", 
especially as 1 had here a chance of seeing 
somewhat of decent Khimariote ways. 

October 24. 

The comparative luxuries of Vund, the clean 
bed and quiet room, &c, can only he duly valued 
by those who have passed such nights as my 
last two in Albanian villages. Soon after sun- 
rise I set off with book and pencil, accom- 
panied by ten or fifteen of Anastasio's cousins 
and soon found enough below 7 the town to 
occupy me for three or four hours. Like the 
village of Dhryniadhes, Vund is placed fronting 
the sea at the base of the mountains, in a sort 
of horse-shoe-formed hollow at the head of a 
ravine. A series of rock terraces support the 
houses, behind which the hills rise magnificently 
in a bay or semicircle, and towards the sea the 
land slopes rapidly to the level tract of ground, 
which is, perhaps, broader below Vund than 
;it am pari of the Khimara country 1 have 
passed. 1 was surprised at the extent and 


character of the buildings at Vuno, some of 
which, those of the Kasnetzi family in particu- 
lar, were more like palazzi in many Italian pro- 
vincial towns than dwellings in Albania ; and 
the whole village has an air of neatness and 
regularity for which I was quite unprepared. 
The spot where I sit is bright in the morning 
sun ; groves of thin olives and small oak throw 
a pleasant shade over the meadow ; several of 
the picturesque people of the village are playing 
at quoits near me, and the quiet repose of the 
scene is a great treat after the unrest of the last 
few days. Close by stands the only apparent 
church in the place, and that is a very small 
one ; indeed, the state ecclesiastical does not 
seem very nourishing at Vuno, for on my in- 
quiring of Anastasio how many priests there 
are in his village, he answers : " Due : uno x'e 
ammalato : e 1' altro non si sa dov' e."* 

At eleven I returned to the Casa Kasnetzi ; 
and it is worth remarking, that one of the most 
pleasant points of civilization in Vuno, consists 

* Two; one is sick, and the other is <ronc, no one knows 


of the possibility of walking about this compact 
town where the stranger pleases, without fear of 
being torn to pieces by rabid mountain-dogs, as 
he infallibly must be in Duk&dhes and Drag- 

hiadhes, where the dwellings are scattered in 
gardens, and where Hocks are the great com- 
modity of life, instead of wine and corn — not that 
there seems too much of that — produced by the 
Khimara strip of plain. 

Anast&sio's warbling little girl came and 
amused me till noon, when dinner was served on 
the usual tin table, in the shape of a good substan- 
tial meal of rice soup, boiled and stewed mutton, 
with the best wine I had tasted in Albania. It 
would be most interesting for a person well 
versed in Romaic (which nearly all here speak, 
or at least understand), to travel through 
Khimara, and by remaining there for some time 
glean detailed accounts of the habits of life 
among these primitive people; as for me, I 
could only arrive at snatches of information by 
means of Italian, which many of the Vuniote 
men speak. On my asking Anastasio if his 
wile and mother were not coming to din- 
ner, he replied that the women never cat 
with the men, but that his wife, Marina, 


would come and wait on us at supper, as by 
that time she would have less " vergogna "* of a 
stranger, an uncommon sight to Khimariote 

Since the days of Ali Pasha, the great puller- 
down of all high persons and places in Khi- 
mara (for up to his time it had existed as a set 
of little republics, nominally dependent on the 
Porte, but willing at any time to join its 
enemies), the villages of the Khimariote district 
pay certain taxes to the Turkish Government 
through the Pasha of Delvino, in whose pashalik 
their territories are included ; but no Turk, or 
rather, no Mohammedan, resides in any of the 
towns (I do not include Draghiadhes, Radima, 
or Dukadhes, as within Khimara), and they 
may be said still to enjoy a negative sort of 
independence, though their power of union in 
resistance, as a body of Greek Christians, is 
virtually as much gone as that of Parguinote or 
Suliote, whose habitations, and almost names, 
have passed away. 

Anastasio relates that two years back a 
Turkish Bey, with troops, came on a recruiting 

* Shyness — fear. 

266 .!<>! KXALS ()!■ 

tour through this territory, and quartered one 
hundred men in the house of his father and 
uncle, during whose stay, the " spavento"* of the 
Khimariote women and the "rabbia"f of the 

men was unbounded. For four days the women 
were shut up under lock and key in closets and 
cellars, and the Bey nightly intoxicated himself 
with rakhee, making a horrible row, and 
amusing himself by firing off pistols all about 
the room and through the ceiling, the damage 
done by which facetious diversion is visible 
enough to this day as proof. One of these 
pistol-balls nearly killed the wife of Kostantino 
Kasnetzi, and he and Anastasio thereupon con- 
fronted the Bey, who finding his own men dis- 
posed to take part against him, consented to 
evacuate Vuno on the morrow. But, with the 
exception of such rare visits, or the passing 
through of the Pasha of Delvino's guards in 
search of some criminal, Khimtira is a tranquil 
place, though its inhabitants are forbidden to 
bear arms; and in consequence of various 
modes of depopulation — such as wandering 
abroad, enlisting in the Sultan's armies, &c, 

• Terror. t Rage, 


— they are now but a thinly scattered and 
broken people. 

While this conversation was proceeding, there 
arose the wail for the poor girl, the cousin of 
the Kasnetzi, who died three days ago. It 
was, as at Dukhadhes, a woman's cry, but more 
mournful and prolonged, with sobs between 
nearly each cry ; and when the first wail was 
over, a second female took it up in the same 
strain. Nothing can be more mournful than 
this lament for the dead ; yet there seems to be 
a sort of pride in executing the performance 
well and loudly, for when I spoke of the sadness 
of the sound — " Ah, Signore !" said Anastasio, 
"ci sono altre chi piangono assai meglio di 
quella!"* The death of this cousin led the 
eldest brother to apologise much for the cur- 
tailed hospitality which iron custom compelled 
them to shew to me under the circumstances : — 
they should have killed a sheep — they would 
have had a dance, and all sorts of fetes, &c, 
&c. ; but on the decease of near relatives, no 
allegria is ever permitted for nine days. 

There was much animated conversation at 

* Ah, sir, there are others who crj ever bo much bettei 

■2(j,s JOUHNALS 01 

dinner-time relating to the domestic affairs of 
an uncle unci aunt of the Kasnctzi : the latter is 
lately remarried to a Khimariote, and he is 
already tired of his bride, and inclines to leave 
her. " E perche ?" said Anastasio ; " E dive- 
nuta sorda ! ed eccovi tutto !"* But although 
the party agree that the povera donna has no 
other fault hut a growing deafness, still they are 
equally of accord that the uncle may purchase 
a separation from the bishop of the diocese by 
means of so many dollars, even for no sufficient 
reason. Anastasio concludes the discourse by 
saying, that if his aunt is forsaken, legally or not, 
he shall " amazzare"f the zio forthwith. The 
Khimariotes appear to have a code of some very 
severe laws, and all tell me that they know no 
instance of their ever having been broken 
through. Those for instance for the punish- 
ment of conjugal infidelity insist on the death 
of the woman, and the cutting off ears and nose 
of the other offending party. Two or three 
instances have occurred among the various 
towns in the memory of my informers, and one 

* And why ?- she has hecome deaf, that is the only 
n a<on. 

+ Murder. 


gentleman whose head is unadorned with ears 
or proboscis, I have myself seen. Another was 
pointed out to me to-day, as a man who made a 
great disturbance in Vuno by destroying the 
peace of one of its best families : the wife was 
instantly put to death, but her paramour escaped 
and remained abroad for two years, when he 
returned, and is now settled here " But," said 
I, " how did he remain unpunished ?" " Be- 
cause he escaped." " But why, since your 
severity in these cases is so extreme, why was 
he allowed to return ?" " Because we killed 
his father instead of him !" " O, cielo, but 
what had his father done ?" " Niente ! Ma 
sempre ci vuol qualcheduno ammazzato in 
queste circonstanze ; e cosi, abbiam preso il 
padre. Somebody must have been killed. E 
lo stesso — basta cosi"* — an obliquity of justice 
alarming to parents with unruly offspring. 

After drawing some of the innumerable 
cousins of the house of Kasnetzi — each of them 
a picture (though from their sense of mourning 
I could not get sketches of any of the females) 
— I went out, and drew Vuno from the north, 

* Nothing at all ; but somebody must be killed under 
these circumstances, so we killed the father ; it is all one. 

•270 JOl K\ OiS OF 

until sunset, surrounded by groups of Khi- 
mariotes, a naturally well-behaved set of people, 
whose conversation is intelligent and various, 
and whose interest in my drawing reminds me 
of Abruzzi and Calabria 

At supper, when a dish of beef fried in batter 
was placed on the table, Marina, the wife, waited 
with water and towel; we were a select party of 
her husband and his brother and three cousins 
— so that she was able to overcome her ' ver- 
gogna' sufficiently to remain in the room. It is 
not surprising that Anastasio locked her up 
while the Turks were in the house — for a more 
lovely creature it is impossible to imagine : — her 
face w r as perfectly Greek in outline and form, and 
her eyes of the softest dark blue imaginable — 
her figure was thoroughly graceful, and her ex- 
pression so simple and pure as to resemble that 
of a saint drawn by one of the early masters ; 
at present being in mourning, her dress was dark 
gray, unornamented in any manner, but on a 
festal day I could have liked to see her in full 
Greek splendour of costume. 

Tchibouques and conversation made the hour 
of resl a late one. Even now, after the lapse of 
so many years, a foreigner perceives that the 
awful name of All Pasha is hardly pronounced 


without a feeling akin to terror. I am most 
curious to see the places where his great genius 
and power were so conspicuous. 

October 25. 

Long before day, two women at once had 
begun their mournful wail for the dead in the 
house immediately adjoining this. The sun is 
not yet up, and Korfu, like an island of opal 
seems to float on the pale gray sea at the cloud- 
less pink horizon. At half-past seven, I set out 
for Khimara : — the toAvn so called is considered 
as the capital of this district, to which it gives its 
name — although Vuno is now by far the most 
flourishing of all the villages. Anastasio, and a 
' Germano,'* with a ' mosca' — Avhich, Albaniti- 
cally speaking, means a mule — are my suite; 
but I prefer walking to jolting on those wooden 
quadrupeds, over such break-neck places as our 
track passes. 

For more than an hour after we left Vuno, we 
followed paths crossing sandy chasms ; we then 
approached a most savage pass in the mountains 

* Cousin. 

272 ' RNALS "i 

which here advance close to t hi- sea. \bu\c, 
in clouds and air, hangs one of the Khimariotc 
villages, Pilieri, and on all sides are inaccessible 
precipices — inaccessible at least to any but Khi- 
inariote women, who, in their daily avocation of 
gathering sticks and brushwood for firing, climb 
to the most fabulous spots. I watched some 
who were throwing down great bundles to their 
companions in the ravine below from sheer rocks 
of stupendous height; and ever as we walked 
on, numbers of these Vuniote females emerged 
from chasm and cliff, appearing like animated 
trees, or great balls of black-wood — all crouch- 
ing beneath portentous burdens of boughs or 
green brushwood, and each answering to Mar^a- 
ritas or Marinas as my guides called to them 
from incredible distances. The acuteness of 
sight and hearing in Albanian mountaineers is 
beyond description prodigious, and their faculty 
of conversing at great distances almost super- 
natural ; the ordinary obstacles which under 
such circumstances mortals find to communica- 
tion, seem in their case entirely removed. 

The whole of this pass was of a tho- 
roughly wild character, and the path-- through 
it worse than any which 1 had seen in Khimara, 
and consist of mere shelves or ledges of crumbling 


earth half-way down perpendicular rocks, or 
fallen masses of stone. The broad water- course, 
or ravine, in which the pass terminated, widened 
out gradually between lower hills, and shortly 
opened in a view of the formidable Khimara 
itself — perched on a high isolated rock, the 
torrent running below it to the sea, with Korfu 
forming the background of the picture. Khi- 
mara is now a ruined place, since its capture by 
the overwhelming Ali Pasha, but it still retains 
its qualities of convenient asylum for doubtful 
or fugitive characters : for what force can pene- 
trate the fastnesses by which the rock is sur- 
rounded, without time being given to the 
pursued to escape beyond the possibility of cap- 
ture ? 

At the foot of this celebrated Acroceraunian 
stronghold I sat down to sketch, before scaling 
the height. Several Khimariotes descended to 
speak with Anastasio, among others the priest 
of the town, in a tattered blue robe, flowing 
black beard and red fez. There came also two 
old women, with the hope of selling some fowls, 
which they incautiously left on a ledge of rock 
a short way above us, while they discussed the 
terms of the purchase with Anastasio ; but 
behold ! two superb eagles suddenly floated 


27 1 JOURNALS 01 

over the abyss — and — pounce — carried off each 
his hen; the unlucky gallinaceae screaming 
vainly as they were transported by unwel- 
come win^s to the inaccessible crairs on the 
far side of the ravine, where young eagles 
and destiny awaited them. Hereupon the 
two old ladies set up a screeching wail, almost 
as loud as that in use for the departed relations, 
and were only to be quieted by being presented 
with the price of the hens, (about twopence each) 
which had been carried off so unsatisfactorily to 
all parties, excepting the inmates of the eagle's 
nest. The sketch done, I began to ascend the 
rock, which is only easily accessible on the 
eastern or mountain side, and numbers of the 
inhabitants came down to salute and examine so 
novel a creature as a Frank, for by the accounts 
of the people — how true I know not — I am the 
second Englishman who has been here. From 
Avlona hither, I do not find that any English 
traveller has yet penetrated ; no great wonder, 
considering the nature of the country. 

The houses of Khimara are all of dark stone, 
and bear signs of having seen better days ; on 
every side are heaps of ruin, and a great extent 
of rubbish, with walls of different dates, pro- 
claims this remarkable Acropolis to have been 


once a considerable place.* The people of 
Khimara are all of Greek origin, and speak 
Romaic, though those of the towns I have 
passed on my way, although Christian, are all 
Albanian with the exception of a few families 
such as the Kasnetzi. The Khimariotes of this 
place declare that the town contains vestiges 
of sixty- two churches. There are some re- 
mains of fifteen or sixteen on the lower part of 
the rock, but all in a state of total ruin, and the 
appearance of the Ecdnomo of Khimara is in 
complete accordance with that of his native eccle- 
siastical edifices. 

As I walked slowly up the zigzag path 
to the entrance of the town, I had leisure 
to examine my numerous new acquaintance, 
whom I thought by far the most wild and 
most typical of Albanian character that I had yet 
seen ; the men wear their hair extremely long, 
and walk with the complete strut of Albanian 
dignity — the loftiest and most sovereign expres- 
sion of pride and independence in every gesture. 
As for the females, I saw none, except a few of 
the heavy stick-laden, who were toiling up the 

* Khimara. anciently Cliinneva. Leake. 

T 2 


hill, clad in dark blue dresses with red aprons 
(worn behind), and red-worked hose. Guided 
h\ Anastasio, who seemed here, as elsewhere, a 
general acquaintance, and was greeted with ex- 
cessive hilarity, we proceeded to a house, where, 
in a dark room of great size, a mat and cushions 
were spread for me, and there was no lack of 
company. A very aged man, more than a 
centurj old, occupied a bed in one corner; a 
screaming baby in a cradle on the opposite side, 
illustrated another extreme point of the seven 
ages of the family ; two or three women, re- 
tiring into the obscurest shade, seemed to be 
knitting, while circles of lon^-haired Khima- 
riotes thronged the floor. 

Many of these, both outside and in the house, 
extended their hands for mine to shake, I sup- 
posed from being aware of Frank modes of 
salutation ; but among them, three or four gave 
me so peculiar a twist or crack of my fingers, 
that 1 was struck by its singularity; though it 
was not until my hand had been held firmly 
for a repetition of this manoeuvre, accompanied 
by a look of interrogation from the holder, that 
the thought flashed on my mind, that what I 
observed was a concerted signal. I shortly 
became fully aware that 1 was among people. 


who, from some cause or other, had fled from 
justice in other lands. 

Of these was one who, with his face entirely 
muffled excepting one eye, kept aloof in the 
darker part of the chamber, until having 
thoroughly scrutinized me, he came forward, 
and dropping his capote, discovered to my 
horror and amazement, features which, though 
disguised by an enormous growth of hair, I 
could not fail to recognize. "The world is 
my city now," said he ; "I am become a savage 
like those with whom I dwell. What is life to 
me ?" And covering his face again, he wept 
with a heart-breaking bitterness only life-exiles 
can know. 

Alas ! henceforth this wild Alsatia of the 
mountains — this strange and fearful Khimara — 
wore to my thoughts a tenfold garb of melan- 
choly, when I considered it as the refuge, 
during the remainder of a weary life, of men 
whose early years had been passed in far other 
abodes and society. 

This specimen of " life in Khimara ' had 
taken away my appetite ; and when the dinner, 
long preparing, was set before us, in the shape 
of a substitute for the eagle-devoured hen, I 
could not eat what would otherwise have been 


a welcome refreshment. Accordingly I origi- 
nated a move to visit the western or seaward 
side of the town, glad to shake off mournful feel- 
ings iu the gay sunlight; nor was it to be for- 
gotten that the same daylight was wearing away, 
and it was yet far to Vund. 

Papa Nest ore led the Way, up narrow, dirty. 
shattered streets, to what he called the fortezza, 
three or four tiers of regular Hellenic architec- 
ture, mixed at intervals with superadded struc- 
tures of modern times ; the lower part of these 
ancient fortifications is extremely massive and 
strong. We then went down, on the west side, 
to a platform overlooking all the territory 
belonging to the town, from the foot of the rock 
to the sea, including apparently a good tract of 
cultivated land. Hence the view of Khimara, 
backed by the mountains, forms a most magni- 
ficent scene, and I sate down to " scroo" it, with 
some thirty or fortv wild Khimariotes crowded 
around me ; after which, resisting the importunity 
of our morning's host to return to his house, I set 
out on my retreat to Vuno, followed by adieux 
in several languages, shouted to me from this 
home of the homeless. I would fain visit the 
farther villages in the line of the Khimara coast ; 
but if I am able to do so, the journey must be 


made from Delvino. We hurried on to the en- 
trance of the gorge leading inwards to the hills, 
and soon were shut out by the pitiless rocks 
from all sight of Khimara. 

Far up the ravine there is a detached rock, 
covered with Greek inscriptions ; I mean modern 
names, inscribed in Romaic. " Tutti scrivono," 
said Anastasio, " scrivete anche voi !"* so as I 
defaced nothing by the act, I added my name to 
the visitors' book of the Pass of Khimara, the 
only Englishman's there, and it will be long 
before there are many more. Much time must 
elapse ere Khimara becomes a fashionable water- 
ing-place, and before puffing advertisements of 
"salubrious situation, unbroken retirement, select 
society, and easy access from Italy," meet the 
eye in the daily papers of England. 

In the stony river-bed, we fell in with three 
armed Albanians, of Delvino, and they instantly 
commenced a sham fight with Anastasio, as did 
the Kawas of Berat, by seizing throats, firing 
pistols, laughing and screeching uproariously. 
I left them at this pastime, and wound up the 
path of the ravine, whence, looking down, I per- 

* Everybody writes, — write your name also. 


ceived the men of war examining my three- 
Legged sketching-stool, carried by Anastdsio, 

with every kind of experimental sitting. The 

sun was low by the time all the precipices and 
chasms were past; and as we entered Vuno, it 
seemed, by comparison with Khimara, a city of 
palaces. Coffee and pipes, administered by the 
charming Marina, were well earned after a hard 
day's walk; and after little Alessandra Kasnetzi 
had sung her usual melodies, supper and con- 
versation ensued — Costantino, the brother, eating 
nothing, because it was a fast day, which Anas- 
tasio heeded not, saying he was on a journey. 
All the family looked over my drawings, until 
bed-time, and were delighted with the people 

The pooi' woman next door is still wailing, 
filling the air with her monotonous cry. 

October 26\ 

Daybreak and wailing ; wailing at night, 
wailing at morn. Shrieks and Khimara will 
ever be united in mv memory. 

Some clouds are gathering over the sea, but 
the hills are as clear as they have been for two 


days of cloudless sunshine. I would we could 


pass that formidable Tchika to-day, but we must 
halt for the night at Palasa. About eight I left 
Vund, on my return to Avlona. All the Kas- 
netzi family assembled to take leave of me, and 
I shook hands with the mother and Marina, a 
proceeding greatly diverting to the whole house- 
hold. A more agreeable and respectable set of 
people, as far as I have seen during my short 
stay among them, it is long since I met with. 
So, Anastasio fired off his pistol at the last 
point of the rock where the town was visible, 
and I went on my way to dine and draw at Dhry- 
madhes, which I reached at half-past ten. After 
making a polite call on the Zia, the sister of 
Dhimitri Kasnetzi, of Vuno, and wife of the gen- 
tlemanly one-eyed Palikar, I drew constantly 
till noon, the magnificence of this place being 
inexhaustible. Several of the villagers squatted 
round me ; and while Anastasio was gone away 
for a time, some of them asked me " If I had 
an order from the Sultan to write down this 
town ?" so constantly, and not very unnaturally, 
is the idea of political espionage ever associated 
with the act of topographical drawing. 

The Dhrymadhiotes also inform me that snow 
is sent in great quantities hence to Korfii, and 
that it is gathered from the summit of Tchika, 

282 Jni'RNALS o|. 

turn glittering above me, by women of the vil- 
lage. There are but few good houses in Dhry- 
niadhes, and it seems far below Vuno in the 
scale of general comfort and civilization. 

At one, dinner was served at the aunt's, in 
the same manner as throughout all these vil- 
lages — plain boiled fowl, bread and cheese, 
being the principal articles of food. The Zio 
relates, that up to All Pasha's time the Kasnetzi 
family were not only the first in Vuno, but in 
all Khimara ; but the Vizir took all their plate 
and goods and thoroughly ruined them, with all 
the other proprietors of the district — a state- 
ment quite consistent with his known levelling 
policy and the extent of his genius for grinding 
and oppression. The golden age of Khimara's 
liberty seems to have been in the days of the 
Pashas of Avlona, before All had swallowed up 
all Albania ; but since his reign this restless 
race are withered and broken. " We serve the 
Sultan," say they ; but if asked whether they 
are Albanians, Christians, or Turks, they say — 
" Neither ; we are Khimariotes." 

We had left the clean and comfortable dwell- 
in g of the aunt and uncle, and were threading a 
little lane, before we had turned the end of the 
deep ravine which divides Dhrvmadhes into two 


portions, when a frightful shrieking burst forth 
from the upper room of a house immediately over 
us. Anastasio became fixed as a statue as another 
house took up the cry, and then another, and so 
on till the echoing chasm of Dhrymadhes, with 
its scattered dwellings above and below, resolved 
itself into one dismal howl. 

u It is my uncle's brother," said Anastasio, 
the man of many relatives ; "I heard he was ill, 
but did not know he was in such danger. That 
is his house, and he has died there just this very 
minute. That was his daughter who first 
began the death-shriek, and as all Dhrymadhes 
are more or less nearly related to his family, you 
see, Signore, the wailing is general. Ringraziamo 
Dio," he went on to say — " let us thank Heaven 
that we have dined ! for if this old gentleman 
had died ever so little earlier — una mezz'ora 
piu presto — we could not have had anything to 
eat, for the Khimariotes dress no food on the 
day a near relative dies. Dunque, Signore mio, 
ringraziamo Dio che abbiamo gia pranzato !" 
After this novel reflection on the death of his 
aunt's brother-in-law, we passed over to the 
further side of the ravine, and I had time for a 
large sketch of this surprisingly grand place. 
" Sentite ! O sentite, Signore !" said Anastasio, 


"quella e la mia Zia che piange! — my aunt 
has now heard of her brother-in-law's death, 
and that loud cry is hers ! Piange davvero, 
come piange bene !"* as if this fearful shrieking, 
so characteristic of Khimara, were the most 
(banning of accomplishments, any excellence in 
the performance of which was greatly appreci- 

There was a group sitting near me all the 
time I was drawing — formed of an aged man, 
weeping plenteously, who appeared with much 
energy to oppose a host of reasoners and ad- 
visers of all ages, and among them a pretty girl, 
who might be his grand-daughter, — that were 
sympathising with and trying to console him 
by caresses. Unluckily they talked Albanian, 
so the tragedy was a riddle to me, until 
Anastasio explained to me that the old man's 
son had just been seized, by mistake, at Berat, 
for a robbery; and although the real cul- 
prit had been subsequently captured, yet by 
some error of the judicial authorities the inno- 
cent victim was not yet liberated. The old 

* Listen, Sir ! that is my aunt who is crying ; she cries pro- 
perly ! How well she cries ! 


man's friends were advising him to bribe some 
of the grandees of Berat, but he, setting forth 
his poverty, became at last so angry with his 
Job's comforters, that he stamped and raved in 
fury, and finally strode away with an air like 
that of a distraught seer. 

We reached Palasa just as the sun was set- 
ting, and went to one of the few, detached 
houses of the place — a long, low boarded loft of 
one story in height belonging to one Dhimitri, 
who had once been a policeman in Korfii. I 
was soon established for the night on the usual 
mat by the fireside. Our party was increased 
from Vund by the addition of one of Anastasio's 
interminable nephews on his way to see life 
at Avlona ; and after supper, the priest of the 
village, in blue gown and black beard,* came in, 
when we sate talking and smoking until late. 
But the night was so lovely that I was glad to 
sit on the outside of the hut, and exchange its 
atmosphere of tobacco for cool freshness, while 
I gazed on the clear sky spangled with myriad 
stars, and on the solemn mountains calm in 

* The priests alone wear beards among the Christians and 


October 27. 

A more bright and cloudless morning could 
not be desired ; so at least this time the Pass of 
Tchika may be visible throughout. We were 
off soon after sunrise, and had not gone far from 
Palasa when, behold once more the beautiful 
Fortina carrying my knapsack and the capote 
of Anastasio, who had been suddenly seized by 
a great compassion for the mules, and thought 
fit to diminish their lu°:°ra«:e : and since so it 
was to be, there was Fortina (by the merest 
chance in the world), perfectly unoccupied, and 
too glad to have the means of gaining a few 
piastres by this division of labour. So the fair 
Khimariote, with the small nephew and the 
mosca, went round by the horse-track to the 
Strada Bianca, while I, after making a drawing of 
the great ravine, and ascending by the steps or 
scortatura, rejoined them during the ascent. 

Slight mists began to gather as we toiled up 
the Strada Bianca. Anastasio and Fortina, 
during a halt we made on the sides of this Great 
mountain, held rather a prolonged discourse 
with two women, so they said, very high up in 
the gorge on the Palasa side ; they might have 


been talking to any one in the air for aught I 
could see or hear, yet, at so immense a distance 
can these people communicate with each other, 
that it was no wonder I could not discern the 
other half of the conversationists, since evenAnas- 
tasio said, "Appenasipud sentirle."* At the 
summit of the Strada Bianca the mists cleared 
away and the Pass of Tchikaf commenced in all 
its unhidden majesty. The huge sides of the 
mountain are wrapped in pine forests, and the 
bare snowy peaks above stood forth in the utmost 
magnificence. The groups of trees are most 
beautiful, and resemble feathery cedars ; indeed 
the whole Pass throughout is a noble scene of 
mountain beauty. 

About eleven we had reached the little foun- 
tain in that world of dark pines ; and the beauty 
of the place was increased at this moment, by the 
arrival of fifty or sixty Khimariotes, on the way 
to find work during the winter about Avlona and 
the Berat district. All rested to drink at the 
pure stream, and sate in parties at the foot of the 
clustering pines, or on the top of the rocks, in 

* They can hardly be heard. 

t I am uncertain as to the true name of this mountain ; pos- 
sibly Gika would be nearer the truth. 


varied groups which 1 could not resist trying to 
sketch, though there was little chance of fixing 
any, for they soon rose and in their sweeping 
style of progress rushed through the forest. 

We also soon followed down the steep-clothed 
sides of the Tchika towards the gloomy Duka- 
dhes, and after one of the most beautiful walks 
I have ever enjoyed, arrived there an hour before 
daylight, not without a regular fight with the 
troops of dogs which hastened to attack us. 

The family at whose house 1 had spent so 
festive an evening on the 22nd, were away at a 
farm, or vigna, on the hills, and it was some 
time ere it was certain where I was to pass the 
night ; but by the time I had * scroo'd' a few 
figures, the key of the lower part of the house we 
last lodged in was found, and we took possession 
of that vast barn with its earthen floor ; and by 
the time the fire was lighted in its centre, the 
daughter of my late host, with his wives (numbers 
two and three) had arrived, and preparations for 
supper began. After the evening meal, enter- 
tainment appeared in the shape of the Idol- 
Gipsy and his guitar (his follower, from having 
committed himself by drinking too much at the 
last soiree, having been forbidden polite society), 
and the singing and swinging to and fro were as 


energetic as on my first visit. About midnight 
we dismissed the performers, and became a more 
select circle, though for my own part I was 
writhing under the attack of myriads of ants, 
(not at the time supposed to be such innocent 
creatures). They infest every part of the mud 
floor ; indeed, from being a constantly inhabited 
part of the dwelling, entomology would have 
been a thriving study. Sleep was impossible, 
and I watched the strange scene by the dying 
embers. The daughter of the house (who had a 
new pair of gray trousers on), chose to sit up all 
night, and was particularly animated and loqua- 
cious, devoting herself to my instruction in 
Greek and Albanian phraseology. " Ah ! quella 
porca turca !" said Anastasio irreverently, " non 
vuol lasciarci dormire ?"* On the other side of 
me sate the sad Fortina. 

October 28. 

Long before daylight the wail for the man 
murdered on the day of my last visit com- 
menced ; while crowing cocks and howling dogs 

* that Turkish pig ! will she not let us sleep ? 

._><H) JOUEN \LS 0] 

added their mites also to the morning melodies 
of Duk&dhes. The " upper chamber" where I 
abode on the night of the 22nd, was the perfec- 
tion of repose compared with this usual home 
of the family, which seemed to abound in every 
parasitical enemy to humanity. 

Before sunrise, as they were baking their large 
flat cakes of bread by the fire, Fortina eame in 
;u id stood for awhile, with the red light shining 
on her most beautiful features, saddened with 
the keenest expression of sorrow. She took 
leave of Anastasio in a very few words, and 
turning to me, wished me, with a half- broken 
voice, "many happy years of life," and then wrap- 
ping her handkerchief closely over her head, 
went out rapidly, and by the time the sun rose 
must have been already far on her journey to- 
wards Palasa. 

Long also ere the sun had risen above the 
frowning cold walls of the gloomy mountains 
circling Dukadhes, we also had recommenced our 
journey. I had hired two diminutive mules, 
with a pietone to take us back to Avlona, all the 
good beasts being away at vintage or harvest in 
the Campagna. 

Avoiding the gorge of Draghiiidhes, we de- 
scended the bed of the Dukadhes river, which, 


after passing through the deep basin where the 
town stands, emerges from its narrow boundaries 
and flows through a widening vale to the gulf. 
The journey by its banks, between high-wooded 
hills, possesses nothing of remarkable interest, 
though the cool, broad shadows of morning, and 
the groups of Dukadhes' peasants returning to 
the town, added variety to the scene ; the women 
were all clad in immensely clumsy capotes and 
large breeches, and were driving mules laden 
with Indian corn. 

Below Draghiadhes the stony white river 
channel was our tedious route, and heartily glad 
was I to regain the little stream where, on the 
evening of the 22nd, I had stopped to draw, and 
further on to arrive at the bright gulf, into 
whose waters I eagerly rushed, recovering in 
their coolness from the tortures of last night's 

To this succeeded the ugly crag-paths, and len- 
tisk and myrtle- covered precipices below Radi- 
ma, and at noon we had regained the quiet little 
cove of Cria nera, where we halted to lunch. At 
two we began to ascend towards Kanina ; turning 
the corner of the path, I came suddenly upon a 
most magnificent eagle, sitting majestically not 
four feet from me, on a rock, whence he soared 

U 2 

292 JOURNALS 01 

;iw;i\ deliberately to higher points. Therewas 
time to make two drawings of Kaninaere the sun 
was sinking low, and we left it by the descent to 
A\l<ma. One view of it has a striking back- 
ground : the great sea-level of the Avlona plain, 
with a curious peninsula, shaped like a forceps ; 
the pincers holding, as it were, the island of Aghia 
Marina, in an enclosed space of water, all but a 
perfect lake. Anastasio's nephew, a boy who 
had never before been out of Khimara, was hor- 
ribly alarmed at the sightof the Kanina women, 
who are all masked ' a la turque.' " O ! Aghio 
Janni! O! Aghio Dhimitri !" said he, and 
crossed himself at each goblin face Ave met. 

One hour after sunset saw T me again in Avlona 
at the Casa J., having made one of the pleasant- 
est of excursions, and rejoicing in my good for- 
tune as to weather, and in the number of new 
ideas and sketches I had obtained. 

October 29. 

Alas ! for the integrity of Khimara ! A new 
coarse waistcoat and trousers which I had 
taken in my knapsack have disappeared; 
whether by the hands of the Dukadhes' mule- 
teer while I was bathing, or by those of the 


fair, forsaken Fortina, with or without the 
connivance of Anastasio, can never be learned. 
I had rather impute the theft to the former 
of the two ; but the clothes were gone, and 
there was no remedy. I said nothing about 
the loss, for one hates to make odious memories 
of squabbles. On the whole, the trip through 
Acroceraunia has greatly rewarded me, and I 
have been particularly satisfied and pleased 
with the constant good-humour and attention 
of the Khimariote Anastasio. As for Giorgio 
Kozzachi, my hosts were full of complaints 
against that luckless Dragoman, who they 
declared was " immer besoffen" — always in- 
toxicated from morning to night ; though with 
me he had hitherto shewn no signs of intem- 
perance. On the other side, Giorgio thanked 
his fate that he was not to remain at Avlona, 
where he vowed the usasre of the domestics 
was worse than that of any slaves he had known 
in his wide travels. 

At sunrise I went down into the plain with the 
Black Margiann, and drew Avlona from the level 
ground near the sea, returning to dinner before 
noon. At this meal, the overbearing and violent 

political thunderings of 1 1 err S against 

all monarchs, tyrants, kings, autocrats, &c, 

294 J0[ KNAL8 01 

(they had received new gazettes from Austria). 
was so profoundly disagreeable, that I was 
rejoiced to know that two horses had arrived. 
with which, the Black being my guide, 1 was 

to visit the monastery of Aghia Marina di 
Svernez, in a little island about two miles from 

We had soon passed the border of olives 
that surround the town, and were trotting over 
the wide plain, almost impassable with mud when 
I had arrived, but now hard and dry ; and 
beyond this, always making for a little woody 
peninsula which projects into the sea, we came 
to the salt works. Here they take a sort of 
mullet, from which is prepared the roe called 
" bottarga," for which Avlona is famous. As 
we skirted these salt lagunes, I observed an 
infinite number of what appeared to be large 
white stones, arranged in rows with great 
regularity, though yet with something odd in 
their form not easily to be described. The more 
I looked at them, the more I felt they were not 
what they seemed to be, so I appealed to 
Blackey, who instantly plunged into a variety 
of explanations, verbal and active ; the chief 
of which consisted in flapping his arms and 
hands, puffing and blowing with most uncouth 


noises, and putting his head under one arm, 
with his eyes shut ; as for his language, it was 
so mixed a jargon of Turkish, Italian, Greek and 
Nubian, that little more could be extracted from 
it, than that the objects in question ate fish and 
flew away afterwards ; so I resolved to examine 
these mysterious white stones forthwith, and 
off we went, when — lo ! on my near approach, 
one and all put forth legs, long necks, and 
great wings, and " stood confessed ' so many 
great pelicans, which, with croakings expressive 
of great disgust at all such ill-timed interrup- 
tions, rose up into the air in a body of five or 
six hundred, and soared slowly away to the 
cliffs north of the o-ulf. 

These birds frequent the coast around Avlona 
in great numbers, breeding in the rocky inlets 
beyond the bay, and living on fish and refuse 
in the salt lagunes. Pleased with these orni- 
thological novelties, hitherto only seen in zoolo- 
gical gardens, or at Knowsley, I followed the 
faithful Margiann (who nearly fell off his horse 
with laughter at my surprise at the transmu- 
tation of the white stones), through levels of 
deep sand, by tracts of sedge and rushes, and 
groups of salt-kilns, till we reached the foot of 
the low hills beyond the isthmus which I had 

296 J0URNAL8 01 

drawn yesterday from the hill of Kanina. Here 
a pleasant fountain, glades of green, and tufts 
of thick olives, contrasted delightfully with the 

sand 1 had passed. At the top of the hill is a 
small scattered village, and beyond it, the track 
descends through a perfect little park slope to 
the shore of the lake, in the centre of which 
stands the monastery, half hidden in its island 
by cypress and plane foliage. A charming ob- 
ject is that solitary building in its quiet isle ; 
beyond, Sazona and the great summits of 
Tchika, add to the beauty of the scene ; but 
the sun was setting, and I was desirous of 
making a drawing of Avlona from the salt 
works, with a foreground of pelicans, where- 
fore, as Asrhia Marina contained in itself nothing 
remarkable, and as a long time would have been 
occupied in ferrying thereto and back again, 
I turned my horse, and on my way over the 
sandy plain, obtained three sketches of that 
singular scene; the last when the sun was 
throwing its latest red ray over the beautiful 
form of lofty Kiidhesi and the glens of Avlona. 
Then we gallopped across to marshy sand waste, 
pursued now and then by ravenous howling 
dogs, and by half-an-hour after dark were at 
the gate. 


The party there was increased by a Vuniote, 
who had been one of Lord Byron's guards at 
Missolonghi. He told me some anecdotes of 
the poet, but on such slight authority, I write 
them not down. As for my hosts, the news of 
the Emperor's flight from Vienna had made 
them more full of political excitement than 
ever ; between their pipes they thumped their 
table destructively, predicting with sinister glee 
all sorts of bloodshed and downfall of tyrants. 
In vain did I attempt to change the current of 
discourse ; but when they proceeded to some long 
and violent tirades against " England and the 
English," I broke through my role of passive 
listener, and having much the advantage of my 
hosts in fluency of Italian, took the liberty of 
telling them what I thought of their ill- 
breeding in thus victimizing a guest who might 
by possibility not quite agree with all their 
opinions — requesting earnestly that we might 
henceforth talk about pelicans, or red mullet, 
or whatever they pleased, so that we eschewed 

To-morrow I intend to start for Tepeleni, 
and hope to sleep at Kudhesi; but as yet it 
seems no horses have been procured, so, early 
starting appears out of the question. 

•_)<),S J01 RJfALS OP 

October 30. 

To Kudhesi — to Tepeleni, and Ioannina! — 

But the horses ? — Seven, eight, nine, ten o'clock 
came, and none arrive. At eleven, after fre- 
quent messages from Giorgio, they are driven 
into the yard, and saddles and luggage are 
about to be fastened on, when a dire dispute 
arises, the owners insisting on being paid the 
whole of their bargain (i. e. as far as Arghyro- 
Kastro, three days' journey) before starting, 
and Giorgio very properly refusing to do what 
would probably prevent our moving at all. He 
offered half the money ; but all or none was the 
word ; and anxious as I was to start, I could 
not interfere with the experienced Dragoman, 
who said that if they received all their payment, 
there would be no hold on their fears, and they 
would, in all probability, desert us at Kudhesi 
to-night. He never had paid all beforehand, in 
fifteen years' dm go manship; and so help him 
Saint Dhimitri ! he never would. The Casa 

J interfered on the side of the men of 

Avlona, and said they always paid the whole 
sum for horses before leaving home ; but tin-, 
as Giorgio replied, was no precedent for ns, 


who were not known in the land, and who would 
cut but a miserable figure if left in the lurch 
to-night or to-morrow. So, as neither party 
would yield, off went the owner of the horses 
with his steeds, and Giorgio repaired to the 
police, leaving me aghast and disconsolate, and 
moreover exposed to the triumphant consola- 
tions of my hosts, who assured me I should now 
probably remain there for an indefinite period 
— " it might be for years, and it might be for 

In half-an-hour Giorgio returned in fierce 
anger. The police had procured two weasels, 
quoth he ; horses ? — mice, starved mice ; so as 
a last resource, and in spite of Herr J/s crow- 
ings, he rummaged out the Sultan's Bouyourldi 
(never yet used in my behalf), and declaring 
that we would and should go to Kudhesi this 
night, rushed forth in a frenzy, my hosts still 
professing to doubt the probability of my ulti- 
mate departure. But the inflexible Drago- 
man knew his business, and presently returned, 
saying that he had been to the Bey of Avlona, 
and had terrified him horribly with the sight of 
the Bouyourldi, by virtue of which he had 
demanded instant attention, and had left him, 
vowing that if horses — and good ones — were 

300 JOURNALS 0] 

not forthwith supplied, a message should be 
sent off to the Pasha Kaimakan of Herat, the 
results of which step he would not like to 

Immediately, all Avldna was in a hubbub; 
and shortly after, horses and mules of all kinds 
came rushing into the courtyard of the Casa 

J in the most ludicrous numbers, driven by 

frantic emissaries of the alarmed Bey, who had 
seized and imprisoned various dodging natives 
who had sworn to haying no quadrupeds. Of 
this confused assemblage of beasts we chose 
three, and by twelve were off, with a Zafti, or 
armed footguard. 

As I left the courtvard the black Marsriann 
took my hand and kissed it after slave-fashion, 
and surprised me by suddenly sobbing; and 
crying as if his heart would break. Poor 
fellow ! he had told Giorgio that he would go 
away with me if he could, and w r as greatly vexed 
by being informed that I could take no more ser- 
vants, even though he offered to i^o all over the 
world for no wages. What a suite one might 
be travelling with, if all the offers of service so 
lavishly made had been accepted ! 

From the olive-hills above Avldna I went on 
my way to the birthplace of the wondrous All 


Pasha. The day's journey was not at first very 
interesting, though bright sun and fresh air made 
it pleasant : there was a long, winding, narrow 
vale, and a stream to cross, then an interminable 
hill, from the top of which one looked over the 
broad Vidsa hurrying to the sea, between cul- 
tivated hills on whose sides frequent villages 
glittered — Gradista, Karbonara, &c. (scenery 
not unlike that of Abruzzo Citeriore), while 
towering over all rose the great Tomohr. 
By four, we had crossed a level tract at the 
summit of this hill, and descending thence 
towards the north-east, the view was strik- 
ingly magnificent. The Vidsa pours through 
a narrow gorge in the rocks at the foot of 
Mount Kudhesi, and above this dark outlet 
rise the detached and finely-formed mountains 
of Trebushin and Khdrmovo. Immediately 
below the spectator is the great extent of stony 
river course, along which the Vidsa, no longer 
confined in its straitened limits — its dark waters 
sparkling like so many winding threads on a 
dazzling white ground — rushes in broad free- 
dom, and many-channelled, to the sea. 

Numerous scattered hamlets cluster round 
the sides of Kudhesi, and are all called by the 
mountain's name. To one of these, on the 

M)2 JOURH \l.s OB 

banks of the Vidsa, we descended, after T had 
made a drawing, as there was a little khan 
there where a night's lodging might be hoped 
for; and reaching it before sunset, found, by 
great luck, two little rooms unoccupied, and 
clean. Supper, and journal written by the 
light of a tiny Albanian lamp hung to a nail, 
complete my day. 

In the stable below, the Zafti and his two 
friends sung half " the live-long night." 

October 31. 

It is yet half-an-hour before sunrise. Break- 
fast is over, and all things are packed for start- 
ing. The pure, cloudless sky is of the palest 
amber hue over the eastern mountains, whose 
outlines are dimmed by a few T filmy vapours ; 
and all is still except the formidable Viosa 
murmuring in its white stony channel. It 
was too chilly to ride, even had the mule- 
tracks — rudely-marked ledges or broken paths 
by the side of precipices — tempted me to do so. 
The route ascends the Viosa to the dark gorge 
— which is so narrow as to allow only of the 
passage of the river — and when that is swollen, 
it must close this communication altogether ; 


but though grand and gloomy, I did not 
think the scenery so fine as others of the 
sort I have seen, (for instance, the pass of the 
Sagittaria at Anversa in Abruzzo Ulteriore ; 
although, in one or two spots, where the 
cliffs rise perpendicularly to a great height 
above the stream, or where the path mounts 
by a corkscrew ascent over the rocks, and 
the eye looks down on the abyss below, 
the effect is very imposing. The whole 
morning passed in threading the winding vale 
of the Viosa, through scenes of wild gran- 
deur, but possessing no particular quality of 
novelty or beauty : the mountain of Khormovo, 
ever in view, gave the chief character to the 
walk, delightful as it was from the exquisite 
autumnal weather. 

Nearer Tepeleni we met many peasants, 
all in white caps and kilts, and of a more 
squalid and wretched appearance than any 
I had yet seen ; the whole of this part of 
Albania is indeed most desolate, and its in- 
habitants broken and dejected. Their rebellion 
under Zuliki seems to have been the last convul- 
sive struggle of this scattered and disarmed 
people, and the once proud territory of Ali 
Pasha is now ground down into a melancholy 


insignificance, and well nigh deprived of its 


It was nearly three, p.m., ere the last tedious 
windings of the valley disclosed the great moun- 
tain Trebushin, and its neighbour of Khormovo 
visible now from base to summit — each calmly 
toweling in bright purple below peaks of glit- 
tering snow. Beneath them the junction of the 
two rivers Viusa and Bantja forms the long pro- 
montory of Tepeleni,* whose ruined palace and 
walls and silver-toned mosque srive a strange air 
of dreamy romance to this scene, one of the 
most sublime and simple in Albania, and cer- 
tainly one most fraught with associations ancient 
and modern. 

My curiosity had been raised to its very 
utmost to see this place, for so many years full 
of the records of one of the most remarkable of 
men ; yet it seemed so strange, after all one 
had read of the " no common pomp ' of the 
entertainer of Lord Byron and Sir J. C. Hob- 
house, to find a dreary, blank scene of desola- 
tion, where once, and so recently, was all the 
rude magnificence of Oriental despotism ! 

* Tepcleni, anciently AntigOIieia. Leake. 


Giorgio went on to find a lodging in this fallen 
stronghold of Albania, and I, meanwhile, sat 
down above the Bantja, to sketch the town, which, 
on its rocky peninsula seems a mere point in com- 
parison with the magnificent mountain forms 
around. Afterwards, having forded the river 
with the Zafti and a horse, I walked up, over 
heaps and lines of ruined fortifications, to the 
strong and high walls of Tepeleni, which still 
exist, though there are but very few buildings 
within their enclosure. Outside the walls is a 
short street of miserable bazaars, and beyond — 
near a green burying ground covered with the 
ordinary tombstones, and some of those pretty 
Dervish tombs — stand a khan, some barracks, 
and a Bey's house ; these are all now existing of 
the once celebrated Tepeleni ! There w r as still 
time to make a drawing within the walls, so, 
taking with me the Zafti guard I went inside the 
gates, and through a few streets — than Avhich 
anything more sad and gloomy cannot be. 
Heaps of stones and falling walls arrest your 
attention as you pass along the very narrow 
lanes, and here and there a carved stone window, 
or columns at the doorway of a deserted house, 
and over all an indescribably melancholy air of 
ruin and destruction. 

'M)(\ JOURN \l> OF 

At the end of the space enclosed by the walls, 
and overhanging the river, is a single mosque — 
solitary witness of the grandeur of days past ; — 

and beyond that, all the space, as far as the bat- 
tlement terrace looking north and west is occu- 
pied by the mass of ruin which represents All's 
mined palace. The sun was sinking as I sat 
down to draw in what had been a great 
chamber, below one of the many crumbling 
Avails — perhaps in the very spot where the 
dreaded Ali gave audience to his Frank guests 
in 1809 — when Childe Harold was but twenty- 
four years old, and the Vizir in the zenith of 
his power.* The poet is no more ; — the host 
is beheaded, and his family nearly extinct ; — the 
palace is burned, and levelled with the ground ; 
— war, and change, and time have, perhaps, left 
but one or two living beings who, forty years 
back, were assembled in these gay and sumptuous 
halls. It was impossible not to linger in such 
a site and brood over such images, and of all the 
scenes I have visited the palace of Ali Pasha at 
Tepeleni will continue most vividly imprinted 
on my recollection. 

I luU. Harold. Canto II 56 


But the desert chambers, and the rushing 
wide river below, and the majestic peaks above, 
are grown cold and gray as the last crimson of 
daylight has faded. A solitary Cogia, having 
cried a mournful cry from the minaret opposite, 
sits motionless on the battlements — the only 
living object in this most impressive scene. Of 
all days passed in Albania, this has most keenly 
interested me. 

November 1. 

The khan of Tepeleni is a concatenation of 
minute cells or closets, with uncloseable doors, 
pervious to cats and dogs, while a perverse old 
goat with a bell round his neck, who infests the 
wooden gallery, bumps and jingles up and down 
it all night long ; the wind also howled dis- 
mally as it swept through the hollow passes of 
the lofty mountains ; so there was little sleep — 
but the feeling of the deadly cold loneliness of 
Tepeleni was a preventative against being ha- 
rassed by such common-place evils. 

An hour after sunrise I set off to draw on the 
eastern side of this melancholy town ; but 
though most majestically placed amid towering- 
heights, Tepeleni and the lines of its landscape 

x 2 

308 JOl i:\ UL8 "I 

are not easily adaptable t<» art. Soon came 
Giorgio and the horse-, when the Zafti returned 
to his master the Hey of Avlona, and I com- 
menced walking to Arghyro* Kastro, which they 
reckon as seven hours hence. 

The whole morning was employed in making 
way along the valley of the river Pry no, which 
abounds in fine features, though not very draw- 
able, or possessing any individual characteristics. 
The river runs in a deep bed below the road, 
here both broad and good, and carried on banks 
high above the level of the stream; and the 
whole valley bears a striking resemblance to that 
of the Anio below Roviano, or Cervara, on the 
way from Tivoli to Subiaco. One of the prettiest 
spots in the morning's walk was a fountain below 
a group of large planes. It was constructed by 
Ali Pasha, who was wont to halt under its shades 
in his progresses through this part of Albania, 
which it i> said he used to perform in a carriage. 
Indeed the communication between Tepeleni and 
[oannina merits more the name of Strada Car- 
rozzabile than any I have seen in his dominions. 

At noon we arrived at the khan Subashi, 
standing in the narrowest part of the valley, and 
exhibiting a guard of soldiers placed by the road- 
side to ask for Teskeres, or passports; the Bolu- 


bashi, or head of which guard, was authoritative 
and disagreeable, declaring that the muleteers of 
Avldna had no regular passes, and that he had 
serious thoughts of detaining me accordingly. 
Upon this, Georgio thought fit to make a speech 
about mtos MiKo^og ii/yAj? ? which favourably im- 
pressed his auditory, inasmuch as the Bolubashi 
ceased his expostulations, and condescended to eat 
some bread and cheese in my company forthwith. 
A stone bridge crosses the Dryno opposite the 
khan Subashi, and I thenceforth proceeded, at 
half-past twelve, along the right bank of the 
river, which here runs through the wide valley 
of Deropuli. Its magnificent dimensions now 
opened in all their extent ; the high wall of 
mountains on its western side displaying the city 
of Arghyro Kastro, yet afar off, at its foot. For 
two hours I advanced through the rich flat 
meadows of this broad vale — leaving the hills of 
the fatal Gardhiki* on the right, and speculating 
on the distant peaks towards Pindus and Ioan- 
nina. The lines of Deropuli are, however, pic- 
torially speaking, rather straight and mono- 
tonous, and I was less struck with the beauty of 

* For accounts of the massacre of the Gardhikiotes by All 
Pasha. See Lcakc, Hughes, &c, &c. 

;no JOi i;\ LLS 01 

this aoble valley than I expected to be, though the 
sensation of freedom of breathing, the delight of 
leaving the close river-bed and pent-up moun- 
tain gorge, made my walk through it a charming 


All through the cultivated grounds which I 
have passed since I entered the vale of theDero- 
puli district, the costumes of the Greek female 
peasantry have been very pleasing and various : 
dark bine or red capotes, fringed and tasselled 
most fancifully and prettily. " These," quoth 
Giorgio, kfc are Greeks ! — Greeks, signore ! We 
are not among Albanians now, Signore ! let us 
be thankful we had gone out of the reach of 
those poveri disperati ! Qui siamo in Epiro, 
Signore ! ringraziamo il cielo, we are among 
Epirotes !" (For though the country opposite 
Koi'fu is distinctly known as Albanian, the inno- 
cent traveller who happens to speak of its natives 
to one of themselves as ' Albanians,' finds himself 
in as wrong a position as if he should address 
Mosrs. A. and B. and C., residents at the Cape 
of Good Hope, as so many Hottentots.) 

At about four we arrived opposite Arghyrd 
Kastro, at a bridge over the Dryno, one of those 
parapetless, high-arched constructions which rise 
in the most alarming manner, till a descent quite 
as precipitous brings you to the opposite shore. 


Many of the women were washing clothes in 
the stream, and two or three were pouring forth 
lamentable jocleling wailings for departed rela- 
tives, after the manner of the Khimariots. 

Hence we crossed the plain — for so this wide 
valley must be called — directly to the foot of 
the city. 

The general appearance of Arghyrd Kastro is 
most imposing ; but the glittering triangular 
area of houses, which from afar appears as one 
great pyramid of dwellings against the moun- 
tain side, is broken up, on a nearer approach, 
into three divisions. The whole town is built 
on three distinct ridges, or spurs of rock, spring- 
ing from the hill at a considerable height, and 
widening — separated by deep ravines or chan- 
nels of torrents — as they stretch out into the 
plain. The town stands mainly on the face or 
edge of these narrow spurs, but many buildings 
are scattered most picturesquely down their sides, 
mingled, as is the wont in Albanian towns, 
with fine trees, while the centre and highest ridge 
of rock, isolated from the parent mountain, and 
connected with it only by an aqueduct, is 
crowned by what forms the most striking feature 
of the place, a black ruined castle, that extends 
along its whole summit, and proudly towers, 

312 - 1 " 1 RNAL8 01 

even in decay, over the scattered vassal-houses 

\ i-'\ r<") K astro is in fact three town-: and 
no place could have been more beautifully con- 
trived for the perpetuation of the family feuds 
which long disturbed its harmony ; rival houses 
placed at the opposing edges of the same ravine- 
could brave each other's anger: and while their 
inmates were distant only a space of a few yards 
in appearance, a real hour's descent and climb 
separated two seats of hereditary squabble ; but 
after the inevitable All had seized on the town, 
the separate communities ceased to differ, 
and it was thenceforward reduced to the level 
of his other widely-scattered dependencies. 

We ascended the most northerly of the three 
ridges, and threaded our way between thickly 
placed and most picturesque houses, up the 
dirtiesl and steepest of narrow streets, to the 
upper part of the town, where, at the junction of 
the three ravines, are lines of bazaars, placed on 
a considerable space of level ground. The first 
khan we examined was " a la Gheghe," and did 
no sreal credit to Giorgio's boastings of Epirote 
superiority; but the second was in all ways 
perfection. Speaking of khan-, it- galleries and 
stairs, of bright new deal, announced a cleanli- 


ness hardly to be looked for ; while its ample 
new-boarded corner chamber, with large glazed 
windows, looking out on the castle and grand 
trees below it, presented a luxury beyond the 
reach of hope to have pictured. Violent rain 
began to fall by the time I was settled ; and as 
Arghyrd Kastro is a halting-place for a day or 
two, it is a comfort to think that detention of 
weather can be little annoying in a lodging so 
tolerable within, and so picturesque without. 

November 2. 

A very mistiferous morning, and this high 
part of Arghyro Kastro enjoys all the rolling 
mountain clouds. After the oft-repeated neces- 
sity of arranging pencil-draw r ings so as not to 
be obliterated, a duty known only to wan- 
dering draftsmen, I went with Giorgio to the 
serai of the Khimakan, Governor of the town. 
The houses in this singular place have a most 
independent air; scattered here and there, 
standing on crags and precipices, or on little 
isolated levels or platforms of ground, each 
adorned with whitewash and arabesque paint- 
ing, which gives the whole building (itself pretty 
in form) the most pleasing character of colour 

314 J0URN U,s OF 

and finish. The Governor's serai, as well as 
the visit to it, was of the ordinary class 

of similar places and visits. There was the 
usual narrow wooden stair and guarded gal- 

Lery ; the ante-room, with secretaries and 
Cogias : and the audience-chamber, with the 
great man in the corner. The real Kaimakiin 
was away ; but his deputy w T as a gorgeous 
object, in a fur-trimmed yellow silk vest ; 
and when (pipes and coffee the while) I had 
explained my wish for a guard, to enable me to 
sketch without molestation, and a refulgent Bolu- 
bashi, glittering like a South American beetle, 
in purple and gold, had sent for a Kawas to 
wait on me, the visit drew to a close. It was 
prolonged only by the inquiring investigations 
of a half-witted old Dervish, who was squatted 
on the floor, as to the nature of my three-legged 
camp-stool, a zeal for knowledge which led to the 
display of my useful travelling companion in the 
centre of the chamber, and the trial of it by more 
than thirty guards successively with the most un- 
limited applause. Taking leave of the dignitary 
clad in sulphur-coloured silk, I went off with my 
attendant, and drew hard while daylight lasted. 
But Arghyro Kastro is a place so wonderfully 
crowded with beautiful bits of landscape, that 


knowing how few can be pourtrayed, even with 
the utmost energy, an artist is angry with him- 
self for not being able to decide where to settle at 
once, that no time may be lost. Indeed, to reach 
various parts of the town is no easy task ; for 
though the houses seem close together, the deep 
fissures between the rocks separate them widely 
in reality. From almost any point you may select, 
the views of the fortress and line of broken 
aqueduct, backed by a sublime horizon of plain 
and snowy mountain, are as exquisite as inde- 
scribable. Late in the day I went into the castle, 
at present a shell of dark mouldering walls ; it 
was built by Ali Pasha, to command the town 
after its subjection to him, but was dismantled 
and destroyed upon his fall, though its remains 
are witness to its former strength and import- 
ance. But of all surprising novelties, here or 
anywhere else, commend me to the costume of 
the Arghyrd Kastro women ! The quaintest 
monsters ever pourtrayed or imagined fall short 
of the reality of these most strange creatures in 
gait and apparel ; and it is to be wondered at 
when and by whom the first garb of the kind 
was invented, or how human beings could submit 
to wear it. Suppose first a tight white linen 
mask fixed on the face, with two small slits 

;$l(j JOURNALS 0] 

cut in it for the eyes to look through. Next, 
a voluminous wrapper of white, with broad 
buff stripes, which conceals the whole upper 
part of the person, and is huddled in immense 
folds about the arms, which are carried with the 
elbows raised, the hands being carefully kept 
from sight by the heavy drapery ; add to these, 
short, full, purple calico trousers, and canary- 
coloured top-boots, with rose-coloured tassels ; 
— and what more amazing incident in the 
history of female dress can be fancied? 

November 3. 

A day of pouring rain : a mountain tempest 
continued hour after hour ; thunder-storms 
bursting at intervals, with thick cloud driving 
down the ravine, or effacing the dark earth 
and aqueduct into so many dissolving views. 
Well it is that the khan is so good, and that it 
has such a spacious gallery, tenanted, more- 
over, by several Epirotes in all their plumy 
finery, who not being at all averse from being 
pourtrayed, gave me employment in ' scrooing ' 
all day long. 

But hark ! — wailing again ! The quiet of 
the hill city i^ suddenly broken, and all the 


world of Arghyrd Kastro is startled with the 
ill-omened cries ! 

Heavens ! what howls ! Is all the Epirote 
city going distraught ? The cause of all this is, 
news has just been received that one of the 
principal Arghyro Kastriote merchants has 
died suddenly at Stamboul. The Cogia is 
chaunting from the mosque opposite, a few wild 
notes, most impressively sad as they rise above the 
small tumult of little cries in the lower part 
of the ravine. Each note is held on for an 
incredibly long time, and is distinctly marked 
with a singular power and effect. Then the 
immediate family of the deceased swell the 
chorus, jodeling and shrieking with deafening 
clamour, and wonderful cries, half sob, half 
piercing howls ; house after house takes up the 
doleful tale, and in less than an hour the melody 
of grief pervades the whole place, bursting forth 
from crags above, and resounding from depths 
below — shrill and solemn, bass and treble, — 
one general lamentation and woe. Thank 
goodness, none of my neighbours in the khan 
feel it incumbent on them to add to the wail- 
ing ! for they are all travelling merchants, and 
share not in the three-hilled city's mourning. 

From three to half-past four, p.m., it was clear, 

;*I8 JQl KNA1S "i 

and I sketched 1>\ the river at the foot of the 
town ; hut the cold-Cumberland feeling of these 

mountains after rain, savours too much of fever to 
allow of sitting long to draw. It is a pleasant 
thing in walking: about to meet Christian women, 
whose faces, though coarse by early toil, are 
always more or less pleasing; but the oddity 
of the Mohammedan females is beyond belief, 
as, half-blinded by their masks, and bungling 
with their awkward muffled arms, they fumble 
in their yellow boots among the rocks. When 
they perceive a man coming, they instantly rush 
at the nearest wall, butting at it with the crown 
of their heads at right angles while he passes 
them, staring at him, nevertheless, out of their 
small eye-holes, directly he is a little way from 

A bright sunset gives hopes of a fine day for 
starting towards Ioannina to-morrow. AYon- 
derful luxuries of food are there in this city of 
Epirus ! Turkeys and tongues, walnuts and 
good wine, with other pleasant solidities and 
frivolities quite out of character with Albanian 


November 4. 

The morning is clear, though the upper part 
of the town is all in mist. The tremulous and 
multi- vocal wailing is already in full play. The 
horses are here (we take three out of six, 
which are on the return to Ioannina, having 
brought merchandize hither). The sun has 
not yet risen ; but what with packing and 
arranging the " bill" at the Arghyro Kastro 
hotel, and a squabble with the Kawas, who 
gave way to the most fallacious expectations 
as to what I should give him for his one 
day's work (viz. sitting near me and smoking 
a pipe, for which he asked seven dollars, 
and I would only give him one), it was nearly 
nine before we crossed the head of ravine 
No. 1, and making a tour half round the castle 
or centre ridge, began to descend ravine No. 2 
into the plain. The whole town was hidden 
from sight by dense mists, nor till we were 
fairly down in the great vale of Derdpuli, did 
the mountain tops and blue sky become visible. 
The route lay among fields of corn and gran- 
turco, — cultivation was on all sides ; anon there 
were perplexing little dykes and irrigations. 

;{•_><> JOURNALS 01 

with irritations on finding the track suddenly 
cm off — then broad, grassy routes only inter- 
rupted by dee}) spaces of black mud, from which 

our horses not unfrcqileutly extricated them- 
selves with difficulty ; such was my progress up 
the wide green vale of Derdpuli, while always 
on the left hand the white clustering town of 
libdchovo is in siLcbt (the next place in import- 
ance in the district of Arghyro" Kastro), and 
many other villages hang on the side of either 
range of mountains. But, in spite of having heard 
much of the vale of Derdpuli, I did not feel 
inspired to draw any part of it ; and I often 
thought of the bare valley of Aquila in Abruzzo, 
only that this Epirote vale is more decidedly 
simple in its outline. About noon we reached 
a solitary khan at the foot of the low hills, 
which concludes and shuts in the valley at the 
southern end, and gradually ascending, we 
reached the pretty little village and church of 
Episkopi at its summit. Hence I look back on 
all the great valley of Arghyro Kastro — a 
smiling and cultivated tract of land, but as 
landscape, deficient in many qualities ; chiefly 
from lacking variety of form and detail in its 
hill-sides, which are very bare of interest. 
We halted at the khan of Episkopi, close to 


a little stream full of capital water cresses 
which I began to gather and eat with some 
bread and cheese, an act which provoked the 
Epirote bystanders of the village to extatic 
laughter and curiosity. Every portion I put 
into my mouth, delighted them as a most 
charming exhibition of foreign whim ; and the 
more juvenile spectators instantly commenced 
bringing me all sorts of funny objects, with an 
earnest request that the Frank would amuse 
them by feeding thereupon forthwith. One 
brought a thistle, a second a collection of sticks 
and wood, a third some grass ; a fourth pre- 
sented me with a fat grasshopper — the whole 
scene was acted amid shouts of laughter, in 
which I joined as loudly as any. We parted 
amazingly good friends, and the wits of Epis- 
kopi will long remember the Frank who fed on 
weeds out of the water. 

So various are the accounts here as to the 
time required to reach Delvinaki, where I ought 
to halt for the night, that I dared not linger to 
draw, though the grouping of some houses and 
cypresses, combined with the mountains to- 
wards Delvino, strongly tempted me to do so. 
I longed also to sketch a little Greek church, 
exquisitely placed in a grove of trees on a plai - 



form of rock overlooking the whole vale below, 

and certainly one of the prettiest spots in the 
days journey. 

After coasting a hill-side commanding the 
last view of the region of Deropuli, a barren 
rocky pass succeeded, and dullness reigned 
for an hour, till a descent brought me, as it 
were, into a new land, in which the hills were 
broken into various forms, with wood and rock, 
foreground and distance, in every variety. At the 
foot of the pass is a khan, and a dignified Bulu- 
bashi, with attendants, made a great rout about 
Teskeres and luggage, insisting upon a most 
minute inspection of the latter ; this for a short 
time we resisted, until on the party in power 
vowing to look into all my portfolios, Giorgio 
told them they should do so, but that after they 
had exercised their authority, they should see 
the Bou\ ourldi, enjoining all the Sultan's liege 
subjects to let my lordship pass unmolestedly ; 
on hearing which they were seized with uncon- 
trollable dismay, and tying up the unloosened 
baggage, whipped our horses, entreating us to 
depart from them immediately. 

Infinitely beautiful is the route beyond this 
khan Xerovalto. It is full of variety of form — 
brushwood hills, light oak woods — bare sand 


rocks — lines of plain — far blue mountains — and 
undulating meadows ; but there was no time to 
sketch, for it was now two p.m., and Delvinaki is 
declared four hours distant ; moreover, the driver 
of the Ioannina horses says there is no place to 
lodge in at Delvinaki, and that we must go on 
to a khan below it, called Tzerovina. 

Few human beings are encountered in these 
lonely regions : you meet now and then a Greek 
family migrating with furniture and household 
— a peasant or two, near some forlorn hut — or a 
travelling merchant, with laden mules and 
armed guards. The sun was setting as we arrived 
at a height overlooking the valley of the Kalama, 
and caught sight of a little lake, immediately 
below my feet, surrounded by most beautiful 
scenery. I walked on alone by the side of that 
quiet, still water, enjoying the calm glades, and 
the pleasant wood of brown oak. There was a 
carcase of a horse, with a vulture soaring above 
it, and many falcons on the upper boughs of the 
trees, and there were numerous tombstones, and 
two or three dervish sepulchres in one of those 
quiet solitudes. 

After sunset I reached the khan of Tzerovina 
— a solitary, walled, dilapidated building, not 
promising in appearance, with a distant back- 

y 2 

324 J0UENAL8 01 

ground of the snowy Pindus range. Alas, 
for accommodation ! All the little space of the 
khan was already fully crowded by a fat der- 
vish in green and white, and some sixty or 
eighty Albanian guards, journeying to Berat, 
or Arghyrd Kastro, so that no shelter remained 
but that of the lofty and wide stable ; and even 
this, five minutes later had been denied me, for 
several parties came in, and those who could not 
find room in the stable slept outside. " Bisogna 
adattarsi,"* as the Romans say : the evening 
was bitterly cold, and a bad shelter is better 
than none. 

A huge fire is lighted on a sort of hearth on 
one side of the windy, half-dismantled tenement, 
and Giorgio seizes upon all the khanji offers by 
way of supper, so that there was no danger of 
starvation. The travelling groups of Albanians 
arranged themselves in different stalls of the 
building, forming, with mules and horses, many 
a wondrous fire-light scene. After their repast, 
they all sang furiously about Zuliki till late in 
the night, by which time I was fast asleep in a 
thick capote. 

* Make the best of things. 


November 5. 

Aurora was saluted by some score of geese 
who lived in the khan-yard, but there was no 
alacrity on her part to look pleased at the com- 
pliment, for nothing but a thick cloud could be 
perceived, and a mist or rain soon began to fall. 

All the higher part of the landscape seems 
hopelessly invisible for the day, but the nearer 
and lower scenery clears as we proceed, and 
shows a rich and beautiful country through the 
vale of the Kalama. All the scene appears 
richly wooded, and abounding in forms of dell 
and o-entle heights with innumerable charms of 
broken foreground. Perhaps one of the prettiest 
points in the morning's ride was near the falls 
of the Kalama (three hours after leaving 
Tzerovina), which not even the incessant 
drizzle of sleet, with bitter wind, could prevent 
my admiring. A wearily cold ascent led up the 
hill of Zitza — a place I had looked forward to 
visiting as much as to any in Albania — and it 
would have been the more vexatious to reflect, 
that I should enjoy it so little, had not its small 
distance from Ioannina held out hopes of revisit- 

32f) JOURNALS 01 

ing it. All my enthusiasm regarding ''Monastic 
Zitza," so long familiar in prose and poetry 
vanished as the rain eame down in torrents, and 
the wind blew so hard as to make sitting on 
horseback ditfieult, By the time 1 arrived at the 
door of the much celebrated convent, numbed 
and shivering, I had no other feeling left 
but that of desire for dry clothes, a fire, and 

The monastery of Zitza — a low-walled build- 
ing at the highest point of the hill on which the 
village stands — resembles that of Ardhenitza, or 
most other Greek convents, as to its internal 
arrangement — of its cloistered courtyard, gal- 
leries, and little rooms. There are now but three 
or four Papades living in this retreat — a place of 
greatly diminished grandeur — and these monks, 
with the schoolmaster of the hamlets below, were 
my hosts. Meanwhile the outer storm increased, 
and the little divan-surrounded room to which 
the Economos led me was darker than it would 
have been otherwise — its small window and low 
roof allowing no great light at any time. With 
that pleasing and unassuming politeness so 
usual among these people, the priests set before 
me a very good meal of boiled beef, omelette, &C, 


during which a mixed discourse of Greek and 
Italian — the Didaskalos being slenderly fur- 
nished with the latter medium of communication 
— enlivened our intercourse. Lord Byron was 
of course one of the subjects — the elder of the 
two priests well recollecting his stay at the 
convent in 1809 on his way to Tepeleni. Many 
questions were asked to w r hich I could not 
reply, and some comments were made and anec- 
dotes told, which slight, and perhaps unfounded 
in strict truth, I shall not add to the list of 
crude absurdities too often tacked to the memo- 
ries of remarkable men. 

There is a pause in the rain, so I resolve to 
descend to Ioannina, and to return hither at a 
more favourable opportunity — leaving a place I 
had looked forward to seeing with the greatest 
interest, in, (be it confessed) no satisfied humour. 
Making due allowance for the bad weather, I 
cannot but feel disappointed in Zitza : the sur- 
rounding scenery, though doubtless full of varied 
beautv, does not seem to me sufficient to call forth 
such raptures of admiration, even if selected as a 
spot where an imaginative poet, reposing quietly 
after foregone toils and evils, might exaggerate 
its charms. Hut after travelling through the 


daily-remarkable beauties of Albania, the view 

from Zitza, to speak plainly, disappointed me. 

The route led through extensive vineyards, 
and across the little plain on the to}) of the hill 
of the monastery — the charms of which I had 
been so indifferently able to appreciate, and a 
tiresome, stony descent of an hour and a half 
in duration led to the plains of Ioannina 
and the lake Lapsista. Thenceforth relentless 
torrents poured down, and the lake Lapsista 
was only dimly seen through intervals of 
shifting dark cloud — conveying a sensation of 
water and mountain, rather than an ocular 
conviction of their presence ; and so amid 
rolling thunder and flashing lightning did I 
gallop on, across the treeless level, till the sky 
cleared suddenly, and in three hours and a 
half from leaving Zitza, I saw from a slight 
eminence the lake of Ioannina unexpectedly 
spread below me. 

With the keenest interest I surveyed a scene, 
already familiar to me from many drawings. 
Apart from its associations with modern and 
ancient records, the first feeling with which I 
gazed on it as a picture was nearly akin to 
disappointment — perhaps from the extreme 


bareness of the surrounding hills, and the too 
unbroken line of Mitzekeli, the great moun- 
tain which forms one side of the landscape.* 
There lay the peninsula stretching far into 
the dark gray water, with its mosque, its 
cypress tufts, and fortress walls ; there was 
the city stretching far and wide along the 
water's edge ; there was the fatal island, the 
closing scene of the history of the once all- 
powerful AH. 

The approach to Ioannina through its 
straggling suburbs of wooden houses, walls, 
and gardens, Turkish burying-grounds, &c, 
has nothing of peculiar interest to require 
description, and I was soon at the British Con- 
sulate, where Signor Damaschino, Her Britannic 
Majesty's Vice Consul in Albania, received me 
with those amiable manners, and that hospitality, 
which dwell pleasantly in the recollection of 
all Englishmen who have passed through this 
part of Albania during his residence in its 
capital. After the khans and horrors of 

* I learned to think far differently of the scenery of Ioan- 
nina afterwards. 


upper Albania, the spacious and clean rooms 
at the Vice Consulate were delightful to 
repose in ; and newspapers, letters, joined 
with all kinds of comfort, suddenly and amply 
atoned for all by-gone toils and disagree- 

November 6. 

Among my letters is one from a friend asking 
me to accompany him to Cairo, Mount Sinai, 
and Palestine, an offer not to be lightly refused ; 
yet to avail myself of it, I must go hence di- 
rectly to Malta and Alexandria. But I am the 
more inclined to do this, by the increasing cold 
of the weather, and from the small chance of 
making farther progress in drawing among 
Albanian scenes at this late season. 1 deter- 
mine, then, if possible, to come back a second 
time to Albania to " finish" Epirus, before I 
return in the summer of the following year to 
England ; and meanwhile resolve finally to 
start to-morrow for Arta and Prevyza, and so 
by the Ionian Isles to Malta with all speed. 

Meanwhile my friend, C. M. C , between 

whom and myself the monks of Athos drew 


their cholera cordon, passed through Ioannina 
but two days ago ; and this chance of rejoining 
him at Prevyza or in quarantine — not to speak of 
the necessity of timing one's departure by certain 
steamers — all contribute to my decision ; thus, 
therefore, I arrange the final page of my tour 
in Albania. 

The rest of the day I pass in exploring 
Ioannina under the guardianship of a black 
Kawas of the Vice Consular household — another 
Margiann. From every point the beauties of 
this fair spot are innumerable, and increase 
by observation ; and the difficulty would be, 
where to settle to draw its infinite variety of 
combinations with lake and mountain. The 
bazaars, too, are most interesting with their 
endless exhibition of wooden ware, national nick- 
nacks and embroidery ; but all these things 
I trust to see more completely on my return 
to these localities next year. 

November 7. 

I started before daylight in order to have 
as long a day as possible to reach Arta before 
dark. A Zantiote, on his way back to the 


islands with horses purchased at loannina, two 
of his countrymen, a messenger of the Consu- 
late, and Margiann, the Black, joined our party; 
and long before sunrise we were far out of the 
city. Many a beautiful scene I left behind 
with regret, for the day's work was toilsome, 
and sketching could not be permitted. Beyond 
the long- suburban street of the capital of 
Southern Albania, we crossed a wide plain, 
with the fine forms of the Epirus mountains 
around; but the cold was bitter, and even by 
hard walking it was impossible to keep warm 
until the sun had risen hiirh. At about the 
third hour, after passing two or three khans, 
we began to ascend a bare hill leading to 
a bleak valley equally uninteresting, whence 
the road ascended again to the khan of Pende 
Pig&dhia, the half-way house betwixt loannina 
and Arta, each of which are six or seven hours' 
journey from the summit of the hill on which 
it stands. Nothing could be more dull and 
disagreeable than the walk ; but the view of 
the Piudus range from the high ground is very 
noble. The khan of Five Wells is a perfect 
specimen of the lonely and hopeless place 
of refuge in these parts : — it is a large, ruin- 


ous building (though once fortified), in an 
extensive court-yard. Here we were to halt 
for luncheon, but while doing so, a first- 
class quarrel ensued, which I thought might 
have ended awkwardly. A frantic, or intoxi- 
cated Albanian guard, insisted on seeing the 
inside of every article of luggage, to which the 
consular officials said no — it is " Roba Ingliz 
Consul." From words and gesticulations pistols 
were drawn, and the wrathful Kawas was 
rushing at Black Margiann when he was seized 
by the Bulubashi and others, and the struggles 
and yells ensuing are not to be described. Giorgio 
extricated the Bouyourldi from the depths of 
the baggage, which partly calmed the affray ; 
but the confusion was immense ; and the en- 
raged Albanian tore his long hair and foamed 
in a way I never witnessed in any human 

From this squabble we passed to a cold colla- 
tion of bread and bottarga, and starting once 
more at half-past two, descended the hill to the 
plains of Arta, which, with many a blue pale line 
of Acharaanian hill now appeared far away ; — 
in another hour, however, we had become pent 
up in a weary river bed, nor did we reach the 


plain, over gravelly paths and good trotting 
ground, till the full moon rose, throwing long 
shadows from scattered trees. How tedious was 
that hour or two after sunset! — the long point 
of hill behind which Arta is placed seemed never 
fated to be reached. No sensation is more dis- 
agreeable than the inability to keep awake on 
horseback, and when the traveller is creeping a 
mile in the hour, over a paved Turkish causeway, 
the wearisome disgust is intolerable. 

Endless lanes and gardens seemed to environ 
Arta ; and after having passed the great bridge 
over the Arachthus, we wound through dark and 
strange places full of mud, among masses of 
building black againstbright moonlight, till jaded, 
and more fevered than I had been ever since I 
had left Saloniki, we arrived at the house of the 
British consular resident agent, Signor Boro, a 
Greek of Arta. I long earnestly to retire at once 
to sleep, but the hiccupping flutter of a fowl in the 
death-agony, announces, in spite of my entreaties, 
that a supper is in preparation : nevertheless, 
this clean large house, these good rooms, and 
sofas, are most welcome to a way-worn 



More Albanian obstacles : our horses are all 
seized and dragged from the stables by a Turk 
— a nautical Turk, whose ships are at Prevyza ; 
he, with many Mohammedan ' middies' require 
steeds to gallop over the plains of Arta ; so he 
takes ours, and snaps his fingers at Giorgio, and 
the Bouyourldi of the Sultan. 

" Bouyourldis are for land Turks," quoth he, 
" I am a water Turk." Giorgio storms, the con- 
sular agent remonstrates, and both send to the 
Governor with an instant requisition of fresh 
horses for a Prince of Frangistan, desirous of 
going immediately to Salagora, there to embark 
for the country of the Franks. 

Down comes the Governor, Secretaries and 
Muftis ; and away go Kawasi all over the place 
as they did at Avldna, so that in less than an 
hour three horses are in readiness. Meanwhile, 
I walk with Signor Boro to the ancient walls of 
Arta, which are fine examples of Hellenic archi- 
tecture. Nor can any place be more superbly 
situated than this ; which, with the sweeping 
Arachthus below the town, and the Tzumerka 
range beyond the plain, forma a magnificent 


picture. There is a very curious old Greek 
church too ; but trusting to return to these parts 
of southern Albania I gave but little time to 
lionizing Arta, and at eleven we were again ready 
to start for Prevyza. 

Threading the incommodious streets of Arta 
(which streets are deep gutters, or ditches, full 
of mud, with a raised trottoir on each side) and 
once more passing the lanes, olive-grounds, and 
orange gardens, and the lofty bridge over 
the broad river, we came at length to the grand 
open plain which stretches uninterruptedly 
to the gulf. No groups of mountains are lovelier 
than those within sight of this part of Epirus : 
whether the eye gazes at the Acharnanian 
heights beyond Vonizza — or at those of Agrafa, 
Tzumerka, and Pindus — or whether it turns to- 
wards the dread Suliote hills, and terrible Zalon- 
go, the closing scene of heroism and despair.* 

The latter part of the journey was by a high 
paved road over a wide, marshy ground close to 
the gulf, and in four hours from leaving Arta 
I reached the hilly peninsular eminence shelter- 
ing a hamlet of ten or fifteen houses, known as 

* See Journals, May 2, 1849. 


the Scala of Salagora, or port of Arta. Here 
we should have embarked for Prevyza, but 
owing to the wind, which is peculiarly perverse 
at the mouth of this gulf, the caique which 
plies between the two coasts is not come, and 
the khan is full. Meanwhile a Greek merchant 
good-naturedly gave me a lodging in a ware- 
house of rice till midnight, when the bark 
arrived, and taking our party on board, set 
sail to Prevyza. 

November 9, 10, 11. 

I pass these days at Prevyza, a place that 
does not possess in itself any agreeable com- 
pensation for the vexatious detention by contrary 
wind, which prevents my sailing across to the 
quarantine of Sta. Maura. 

But the kindness and hospitality of Sidney 
Smith Saunders, Esq., and all his family, would 
render any place an agreeable sojourn. It is 
delightful, after roaming over the most uncivilized 
places, to find a nook stamped with the most 
thoroughly English character in one of the 
spots where you would least expect it. 


;{;{ ( S -'"I FINALS 01 

November 12. 

The wind has changed, and the sea is like 
glass; before sunrise I am in the Consul's cutter; 
even moment brings me nearer to Leucadia; — 
the point of Prevyza, with the ruins forming part 

of what was once All Pasha's serai, lessens into 
one little bright speck on the water's edge. The 
snowy ranges of Tzumerka glitter palely in the 
early sun-beams, and gradually fade into hazy, 
cloud-like forms. And so, bidding farewell to 
Albania, for the present I enter a nine da\ s' 
quarantine at Santa Maura. 

J U E N A L S 



April 24, 1849 

After two months passed most pleasantly in 
Greece (the winter having been well defied in 
Cairo and at Mount Sinai), there are yet six 
weeks on my hands, ere, after having suffered 
from repeated attacks of Greek fever, it would 
be prudent to encounter the variable English 
spring. And now, if ever, I must endeavour 
to complete my tour in Albania ; I long to visit 
that most romantic portion of it — the land of 
the Suliotes : to make careful drawings of 
Ioannina : to see Meteora and Thessaly — even 
to the gulf of Volo — and once more to attempt 
reaching the lonely Mount Athos. 

a 2 

340 ■"" HNAL8 "i 

F. L., my Greek companion, is obliged to 
return to Malta, so I set out alone; but first, 
the judicious old Andrea Vrindisi,* who is equally 
at home in the wilds of Tzamouria as in the 
civilized streets of modern Sparta, and whose 
tongue (master of ten languages) is not less 
valuable than his general skill and arrangement 
of the domestic comforts of travel, is taken by 
me at the usual rate of ill os. daily, for an 
indefinite period of service. 

Perhaps the best way of entering Albania 
from Patras would be by crossing to Misso- 
longhij and thence, by a journey of three or four 
days' length, to Vonizza and Prevyza ; but the 
desire to see some persons in Korfu who will 
not be there on my return, as well as the choice 
which, when the traveller is once in that island, 
is open to him, as to the part of the opposite 
coast he will first explore, these determine me on 
relinquishing my design of passing through 
Acharnania; and I have embarked in the 
Austrian steamer ' Elleno," which luckily arrives 

* Andrea Vrindisi, of Patras : an excellent guide and dra- 
goman in every respect, and worthy of high recommendation. 


and starts on the very day after the conclusion 
of my Greek journey with L. 

For the third time I watch the high Mount 
Voidhia, now glittering in a snowy mantle, and 
contemplate the exquisite forms of the Pelopon- 
nesian and Acharnanian hills ; then, as evening 
gradually covers the cloudless sky with duskier 
tints, Ithaca succeeds, and lastly Leucadia's 
""rock of woe," starlit and solemn, sleeps on the 
bosom of the calm sea. 

April 25. 

" Morn dawns, and with it stern Albania's hills, 
Dark Suli's rocks, and Pindus' inland peak :" 

and no lines of mountain more beautiful — none 
more teeming with romance and interest — can 
be gazed on by traveller, be he painter or poet. 
Fast advancing through that lovely channel, we 
soon reach the long-descried citadel of Korfii, 
and delight in again welcoming scenes, than 
which the world has few more charming. 

During the four succeeding days time went 
by very pleasantly in the Government palace, 
where the kindness of the Lord High Commis- 
sioner and his family added one more to my 
many pleasant recollections of Korfii. But on the 


30th, Lord Seaton offering to take me as far as 

Prevyza, on his way to Santa Maura, I decided 
to recommence my Albanian researches from 
that point, and joined the party in the Govern- 
ment steamer. We were off PreVyza at four 
p.m., when I once more set foot in Epirus, 
Signor Damaschino, the Vice-consul at loan- 
nina, and my acquaintance of last year, his wife, 
and her brother Yiani, were also of the Alba- 
nian-hound party, and we were all soon heartil\ 
welcomed at the Consulate b\ Mr. Saunders and 
his ever-hospitable family. 

May 1. 

To-day Andrea being employed in procuring 
little necessaries for the journey — I devote to 
visiting and making drawings of Nicdpo- 
lis, which I had hastily glanced at when 
passing through Prevyza last year. The ruins 
of this city, founded by Augustus after the 
battle of Actium, lie not above three miles from 
Prevyza,* and the walk thither i> very pleasant, 
through plantations of olive-trees. 

Si Leaki , Holland, Hughi 


The scattered remains of Palaio-Kastro (so 
the peasants call the site of Nicopolis) occupy 
a large space of ground ; and although there 
are here and there masses of brickwork, which 
forcibly recall to my memory those on the Cam- 
pagna of Rome, yet the principal charm of the 
scene consists in its wild loneliness, and its com- 
mand of noble views over the Ionian sea as well 
as of the Gulf of Arta and the mountains of 
Agrafa. My principal object was to obtain correct 
drawings from the great theatre, as well as from 
the Stadium and the lesser theatre ; but at this 
season of the year I found many impediments 
which in the late autumn of 1848 had not pre- 
sented themselves. Vegetation had shot up in 
the early spring to so great a size and luxuriance, 
that a choice of position was difficult to find 
among gigantic asphodel four or five feet high 
— foxgloves of prodigious size, briars and thistles 
of obstinate dignity. Nor was the passing from 
one point of the ruins to another, through the 
fields of beans and Indian-corn which cover the 
cultivated portions of the soil, a light task; 
there were snakes too in great numbers and size, 
so that when the sun's heat became powerful, I 
found the operation of exploring the whole 
of the Augustan city too nearly allied with 


risk of fever-fits to prolong it. Great as was 
the destruction of Nicopolis by All Pasha", 
who carried off vast portions of it for the con- 
struction of his palace at Prevyza, there is 
yet abundance of picturesque beauty in what 
remains ; and the view from the upper seats of 
the great theatre, looking across the Gulf of 
Ambracia to the hills of Acharnania and Leu- 
eadia, is one of the most noble of prospects. 

Returning to Prevyza at noon, I sketched for 
the remainder of the day in the outskirts of the 
town. A student of landscape might well em- 
ploy himself in this corner of Epirus for a 
summer : it abounds with pretty bits of fore- 
ground and peeps of the beautiful mountain 
forms around. But in itself, this frontier-town 
of Albania contains little interest. The great 
palace of All Pasha exists no more — it is utterly 
destroyed — and the whole place has an air of 
melancholy desolation, increased possibly by 
one's knowledge of its past history and evil 


May 2. 

It is eight a.m. before the horses and " roba" 
are ready, and Andrea gives the signal for start- 


ing. He has ordered three horses to Ioannina, 
but it is understood that I am to go thither as 
I please — bound to no particular route, or time 
of arrival. Travelling on Turkish horses has 
led me to adopt one improvement, namely, 
take with me a pair of stirrups and a strap to 
hang them by. These I have purchased in 
Patras, and they are gilt ; whereon, as I leave 
the town, I hear an old Greek woman remark : 
" This milordos is the son of a king : even his 
stirrups are of gold !" 

We go through the olive woods as far nearly 
as Nicdpolis, and then, turning to the left, reach 
the sea, following a route by its bright blue 
waves at the foot of low sandy cliffs clothed 
and fringed with rich fern. In three hours 
after starting we turned inland towards the 
hills of Zalongo, but rain, long threatening, 
prevented any sketching, though the scenery 
became more interesting at every step. All 
nature was of the freshest green, and the 
luxuriant oakwoods, deep dells of brushwood, 
gentle lawns, and vales dotted with flowering 
thorn, formed pleasant rural landscapes on 
every side. 

At half-past one we reached the village of 
Kamarina, which stands high up on the hill. 

3 1(1 J0UENAL8 OF 

and is a straggling hamlet of white-washed 
houses and reed-built cabins, placed in gardens 
of fruit-trees, or shaded by great forest timber, 
growing at the foot of overhanging rocks clothed 
with trailing, wild vino. 

At three or four, in a pause between showers, 
I attempted to reach the rock of Ziilongo, im- 
mediately above the village. This was the scene 
of one of those terrible tragedies so frequent 
during the Suliote war with All. At its summit 
twenty-two women of Suli took refuge after the 
capture of their rock by the Mohammedan-, 
and with their children awaited the issue of a 
desperate combat between their husbands and 
brothers, and the soldiers of the Vizir of 
Ioannina. Their cause was lost ; but as the 
enemy scaled the rock to take the women 
prisoners, they dashed all their children on the 
crags below, and joining their hands, while they 
sung the songs of their own dear land, they 
advanced nearer and nearer to the cd^e of the 
precipice, when from the brink a victim preci- 
pitated herself into the deep below at each 
recurring round of the dance, until all were de- 
stroyed. When the foe arrived at the summit, 
the heroic Suliotes were beyond his reach. 

But this is only one of many such acts 


which, during the Suliote war, furnished some 
of the most extraordinary instances on record of 
the love of liberty.* 

I wished much to see the actual scene of these 
events, as well as to visit the remains of Cas- 
sope,f on the summit of the hill; but to my 
great vexation, such violent rain fell, that I could 
not even reach the rock of Zalongo, and return- 
ing to the cottage, at Kamarina, I was obliged 
to content myself by drawing at intervals from 
the door of the cottage, in which Andrea had 
arranged my night's lodgings. It was one of 
those large and long rooms, usual in Greek vil- 
lages, and forming the home of a whole family, 
which sate at the farther end, while I occupied 
my own allotted portion of clay floor. The 
inhabitants of Kamarina are all Greek Chris- 
tians, and indeed throughout the south of Epirus 
there are very few Mohammedans ; the women of 
the house have a mournful air ; and well may 
they, for many of the elders among them can still 

* Leake, North. Greece, I. 245, 519; in Hughes, II. 184, 
the number of women is stated at nearly 100. The rock of 
Zalongo is famous also for other combats between t lie Suliotes 
and the soldiers of the Vizir. 

f Lcakc. 

348 JOURNALS 01 

remember the terrors of those evil days, in the 
Hist years of the present century. 

Outside this cottage of Kamarma all is de- 
lightful, so quiet is the foreground near at hand, 
so fair the prospect far below ; the long point of 
Nieopolis and Prevyza, the broad bright Gulf 
of Arta, the scene of the battle of Actium ; 
and the clear hills of Greece and Sta. Maura, all 
spread like a map at my feet. It seems a spot 
marked out for peace and tranquillity, nor can I 
remember a village more deliciously placed as 
a summer's retreat ; the rain has made the herbs 
and spring flowers around full of fresh odour, 
and multitudes of nightingales are singing on all 

May 3. 

I am off by half-past five. The morning is 
bright, and the nightingales, who have warbled 
all i light long, are as melodious as ever. In spite 
of my regret at not having been able to see 
Zalongo or Cassope, I shall remember the green 
hill of Kamarma with pleasure. 

I descend through woodland glades, with views 
of the Gulf of Arta ever before me, and the 
peaks of its fine mountains are wrapped in rolling 


mist. Lower down, towards the plain, the 
route winds among groups of oak and walnut 
trees, and below them are shepherds with their 
flocks. In about two or three hours we reach 
Luro, a scattered collection of huts, with one or 
two better houses at the foot of the hills, and 
following the track at their base, shortly arrive 
at clear springs, and a quiet secluded lake, 
fringed with luxuriant foliage, and resounding 
with the notes of the nightingale and the 

All the country hereabouts resembles the most 
beautiful park or woodland scenery in England, 
excepting that the variety of underwood is 
greater, and the creepers and flowering shrubs 
are such as we have not. The tall white stems of 
the ash and plane shooting out of dark masses 
of oak foliage, and reflected in the clear water 
below, form charming pictures. 

In the midst of this delightful bosky region, at 
an hour's distance from Luro, stands Kanza, a 
hamlet of a few very poor thatched huts ; and 
from hence, keeping always through a thick and 
shady wood, which skirts the base of the hills, 
the route passes onward, till it emerges (after 
two hours' ride from Kanza) on to an elevated 

350 lul 1{X ^s of 

pasture land, opposite the Castle of Rogus;* 
and here I halt for mid-da) rest. 

This fortress, standing OH an ancient site, 
forms a part of one of those beautiful Greek scenes 
which a painter is never tired of contemplating. 
Rising on its mound above the thick woods, 
which here embellish the plain, it is the key of 
the landscape ; the w r aters of a clear fountain are 
surrounded by large flocks of goats reposing. 
The clumps of hanging plane and spreading oak, 
vary the marshy plain, extending to the shores 
of the Gulf; while the distant blue mountain> 
rise beyond, and the rock of Zalongo shuts in 
the northern end of the prospect. All these form 
so many parts, each beautiful in itself, that com- 
bine to make a composition, to which I regretted 
not hems: able to devote more time. 

After a short repose, I pursued my journey 
across the plain in the direction of Arta, where 
I intend to pass the night. We soon cross the 
Liiro, on a narrow bridge, and so unstable as to 
allow of but one horse passing it at a time, and 
then we follow the track across the wide level. 

* Rojxus — ancient Charadra. Leake. The stream of Luro 
(Charadrus) runs below the walls. 



During this morning's ride I have seen upwards 
of twenty large vultures • but now, the ornitho- 
logical denizens of this wide tract of marshy 
ground are storks, which are walking about in 
great numbers, and their nests are built on 
the roofs of the houses, clustered here and there 
in the more cultivated part of the district. 
Snakes and tortoises also were frequent during 
the morning, concerning which last animals 
Andrea volunteers some scientific intelligence, 
assuring: me that in Greece it is a well-known 
fact that they hatch their eggs by the heat of 
their eyes, by looking fixedly at them, until the 
small tortoises are matured, and break the 

We arrived at Arta* about four. The group 
formed by castle, and town, and mosques, half 
encircled by the broad sweeping Arachthus, and 
the fine range of Djumerka, struck me as even 
more beautiful than I had thought it on my visit 
here last November. The house of the Consular 
agent, Signor Boro is now, as then, hospitably 

* Lcakc, I. 102. 

352 journals as 

May 4. 

At early morn I was finishing my drawing 

began six months ago. Few places in Albania 
are more magnificent in aspect and situation 
than Arta ; and to an antiquarian its attractions 
are still greater than to the artist. Nothing can 
exceed the venerable grandeur of its picturesque 
Hellenic walls, and from the site of its ancient 
Acropolis, the panoramic splendour of the view 
is majestic in the highest degree. Before nine, 
I left Arta for the second time, and it was long 
before we escaped from its narrow, muddy 
streets, and endless suburban lanes ; these, how- 
ever, were less disagreeable now than hereto- 
fore, on account of the odoriferous orange trees, 
all in full bloom. Arta is surrounded by gardens, 
and in a great degree supplies the markets of 
Ioannina with fruit and vegetables. 

We pursued the paved post-track to Ioannina 
for nearly two hours ; and as the pace over 
those causeways is of the slowest, I am on the 
look-out for incidents of all kinds, and find 
sufficient amusement in watching the birds 
which haunt these plains ; there are jays and 
storks, and vultures, in greater numbers than 


I had supposed ever congregated together. 
Even the unobservant Andrea was struck by dis- 
covering, on a nearer approach, that multitude of 
what we thought sheep, were in fact vultures ; 
and on our asking some peasants as to the cause 
of their being so numerous, they said, that owing 
to a disease among the lambs, greater quantities 
of birds of prey had collected in the plains 
than "the oldest inhabitant could recollect." 
A constant stream of these harpies was passing 
from the low grounds to the rocks above the 
plain ; and they soared so closely above our 
heads, that I could perfectly well distinguish 
their repulsive physiognomies. I counted one 
hundred and sixty of them at one spot, and 
must confess that they make a very grand ap- 
pearance when soaring and wheeling with out- 
stretched wino-s and necks. All the ground in 
this marshy part of the plain was covered with 
the most brilliant yellow iris in full bloom. 

On leaving the Ioannina road, we held on our 
course westward, and crossed the plain to the 
village of Strivina river on the banks of the 
Luro, which we followed for more than an hour. 
The scenery of this part of Epirus is not 
unlike that of the Brathay near Ambleside, but 
the closely-wooded sides of the hills are here 

A A 

354 JOURNAL- ul 

and there enlivened by a Greek scattered ham- 
let, giving its own character to the scene. 
Higher up the stream the trees are of a larger 

size, and fringe the lower hills beautifully ; and 
when, at one p. m. we reached Pasheenas bridge, 
I thought 1 had never seen a more romantic bit 
of English-like scenery. It is delightful to rest 
below the tine old oaks and planes in this spot, 
whence as far as the eye can reach thick foliage 
gladdens the sight. Crossing the Charadrus, we 
started once more at two, and in one hour — the 
route always leading through glades and wild 
woodland — came to the little Lake Zero, 
which I had been strongly recommended by 
Mr. Saunders not to omit seeing. And, in 
truth, it is well worth a visit, not that it has 
any character peculiar to Epirus or Greece (for 
it is more like Nemi than any lake I am ac- 
quainted with), but on account of the surpass- 
ing beauty of its deep and quiet waters, from 
whose clear surface bold red rocks rise on all 
sides, hung with thickest ilex, and surmounted 
by dense woods of oak which extend to the very 
summit of the hills above. There was barely 
time to make two sketches of Lago Zero, ere the 
sinking sun warned me onward, and another hour 
brought us to the vale of Lelovo, a village which 


is built on the western side of the hills enclosing 
the glen ; the other, as I entered the hamlet, 
became gloriously bright in the last rays of 
sunset, all the detail of rock and tree chan^ino: 
from red and purple, and cold grey, until finally 
lighted up by the bright full moon. 

A very comfortable lodging was obtained at 
the top of the village of Lelovo, in a house 
which, like all in these parts, stands alone in a 
court-yard, and is well arrayed with galleries and 
stairs. Its tenants were a Greek priest (Lelovo 
is a Christian community), and a very old nun; 
they allowed me to occupy for the night, 
one of their rooms, a clean and good one. The 
scenery through which I have passed to-day 
and yesterday has greatly delighted me ; it is 
rare in Greece to find such rich foliage com- 
bined with distant lines of landscape, and this, 
indeed, is a beauty peculiar to the southern 
parts of Epirus ; towards Ioannina, and to the 
north of it, such clothing of vale and mountain 
is not frequent. 

May 5. 

At sunrise the vale of Lelovo is full of mist, 
and resounding with the lowing of invisible 

A A 2 

:tr>i; jnrn\ \i> oi 

cows, on hearing which domestic sound, I 
thought, of course, there would be no milk, 
but for a wonder, there was. How enjoyable 
was the walk through the meadows a^ we left 
the village on our route to Suli. The song of 
birds, the fresh breeze, and all those charms of 
early morning which to the experienced so- 
journer in southern lands, mark the best hours 
of the day ! We halted but once at a shep- 
herd^ capanna, for a bowl of fresh milk, ere 
we began a severe ascent, which in two hours 
brought us to Kragna, a little village among 
noble old oaks, whence the views extended over 
the gulf of Arta with the Tzumerka and loan- 
nina hills. But the people of Kragna were 
cross-grained and disobliging, and no offers 
would induce them to furnish us with another 
horse (that which carried the baggage not 
being a very strong one), nor would they shew 
ii- the road to Zermi, on the way to Suli, ex- 
cept for a minute's walk beyond their village. 
About eight we left it, and passed from dell 
to dell, by very difficult paths, steep, narrow 
and rocky, with no little fear of losing the way 
in places where the track was quite obliterated 
by torrents. We steered well however, and 
finally leaving the thick oak woods, arrived at 


the hill of Zermi, high up on which is the scat- 
tered village of the same name, guarded by 
troops of angry dogs, as is the custom in these 

We went to the house of the Primate,* and 
found him and all his family at dinner : it was 
the fete of St. George, to-day being with them 
the 23rd of April. With the heartiest hospi- 
tality they insisted on our sharing their feast, 
which was by no means a bad one, as it con- 
sisted of roast lamb, two puddings made of 
Indian corn, one with milk and herbs, the other 
with eggs and meat, besides rakhee. The 
room was extremely neat and clean, and the 
best in all respects I had seen in Southern 
Albania ; but, sitting in a draught of air when 
heated by exercise, that premonitory feeling 
which indicates coming fever, obliged me to 
quit the society almost immediately. We waited 
for some time in expectation of another horse, 
but at half-past twelve tidings came that it had 
escaped, and so we divided our baggage into 
two parts, in order to lessen the feebler steed's 
burden, and thus arranged set out again. 

Primate, the first or head proprietor of a Greek village. 

:i,-,H J0UKNAL8 0] 

Descending the hill of Zernri we came in Leas 
than an hour to the vale of Tervitziand, through 
which the river of Suli flows ere, " previously 
making many turns and meanders as if unwill- 
ing to enter such a gloomy passage," it plunges 
into the gorge of Suli. We crossed the stream, and 
began the ascent on the right of the cliffs, by 
narrow and precipitous paths leading to a point 
of great height, from which the difficult pass of 
the Suliote glen commences. And while toiling 
up the hill, my thoughts were occupied less with 
the actual interest of the scenery, than with the 
extraordinary recollections connected with the 
struggles of the heroic people who so lately as 
forty years back were exterminated or banished 
by their tyrant enemy. Every turn in the pass 
I am about to enter has been distinguished by 
some stratagem or slaughter : every line in the 
annals of the last Suliote war is written in 
characters of blood.* 

* As some notice of the Suliote history may be desirable, I 
and as much matter as is necessary to illustrate the subject. 
The mountain of Suli may be conjectured to have been occupied 
by Albanians about the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and 
when the greater part <>f the surrounding country lapsed to the 


But my reflections were interrupted by a dis- 
agreeable incident : in a rocky and crabbed part 
of the narrow path, the baggage horse missed 
footing and fell backward ; fortunately, he es- 

Mohamniedan faith, this race of hardy mountaineers adhered 
firmly to Christianity. 

During the eighteenth century, the Suliotes carried on a pre- 
datory warfare with the surrounding territories of Margariti, 
Paramythia, &c, but when Ali Pasha, under pretext of reducing 
disaffected districts to the obedience due to the Sultan, had 
subdued all the surrounding tribes, the inhabitants of Suli found 
that he was an enemy, determined either by craft or force to dis- 
possess them of their ancestral inheritance. From 1788 to 
1792, innumerable were the artifices of Ali to obtain possession 
of this singular stronghold ; in the latter year he made an 
attack on it, which nearly proved fatal to himself, while his 
army was defeated with great slaughter. In 1798, after six 
years of bribery and skirmishing, a portion of the territory of 
Suli was gained by the Mohammedans, through treachery of 
some of the inhabitants, and thenceforward the accounts of the 
protracted siege of this devoted people is a series of remarkable 
exploits and resolute defence, by Suliotes of both sexes, seldom 
paralleled in history. 

Every foot of the tremendous passes leading to Suli was con- 
tested in blood ere the besieger gained firm footing ; and after he 
had done so, the rock held out an incredible period, until famine 
and treachery worked out the downfall of this unfortunate 

Then, in 1803, many escaped by passing through the 


raped the edge of the precipice ; but the labour 
and loss of time in re-arranging the Luggage 
was considerable; and when we had scaled the 
height, and I sat looking with amazement into 
the dark and hollow abyss of the Acheron, a 
second cry and crash startled me — again the 
unlucky horse had stumbled, and this time, 
though safe himself, the baggage suffered; — the 
basket containing the canteen was smitten by a 
sharp rock, and all my plates and dishes, kni\< -. 
forks, and pewter pans — which F. L. had be- 
queathed to me at Patras — went spinning down 
from crag to crair till they lodged in the infernal* 

enemy's camp, many by paths unknown to their pursuera; 
numbers fled to the adjacent rocks of Zalongo and Seltzo ; 
others destroyed themselves, together with the enemy, by gun- 
powder, or in a last struggle; or threw themselves into the 
At-licnm, or from precipices. Those of these brave people who 
ultimately escaped to Parga, crossed over to Korfu, and thence 
entered the service of Russia and France. Many, since the days 
of Greek independence, have returned to various part of Epirus, 
or Greece; but they have no longer a country or a name, and 
the warlike tribe who, at the height of their power, formed a 
confederacy of sixty-six villages, may now be said to be extinct. 
See Leake, Northern Greece, Vol. I. p. 501 ; Holland, p. 448; 
Hobhouse, p. 174 ; Hughes, II. Chapters, 6, 7, 8, &c. 
* The river of Suli is the Acheron of antiquity. 


stream below. These delays were serious, as the 
day was wearing on, and the ' Pass of Suli' was 
yet to be threaded. This fearful gorge cannot 
be better described than in the words of Colonel 
Leake : "A deep ravine, formed by the meeting 
of the two great mountains of Suli and Tziku- 
rates — one of the darkest and deepest of the 
glens of Greece ; on either side rise perpendicular 
rocks, in the midst of which are little intervals 
of scanty soil, bearing holly oaks, ilices, and 
other shrubs, and which admit occasionally a 
view of the higher summits of the two mountains 
covered with oaks, and at the summit of all with 
pines. Here the road is passable only on foot, 
by a perilous ledge along the side of the moun- 
tain of Suli ; the river in the pass is deep 
and rapid, and is seen at the bottom falling 
in many places over the rocks, though at too 
great a distance to be heard, and in most places 
inaccessible to any but the foot of a goat or a 

I shall not soon forget the labour it cost to 
convey our horses through this frightful gorge. 
In many places the rains had carried away even 
what little footing there had originally been, 
and nothing remained but a bed of powdered 
rock sloping off to the frightful gulf below ; and 

all our efforts could hardly induce or enable 
each horse to cross singly. The muleteer cried, 
and called on all the saints in the Greek calen- 
dar ; and all four of us united our strength to 
prevent the trembling beast from rolling down- 
wards. There were three of these passi cattivi, 
and the sun was setting. I prepared to make 
up my mind, if I escaped to Acheron, at least 
to repose all night in the ravine. 

At sunset we reached the only approach on 
this side of " the blood-stained Suli" — an ascent 
of stairs winding up the sides of the great rocks 
below Avariko — and very glad was I to have 
accomplished this last and most dangerous part 
of the journey. Before me is the hollow vale 
of Avariko, Kiafa, and Suli — places now exist- 
ing little more than in name ; and darkly 
looming against the clear western sky stands 
the dread Trypa — the hill of Thunderbolts — 
the last retreat of the despairing Suliotes. 

Here, at the summit of the rock, Ali 
Pasha built a castle, and within its walls I 
hope to pass the night. I reach it at nearly 
two hours after sunset, the bright moon show- 
ing me the Albanian governor and his twenty 
or thirty Palikari sitting on the threshold of the 
gate. But as unluckily I had not procured any 


letter from the Turkish authorities at Prevyza, 
the rough old gentleman was obdurate, and 
would not hear of my entering the fortress. 
" Yok," said he, frowning fiercely, " yok, yok." 
And had it not been for the good-nature of a 
Turkish officer of engineers who had arrived 
from Ioannina on a visit of inspection, I must 
have passed the night supperless and shelterless. 
Thanks to him, men and horses were at length 
admitted to the interior of the fort. 

I was ushered through several dilapidated 
courtyards to the inner serai or governor's 
house — a small building with wide galleries 
round two sides of it. In a narrow and low 
room, surrounded with sofas, the military digni- 
tary sate down with his suite of " wild Alba- 
nians ;" and to be polite, I followed their 
example ; but the excessive smoke of the wood 
fire, added to that of the tchibouques, was so 
painful a contrast to the fresh air, that it was 
almost intolerable. No Greek was spoken ; so 
Andrea was called in, and they expressed their 
conviction that I "looked miserable — neither 
eating, nor talking, nor smoking" — an accusa- 
tion I willingly acceded to, for the sake of rest 
and fresh air, and transferred my position with 
all haste to the outer gallery. There I had my 


mattress and capotes spread, and old Andrea 
brought me a capital basin of rice soup. It had 
been a severe day's labour for a man of his 
years and great size, and during the passage of 
the gorge, he had more than once been unable 
to advance for some minutes ; yet, with his 
wonted alacrity, he had not only prepared my 
bed as usual, but had exercised his talent for 
cookinir withal. 

I gazed on the strange, noiseless figures about 
me, bright in the moonlight, which tipped with 
silver the solemn lofty mountains around. For 
years those hills had rarely ceased to echo the 
cries of animosity, despair, and agony ; now all 
is silent as the actors in that dreadful drama. 

Few scenes can compete in my memory with 
the wildness of this at the castle of Kiafa, or 
Suli-Kastro ; and excepting in the deserts of 
the peninsula of Sinai, I have gazed on none 
more picturesque and strange. 

May 6. 

Before sunrise every one w r as on foot ; but 
the military duties of the garrison were inter- 
rupted by the circumstance of my being obliged 
to w r ash my face in public. Unlike the Turkish 


Mohammedan, the Albanian prefers satisfying 
curiosity to the maintaining of dignity. Officers 
and men came hastily, on the report of the 
Frank's extravagance, to gaze at the extraordi- 
nary proceeding. I believe they thought it a 
species of water-worship. 

I passed some hours on the rock of Trypa, 
and a more mighty scene of grandeur can hardly 
be conceived. On each of the jutting ends or 
horns of the hill, which is semicircular in shape, 
there was formerly a fortress. These are now 
destroyed ; but from their ruins the view is most 
characteristic, and seems as it were a part of the 
sad Suliote history, so darkly and terribly mag- 
nificent. One little peep towards the east shows 
the Gulf of Arta with its hills beyond the stern 
precipices of the Acheron ; that to the west 
looks on to the plain of Fanari and the Ionian 
Sea, while in each picture the deep, deep river 
rolls far below in its close and wooded gulf.* 

At eight, the baggage having gone before, I 

* From the precipices impending over this ravine, it is 
related that the Suliote women threw their children, when the 
contest for their liberty had come to an end. To such a spot 
the epithet given by Aristophanes, "the rock of Acheron 
dropping blood," may indeed be well applied. Holland, p. 452 


took leave of the cross old Governor. 1 had 
distributed some coffee to his men; hut he 
nevertheless asked for several articles for 
himself, begging 1 would send to Suli from 
the next large place I came to, a mirror, a 
good telescope, four wine glasses, and a cut 
glass bottle for rakhee ; pistols, scissors, and 
English cloth ; all of which things Andrea said, 
in Albanian, that I would forward on the first 
opportunity ; which lavish promises, as I did 
not hear them made, I did not feel bound to 

The descent westward to the Acheron is a 
difficult narrow path, in some places of extreme 
steepness, but of course not like the route of 
yesterday, which was never intended for horses. 
At the bottom of the ravine, they ford the 
deep rapid torrent, while I go on to a point 
beyond the junction of a stream where the 
Acheron is crossed by a bridge. But what a 
bridge ! The river, confined between two very 
narrow perpendicular crags, boils and thunders 
below them, while the space between is con- 
nected by two poles, over which branches of 
trees are laid transversely, and over all a covering 
of leaves and earth, by way of pavement ; an awk- 
ward structure, and one well calculated to render 


the approach to Suli, even on this side, a matter 
of difficulty. Slowly, on hands and knees, and 
holding the poles, I passed this bridge over the 
river of Pluto, its oscillations being far from plea- 
sant ; but the hu^e Andrea manifested much 
solicitude ere he ventured his heavy frame on 
the slight support, throwing his shoes and most 
of his dress over to the other side, before he 
attempted to cross. On the left bank, the 
road thenceforward becomes a little less diffi- 
cult ; and after following several windings of the 
stream, sometimes at a great height above it, 
finally leaves the tremendous gorge of the 
Acheron for the level plain of Fanari, on which 
I was once more glad to welcome the familiar 
lentisk and clumps of squills. 

Shortly we again forded the Acheron, here, 
in the vicinity of the ruined church of Glyky, 
a broad and considerable river ; the Albanians 
who accompanied me breasting the rapid waters 
on foot, hand-in-hand. At every turn of the 
gorge, through which the river escapes, there 
are views of Suli most varied and magnificent, 
but from this point its general aspect is most 
strikingly noble.* 

* Sec the description of this spot by Col. Leake, whose 
remarks on scenery combine the taste of a landscape painter to 


Anxious to reach Parga ere night, I did not 
visit the ruins at Glyky, but pursued the route 
in the plain, through rice-grounds, to the village 
of Potamia,* where at mid-day Ave halt. 

I could well have liked to have made many 
studies of these wild homes of Tzamouria ; but 
the difficulty of drawing during the whole of the 
day is <rreat, especially at this period, when the 
heat begins to be oppressive, and a little neglect 

the accuracy of a geographer. " Three tiers of steep, and almost 
precipitous rocks present themselves in front, appearing through 
the gorge of the river, the hill of Try pa, crowned with the 
Castle of Kuifa, between two smaller buildings at either end of 
the ridge. Above all rises the mountain of Suli, apparently 
double the height of Trypa, the elevation of which, above Glyky, 
seems to be about 1200 feet." Leake, North. Greece, IV. 57. 

* The appearance of this and similar Albanian villages, is well 
described by Mr. Hughes, at his visit in 1815, and will perfectly 
well serve for their illustration in 1819 — the best huts consisting 
of hurdles, were constructed formed " only of branches of trees, 
half cut through, which being turned down and fastened to the 
grcmnd, form a kind of tent, to which the trunk of the tree 
serves as a pole. Notwithstanding its apparent misery, the 
village has a curious and picturesque appearance, being inter- 
sected with green alleys, covered with vines, shaded by trees, 
and adorned with a vast quantity of flowers for the nourishment 
of bees, which every family seemed to cultivate." Hughes, 
II. 437. 


and idleness is excusable, though often afterwards 
regretted. After an hour and a half of repose, 
below large vine-hung willow-trees, lulled by 
the murmur of innumerable bees, and always 
jealously watched by a score or two of the 
ferocious dogs which guard these villages, it was 
time to proceed once more, and we again rode 
on towards the sea. 

A good deal of time was devoted to picking our 
way among the ditches and irrigations of the rice- 
grounds, which are very extensive in this part 
of the marshy plain of Fanari ; the paths among 
them form a perfect labyrinth, and much labour 
is lost in making useless detours. At length, 
however, we crossed the Vuvo* by a bridge, 
and leaving the Acherusian plains, took a course 
eastward towards Parga. 

Another hour was wasted by the muleteer 
persisting in the descent of a ravine, which con- 
ducted to no place whatever. There were new 
cuts of mule tract also, which evidently greatly 
puzzled poor old Andrea, who had not been 
here since 1833 ; and by the time we arrived at 
the hills on the coast looking towards Paxos, 

* The ancient Cocytus. Leake. 

B B 

;i70 JOl KNALS "i 

the sun was very low, and there were no symp- 
toms of Parga. It was so late, that as this new 
broad track seemed necessarily about to lead to 
some village, an experimental retrograde move 
was objectionable, so we went onwards, though 
by the winding of the path over cliffs to the 
south, it was evident to me that Parga was not 
to be my home to-night. 

At length we entered a thick wood, and began 
to descend rapidly, when lo ! once more we 
were in sight of the Acherusian plains, with the 
port of Fanari or Splantza at our feet. The 
route we had followed by mistake was a new 
one, lately made from that increasing village to 
Parffa and Paramythia ; but the discovery of his 
error threw poor old Andrea into great distress. 

" Old age is coming upon me, and my 
memory is going," said he ; " I never missed 
my way before, and now for the first time I 
perceive that I shall be unable to act as guide 
any longer. I, my wife, and my daughter, shall 
all die of starvation." 

In vain I declared, in order to comfort him, 
that he had done me a great service, for I par- 
ticularly wished to have a drawing: of the ancient 
port Glycys Limen, which in reality is a beautiful 
scene. The poor old fellow was inconsolable, 


so I sent him onward with the baggage, and re- 
mained until the sun had set, sketching the quiet 
little bay and its village, at the edge of the 
marshy plain, with the beautiful island of Leu- 
cadia forming the background. 

It became dark ere I reached the edge of the 
thick wood ; and in places where the track 
divided, the Albanian who led my horse, felt (for 
it was too dark to see) for the freshest traces 
left by the horse's shoes, on the edges of the 
flints in the path. I left the thicket, and on 
rounding the hill which overhangs the marsh, I 
saw Andrea and the horses far on the shore, ' lit 
by a large low moon ;' and following the edge of 
the Acherusian swamp, that sparkled with my- 
riads of fireflies, I reached the sands of the calm 
bay, and the hamlet of Splantza, where I found 
lodging provided in the large room of a Greek 
family, agents to the people whom I knew at 
Prevyza, and who were glad to make any arrange- 
ment for my comfort. 

Late at night I strolled on to the bright sands, 
and enjoyed the strange scene : air seems peopled 
with fireflies, earth with frogs, which roar and 
croak from the wide Acherusian marsh ; low- 
walled huts cluster around ; Albanians are 

n b 2 


stretched on mats along the shore ; huge watch- 
dogs lie in a circle round the village ; the calm 
sea ripples, and the faint outline of the hills of 
desolate Suli, is traced against the clear and 
spangled sky. 

May 7. 

Long before sunrise we were away from 
Splantza, and taking another guide to insure 
certainty in reaching Parga, I bade adieu once 
more to the plain of the Acheron and dark 
Suli, as we followed the track which led us in 
less than two hours to the spot we had reached 
last afternoon, and thence for some distance 
along the high cliffs above the bright blue sea, 
through underwood of lentisk and thorn. 

About nine we arrived at beautiful and ex- 
tensive groves of olive, for the cultivation of 
which Parga is renowned ; they clothe all the 
hills around, and hang over rock and cliff to 
the very sea with delightful and feathery luxu- 
riance. At length Ave descended to the shore 
at the foot of the little promontory on which 
the ill-fated place and its citadel stood ; alas, 
what now appears a town and castle consists of 


old ruined walls, for Parga* is desolate. A new 
one built since the natives abandoned the ancient 
site, — is, however, springing up on the shore, 
and with its two mosques is picturesque : this, 
with the rock and dismantled fortress — the 
islands in the bay, and the rich growth of olive 
slopes around, form a picture of completely 
beautiful character, though more resembling an 
Italian than a Greek scene ; but it is impossible 
fully to contemplate with pleasure a place, the 
history of which is so full of melancholy and 
painful interest. 

A dark cloud hangs over the mournful spot. 
Would that much which has been written con- 
cerning it were never read, or that having been 
written it could be disbelieved ! 

A lodging was found me in a very decent 
house, and shelter against the heat of midday, 
was grateful. In the afternoon and evening I 
made many drawings from either side of the 
promontory of Parga. From every point it is 
lovely, very unlike Albanian landscape in 
general, and partaking more of the character 
of Calabrian or Amalfitan coast scenery. But 

* Hughes, II. 244, 474. Hansard, Vol. XL. pp. 806, 1177, &c. 


iii spite of the delightful evening, and the spark- 
ling white buildings that crowned the rock at 
whose feet the waves murmured, the whisper- 
ing olives above me, the convent islets, and 
the broad bright sea beyond, in spite of all 
this, I felt anxious to leave Parga. The picture, 
false or true, of the 10th of April, 1819, was 
ever before me, and I wished with all rav heart 
that I had left Parga unvisited. 

May 8. 

About seven I retraced my steps to the 
road communicating between Paramythia and 
Splantza, and throughout the route leading over 
the hills which surround the Parguinote territory 
there was but little interest, excepting some 
Hellenic remains on the right, which I did not 
leave the track to examine. 

Before eleven we reached Margariti ; it 
stands in a close valley surrounded by hills, 
the outline of which is not possessed of much 
beauty ; but, as in many other instances, the 
frequency of interesting detail that forms, as it 
were, numerous small pictures, atoned for the 
want of general effect. Along the hill-side are 
scattered great numbers of detached Turkish 


houses situated in gardens ; one or two small 
minarets glitter above the fruit trees, and fine 
groups of plane shade parts of the vale below. 

Margariti, still a considerable place, was once 
extensive and powerful, and one of the last 
which held out against the power of Ali, but in 
the end it shared the fate of its neighbours. A 
cottage received me for repose and refreshment 
until the heat of noon was over. At half-past 
one p.m. we began to ascend the range of high 
hills which divide the territories of Margariti and 
Paramythia, and to toil over a tract of ground 
as barren of herbage as of interest and beauty ; 
near the summit of the height, however, is seen 
the extremity of Korfu, and higher up to the 
south lies Santa Maura ; and the day being very 
sultry, there was a pleasant breeze, which partly 
compensated for the absence of charm in the 
landscape. Nor was there long to wait for this 
worthier scene ; for we shortly began to descend 
into the green and pleasant plains of Paramythia, 
the town and castle of which are situated at 
its northern end, backed by magnificently- 
formed mountains. Every step across the 
plain of the Cocytus increases the beauty of 
the appearance of this fine place, without doubt 
one of the most grandly situated towns in 


Albania. The mountains which enclose the 
valley on every side prevent any distant view, 
but the interest of the hill of Paramvthia is in 
itself sufficient to employ an artist for a long 
space of time. The summit of the rock, on 
the sides of which the houses of the town are 
built, is crowned with a castle, and below it are 
scattered the picturesquely grouped dwellings 
intermingled with cypress and all kinds of 
foliage, while streams, stone fountains, Greek 
churches and mosques, — a second castle, that 
rises above what may be termed the lower 
town, large tufts of lofty trees in the vale, and 
the fir-clad mountain above, add to the charm 
and splendour of the scene.* I lingered long 
on the banks of the Cocytus drawing this beau- 
tiful place. The costume of the Greek women 
here is one of the prettiest I have seen ; and as 
a party passed me on its return to the town 
from a neighbouring wedding, I had a good 
opportunity of observing several of them. 

On arriving in that part of Paramythia which 
is most thickly inhabited, the narrow and dirty 
streets present a strange contrast to the beauty 

* Hughes, II. 430. 


of the town, when seen from below, and although 
we discovered a khan to which some of the pea- 
sants had recommended me as " troppo polito !" 
it was so dismal and filthy an abode that we 
tried to find a substitute in some Greek chris- 
tian's house. After some search, however, I 
was forced to relinquish the idea of comfort, and 
remain in a close and foul cell for the night (a 
place little better than some of my Illyrian 
lodgings), and listen to the wild octave-singing 
of the Albanians below, till the arrival of mid- 
night, silence, and sleep. 

May 9. 

In these holes, miscalled rooms, light there is 
none, and it is only by the sudden and simul- 
taneous clattering of storks, twittering of swal- 
lows, bleating of goats, and jingling of mules' 
bells, that a man is advised of the coming day. 
Starting at seven, two hours of toil brought us 
to the top of a rocky and uninteresting pass, at a 
place called Eleutherokhorio, one of the often- 
contested spots in the wars between Ali and the 
people of Paramythia, Margariti, and Suli. 

Here passports were demanded by a guard of 
Albanians, a matter more of form than use, as 

378 journals or 

Andrea hardly deigned to exhibit my Boyourldi 
Hence we descended into the bed of a torrent, 

whence we remained making weary way among 

low planes, not yet in leaf, so much colder is 
the temperature in this district, than on the 
southern and western side of the mountains, 
where all was brilliant verdure. By one, p.m., 
we had already crossed this tiresome stream 
forty times ; rain began to fall, and the day was 
gloomy and cloudy, so that, growing colder every 
hour, I grew every moment more weary of a 
day's journey, in which there was little beauty, 
novelty, or interest. 

About three w r e turned to the right, leaving 
the road to Ioannina, which weflhad hitherto 
followed, and ascending the sloping base of 
Mount Olytzika, arrived about half-past four at 
the village of Bagotjus, where we halted to pass 
the night. It was too late to visit the theatre of 
Dhramisius, so after drawing some of the scenery 
from the door of the priest's house where I am 
to lodge, I pass the evening as well as I can ; — 
the ceiling of my night's home is hung with pen- 
dant Indian corn, and irreat globes of raw cot- 
ton ; outside, the view r is peculiarly interesting : 
infinite clumps of tine trees clothe the sides of 
the hill, or are dispersed in the pasture-land 


below ; some of these shelter the village church 
in a very pleasing manner, as is the usage in 
these countries. 

May 10. 

To my great disappointment, it was raining 
hard at sunrise, and the clouds did not give any 
promise of holding up. Nevertheless, resolved 
to see the ruins of Dhramisius : I walked thither 
with a guide, as they are not above twenty 
minutes' distance from the village of Bagotjus. 
In spite of the driving cold rain, which nearly 
hid Mount Olytzika from view, it was impossi- 
ble not to be greatly struck with the magnificent 
size and position of the great theatre, which 
ranks in dimensions with the largest ones of 
Greece, Sparta, Argos, Athens, Megalopolis, &c* 
its total diameter being four hundred and sixty 

It is supposed that these extensive remains 
belong to a hierum and place of public meeting 
of the Molossi : "a place of common sacrifice 
and political union, for the use of all the towns 

* Leake, North. Greece, I. 2G3. 


of that division of Epirus."* I greatly regretted 
not being able to make such drawings as I 

wished at this interesting spot, though I did get 
one; but, had it been fine, the vale below the in 1- 
mense theatre, with the great peaks of Olytzika 
above, the immense clumps of trees at its base, 
would have tempted me to pass a day there. 

On Andrea joining me with the horses, we 
made the best of our way to Ioannina in pouring 
rain, which never ceased until we were near the 
lake, when Pindus, glittering in silvery snow r , 
peeped forth from clouds, and all the wide mea- 
dows south of the city were flocked with num- 
berless white storks. 

Before eleven 1 reach Ioannina, and am once 
more at the hospitable vice-consulate, where 
Signor Damaschino and his family have arrived 
a few days back from Prevyza. 

May 11, 12, 13. 

Three days passed at Ioannina, but with con- 
stant interruptions from showers. The mornings 
are brilliant, but clouds gather on Mitzikeli 

* Leake, North. Greece, I. 268. 


about nine or ten, and from noon to three or 
four, thunder and pouring rain ensues. The air 
is extremely cold, and whereas at Parga I could 
only bear the lightest clothing, I am here too 
glad to wear a double capote, and half the night 
am too cold to sleep. 

Apart from the friendly hospitality of the 
Damaschind family, a sojourn at Ioannina is 
great pleasure, and were it possible, I would 
gladly pass a summer here. It is not easy to 
appreciate the beauty of this scenery in a hasty 
visit ; the outlines of the mountains around are 
too magnificent to be readily reducible to the 
rules of art, and the want of foliage on the 
plain and hills may perhaps at first give a barren 
air to the landscape. It is only on becoming con- 
versant with the groups of trees and buildings, 
picturesque in themselves, and which combine 
exquisitely with small portions of the surround- 
ing hills, plain, or lake, that an artist perceives 
the inexhaustible store of really beautiful forms 
with which Ioannina abounds. 

During these days time passed rapidly away, 
for there was full employment for every hour ; 
one moment I would sit on the hill which rises 
west of the city, whence the great mountain 
of Mitzikeli on the eastern side of the lake is 

382 JOUENALS 01 

seen most nobly : at another, I would move with 
delight from point to point among the southern 
suburbs, from which the huge ruined fortress of 
Litharitza, with many a silvery mosque and 
dark cypress, form exquisite pictures : or watch 
from the walls of the ruin itself, the varied 
effects of cloud or sunbeam passing over the 
blue lake, now shadowing the promontory of 
the kastron or citadel, now gilding the little 
island at the foot of majestic Mitzikeli. Then 
I would linger on the northern outskirts of the 
town, whence its long line constitutes a small part 
of a landscape whose sulflime horizon is varied by 
mountain forms of the loftiest and most beautiful 
character, or by wandering in the lower ground 
near the lake, I would enjoy the placid solemnity 
of the dark waters reflecting the great mosque 
and battlements of the citadel as in a mirror. 
1 was never tired of walking out into the 
spacious plain on each side the town, where 
immense numbers of cattle enlivened the scene, 
and milk-white storks paraded leisurely in quest 
of food : or I would take a boat and cross to the 
little island, and visit the monastery, where that 
most wondrous man Ali Pasha met his death : 
or sitting bv the edsje of the lake near the 
southern side of the kastron, sketch the massive. 


mournful ruins of his palace of Litharitza, 
with the peaks of Olytzika rising beyond. For 
hours I could loiter on the terrace of the kas- 
tron opposite the Pasha's serai, among the 
ruined fortifications, or near the strange gilded 
tomb where lies the body of the man who for 
so long a time made thousands tremble ! It 
was a treat to watch the evening deepen the 
colours of the beautiful northern hills, or sha- 
dows creeping up the furrowed sides of Mitzikeli. 
And inside this city of manifold charms the 
interest was as varied and as fascinating : — it 
united the curious dresses of the Greek peasant 
— the splendour of those of the Albanian : 
the endless attractions of the bazaars, where 
embroidery of all kinds, fire-arms, horse-gear, 
wooden-ware, and numberless manufactures 
peculiar to Albania were exhibited — the clat- 
tering storks, whose nests are built on half 
the chimneys of the town, and in the great 
plane-trees whose drooping foliage hangs over 
the open spaces or squares : — these and other 
amusing or striking novelties which the pen 
would tire of enumerating, occupied every 
moment, and caused me great regret that I 
could not stay longer in the capital of Epirus. 
And when to all these artistic beauties is added 


the associations of Ioannina with the later years 
of Greek history, the power and tyranny of its 
extraordinary ruler, its claim to representing 
the ancient Dodona, and its present and utterly 
melancholy condition, no marvel that Ioannina 
will always hold its place in memory as one of 
the first in interest of the many scenes I have 
known in many lands. 

Of the people of Ioannina* I saw nothing ex- 
cept in the streets. 1 went about perfectly un- 
molested ; nor was there any curiosity shown as 
to my drawing : once only some Turkish 
officers observing my $ork on gray paper, sent 
for an interpreter to tell me that what I was 
using was not good London paper, for it was 
not white. Margiann, the black Kawas of the 
Vice-consulate, accompanied me everywhere, 
and smote the little red-capped children hither 
and thither if they came too near me. Among 
the women I observed none very pretty, and 
several were painted (as I remarked also at 
Paramythia) in the coarsest manner, quite to 
the eyes and roots of the hair. 

* Col. Leake, North. Greece, Vol. IV. Chap. 37, for a most 
interesting and admirable description of Ioannina, its customs, 
history, &c. 


The unsettled state of the weather, which 
characterises the spring and early summer in 
this place, prevented my even being able to 
obtain such sketches of the city and its neigh- 
bourhood as I had wished ; and the same cause 
made me very undecided as to pursuing my 
journey eastward ; yet it seemed hard to return 
to England without seeing Meteora, Tempe, 
Olympus, and Athos ; and when on the 13th 
the wind changed, and there were all sorts of 
atmospherical signs of permanently fine weather 
about to set in, I finally resolved on crossing 
the Pindus into Thessaly, and ordered horses 
for the morrow. 

May 14. 

The morning promises well, and we start as 
early as half-past five ; it is bitterly cold at this 
early hour, and the paved Turkish road forbids 
other than a very slow pace. At the southern 
end of the lake, the passage between it, or rather 
a tract of marsh, and the hill of Kastritza is 
merely wide enough to admit of this causeway 
— the high road from Ioannina to Constanti- 
nople. The ancient remains on the hill I reserved 
for a visit on my return, when I hoped to make 

o c 

386 joi i;\ \lb OJ 

drawings to aid at a future da\ in some poetical 
illustration of Dodona, for with thai ancient eit\ 
the site of Kastritza* is considered by Colonel 

Leake to be identical; the fortress peninsula of 
the present city of Ioannina he suirirests as the 
position of the Dodonean temple. The cautious 
research carried on for so long a time in Epiru-, 
and the great learning brought to the aid of such 
careful personal observation, oifer very weighty 
reasons for putting faith in any of Colonel 
Leake's suggestions as to the sites of antiquity: 
but apart from these, I feel determined to believe 
that his arguments concerning Kastritza are 
correct. And until I see a more beautiful 
Dodona I will believe, and it is a harmless even 
if an ill-founded credulity, that Dodona and the 
temple did stand at Kastritza and Ioannina. 

Cros>ing the plain of Barkumadhi, where 
there is a road-side khan, I began to ascend 
Mount Dhrysko — apart of Mount Mitzikeli, or 
the ancient Tomarus — arriving about nine at 
the top of the ridge, thence looking back on the 
1 ike, peninsula and island. Descending on the 

tern side of the ridge, the prospect shows the 

* Leake, IV. 157—196. 


two oreat branches of the Arachthus, or river of 
Arta ; that on the west coming from the hills of 
Zagori ; that on the east from the mountains of 
Metzovo. Above, the vast forms of the Pindus 
range tower amid snow and forests of pine ; — 
woods in dense array clothe the hill sides, and 
below the river winds in many a serpentine 

Passing a khan, not twenty minutes in de- 
scending from the ridge of Dhrysko, we continue 
the downward route to a second khan — near a 
bridge which crosses the Zagori branch of the 
river. Here we made the mid- day halt ; — there 
is ever somewhat pleasing in these moments of 
repose, if the weather permit them to be enjoyed 
out of doors ; — you have the rustling plane-tree 
shading the galleried khan, around whose steps 
a host of little kids are sleeping, nightingales 
singing on all sides, purple-winged dragon flies 
gleaming in the sun, and unseen shepherds 
pouring forth a pleasing melody from rustic 
pipes ; all these are matters of interest, though 
the actual scenery around me has rather a cum- 
brous air with undefined forms of hugeness not 
very adaptable to paper. 

Half an hour after noon we again set off, and 
crossing the bridge begin the ascent of the Met- 

c c 2 

388 JOURNALS 01 

zovo branch of the Arta. Disliking the continual 
necessity of fording the rapid stream, I essay 
to follow the road, which is carried along the 
right hank of the stream; but soon finding it 
entirely broken down by torrents, wc are obliged 
to retreat and descend to the bed of the river. 

To those who are pleased with the operation 
of river fording I strongly recommend the ascent 
of the Metzovo mountain, as insuring a greater 
portion of amusement in that line than any other 
equal space of ground. No fewer than forty- 
seven times had Ave to cross and re-cross the 
tiresome torrent ere Ave reached our evening's 

I had hoped to lodge at Triakhania, where 
there are, as the name implies, three khans ; but 
we found on arriving there, as late as four p.m., 
that none were inhabited, and owing to last year's 
inundations one was carried away, and the other 
two left roofless and dilapidated. 

Meanwhile the scenery was becoming more 
alpine and tremendous in character as Ave ad- 
vanced into the darker gorges of the ravine, and 
the picturesqueness of the pass was much en- 
hanced (though my chances of getting a night's 
lodging were proportionally diminished), by the 
passage of a regiment of Turkish cavalry with 


led horses. As the route occasionally leads at 
a considerable height from the river, while cross- 
ing from one ford to another, the long lines of 
soldiers dashing through the stream added great 
life to the picture. 

Disappointed of our resting-place at Tria- 
khania, there was now no alternative but to pass 
on to Metzovo, and after much tedious splash- 
ing through the roaring stream, we passed the 
military detachment, and hastened onwards, 
hoping to secure some part of a khan before 
they arrived. After much labour and hurry 
over roads which skirt the edge of precipices 
overhanging the torrent, we reached Anilio, the 
southern half of Metzovo — a large town divided 
into two portions by the ravine, and presenting 
no very picturesque appearance. Here Ave 
arrived at half-past seven o'clock, after a harder 
day's work than I had contemplated. 

Guards were stationed at the public khans, 
to prevent any one taking rooms in them ; so 
we had gained nothing by our haste. Andrea, 
however, soon procured a lodging in one of 
the houses of the village — a great contrast to 
those of the ordinary Greek peasants, being, 
although very small, perfectly neat and clean. 

Metzovo is inhabited by Vlakhi or Vlakhi- 

;W<> J01 RNAL8 01 

otes — a people of Wallaehian descent, already 
Bpoken of in these journals as occupying por- 
tions of Albania. In general their employment 
is that of shepherds, and as such they move 
about with their flocks from district to dis- 
trict. But in certain parts of the mountains 
settled colonies of them exist, who possess larg< 
flocks of sheep and goats, and are distinguished 
for their industrious and quiet habits of life. 
Many of the men emigrate as labourers, arti- 
zans, &c, to Germany, Hungary, Russia, &c, 
and return only in tluL summer to their fami- 
lies. They retain their language. Their cos- 
tume is ordinarily that of the Greek peasantry 
— a dark blue capote — with the head frequently 
bound by a handkerchief turban-wise above the 
fez or cap. 

May 15. 

There is much that is interesting and pleasanl 
in this elevated town. The houses stand mosth 
detached among gardens, rocks, beech and ilex 
trees, and a thousand pictures of pastoral moun- 
tain-life might be chosen, though the ireneral 
scenery is of too large a character for the 
pencil. The people also seem simple and 


sociable in manners : while I am drawing, many 
of them bring me bunches of narcissus and 
cowslips, and endeavour to converse. All have 
a robust and healthful appearance, very different 
to the people of the plains. 

At half- past six I begin to ascend towards 
the highest ridge of the Metzovo pass, called 
the Zygos, a formidable journey when there is 
any high wind or snow.* At present the 
weather is calm, and the magnificent groups 
of pine at the summits of the ridge are undis- 
guised by even a single cloud. Few mountain- 
passes are finer in character than this part of 
the Pindus range. Towards the very highest 
point the rock, bald and rugged, is so steep 
that the zigzag track cannot be overcome but 
upon foot ; and the immense space of mountain 
scenery which the eye rests on in looking west- 
ward is most imposing. Parent of the most 
remarkable rivers of Greece, and commanding 
the communication between Epirus and Thes- 
saly, the Zygos of Metzovo is equally renowned 
for classical associations, for geographical and 
political position, and picturesqueness. 

* Leake, I. 296—301 ; Holland, 226. Dr. Holland states 
the height of the ridge of Zygos to be 4,500 feet. 

;<<j_> JOURNALS 01 

But in this latter quality it is for the won- 
drous and extensive view over the plains of 
Thessalv that it is most celebrated — a scene I 
was not fated to be indulged with ; for no 
sooner had I surmounted the last crag of the 
ridge, in enthusiastic expectation of the out- 
stretched map of which I had so often heard, 
than lo ! all was mist. Nor, till I had for some 
time descended through the beautiful beech- 
forests which cover the eastern side of the Zygds, 
and which are carefully preserved as a shelter 
from the winds which^would at some seasons 
otherwise prevent the passage of the mountain, 
did the clouds disperse ; but even then only so 
partially as to show but little of the vast Thessa- 
lian distance. 

Passing a khan — the Zygos khan — shortly 
below the summit, we descended through woods 
into the more open country to a second, and in 
two hours and a half from the Zvi^os reached 
the third khan, that of Malakassi, on the 

At the khan of Malakassi we rested till nearly 
one p.m., when we pursued the route by the 
banks of the Salympria, or Peneus, often cross- 
ing and recrossing it, according as the track was 
more eligible on one or the other side. The 


scenery, confined at first and unmarked by any 
peculiar character, became more beautiful as we 
advanced farther from the mountains, whose 
thickly wooded slopes began to assume the blue 
tints of distance. Luxuriant planes grow in the 
greatest abundance by the river side ; and the 
route often wound for half-an-hour through 
fresh meadows and the richest groves, resound- 
ing with the warbling of nightingales, and 
overshadowing rivulets which flow into the 
stream. We met numerous files of laden 
horses, journeying from Thessaly to Albania; 
but picturesque as they often were, there was 
a civilized sort of common-place appearance 
about them, which to an artist's eye is in- 
finitely less pictorial than the bearing of the 
wild hordes of Albania. We passed also more 
than one khan by the road, and usually at 
these places the Albanian guards asked us ques- 
tions, and insisted on seeing passports which 
they had not the slightest idea of reading. As 
a proof of this, on my taking out by mistake 
the card of a hotel-keeper at Athens, the 
Palikar snatched at it hastily, and after gravely 
scrutinizing it, gave it back to me, saying, 
" Good ; you may pass on !" At the next 
guardhouse, I confess to having amused myself 

39 l JOURNALS 01 

1>\ showing a bill of Mrs. Dunsford's Hotel, at 

Malta, and at another the bark of an English 
letter, each of which documents were received 
as a Teskere. So much for the use of the Der- 
veni guards, placed by the Turkish Government 
to take accurate cognizance of all passers-by. 

As the day wore on, and the river opened out 
into a wider valley, the eastern horizon suddenly 
exhibited a strange form in the distance, which 
at once I felt to be one of the rocks of the Me- 
teora. This object combines with a thousand 
beautiful pictures, ^nited with the white- 
trunked plane-trees and the rolling Peneus, ere, 
escaping from the woods, the route reaches the 
wider plain ; and the inconceivably extraordi- 
nary rocks of Kalabaka, and the Meteora con- 
vents, are fully unfolded to the eye. 

" Twelve sheets," says Mr. Cockerell, in a 
letter, Feb. 9, 1814, "would not contain all the 
wonders of Meteora, nor convey to you an idea 
of the surprise and pleasure which I felt in 
beholding these curious monasteries, planted 
like the nests of eagles, on the summits of high 
and pointed rocks."* We arrived at Kastraki, a 

* Hughes, I. 509. 


village nestled immediately below these gigantic 
crags, at sunset. I do not think I ever saw any 
scene so startling and incredible ; such vast 
sheer perpendicular pyramids, standing out of 
the earth, with the tiny houses of the village 
clustering at the roots. 

With difficulty — for it is the time when silk- 
worms are being bred in the houses, and the 
inhabitants will not allow them to be disturbed — 
Andrea procured a lodging for me in the upper 
part of a dwelling, formed as are most in the vil- 
lage, like a tower, the entrance to which, for the 
sake of defence, was by a hole three feet high. 
Here, after having gazed in utter astonishment 
at the wild scenery as long as the light lasted, 
I took up my abode for the night. The inhabi- 
tants of this place, as well as of Kalabaka (or 
Stagus),* are Christians, and every nook of the 
village was swarming with pigs and little child- 
ren. " Uoxxa ttkJW ," said an old man to me, as the 
little creatures thronged about me, " &« ™ vs§6v 
xccxov" What a contrast is there between the 
precipices, from five to six hundred feet high, and 
these atoms of life playing at their base ! Strange, 

* Anciently Acgmium. Leake, I. 422. 


unearthly-look ing rocks arc tlicsc, full of gigan- 
tic chasms and round holes, resembling Gruyc-re 
cheese, as it were, highly magnified, their sur- 
face being otherwise perfectly smooth. Behind 
the village of Kastraki, the groups of rock arc 
more crowded, and darkened with vegetation ; 
and at this late hour a sombre mystery makes 
them seem like the work of some genii, or 
enchanter of Arabian romance. Before the 
dwellings, a slope covered with mulberry trees 
descends to the river, and grand scenes of Thcs- 
salian plain and hill till up the southern and 
eastern horizon. 

May 16. 

I went very early with a villager to visit and 
sketch the monasteries. Truly they are a most 
wonderful spectacle ; and are infinitely more 
picturesque than I had expected them to be. 
The magnificent foreground of fine oak and 
detached fragments of rock, struck me as 
one of the peculiar features of the scene. 
The detached and massive pillars of stone, 
crowned with the retreats of the monks, 
rise perpendicularly from the sea of foliage, 
which at this early hour, six a.m. is wrapped 


in the deepest shade, while the bright eastern 
light strikes the upper part of the magic heights 
with brilliant force and breadth. To make any 
real use of the most exquisite landscape abound- 
ing throughout this marvellous spot, an artist 
should stay here for a month : there are both the 
simplest and most classic poetries of scenery at 
their foot looking towards the plain and moun- 
tain ; and when I mounted the cliffs on a level 
with the summit of the great rocks of Meteora 
and Baarlam, the solitary and quiet tone of these 
most wonderful haunts appeared to me inex- 
pressibly delightful. Silvery white goats were 
peeping from the edge of the rocks into the 
deep, black abyss below ; the simple forms of 
the rocks rise high in air, crowned with 
church and convent, while the eye reaches the 
plains of Thessaly to the far-away hills of 
Agrafa. No pen or pencil can do justice to 
the scenery of Meteora* I did not go up to 

* Yet more has been done for these monasteries, both by pen 
and pencil, than for any place so remote from the ordinary 
routine of English travel. The best accounts of them are 
published by Colonel Leake, who visited this and the adjoining 
villages in 1805—1810. North. Greece, Vol. I. 118, and Vol. 
IV. 537; and in Dr. Holland's tour (1812, 1813), who gives 


any of the monasteries. Suffering from a 

severe fall in the autumn of la>t year, I had no 
desire to run the risk of increasing the weak- 
ness of my right arm, the use of which 1 was onl\ 
now beginning to regain, so the interior of these 
monkish habitations I left unvisited ; regretting 
that I did so the less, as every moment of the 
short time I lingered among these scenes, was 
too little to carry away even imperfect repre- 
sentations of their marvels. 

I had been more than half inclined to turn 
back after having ^n the Meteora convents, 
but the improvement in the weather, the in- 
ducement of beholding Olympus and Tempe, and 
the dread of so soon re-encountering the gloomy- 
Pass of Metzovo, prevailed to lead me forward. 
Accordingly, at nine a.m. I set off eastward 

accurate views of them, together with elaborate and excellent 
descriptions of the scenery, &c, sec pages 231 — 245. The 
monastery of Baarl&m represented in Mr. Cockcrell's drawing 
(Hughes, Vol. I. 508), conveys, it is needless to say, a thoroughly 
correct idea of that place. (1810.) There arc also striking 
descriptions of the Meteora rocks in Urquhart's ' Spirit of the 
East/ Vol. I. 271, &c. And last, not least, the drawings of 
Viscount Kastnor, and the lion. K. Cuivon's amusing account 
of these remarkable monasteries, have made them familiar to 
all who read. 


once more along the valley of the Peneus, which 
beyond Kastraki widens rapidly into a broad 
plain, enlivened by cattle and sheep, and an 
infinite number of storks. As we approached 
Trikkala, the pastoral qniet beanty of the wide 
expanse increased greatly, and the view close to 
the town is delightful. Standing on a rising 
ground, the Castle of Trikkala, with magnificent 
plane trees at its foot, makes a beautiful fore- 
ground to a distance, the chief ornaments of 
which are the chain of Othrys and distant 
Oeta. The scenes of life and activity, the 
fountain with groups of Thessalian women at its 
side, the little mosque with its cypresses, offer 
a most welcome change to me after the sullen 
ravines of the Pindus, and the close-wooded 
valley of the Upper Salympria. 

We halted at mid- day in a cafe of Trikkala, 
the keeper of which was a man of Trieste, who 
talked of 'quella Londra, e quel Parigi ' with the 
air of a man of travel. But the sort of mongrel 
appearance of every person and thing in the 
town, are not pleasing to the eye of an artist 
who has been wandering much among real cos- 
tume and eastern characteristic. Blue-tailed 
coats worn over white Albanian fustianelles, 
white fleecy capotes above trousers and boots, 


arc doubtless innocent absurdities, but they are 

At half-past three we again proceeded. The 
town of Trikkala is large,* but greatly neglected, 
and partly in ruins ; nevertheless, the bazaars 
seem extensive and bustling. 

The plains grew wider and wider. AVe pass 
a few villages, each more w r idely apart from its 
neighbour than the preceding, and by degrees I 
feel that I am really in Thessaly, for width and 
breadth now constitute the soul and essence of 
all the landscape, ^fo the north only the 
distant form of Olympus rears itself above a 
low range of hills ; and to the south, the hills 
of Agrafa and Oeta are gradually becoming 
less distinct. Before me all is vast, outstretched 
plain, which never seems to end. Agriculture 
and liveliness are its predominant charac- 
teristics. It is full of incident; innumerable 
sheep, goats, horses, buffali, and cattle, corn or 
pasture-land, peasants' huts, hundreds of per- 
ambulating storks, give a life and variety every- 
where. And then so green, so intensely green, is 
this immense level ! and the peasant women, in 

* Trikkala, ancient Tricca. 


their gay, fringed and tasselled capotes, — how far 
handsomer than any Greeks I have seen ! 

At sunset we halt at a village (Nomi) ; there 
are plenty of villages as halting-places on all 
sides, but I have had enough work for to-day. 

The Primate's house, which we go to, is newly 
whitewashed, and very damp, so Andrea per- 
suades a Mohammedan agent for the Turkish 
proprietor of the village, Seid EfFendi, to let me 
have a room in his house. And a delightful 
house it is — the room on the upper floor is lined 
throughout with new wood, and adjoining a 
gallery, which looks over all the wide, wide 

With curried mutton, roast fowl, and fish 
from the Peneus, Andrea makes an excellent 
dinner. He tells me that Seid EfFendi possesses 
seven thousand sheep, which are kept by the 
shepherds of these villages, who receive the 
tenth lamb with the tenth of the wool of the 
flock as their pay. 

These Thessalian plains are alive with dogs, 
who bark all through the night. 

May 17. 

A lovely scene ! as the sun rises over the 

D D 


immense extent of verdure, which soon becomes 
animated with rural bustle. It will be difficult 

at a future period to recall, even to memory, the 
indescribable clearness and precision of this 
Greek landscape, far more to place it on paper 
or cam as. We start early, and trot quickly over 
green roads, which cross the wide level from vil- 
lage to village. There are buffali ploiuidiinir ; and 
there are strange waggons, with spokeless wheels 
of solid wood, drawn by oxen ; and great cara- 
vans of horses carrying merchandise from 
Saloniki to the mountains — the lading tied in 
sacks of striped cloth. With some there are 
whole families migrating, children, puppies, and 
fowls, mingled in large panniers. The men wear 
black capotes, the women white, and dress their 
long plaited hair outside a white handkerchief. 
There are great gray cranes too, the first I ever 
saw enjoying the liberty of nature. These birds 
seem made for the vast plains of Thessaly : how 
they walk about proudly by pairs, and disdain 
the storks who go in great companies! Now 
and then there is a vulture, but there is too much 
society for them generally. As for jackdaws and 
magpies, they congregate in clouds, and hover 
and settle by myriads. 

We come to the Peneus once more — now a 


great river. Giant, white-stemmed abeles, in 
Claude-like groups, are reflected in its stream ; 
herons are peering and watching on its banks ; 
and immense flocks of brown sheep are resting 
in the shade of the trees. 

Between nine and ten we stop for a little 
while at the khan below Zarcho, and after that 
we enter a wide valley, through which the 
Peneus runs ; the sides of the vale are low un- 
dulations, which shut out all the distant plain. 
At twelve, we came again to the river side, and 
passing it by a ferry, halt for food and repose 
below large plane-trees. Bee-eaters* with their 
whistling pipe flutter in numbers around the 
upper branches. 

At two p.m. we are off again ; — the delightful 
character of the Thessalian plains is changed. 
The ground is no longer a perfect flat, but com- 
posed of undulations of such great size, that no 
part of even the mountain boundaries of the 
plain — Olympus, Ossa, Oeta, or Pindus — can 
be well seen; and sometimes for half-an-hour 
the traveller dips into an overgrown corn-field, 
beyond the limits of which he sees and knows 

* Merops A piaster. 

D I) k 2 

|()| JOURNALS <)1 

nothing. I confess I was most heartily weary, 
ii- 1 came in sight of the minarets of Larissa; 
and although the view of all Olympus is unob- 
structed at its entrance to the town, from which 
there is a view of the river sweeping finely 
below it, yet it is clear that the extremely simple 
lines of this part of Thessaly are ill adapted for 
making a picture, and least of all can anything 
like expression of the chief character of the 
country, i.e., its vast level extent, be given. 

The heat is great, and I have, moreover, a 
feeling of returning ftver, so that I do not ob- 
serve the environs of Larissa so much or so 
carefully as I might, but entering the city, go at 
once to the house of Hassan Bey, the richest 
proprietor in Larissa (to whom the Hon. Cap- 
tain Colborne has given me a letter) ; and 
although the Bey himself is from home, his 
family gave orders for my being placed in a 
good room, where I pass the night. 

May 18. 

The morning is occupied in a visit to the 
Governor of the Pashalik, Sami Pashet, an agree- 
able man, who has lived at Cairo, London, 
and all kinds of civilized places. He is a 


Greek by birth ; but speaks French and Italian 

There is a heaviness in the atmosphere here, 
which either producing, or combined with, a 
constant fear of fever fits, prevents my making 
the least exertion in sketching any one of the 
beautiful things around me. Yet to be so near 
Tempe, and not to go there ! Nay, whatever 
happen, I will see Tempe. 

At noon I dine with two of Hassan Bey's 
sons, his eldest by one wife ; various other sons 
come into the fine room in which dinner is served, 
but retire before the meal begins. Hassan Bey 
has seven wives, and eleven wivelets, or concu- 
bines, and consequently is a sad polygamist; 
nurses and children are continually to be seen 
in every part of the residence ; but they all 
appear to dwell in harmony. It is provoking 
to know that from a high lattice on one side 
of the courtyard all the eighteen pair of eyes 
can perfectly look at us while at dinner, and 
yet that I can perceive none of them. The 
conversation of our party is not very current, as 
neither I nor my young hosts are very proficient 
in Romaic. After dinner, I amuse them by 
drawing camels, &c, till Andrea informs me 
that it is time to start for Tempe. 


Promising to return to Hassan Bey's family, 
a well-bred and good-natured circle, 1 set off 
with Andrea, two horses and a knapsack, and a 
steeple-hatted Dervish, at whose convent in 
Balm, at the entrance to the Pass of Tempe, my 
night's abode is to be. 

They call the Dervish, Dede Effendi, and he 
is the head of a small hospitable establishment, 
founded by the family of Hassan Bey, who 
allows a considerable sum of money for the relief 
of poor persons passing along the ravine. The 
Dervish i> obliged to lodge and feed, during 
one night, as many as may apply to him for 
such assistance. There are many interesting 
views about Larissa ; but not feeling sufficiently 
fever-proof, I dared not halt to sketch. During 
two hours we crossed the level plains ; and as 
the sun was lowering, arrived at pleasant green 
lanes and park scenery, below the mighty Olym- 
pus. By six we arrived at Baba,which stands at 
the very gate, as it were, of Tempe, and is cer- 
tainly one of the loveliest little places I ever 
beheld. The broad Peneus flows immediate!} 
below the village, and is half hidden by the 
branches of beautiful abeles and plane-tree-, 
which dip their branches in the stream. A small 
mosque, with its minaret, amid spin cypresses, 


is the Dervish's abode ; and on the opposite 
side of the river are high rocks and the richest 
foliage, rejoicing in all the green freshness of 
spring. In the summer-time, when this exqui- 
site nook still preserves its delightful verdure, 
the hidden passage from the wide parched 
plains of Thessaly must doubtless be charming 
beyond expression. 

The little square room in the Teke, or house 
of the Dervish was perfectly clean and neat, and 
while I ate my supper on the sofas surrounding 
it, the well-behaved Dede EfFendi sate smoking 
in an opposite corner ; his son, the smallest pos- 
sible dervish, five or six years old, dressed like 
his father in all points excepting his beard, 
squatted by his side. For the Dervish is a mar- 
ried man, and his wife, he assures me, has made 
one or two dishes for my particular taste, and is 
regarding me at this moment through a lattice at 
the top of the wall. 

Towards nine, many poor passengers call for 
lodging, and are stowed away in a covered yard 
by the mosque, each being supplied with a ration 
of bread and soup. 


May 19. 

The early morning at Baba is more delightful 
than can he told. All around is a deep shadow, 
and the murmuring of doves, the whistling of 

bee-eaters and the hum of bees fills this tranquil 

The village of Ambelaki is situated on the side 


of Mount Ossa, and thither, having heard 
much of its beauty and interest, I went early, 
before pursuing the road by thePeneus, through 
the gorge of Tempe. I cannot say I was so 
much delighted with the expedition as I expected 
to be, but this was mainly because heavy clouds 
shut out all the upper portions of Olympus, partly 
also from not having felt well enough to seek for 
the best or most picturesque points. But judging 
from what ought to be seen if the great moun- 
tain of the Gods had been clear, and relying on 
the descriptions and taste of perfectly good 
judges,* I believe Ambelaki would well repay 
a long visit. On returning to the route to Tempe 
I met a young man dressed in the usual 

* Leake, HI. 385 ; Holland, 287. 


Thessalian garb, and on my hailing him in 
Greek, I was surprised to find my salutation 
returned in good French. At the fall of the 
commercial community of Ambelaki, the father 
of Monsieur Hippolyte, one of the richest mer- 
chants of the place, fled to France, settled and 
married there : this was his son, who, returning 
to his native place, had for some years resided 
on the paternal property. " Sometimes I live 
here," said he, " sometimes in Paris ; but I come 
here principally for hunting." Town and country, 
— Paris and Tempe — certainly are two points of 
Europe in which one might easily find pleasure 
and occupation. 

Leaving Monsieur Hippolyte I went onward 
into Tempe, and soon entered this most cele- 
brated ' vale' — of all places in Greece that which 
I had most desired to see. But it is not a ' vale,' it 
is a narrow pass — and although extremely beau- 
tiful, on account of the precipitous rocks on each 
side, the Peneus flowing deep in the midst, 
between the richest overhanging plane woods, 
still its character is distinctly that of a ravine or 

In some parts, the Pass, (which is five or six 
miles from end to end), is so narrow as merely 
to admit the road and the river ; in others the 


locks recede from the stream, and there is a little 
-pace of green meadow. The cliffs themselves 
are very lofty, and beautifully hung with creepers 
and other foliage ; but from having formed a 
false imagination as to the character of" Tempe's 
native vale," I confess to having been a little 
disappointed. Nevertheless, there is infinite 
beauty and magnificence in its scenery, and fine 
compositions might be made, had an artist time to 
wander among the great plane-trees on the border 
of the stream : a luxuriant wooded character is 
that which principally distinguishes it in a pic- 
torial scene from other passes where there may 
be equally fine precipices bounding a glen as nar- 
row. Well might the ancients extol this grand 
defile, where the landscape is so completely 
different from that of any part of Thessaly, and 
awakes the most vivid feelings of awe and de- 
light, from its associations with the legendary 
history and religious rites of Greece. 

As it was my intention to pursue the route 
towards Platamona as far as time would allow. 
and to return to Baba at evening, I left the gorge 
of Tempe and crossed the Peneus in a ferry-boat 
opposite a khan at the eastern extremity of the 
Pass. Hence, the scener j was precisely that of 
the finest English park : — rich meadows, and 


noble clumps of trees at intervals. In two hours 
we reached a guard house, called Kara All Der- 
veni — and from a rising ground above it I halted 
to make a drawing of the view, which is one of 
great beauty. The waters of the Peneus mean- 
dered sparkling in many a winding curve, 
through delightful meadows and woods, to the 
sea ; — beyond was the low isthmus of Pallene, 
and above it the lonely Athos, whose pyramid I 
gazed on a second time, without much hope of 
reaching it. 

Towards Ossa and Olympus also the scenery 
would, doubtless, have been fine, but thick 
clouds provokingly hid them throughout the 

In some meadows near a little stream flowing 
into the Peneus were several camels, which are 
frequently used about Saloniki and Katerina, &c. 
They were very ragged and hideous creatures, and 
offered a great contrast to the trim and well kept 
animals of our Arabs, which we had so familiarly 
known in our journey through the desert of 
Suez and Sinai. But as I returned towards 
Tempe, I perceived a young one among the 
herd, and I rode a little way towards it spite of 
the clamorous entreaties of the loannina mule- 


tecr. I had better have attended to his 
remonstrances, for the little animal (who re- 
sembled nothing so much as a large white muff 
upon stilts), chose to rush towards us with 
the most cheerful and innocent intentions, and 
skipping and jumping after the fashion of de- 
lighted kids, thrust himself into the way of our 
three horses with the most facetious perverse- 
ness. One and all took fright, and the mule- 
eers reared, threw him and escaped. There 
was much difficulty in recapturing the terrified 
animal, and when we had done so, forth came 
the little muffy white beast once more, pursu- 
ing us with the most profuse antics over the 
plain, and rendering our steeds perfectly un- 
manageable. To add to our discomfiture, the 
whole herd of camels disapproving of the dis- 
tance to which we were inveigling their youmr 
relation, began to follow us with an increasingly 
quick trot ; and we were too glad to ford the 
stream as quickly as possible, and leave our 
gaunt pursuers and their foolish offspring on 
the opposite side. 

It was evening when, having recrossed the 
Peneus, I arrived at the Dervish's house in 
Baba, and the little owls were piping on every 


side in that sweet valley.* Mr. Urquhart, says 
that when he was at Tempe,f the Dervish roosted 
in one of the cypress trees ; but I cannot say that 
the respectable Dede Effendi indulged in such a 
bird-like system of repose. He, the female, 
and the miniature Dervish, all abide in a little 
house attached to the mosque, and the good 
order and cleanliness of his whole establish- 
ment very much disarranged all my previously- 
formed ideas of Dervishes in his favour. 

May 20. 

On my return to Ioaninna there is but just 
time to make one drawing of dark Olympus, 
ere a frightful thunderstorm, with deluges of 
rain, breaks over the plain and pursues me to 
the city. It continues to pour all the afternoon, 
and I amuse myself, as best I can, in Hassan 
Bey's house. It is a large mansion, in the best 
Turkish style, and betokening the riches of its 

* The Strix Passcrina (or Scops ?) which abounds in these 
groves, as in the olive-woods of Girgenti in Sicily, and southern 
localities in general : its plaintive piping, so different to the 
screech or hoot of the larger owls, is a pleasant characteristic of 
the evening hours. 

f Vol. II. 28. 


master. It occupies three sides of a walled 
court-yard, and one of its wings is allotted to 
the hareem, who live concealed by a veil of close 
lattice work when at home, though I see them 
pass to and fro dressed in the usual disguise worn 
out of doors. I watch two storks employed in 
building on the roof of that part of the build- 
ing. These birds are immensely numerous in 
Thessaly, and there is a nest on nearly every 
house in Larissa. No one disturbs them ; and 
(hey are considered so peculiarly in favour with 
the Prophet, that the vulgar believe the conver- 
sion of a Christian as being certain to follow 
their choice of his roof for their dwelling ; 
formerly, a Christian so honoured, w 7 as forced 
to turn Mussulman or quit his dwelling, — so at 
least they told me in Ioaninna, where two pair 
have selected the Vice Consul's house for their 
abode. It is very amusing to watch them when at 
work, as they take infinite pains in the construc- 
tion of what after all seems a very ill-built nest. 
I have seen them, after twisting and bending 
a long bit of grass or root for an hour in all 
directions, throw it away altogether. That will 
not do after all, they say ; and then flying away 
they return with a second piece of material, in 
the choice of which they are very particular ; 


and, according to my informants at Ioaninna, 
only make use of one sort of root. When they 
have arranged the twig or grass in a satisfactory 
manner, they put up their heads on their 
shoulders, and clatter in a mysterious manner 
with a sound like dice shaken in a box. This 
clattering at early morning or evening, in this 
season of the year, is one certain characteristic 
that these towns are under Turkish Government, 
inasmuch as the storks have all abandoned Greece 
(modern), for the Greeks shoot and molest 
them ; only they still frequent Larissa, and the 
plain of the Spercheius, as being so near 
the frontier of Turkey, that they can easily 
escape thither if necessary. This is foolishness 
in the Greeks, for the stork is most useful in 
devouring insects, especially the larva of the 
locust, which I observed in myriads on the 
plains near the entrance of Tempe ; and I counted 
as many as seventy storks in one society, eating 
them as fast as possible, and with great dignity 
of carriage. 

That part of the roof of the hareem which is 
not occupied by storks, is covered with pigeons 
and jackdaws ; a humane attention paid to the 
lower orders of creation being always one of the 
most striking traits of Turkish character. 


The storm continues all night. The air of 
Larissa is heavy and close, and so much threatens 
fever, that I resort to quinine in no little quan- 

May 21. 

It is fine, but with that instinctive feeling 
that certain air in this country infallibly brings 
on return of fever, I decide on leaving the 
capital of Thessaly without making even one 
sketch to recal it to memory ; and I do this 
with great regret, for there must be many of 
the most beautiful and characteristic Thessalian 
scenes to be found in its level environs, and on 
the banks of its broad river. 

Starting about seven, we held a southward 
course ; the plain was one unvaried green undu- 
lation. Larissa, and even Olympus, except iioav 
and then its highest peaks, are soon lost to 
sight, from the comparatively uneven nature of 
the ground ; and it is only from some eminence 
where a village is planted (of which there were 
two or three in the day's ride), that anything 
like a satisfactory drawing can be made. 

Yet the very simplicity, the extreme exag- 
geration of the character of a plain, is not with- 


out its fascination ; and the vast lines of 
Thessaly have a wild and dream-like charm of 
poetry about them, of which it is impossible for 
pen or pencil to give a fully adequate idea. 

After passing some elevated ground, from 
which the view of the range of Mount Oeta is 
most magnificently fine, we halted at midday at 
one of these villages — the name I neglected to 
take (Hadjobashi ?) — and hence the charm of 
Mount Oeta and the hills ofPharsalus or Fersala 
make one of the most beautiful of landscapes, 
combined with the mosque and its cemetery, 
and the profusion of animal life usual in these 
Thessalian hamlets. 

Having crossed the stream Fersalitis (the 
Enipeus), it was past five p.m. ere we arrived 
at Fersala, which is full of picturesqueness. 
The scattered town on the side of the rocky 
height, and the splendid plane-tree groups, 
delighted me extremely. I was glad to have 
visited a spot so famous in history as well as 
interesting from its beautiful situation — one, 
not the least of its claims to admiration, being 
the full view of the broad Olympus opposite. 


* Pharsalus. Leake, IV. 1?.""). 

E E 


The view from the Acropolis, its ancient walls, 
the ruins, and the fountains below the town, 
with its kiosk below the white-branched planes, 
whose fluttering foliage shelters numerous 

storks and their nests, all combine to render 
Fersala a place worthy of a longer stay than 1 
could make in it. 

May 22. 

With a feeling of attraction towards new 
scenes, and with%faint hope that I might yet, 
if there were a fair wind, sail from Volo to 
Athos, I started early from Pharsalus. There 
was much interest, if not great beauty, in the 
morning's ride, and the route passed near seve- 
ral ancient sites.* But it was not until the 
afternoon, that crossing the low rans:e of hills 
near the gulf of Volo, we came in sight of 
its blue waters, and looked down on the plain 
of Armym, with the chain of Othrys beyond, 
and the Magnesian promontory to the east. 
Visions of Athos still float before me, and 
I decide on going to Yolo instead of Armyro: 

* Thftidiuiii. Eretria Phthiotis, Phj r lace? 


for although it had an appearance of great 
prettiness, imbedded as it is in green groves 
of wood, yet I must have devoted a whole 
day to it had I gone thither at all, the hour 
being already far advanced : so, having halted 
for a while, I turned northward. 

Many were the incidents which filled up the 
rest of the day : — first, we lost our way among 
cultivated rice-grounds ; and secondly, in a 
deep quagmire — a more serious matter, which 
took up much time to remedy. At length, 
by the sounding blue waves, we went onward 
towards the head of the gulf, keeping in view 
some white houses to the left where we trusted 
to find a night's lodging ; but alas ! when we 
arrived at them they were nothing but ruined, un- 
inhabited walls. At sunset, having retraced our 
steps, we were climbing the lentisk-covered cliffs 
at the furthest head of the gulf, and many 
parts of it brought back scenes and pleasant 
journeys in Attica and Eubrea. But as it grew 
dark, and we were descending towards Volo, 
Andrea's horse fell, and precipitated him from a 
rock some four or five feet in height. It was 
long before the muleteer and myself could lift 
the unlucky Dragoman on to his horse once 
more ; and the great pain he was suffering 

E E 2 

I -JO J0UKNAL8 01 

obliged us to go at a very slow place over t1u> 
causeway of rough pavement which leads to the 
town. There we arrived at ten at night ; and 
it was midnight before we could procure Lodg- 
ing within the cellar of a house — in which never- 
theless it was necessary to be contented till 

May 23. 

Alas ! the woes of Thessaly! It is again pouring 
with rain, and the^ T ind is set in southerly, so 
that once and for altogether I give up all idea 
of sailing to Athos. 

The horses are ordered, and as soon as An- 
drea can get about, I start at length to return 
to Ioannina. 

As I ride way, Volo, its gulf, and the scat- 
tered villages on the hills of Magnesia, seem 
truly beautiful; but to what purpose should I 
linger ? To-morrow, and to-morrow, may be 
equally wet. Mount Athos ! Mount Athos ! All 
my toil has been in vain, and I shall now most 
possibly never see you more ! 

All da\ long I rode on in hard rain, and at 
sunset we stopped at one of the many villages 
in ihi- gre. ;<<n plain No one would look 


at the Bouyourldi, although poor old Andrea 
ran about with the open document in his hand, 
exclaimino- ! " tc Qximrs — look at it !" with the 
most dramatic emphasis. But no one would look 
at it. One said he was blind, another declared 
he had illness in his family, and all retreated 
into their houses from fear, or obstinate resolve 
to have nothing to do with strangers ; and if an 
old woman had not charitably given me a lodg- 
ing, in a shed full of calves, I might have been 
drowned in the torrents which fell. Eventually, 
however, we procured a cottage floor. 

May 24. 

The woes of Thessaly continued : once more 
by deep mire and incessant corn-fields, through 
pastures full of cranes, jackdaws, and storks, 
and always in hard rain as before. We kept on 
the right bank of the Peneus, as far as the bridge 
near the khan of Vlokho, and in the evening 
found shelter once more in the house of Seid 
Effendi, at Nomi. 

Toward sunset it cleared a little ; and as 1 
arrived at the night's halting place, all the vil- 
lage was alive with the gaieties of a wedding. 

122 JOl RNALS 01 

Like the dance L and I had seen at Arac- 

hova, the women joined hand-in-hand, mea- 
suredly footing il in a large semicircle, to a minor 
cadence played on two pipes : their dresses were 
most beautiful. Half the women wore black 
capotes, bordered with red; their hair plaited; 
long crimson sashes ; worked stockings and red 
shoes : these were the unmarried girls. The other 
half — matrons, or betrothed — wore dazzling 
white capotes, worked at the collar and sleeves 
with scarlet ; the skirts bordered with a regular 
pattern of beautifflPeffect, and the red fez nearly 
covered with silver coins, which hung in festoons 
on their necks, and half-way down the crimson 
sash tails. 

Besides this the belt, six or eight inches broad, 
was covered with coins, and fastened by two em- 
bossed silver plates, four inches in diameter, and 
gave a beautiful finish to the dress ; the aprons 
too were magnificently worked. Of this livery 
company, most were pleasing in countenance, 
but few could be called beautiful. The bride, 
one of the prettiest of the party, came round to 
ever\ one present, and kissed their hand, placing 
it afterwards on her head, a favour she extended 
to me also as one among the spectators. Fa- 


tigued and wet through, I regretted not being- 
able to avail myself of the opportunity of draw- 
ing this pretty village festive scene. 

May 25. 

The woes of Thessaly continued. In the 
middle of the night, the roof of Seid Effendi's 
house being slight, a restless stork put one of his 
legs through the crevice, and could not extricate 
it ; whereon ensued much kicking and screams, 
and at the summons came half the storks in 
Thessaly, and all night long the uproar was 
portentous. Four very wet jackdaws also 
came down the chimney, and hopped over 
me and about the room till dawn. It rained 
as hard as ever as we went over the plains 
to Trikkala, and infinitely worse between that 
place and Kalabaka, so that the spectral 
Meteora rocks looked dim and ghastly in their 
gigantic mistiness. With difficulty we crossed 
the Peneus beyond Kastraki, and at sunset 
reached one of the small khans in the wood by 
the roadside which must be my abode till morn- 
ing. This unceasing deluge is, however, a very 
serious affair, as should the Metzovo river be too 

!•_> | JOf|;\\i> OF 

much swollen to ford, I maybe a prisoner in the 
Pass for an indefinite time. 

May -2G. 

The woes of Thessaly prolonged ! Until 
a little after sunrise, (when it began to pour 
again, ) how grand were the Meteora rocks rising 
above the thick dark foliage on the banks of the 
Salympria ! 

For hours we threaded the narrowing valley 
of the river, whiPft at each ford grew more 
violent and rapid; above the next two khans, 
parts of the road were very dangerous, and near 
Malakassi the streams running into the Salym- 
pria — mere rivulets on our journey hither — were 
now such foaming torrents that my little white 
pony could hardly accomplish the passage. 

At noon avc reached Malakassi yet the pea- 
sants declare that it has been quite dry on the 
Metzovo side of the mountain. Starting at one, 
we made the ascent to the Zygos khan by half- 
past four, and thence to Metzovo, rinding it to be 
true that less rain had fallen there. (The sum- 
mit of the mountain was in thick mist, as when I 
came, so I never saw that Thessalian view.) We 


passed the town, anxious to be as far advanced 
within the gorge as possible in case of bad 
weather to-morrow ; and halted for the night at 
sunset, at the little khan about a mile above 

May 27. 

No more Thessaly — we are in Epirus once 
more. We hasten down the river, now dis- 
agreeably wide, and reaching in places from 
bank to bank ; at length we reach the Lady's 
Khan, and ascending Mount Dhrysko, halt. Then 
bursts the rolling thunder and the buckets of 
heaven are emptied. Floods pour down from 
Metzovo and Zagori, and the river will be very 
shortly impassable ; it is therefore lucky I have 
crossed it. So I reach Kastritza, and the causeway 
by the lake, and the Casa Damaschino once more 
before five, most heartily delighted to have quitted 
Thessaly, however much I regret the little I have 
drawn there. But May is the wet season of 
Albania, and an artist should avoid it. 

May 29. 
Resting throughout yesterday (when, as is 

|-_)() JOl BNALS 0] 

universally the case, rain feU after ten through- 
out the day), I prepare to leave Ioannina this 
morning, and take leave of the hospitable 
Damaschind. Zitza, Kastritza, Zagdri, Dhra- 
misius, and many other drawings I lose — so 
short is my time — so uncertain the weather. 
Addio, Ioaninna ! which I gaze on for the last 
time from the height above the lake, its bright 
city barked by black clouds of thunder. 

Soon the storm burst, but we halted ere lo, 
at Verchista, and in the afternoon proceeded 
to the night's resting-place — Raveni, a village, 
in a beautifully wooded hill district. 

May 30. 

Wonderfully rich and beautiful landscapes are 
there between Raveni and Philates ! perhaps 
some of the most lovely I have seen in Albania, 
both as to the form and clothing, and arrange- 
ment of the hills, and the disposition of the fore- 
grounds. After descending a narrow ravine, 
we arrived at Philates about twelve, a place 
abounding in exquisite beauty, and placed near 
that very remarkably -formed rock, which from 
Korfu is so effective a feature in the scene. 

Much 1 regretted not to draw Philato from 


the descent to the plain by the sea-shore, for, 
indeed, there are some of the very finest scenes 
in all Albania or its environs. 

At the Scala of Sayades I arrived at six, and 
hiring a boat for Korfii, was deposited safely in 
quarantine by noon on the 31st. 

June 9. 

I was out of quarantine on the 5th, and have 
passed some pleasant days in the town since, 
though not so much so as formerly. " All things 
have suffered change." Lord Seaton's family, 
and many others I knew, are gone. 

Good old Andrea Vrindisi I have paid, and 
sent off to Patras ; and to-day I am on board the 
Malta steamer ' Antelope,' and am sailing through 
the Ionian Channel for the ninth time. Off 
Parga : — there are the mosques, silvery-white ; 
there, high up beyond the plain, is the dark 
hill of Suli. There is the fatal hill of Z&longo 
— the point of Prevyza. 

At sunset, Sappho's leap — Leucadia's rock of 
woe. The mountains of Tchamouria fade awa\ , 
and I look my last on Albania. 

At midnight, the moon rises over dark Ithaca, 


and lights up the Ba\ of Samos, where we 
>ta\ half-an-hour. 

Sunrise. — Patras once more, and the pearly- 
tinted Mount Voidhid. Noon. — Gay Zante, 
briehl and bustling as ever. 

And so, with the last point of Xakynihus, and 
the dim, distant mountain of Kefalonia, ends 
m\ journey in the lands of Greece. 


S l» l> N" : 

Print* Poland S 



DR Lear , Edward 

701 Journals of a landscape 

35L4- painter in Albania 



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