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HARVARD COLLEGE 
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THE BEQUEST OF 
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SKETCHES AWHEEL 



IN 



MODERN IBERIA 



BY 

FANNY BULLOCK WORKMAN 

WILLIAM HUNTER WORKMAN 

Authors of " Algerian Memories " 




G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

NEW YORK LONDON 

97 WEST TWBNTY-THIRD STRBBT 24 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND 

S^t $mcheibocktr jpress 
1897 



HARVARD colleQI LiBHAIIV 

FROM 

THE BEQUEST Of 

EVERT JANSEN WENDlLli 

10li 



So.oy'W \^ 4-^.<^6"" 



Copyright, 1897 

BY 

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 



Ube Unicfccrbocfccr prcBB» l^cw fiotfc 



In memory of the varied experiences of our many travels 
together, I affectionately dedicate my portion of this book 
to my husband, without whose skill in planning the long 
route, energy in following it out, and attention to details, 
our journey through the length and breadth of Spain would 
not have been possible. 

FANNY BULLOCK WORKMAN. 



To my wife, my companion on long journeys awheel in 
most of the countries of Europe, in Sicily and North Africa, 
and on tours afoot in the mountains of Norway, the Alps, 
Apennines, Pyrenees, and Atlas, whose courage, endurance, 
and enthusiasm, often under circumstances of hardship and 
sometimes of danger, have never failed, I affectionately 
dedicate my contribution to this volume. 

WILLIAM HUNTER WORKMAN. 



PREFACE. 

THE following pages are based upon ob- 
servations and experiences of the authors 
while on a tour through Spain in the spring 
and summer of 1895. The tour was made on 
bicycles, not to satisfy the spirit of adventure 
commonly ascribed to Americans, though 
something of adventure must be expected in a 
country like Spain, nor because there was any- 
thing novel to us in this mode of travel — the 
novelty had long since worn off — but as being 
the means of conveyance best adapted to our 
purpose, enabling us in entire independence of 
the usual hindrances of the traveller to pass 
through the country at leisure, stopping where 
and when we pleased. 

Riding was only a means to an end, and long 
runs were not attempted. The average daily 
distance on riding days for the whole trip was 
about seventy-five kilometres, but a hundred 
and ten to a hundred and twenty-five had often 
to be made in order to reach shelter for the 



VI FREFACE. 



night These last distances and greater ones, 
with the twelve to twenty pounds of luggage 
necessarily carried in touring, are usually made 
under favourable circumstances without per- 
ceptible fatigue, but sometimes in Spain with 
bad roads and head-winds they represented a 
very considerable effort. 

A good portion of the route lay among moun- 
tains, the numerous passes of which necessi- 
tated walking and pushing often for hours at a 
time. It is not our purpose to give a weiri- 
some itinerary of distances and condition of 
roads travelled, nor to recount all the petty 
accidents that occurred, nor to pose as martyrs 
to enthusiasm by magnifying all the hardships, 
of which there were plent)' ; but to give our 
impressions of a part of what we saw of the 
nature, people, and art of Spain on a trip of a 
kind that offered some experiences not usually 
met with in the ordinary mode of travel. At 
the same time an intelligent bicyclist will find 
considerable information that might prove use- 
ful were he to make a similar journey. 

The route travelled covered about forty-five 
hundred kilometres and extended from Port 
Bou and Figueras at the north-east corner over 



PREFACE. VU 

Gerona, Barcelona, Monserrat, Manresa, Mont- 
blanch, Poblet, Tarragona, Tortosa, Castellon 
de la Plana, Sagunto, Valencia, Jativa, Alcoy, 
Alicante, Elche, Murcia, Albacete, Manzanares 
Jaen, Granada, Loja, Malaga, Ronda, Gibral- 
tar, Algeciras with excursion to Tangier and 
Tetuan in Morocco, Tarifa, Cadiz, Xeres, 
Seville, Merida, Carmona, Cordova, Toledo, 
Aranjuez, Tarancon, Cuenca, Madrid, Escorial, 
La Granja, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Zamora, 
Valladolid, Burgos, Logrofio, Tudela, Zara- 
goza, Pamplona, Tolosa, San Sebastian to 
Irun. 

Many places besides those mentioned proved 
interesting, and what was seen and experienced 
on the route was in its way quite as original 
and instructive as what was seen in the towns. 

It is impossible to crowd within the limits of 
a modern book all of the material that is gath- 
ered on a journey of this kind and length in 
the highways and b)rways of a land as large as 
Spain. Out of the mass that is available and 
of interest to the writers it is difficult to select 
what may prove most interesting to our read- 
ers, whose diversity of taste is likely to be 
almost as great as their number 



via PREFACE. 

A book composed entirely of personal ex- 
periences and adventures may become nau- 
seous ; one dealing extensively with history is 
open to the charge of being unoriginal or guide- 
bookish, even though the facts may have been 
gathered from sources far removed from guide- 
books, while one devoted largely to architect- 
ural description is considered dry. All these 
subjects as well as the natural scenery, antiqui- 
ties, and customs of the people have a bearing 
on the interest of a Spanish tour, and a writer 
must cull from all if he would present an intel- 
ligible picture of a portion of what may be 
seen in Spain to-day. 

Finally, this book makes no pretension to 
being an exhaustive treatise on the subjects 
touched upon. 

F. B. W. W. H. W. 

Munich, October 8, 1896. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

INTRODUCTION xiii 

I. — PASSING THE FRONTIER .... I 

II. COSAS DE ESPA5fA GREET US — DINING WITH 

CABALLEROS AT THE FONDA IN GERONA — 
CHURCH OF THE GREAT SPAN — A MODERN 
CITY OF SPAIN 6 

III. — MONSERRAT — LEGEND OF THE BLACK VIRGIN 

— MANRESA THE PENANCE TOWN OF LOYOLA 21 

IV. — A GOOD-FRIDAY PROCESSION — GLIMPSES OF 
CATALONIA — DESECRATED TOMBS AND 
SHATTERED ALTARS OF FALLEN POBLET . 34 

V. — EASTER SERVICE AT THE TARRAGONA CATHE- 
DRAL — THE VENTA OF PERELLO — A PLEAS- 
ANT HOUR WITH THE BRITON AT TORTOSA 
— SPANISH ANIMALS AND THEIR OWNERS . 43 

VI. TRANSITIONAL VALENCIA — ARCADIAN JATIVA 

— A MOUNTAIN-TOP PRELUDE TO AFRICAN 
SPAIN — AT THE VIUDA OF JIJONA . . 55 

VII. — AN ENCOUNTER WITH TEAMSTERS — MOTIVES 
AMONG THE PALMS — GLORIES OF AFRICAN 
SPAIN — MURCIA, THE PEARL OF THE HUERTA 7 1 

VIII. — THROUGH THE GATE OF THE VANQUISHED 
MOORS INTO THE FLOWER LAND OF ANDA- 
LUCIA — THE RED PALACE OF GRANADA — EL 

ULTIMO SUSPIRO 8 1 

ix 



X CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER PAGB 

IX. — OVER THE MALAGA SIERRAS TO THE QUEEN 
OF THE SHIMMERING SEA — RONDA — A JAUNT 
TO THE CUEVA DEL GATO AND THE ZUMI- 
DERO ........ 92 

X. — TETUAN, A WHITE CITY OF MOROCCO, HOME 
OF THE DESCENDANTS OF THE EXILES OF 
GRANADA I05 

XI. — TARIFA — OCEAN-WASHED CADIZ — PEONES 
CAMINEROS — ALCALA DE LA GUADAIRA — 
FAMED SEVILLA OF THE GUADALQUIVIR . I30 

XII. — ROMAN MERIDA — NECROPOLIS OF CARMONA — 
DELAYS AND SPANISH DELIBERATION — DOR- 
MANT CITY OF THE CALIPHS AND ITS 
MOSQUE OF MANY COLUMNS . . . 149 

XIII. — CORPUS CHRISTI IN HISTORIC TOLEDO — SARA- 
CENIC, JEWISH, AND CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS 162 

XIV. — THE FONDA OF TARANCON — AN AUTOCRAT 

OF THE DINNER TABLE . . • 171 

XV. — CUENCA, A PICTURESQUE CITY OF NEW CAS- 
TILE — IN THE MUSEUM OF THE PR ADO . 1 82 

XVI. — THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM — OVER THE GUADAR- 
RAMAS — TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CAS- 
TILE ........ 194 

XVII. — THE UNIVERSITY TOWN OF THE TORMES — 
THE PROFESSOR OF ZAMORA — MEDIiEVAL 
CAPITAL OF CASTILE — STREET SCENES DUR- 
ING THE FERIA AT BURGOS — CATHEDRAL — 
TOMBS AT MIRAFLORES — LAST OF THE CID .211 

XVIII. — NATURE, ART, AND PEOPLE OF ARAGON AND 

NAVARRE — FAREWELL TO ESP A5r A .228 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PUERTA DEL CASTILLO, CUENCA 

STREAM WITH STEPPING-STONES, CATALONIA 

REPAIRS BY THE WAY .... 

MONASTERY OF MONTSERRAT . 

TORRE DE LOS ESCIPIONES, NEAR TARRAGONA 

CLOISTER OF TARRAGONA CATHEDRAL . 

A SPANISH BORRICO .... 

ONE OF THE FORTRESS HILLS OF JATIVA 

PASEO DE LOS MARTIRES, ALICANTE 

UNDER THE PALMS OF AFRICAN SPAIN . 

GUARDIA CIVIL ON AN ANDALUCIAN PASS 

IN THE COURT OF THE LIONS, ALHAMBRA 

AT THE ULTIMO SUSPIRO 

ENTRANCE TO THE GORGE, RONDA 

FISH MARKET, TETUAN . 

BASHA STREET, TETUAN . 

A MARKET WOMAN OF TETUAN 

RETURN FROM LA SOURCE, TETUAN 

A LONE TOWER OF ANDALUCIA 

ROMAN BRIDGE AT MERIDA 

xi 



PAGS 

Frontispiece 



lO 

22 

28 

44 
48 

52 
60 

72 

76 

82 

86 

90 

104 

108 

116 

122 

128 

138 
150 



Xll 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGB 

REMNANT OF ROMAN AQUEDUCT, MERIDA . . 152 

ENTERING TOLEDO 162 

TOLEDO CATHEDRAL WITH TAPESTRIES AT CORPUS 

CHRISTI 166 

ROCK-GIRT CUENCA 182 

HOUSE AT CUENCA 190 

EN ROUTE TO THE FERIA, AVILA .... 2o6 

TORO DE GUISANDO, AVILA 2IO 

PUERTA OF THE PALACE OF D05fA URRACA, ZAMORA. 214 

ROMANESQUE ENTRANCE, LA MAGDALENA, ZAMORA. 232 

BRIDGE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF NAVARRE . . 240 



INTRODUCTION. 



SPANISH ROADS. 



WHILE making preparations for the 
tour we attempted to obtain informa- 
tion upon a subject all important to the suc- 
cess of our project, viz., the condition of the 
roads in Spain, but without any satisfactory 
result. We neither knew nor could learn of 
anyone who had made an extensive tour in 
that country in the manner we proposed. 
The guide-books and books of travel consulted 
^contained only fragmentary statements of little 
value and, judged in the light of after-experi- 
ence, not any too accurate. Correspondence 
with persons living in Spain only elicited the 
rather dubious reply that not much could be 
said for the roads, particularly in spring. 
The meagre information gained was not re- 
assuring, and it was not without considerable 
misgiving that we determined to face the 
problem and solve it for ourselves. 



Xlll 



Xiv INTRODUCTION. 

The roads in Spain available for wheeled 
vehicles are called carreteras and are divided 
into two classes — the **arrecifes or caminos 
reales," built and cared for by the state, and 
the ** communales," under local direction. 
Among the former are the eight grand routes 
diverging from Madrid, which with their 
branches connect it with most of the impor- 
tant cities of the kingdom. Some of these 
were planned and executed on a most liberal 
scale with plenty of width for roadway, sub- 
stantial parapets and bridges ; of others not so 
much can be said. 

In most countries it is usually considered 
and is probably true that roads under govern- 
ment control are the best, hence one might 
expect the caminos reales to be better than- 
the caminos communales. This is not by any 
means always the case, many of the latter 
being greatly superior to many of the former, 
and more than once we left the government 
for the communal road with the greatest sense 
of relief. Ford, relying perhaps a little too 
much on the general principle, says : ** When- 
ever a traveller hears a road spoken of as 
' arrecife, camino real,' he may be sure that it 



INTRODUCTION. XV 

is good." Had Ford, in 1895, ridden a bicy- 
clette over some stretches of camtno real^ the 
acquaintance of which we made, he might 
have modified his statement. So far then as 
the character of these two classes of roads is 
concerned they may be treated as one and the 
same. 

Spain is a large country, and no one term is 
descriptive of its roads as a whole. It has 
some that may be called excellent and many 
that are good, being macadamized and well 
constructed, with a hard, fairly smooth surface. 
Many more, though rideable, are rough, badly 
made and poorly kept up. Still others, and 
these a not inconsiderable portion in some 
sections, can only be spoken of as abominable, 
being now, if they ever were tolerable, thor- 
oughly worn out, or merely tracks in the sand 
or clay soil. 

Speaking in general terms, we found the 
average of roads poorest in the provinces of 
Aragon, Catalonia, Castellon, Valencia, Murcia, 
and in the southern half of New Castile, from 
Madrid south ; better in Estremadura and 
Andalucia, particularly in the southern and 
western portions ; and best in New Castile 



XVI INTRODUCTION. 

north and east of Madrid, Old Castile, Leon, 
and Navarre. In the two last named prov- 
inces we did not meet with a bad road, and 
many would not suffer in comparison with 
those of other Continental countries, being 
far superior to some soon afterwards traversed 
in the south of France. The same is said to 
be true of the roads of Galicia and the 
Asturias, which provinces we did not visit. 

In the first named set of provinces our route 
lay over long reaches of road with wide, well 
laid out roadway of sand or clay entirely inno- 
cent of the macadamizing or other constructive 
process. Through the centre of this ran a 
single track formed by three ruts from six 
inches to a foot deep, the side ruts made by the 
narrow tyres of the high-wheeled carts used in 
that section, and the centre one by the animals 
harnessed one before the other. The sides of 
the roadway were occupied either by heaps of 
stones or by large stones placed at short in- 
tervals so as to prevent the use of any part 
except the centre. The only available path for 
us was the central mule track, which, always 
narrow and never smooth, demanded the great- 
est skill and attention in riding. 



INTRODUCTION. XVll 

Often riding was impossible and we were 
obliged to perform the arduous task of push- 
ing our loaded machines over the soft and un- 
even mule track, walking ourselves along the 
ridge on either side. On meeting with teams, 
which never moved out of their course for us, 
the inconvenience of getting out of the track 
and getting into it again after they had passed 
can be imagined. Still worse was it when we 
were obliged to pass them, as we had to hurry 
by on the heavy obstructed roadside in order 
to mount again ahead. 

Another class of roads which caused us 
much trouble and delay were those which were 
being repaired. Often places existed where 
for several kilometres the whole available road- 
bed was covered thickly with broken stone left 
to be trodden in and consolidated by travel. 
Here again, nothing remained but to push 
ahead on foot till the end was reached. 

Others still were worn into hollows and 
ridges, covered with grey or brown dust to a 
depth of two inches or more, interspersed with 
stones of various sizes rendering riding difficult 
and somewhat hazardous. Leaving out of 
account other factors, and speaking solely with 



XVIU INTRODUCTION. 

reference to the condition of the roads, we 
should advise only skilful, experienced, and 
determined bicyclists to attempt a tour through 
the eastern, southern, and some of the middle 
parts of Spain, while the northern part as far 
as Madrid can be traversed with nearly as much 
ease as other countries by those somewhat ac- 
customed to touring, 



SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODEFN 

IBERIA 



SKETCHES AWHEEL 



IN 



MODERN IBERIA. 



CHAPTER I. 

PASSING THE FRONTIER. 

WE had intended to enter Spain over the 
turnpike running from Perpignan 
across the Pyrenees to Figueras, but having 
learned that luggage sent from France into 
Spain by rail unaccompanied by the owner is 
liable to detention at the frontier, which would 
seriously derange our plans, we concluded to 
forward our trunk containing extra clothing 
and supplies hy grande vitesse to the Spanish 
custom-house at Port Bou and meet it there. 

In most of the countries of Europe, Spain 
included, bicycles are liable to a duty on en- 



2 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

trance, and the tourist is obliged to make a 
deposit in money, which is returned to him if 
he leaves the country with the same machine 
within a specified time. To facilitate matters 
at Port Bou we despatched a letter in advance 
to the ** Jefe de Aduana," couched in our best 
Spanish, stating we should arrive on a given 
train prepared to make the required deposit, 
and praying most humbly that our trunk might 
be on hand for examination and all necessary 
papers ready, so that we might depart without 
delay by the same train. The letter ended 
with the usual string of polite and flattering 
abbreviations prescribed by custom in Spain. 

We rode across the south of France, reach- 
ing Banyuls on the coast, where the highway 
ended, on Saturday evening, March 31st, and 
the next day took the rail for Port Bou. When 
the passengers* luggage had been transferred 
to the room devoted to the customs examina- 
tion, we made ourselves known to one of the 
officers, who forthwith reported at a small side 
office. In a few moments a man with dark, 
closely trimmed hair and beard, regular features 
and handsome Arab-like eyes, dressed in a 
black civilian suit of unexceptionable cut, the 



PASSING THE FRONTIER. 3 

very picture of a gentleman, stepped put with 
our letter in his hand, which he waved slightly 
above his face, and nodded to us with a most 
winning and friendly smile, telling us to stand 
back from the struggling crowd and have 
patience, and he would see that all was 
arranged. 

The train was advertised to leave in one 
hour. Duly impressed by the kindly reception 
we retired to the side of the room and waited 
impatiently for half an hour, in the course of 
which time the affairs of the other passengers 
were all disposed of. Then seeing nothing of 
our trunk and no evidence of the usual for- 
malities incident to making a deposit on the 
bicycles, we again sought the Jefe. With a 
suavity of manner as before, admirable and 
incomparable, he now displayed an utter ig- 
norance of any of the procedures necessary in 
the premises, as well as of the whereabouts of 
our trunk, and appealed to an official of the 
French railway, by whose kind assistance it 
was soon learned that the trunk was in the 
storehouse of the railway company, and as it 
was Sunday, the storehouse shut, and the man 
in charge away, it could not be obtained until 



4 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

the next day. Alas for our precautions and 
trust in the activity of the Spanish customs 
officials ! So far 'as the trunk was concerned 
they had miscarried. 

The Frenchman and the Jefe promising to 
despatch the trunk to Barcelona the next day, 
we decided not to wait over for it and turned 
our attention to the deposit question. An 
unaccountable mistiness seemed to envelop 
this also. The Jefe, after consulting one of 
the other officers, said, ** If you wish to make 
a deposit on the bicycles which shall be re- 
turned, you ought to have obtained a manifest 
before leaving France." This was contrary to 
any experience we had ever had before, and 
we said we did not see what a French manifest 
had to do with a deposit in the Spanish custom- 
house. He was also unable to throw any light 
on this point. After a few minutes he ex- 
plained that the duty on bicycles was based on 
their weight, and as a favour to us he would 
call that of ours considerably less than it really 
was, and the duty would be a certain, by no 
means excessively large, number of pesetas^ 
which would not be returned. 

Although this was not just what had been 






PASSING THE FRONTIER. 5 

expected, and we should have preferred to 
make the regular deposit, we thanked the 
Jefe for the consideration shown, and handed 
him a bank-note of a denomination larger 
than the sum stated, which immediately dis- 
appeared into his pocket, change being ig- 
nored. A receipt without any figure was then 
given us, stating that we had paid the entrance 
duty. Our eyes were opened to one of the 
peculiarities of Spanish official administration. 
As the event proved, however, the man did 
us a real favour, as we were later obliged to 
dispose of these bicycles, and the larger deposit 
demanded by law would in this case have been 
forfeited. 

With mutual expressions of admiration and 
regard we took leave of the courteous official 
and entered the train for Figueras. 



%% 



CHAPTER 11. 

COSAS DE ESPANA GREET US— DINING WITH CABAL- 
LEROS AT THE FONDA IN GERONA— CHjJRCH OF 
THE GREAT SPAN— A MODERN CITY OF SPAIN. 

AT last we were in Hispania, and forty 
minutes by rail would bring us to 
Figueras, where the road to Gerona would be 
joined. For us the train was all too Spanishly 
slow, so anxious were we to begin our Don 
Quixotian days on the turnpike. Would they 
be Quixotian? We hoped some of the an- 
cient customs might still persist, and with this 
hope, acting on the advice of Ford, had pro- 
vided our travelling satchels, among other 
things, with small mirrors. Before our trip 
was ended it became evident that Spain is 
not so far advanced in civilisation but that 
adventures may still be found without any 
great amount of seeking. 

One looks in vain for anything distinctive 
either in the people or towns between Port 

6 



COSAS DE ESPANA. 7 

Bou and Figueras. The latter make simply 
the same semi-French, semi-Spanish impres- 
sion that is characteristic of all the towns be- 
tween here and Perpignan. On approaching 
Spain a certain naivete of expectancy in regard 
to the distinctive is active in the traveller s 
mind, which leads him to think he will find 
people, customs, and architecture typically 
Spanish as soon as he crosses the frontier. 
Such expectation does not at first appear to 
be fulfilled, but if he works his way into the 
country patiently, — for patience as well as 
time is an important factor in Spanish travel, 
—he is sure in the end to find Spain Spain, 
and the Spaniard a Spaniard. 

Arrived at Figueras, as we were strapping 
the luggage on our bicycles, we noticed two 
gendarmes among the quiet crowd gathered 
about. Here at least something not partly 
but wholly Spanish presented itself. They 
were members of the famous corps of the 
guardia civil, and were dressed in the dark 
blue uniform and black tarpaulin hats of the 
corps. The most novel thing about them was 
their grass green net gloves. 

We inquired of them the way to the road. 



8 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

They gave us a military salute, and said they 
would accompany us to it. We told them we 
would not trouble them to do that, but their 
idea of the etiquette involved in the case'de- 
manded that they should see us on the right 
path, so we said no more, but started off, each 
attended by a guard with shouldered musket 
marching solemnly at the side, thus beginning 
our first journey in Spain under military 
escort. 

The walk through the town was somewhat 
long and tedious. Had we followed our own 
inclinations we should have mounted and 
ridden on, Figueras not being an especially 
intricate place, but we did not wish to offend 
our kind protectors by riding away from them 
before their mission was accomplished. On 
reaching the turnpike they again raised their 
green-gloved hands to their hats, and, as we 
mounted our cycles, the musical words of old 
Spanish diligence days, ** Adios vayan ustedes 
con Dios," fell from their lips. These words 
were destined to become a sort of ** Leitmotif " 
to cheer many a long day's wandering, but 
whether used by a Catalonian, a Sevillian, or 
drawled out in the rich, guttural sound of the 



COSAS DE ESPA5JA. 9 

Castilian with the peculiar prolonged sound of 
the o, they were never commonplace, but ever 
rang a sweet music in our ears. Spoken for the 
first time by the g-uardza they acted like a stimu- 
lant as we rode off on the deserted chaussee. 

The country between Figueras and Gerona 
is undulating, sparsely inhabited, and uninter- 
esting. In two of the towns passed through 
the children were very annoying, running after 
us, screaming and throwing stones. 

We crossed two rivers destitute of bridges, 
but provided instead with large stepping- 
stones placed as far apart as one can con- 
veniently step. This novel means of passing 
a river, w^hile easy enough under ordinary cir- 
cumstances, caused some delay, encumbered 
as we were with the loaded bicycles, which 
had to be carried over. As an original feat- 
ure we found no fault with this, for where in 
France, Germany, or Italy can a river be 
crossed on stepping-stones? We afterwards 
crossed a number of other small rivers in 
Catalonia and along the eastern coast in the 
same manner, as well as a few that had to be 
forded being destitute either of bridges or 
stepping-stones. 



lO SKETCHES AWHEEL IX MODERN IBERIA. 

About dusk we entered Gerona, and, with 
iho assistance of a friendly Spaniard, found 
owv way to the Fonda de los Italianos. Out- 

w 

wardly it had a forbidding aspect, which re- 
lUiiulcd us of inns we had stopped at in 
provincial Italy, but darkness was setting in 
and a cold wind swept the narrow street, so 
wc rntrrcd, prepared to make the best of what 
wc^K onio mijjht be found. It proved, however, 
1o 1)(* a very comfortable place, kept by an 
oil] Italian, who was exceedingly proud of not 
b« in^ a S|>aniard. 

Vho t<>oms were large, clean, and well fur- 
fii^lwMl, and ihc food, which Murray says is 
«4»Mnlly at that inn, was abundant and well 
I Of)Kf«l. Tho <y>fH?W^, or chief meal, as served 
in ciiTDna is typical, with slight variations, of 
lli;H fnim^hrd in the majority of towns of like 
^,\y*' all i)\'rv Spain. Naturally the smaller the 
U)s\\) tlir n<Mror the fon-d^ approaches the 
/v;vr7/y with sinipl<n* food and a less number 
• il • «)m^<'fii. TIk^ (icrona nicnu was as follows : 
'V)Hp, \\\vw ntafi-o, which is boiled beef gurm 
with potatfV^s, oahl>ago, and garbanzas. This 
l.^-'t \^ w«'ll d<*s<M*ihod by Gautier as a pea 
wlH«t» in it^ ainhilion to Ix^come a haricot has 



12 SKETCHES AWHEEL IX MODERN IBERIA. 

familiar but perfectly respectful manner, and 
accepted like a favourite dog the remains of 
each course as the Don passed them on to 
him. All smoked cigarettes between the 
courses, for good Spaniards believe in smoke 
at meals, as some people believe in Cayenne 
pepper. We left the table highly satisfied 
with our first comida in Spain, convinced that 
we had had one scene from Quixotian life, al- 
though it was laid in the Gerona comedar 
and not around the brasero of the Venta de 
Cardenas. 

The gentle old host waylaid us as we came 
out, to ask what we wished for breakfast. 
When we told him he nodded assent, even 
agreeing to give us coffee at half-past six, 
** but not butter," he said, drawing himself up 
with the dignity of a fallen Italian nobleman, 
** not Spanish butter, that I cannot offer my 
guests. Were it butter from my native place 
near Milano, I should be proud to have you 
taste it." In this we acquiesced, recalling what 
we had read and heard of Spanish butter. 

Notwithstanding: the assurance of the at- 
tentive landlord that **cafe con leche" should 
be served at six-thirty in the morning, when 



CHURCH OF THE GREAT SPAN. 1 3 

we approached the comedor shortly before 
seven, we found everything in a state of slum- 
ber. Even the watch on duty awoke with 
a start on seeing us. He said the coffee 
would be ready directly. After waiting a 
quarter of an hour, we remarked to him sar- 
castically as we started to go out, **We are 
leaving for the cathedral. Please have that 
coffee ready on our return in an hour." '* By 
all means your honours ought to see the 
cathedral," was the answer. '* When you 
return the coffee will surely be made." 

Reflecting on the saying that a Spaniard 
puts off everything until to-morrow, we started 
out to find the church. It was a cold morn- 
ing, and in the dark sunless streets all the 
men wore large soft hats and heavy capas 
drawn closely about them. Passing a shop- 
window filled with various preparations of 
chocolate, , we went in to get some in the place 
of first breakfast. The friendly shopkeeper, 
when we had selected what we wished, made 
us a present of a paper of delicious biscuits, 
such as Spaniards eat with chocolate. When 
we asked the way to the cathedral, he took 
down his capa and insisted on showing it to 



14 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

US himself. He went with us through the 
streets and up the hill to the entrance of the 
church, where he left us, wishing us a pleasant 
journey. This was only one of the marjy 
occasions when the innate chivalry ofuie 
Spaniard prompted him to walk a consider- 
able distance to point out some place or object 
we wished to find. 

In another moment we were inside the 
cathedral remarkable in Gothic architecture 
as possessing the widest nave of any church 
in Europe. It seems rather extraordinary 
that little Gerona should have a church with 
a nave seventy-three feet wide, wider by 
twenty-nine feet than those of the Cologne 
and Canterbury cathedrals, while that of the 
cathedral of Toulouse, which was considered 
a wonder in this respect can only show a 
width of sixty-three feet. 

A disagreeable impression is ^sometimes 
produced upon the mind by abnormally large 
things, but in this case the height is so well 
proportioned to the width that the result is 
impressive indeed, and as we view the nave 
from the aisles around the choir, a sense of 
its grandeur and harmony steals over us, recall- 



CHURCH OF THE GREAT SPAN. 15 

ing Street's words, '*Had this nave been larger 
by one bay scarcely any interior in Europe could 
have surpassed it in effect." 

The flagrant fault in Spanish cathedrals of 
putting the coro in the centre of the nave 
is particularly emphasised in its effect here 
under this splendidly proportioned expanse. 
You become accustomed to this as you journey 
farther into Spain, and finally, as there is so 
much else to admire in these different vast 
poems of stone, learn to put up with it as a 
** cosa de Espana " in architecture. 

The effect of the dark interior, which has 
never been marred by whitewash, is enhanced 
by the small openings for light throughout 
the church, which in spite of several high 
traceried windows retains the solemn mystery 
of lighting so necessary to produce impres- 
siveness in a cathedral. A few bits of good 
stained glass add their significance to the 
general tone. 

Enjoying the freedom of Spanish cathedrals, 
where all but the sacristy and special chapels 
remains open, we wandered into the dreamy 
eleventh century cloister. Although after 
that of Tarragona this must be called the 



l6 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

second best Romanesque cloister in Spain, 
it has a disused, neglected charm not found 
in the former, and moreover commands a 
view of the noble tower of San Pedro de los 
Galligans. Cloisters are often perhaps over- 
praised in Spain, but when later we visited 
the commonplace ones of the south and again 
of the north, we looked back with pleasure 
to the plain round arches supported on deli- 
cately but elaborately carved caoitals of the 
cloister of Gerona. 

The hour we had allowed ourselves for a 
glimpse of the cathedral had lengthened into 
several as we returned to th^/onda ready for 
something more substantial than coffee. When 
the proprietor came in to speak with us at 
luncheon, we noticed he looked rather crest- 
fallen, and then it occurred to us that in our 
haste to see the cathedral we had quite forgot- 
ten his kind offer to go with us. '*You did 
not see the cloister and sacristy with its relics 
and tapestries, did you ?'' he said. Our answer 
that we had seen all surprised him, for, accord- 
ing to his notion, a half-day would not suffice 
for the relics alone. It requires a Spanish im- 
agination to appreciate relics, and he had re- 



A MODERN CITY OF SPAIN. IJ 

sided in Spain sufficiently long for his to be 
cultivated to the proper standard. 

Two other interesting churches are the 
ruined San Pedro and San Feliu. 

We rode to Barcelona over the coast route, 
which has some very good scenery. The 
weather was cold, breezy, and April showery, 
and we were obliged to take refuge in two 
towns from heavy rain squalls which came up 
from the sea. The people along the route 
were friendly and gave us no trouble. 

Barcelona besides being a busy, wide-awake, 
rapidly growing commercial and industrial cen- 
tre, contrasting strongly with some other Span- 
ish cities that seem still to be shrouded in the 
mists of the Middle Ages, has also acquired 
the reputation of being a beautiful city — beau- 
tiful, of course, in the modern sense, for where 
modern enterprise rules, the old-time beauty is 
apt to take flight. 

Others may find it so, but to our minds it is 
not a beautiful city. It has a good and health- 
ful situation on a slope running back from the 
sea to the mountains. There is nothing par- 
ticularly attractive about the old town. The 
Rambla, its main avenue, called by Murray the 



1 8 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

'* Unter den Linden of Barcelona," can scarcely 
be said to rival its celebrated namesake. Its 
parks, while attractive enough, do not compare 
with many that might be mentioned, while the 
effect of its grand promenade, or PaseOy along 
the sea front, planted with palms of rather 
doubtful vitality, and bordered on the one 
hand by wharfs and warehouses, and on the 
other by business blocks, is depressing. 

The new part is well laid out, but its streets 
and boulevards though wide, regular, and well- 
made, as yet present a very undeveloped ap- 
pearance. Perhaps in twenty-five years Barce- 
lona may be called beautiful, but it is too much* 
taken up with the process of becoming so to 
merit that title to-day. 

Be this as it may, Barcelona is too distant to 
be visited for the modern beautiful, and those 
in search of that might better stop in France, 
where at least this is found in a higher state of 
development. But as a city of Spain it should 
be seen by the traveller if only for its cathe- 
dral, the sombre colouring of the interior of 
which even more than in that of Gerona gives 
a peculiar architectural effect not fully appre- 
ciated in one visit. To those interested in 



A MODERN CITY OF SPAIN. 1 9 

ecclesiastical architecture, some of the other 
churches cannot fail to be of interest as exam- 
ples of the especial Catalan style seen nowhere 
better than in this city. 

Barcelona is not a pleasant place for a 
woman to visit with a bicycle on account of 
the great number of rough mechanics and la- 
bourers at all times on the streets. Still, as for 
that matter, even in regulation street gown she 
cannot walk a block alone without being rudely 
spoken to. 

The view from the fort of Montjuich is quite 
extensive, but is chiefly interesting for the idea 
it gives of the size and character of the city 
below with its harbour, warehouses, and manu- 
factories. 

Among other signs of modern progress may 
be mentioned as calculated to touch a chord 
of sympathy in English and American breasts, 
carpets and double beds in the hotel rooms, 
Smith and Wesson revolvers in the windows 
of the sporting shops, and " American bars " 
with advertisements of " Coktales " in large 
letters placarded on the outside. 

Notwithstanding the promise of our friends 
at Port Bou to forward our trunk on the day 



20 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

following our departure, several days passed 
before it arrived. When it did appear, it had 
been relieved of a new revolver, which one of 
the party had left in it, perhaps with a feminine 
desire to avoid carrying a weapon till really on 
the road in Spain. A new one was easily pro- 
cured and we set out on a lovely April morn- 
ing for one of the wonders of Spain, the pride 
of Catalonia, Monserrat. 



CHAPTER III. 

MONSERRAT — LEGEND OF THE BLACK VIRGIN — 
MANRESA, THE PENANCE TOWN OF LOYOLA. 

AS our wheels shook off the dust or rather 
the mud — for it had rained the night be- 
fore — of Barcelona, our spirits rose. That city 
had been but dipzed h terre on the route to the 
Saw Mountain. 

We had been riding about three hours, when 
a bend in the road brought into view a long 
serrated outline projecting upward from a gray 
vapoury base. No second glance was neces- 
sary to tell us this was Monserrat throwing off 
its morning mantle of mist and lifting its weird 
peaks to the sun. Never was vision of a moun- 
tain more entrancing, and we pedalled the 
faster to reach it as soon as possible. 

But our patience was destined to be sorely 
tried that day. About the middle of the fore- 
noon one of the chain cases required repairs 
which caused a delay of an hour. Later as the 

21 



22 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

afternoon was advancing a tyre was punctured 
by a thorn. Half an hour more was spent in 
mending this when we again mounted. After 
riding a few hundred feet a loud report was 
heard and the same tyre collapsed. Examina- 
tion revealed the fact that in replacing it a por- 
tion of the air tube had been caught between 
it and the rim, and being unsupported had 
burst, an irregular piece about two inches in 
length being blown out. For the third time 
the repairing kit was brought into requisition, 
the wounded portion of the tube excised and 
the ends cemented together. 

To reach the Monastery that evening was 
now out of the question, but we arrived at 
Monistrol at the foot of the mountain soon 
after sunset and obtained accommodations for 
the night at the posada, which for a country 
inn we found very endurable. The rooms 
though primitively furnished were clean and 
the beds comfortable. By asking, flattering, 
and the exercise of patience, various things 
necessary to our comfort after the day's jour- 
ney were secured including hot water. The 
people of \}ci^ posada occupied themselves more 
with the attempt to make us comfortable and 



MONSERRAT. 23 

less with asking questions than those farther 
south. The food was simple and nutritious. 
One course consisted of the large white bean 
used throughout Catalonia, which has a good 
flavour and makes a better standard vegetable 
than th.^ garbanzo. 

Another was eggs panned in oil, which are 
thus cooked all over Spain and are almost in- 
variably well prepared and palatable. We 
found not only this but other country posadas 
in Catalonia fairly good, and their hearth-stones 
shine forth brightly in memory in comparison 
with some afterwards met with in other parts. 

At dinner the only other guest besides our- 
selves was a Swiss engineer, with whom we 
naturally fell into conversation. He said he 
was placed there in charge of the mountain 
railway leading from Monistrol to the Monas- 
tery. He had no companions of his own 
station, so that he found life rather lonely, and 
was glad to meet with people who spoke his 
language. The road was biiilt by Swiss capi- 
talists who were awaiting an opportunity to 
dispose of it, as it was financially not a success. 
The travel, except at certain times, was light 
and the government taxes were seven per cent. 



24 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

on gross receipts. The experiment would not 
be repeated by the Swiss in Spain. 

Early the following morning we pushed up 
the fine road which leads in great curves to 
the Monastery. The immense mass of Mon- 
serrat, about twenty-five miles in circumference 
at its base, is composed of a grey conglomerate 
or pudding stone of the granite type mingled 
here and there with red sandstone, which ap- 
pears to be the prevailing rock of the lower 
hills from which it rises. For about half the 
distance to the top its body remains solid, then 
rent asunder in every direction it towers in 
thousands of fantastic pinnacles to its highest 
point some four thousand feet above the sea. 
The forms of these resemble some of those 
seen in the Dolomites but with the difference 
that the contours here instead of being sharp 
are all rounded. The grand rock scenery is 
softened and toned down by a most wonderful 
profusion of vegetation, consisting of box, ilex, 
myrtle, ivy, heather, laurel, and other ever- 
greens, which, growing in every crack and 
crevice where they can possibly find a hold 
and flourishing at all seasons, transform this 
mountain into a marvel of grey and green. 



MONSERRAT. 25 

As you climb in the early morning, the air 
fragrant with scented shrubs, and see the dewy 
jessamine clinging to the rocks, and stepping 
to the road's edge to look valleyward, feel 
your hat brushed by the shining box bushes, 
you wonder how out of the barren red sand- 
stone Catalonian plain such a monument of 
rock and verdure could arise. As you look 
and worship at this lovely shrine of nature Mr. 
Hare's citation of the old Spanish tradition 
comes to mind, that the mountain's bewildering 
variety of shrubs were ** permitted to bear their 
leaves all the year round because they sheltered 
the weariness of the Virgin Mother and the 
Holy Child during their flight into Egypt." 
Such legends, though so absurd and evidently 
at variance with fact, acquire a certain poetic 
charm, which takes hold of the imagination in 
connection with scenes like these, among crags 
which for hundreds of years have been associ- 
ated with the most romantic phase of Spanish 
religious feeling. 

The religious history of Monserrat is inter- 
woven with that of the "Santa Imagen" or 
Black Virgin, whose legend is the following. 
The image is said to have been made by St. 



26 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

Luke and brought to Barcelona by St. Peter 
in the year 50. In 717, during the Moorish 
invasion, the Goths hid it in a hill. There it 
remained until 880, when some shepherds at- 
tracted by heavenly lights and music found it. 
Under the direction of the Bishop of Vich they 
attempted to carry it to Manresa, but at a cer- 
tain spot, which is still marked by a cross, the 
image refused to move farther, so it was de- 
cided to build a chapel over it, and here it 
remained a hundred and sixty years. 

A nunnery was afterwards built near the 
chapel, which in 976 was converted into a 
Benedictine monastery, that afterwards shel- 
tered nine hundred monks. In 181 1 this was 
destroyed by the French under Suchet but was 
rebuilt, and was finally suppressed in 1835. 
Now a small number of monks live there and 
attached to it is a boys' school. As a resort 
for pilgrims it still holds its prestige, many 
thousands visiting it annually in the late sum- 
mer and fall, in such numbers that it is impos- 
sible to obtain accommodations. 

The Virgin rested in her first chapel seven 
hundred years, when in 1592 a new chapel was 
built. In 1599 she was removed to it in great 



LEGEND OF THE BLACK VIRGIN. 2*J 

State in the presence of that noble fanatic 
Philip II. She was held in high veneration by 
him and by Charles V., although her influence 
does not appear to have made them more 
humane. In 1811, on the appearance of the 
French, the image was carefully taken away 
from the mountain, but was returned when the 
modern convent was built. In 1835 she once 
again descended to the valley but only to re- 
turn to her altar at the monastery, where she 
is still the black solace of the few remaining 
fathers. For hundreds of years hundreds of 
lights have burned at her feet and illumined 
her dark features at the times of the great pil- 
grimages, and the miracle of the Santa Imagen 
has filled the transparent air above Monserrat 
with a trail of incense. 

Monserrat has been the resort of kings, no- 
bles, and pilgrims of every rank and station, 
who have sought peace and forgetfulness of the 
world on this lovely spot, and here many Span- 
iards well known on the stage of worldly affairs 
have ended their days in penance, fasting, and 
prayer. 

Of the ecclesiastics whose names are con- 
nected with Monserrat Loyola was the most 



28 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

noted. As the history of the great Jesuit tells 
us, he came here from Pamplona, where, being 
wounded in battle, he decided to exchange mil- 
itary life for the cowl. Here he hung up his 
sword at the altar of the Virgin and took the 
vow of perpetual chastity. And he did other 
interesting things before walking down to 
Manresa for his year of penance, but the chron- 
iclers of Spain in 1895 must not attempt to tell 
again too much of the story others have told 
so fully. 

Arrived at the convent the concierge, who 
was surprised to see two cyclists enter the 
court, assigned us a cell. The large number 
of cells formerly occupied by the monks are 
now used for the accommodation of visitors 
and pilgrims, who pay a small sum for their 
use. Linen is furnished and, if asked, the ser- 
vant in charge will make the beds and bring 
water. In this respect the guide-books some- 
what overestimate the simplicity of the place, 
stating that ** the traveller must shift entirely 
for himself." The peseta unlocks the door to 
service here as elsewhere. 

The monastery, vast in size and hideous in 
style, has little to commend it to visitors, but 



MANRESA, THE PENANCE TOWN. 29 

perched upon a projecting ledge on the edge of 
a vast ravine, under the perpendicular walls of 
some of the most picturesque peaks of the 
mountain, its situation quite puts in the shade^ 
those of the monasteries of Subiaco, Monte 
Casino, and Monte Luco. 

The walk of three hours from the monastery 
to the summit is one the most remarkable to 
be found in Europe, and he who planned and 
carried out the path deserves as much credit 
as any engineer of the famous mountain passes. 
The path is narrow, but winds over a large 
area, among and around the various crags and 
stone seracs, gradually ascending, until at last 
it ends at the highest point. Sometimes it leads 
through a narrow valley, walled in on both sides 
by wildest sentinels of rock, again through 
creeping masses of myrtle, ivy, and jessamine, 
or under bowers of ilex and box. Before you 
realize you have climbed, it brings you to the 
very edge of summits that from below appeared 
inaccessible, and you stand on the brink of 
precipices hundreds of feet in the sheer. Thus 
it continues to the top, a pinnacle protected 
by an iron railing just above the hermitage of 
San Geronimo. Indeed, it may be called an 



30 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

enchanted trail worthy of having been planned 
by a gnome of the rocks it circles among. 

The most striking object seen from the sum- 
mit is Monserrat itself spread out beneath 
like an enormous medusa, its thousands of ten- 
tacles raised aloft on every side enclosing deep 
abysses, whose terribleness is mitigated by a 
lining of perpetual green. Beyond lies the 
sunbaked flowerless plain, through which wind 
silver rivers. To the north, distant but clearly 
defined against their blue ceiling, a line of 
snowy Pyrenees smile coolness down upon the 
torrid lowlands, while to the east beyond the 
hazy suggestion of Barcelona a glittering silver 
rim of sea wafts inland the softest of noonday 
breezes. 

Wandering downward through the maze of 
loveliness we returned to the convent in time 
for the vesper service in the chapel. It was 
dark and cold as winter, and the few worship- 
pers sat shivering on the front seats. Within 
the high rail about the altar all was a blaze of 
light. Here priests and boys stood chanting 
fugues to the accompaniment of violins, trom- 
bones, and organ, but to us who had been lis- 
tening all day to nature's melodies on the 



MANRESA, THE PENANCE TOWN. 3 1 

heights, the unmelodious music combined with 
the deadly temperature of the chapel was un- 
inspiring, and we were glad when the service 
was over. 

At the restaurant where all meals are served, 
the dinner consisted wholly of fish, no meat 
being obtainable on jours maigres. The basis 
of two of the courses was dried codfish. Sev- 
eral years previously while summering on the 
coast of Norway, we had seen this fish under- 
going the curing process, which consists in 
exposing it to sun and weather on the rocks 
for several weeks, till it becomes as hard as a 
board, in which condition it is exported to the 
Catholic countries. One would suppose it 
would have lost all taste, and we always felt a 
degree of sympathy with the Catholic brethren 
for whose use it was destined. This was the 
first opportunity which had been offered us to 
test the truth of this supposition, when to our 
surprise the flavour was found to be excellent. 

Several days can be spent with pleasure at 
Monserrat, so numerous and charming are the 
various walks, but no traveller, who wishes to 
know and appreciate it from all sides, should 
fail either to approach or leave it by the car- 



;^2 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

riage road to Manresa. For a number of 
miles this runs along the mountain side under 
the shadow of a row of magnificent peaks simi- 
lar to those seen on the walk to San Geron- 
imo. On this ride a more accurate idea of 
the area of the gigantic mass is acquired, and 
the outlines especially when seen from some 
distance are far more effective than on the 
other side. After leaving the mountain the 
road became bad, but with so much that is 
interesting to occupy the attention one does 
not mind that. 

Manresa is picturesque, but cannot be 
classed among the pre-eminently picturesque 
Spanish towns. The quaint filthy streets cut 
in the yellow rock form an odd contrast with 
the dainty bright gardens adjoining the houses 
on either side. One would not care to live in 
Manresa, but the Manresans have an advan- 
tage over the inhabitants of most other towns 
in the inspiration they can draw from the vision 
of Monserrat obtained from the windows of 
the tall narrow houses, the charming terraced 
park or the esplanade in front of the Cueva 
of San Ignacio. 

If Loyola felt he must do penance in a cave 



MANRESA, THE PENANCE TOWN. 33 

for a year, he was wise in selecting one at 
Manresa, where he could now and then slip 
out and solace himself with a glimpse of Mon- 
serrat. Were it not too late, it would be in- 
teresting to ask him if it was not after all her 
beautiful abode seen in ever-changing lights, 
rather than the perpetual smile of the Black 
Virgin, that soothed and quieted his soul. 

El Seo, the collegiate church, with fine glass 
windows, built with the same grand Catalonian 
plan of the interior, is less impressive, particu- 
larly in colouring, than the cathedrals of Bar- 
celona and Gerona. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A GOOD-FRIDAY PROCESSION— GLIMPSES OF CATA- 
LONIA—DESECRATED TOMBS AND SHATTERED 
ALTARS OF FALLEN POBLET. 

* 

OUR next objective point was the monas- 
tery of Poblet on the route from Tar- 
ragona to Lerida. Near Villafranca, a town 
about forty miles south of Barcelona, we bade 
farewell to Monserrat with all its pinnacles 
pointed heavenward in a flash of sunset light. 
The night of Good Friday was passed at 
Villafranca. The hostess of the posada put 
two handsomely furnished rooms at our dis-, 
posal, such as would not usually be found, or 
at least offered to tourists in most small towns 
of Europe or America. They seemed to be 
state family rooms, and were fitted up with 
divers ornamental antique pieces, evidently 
heirlooms. On the walls were two large re- 
ligious pictures of questionable artistic merit, 
bearing the inscriptions in English, ** By the 

34 



A GOOD-FRIDAY PROCESSION. 35 

sacred heart of Jesus," and ** By the sacred 
heart of Mary," which made us almost forget 
we were so far away from the land of their 
probable origin. 

After dinner we were invited to join the 
family grSup on the balcony of the hostess's 
private sitting-room to see the Good-Friday 
procession. It was quite dark and the long 
narrow street was lighted only by a few scat- 
tered gas-jets. All the balconies, with which 
the tall houses were liberally supplied, were 
filled with spectators whose earnestness in re- 
gard to their religious/?/^ afforded a commen- 
tary on the power of the Church in provincial 
Spain. As the sound of music announced the 
approach of the procession, all talking ceased 
and every head was uncovered. 

The procession consisted of two bands of 
local musicians, a double line of boys carrying 
lighted candles, priests and prelates dressed 
in embroidered robes, some bearing the sacred 
symbols, then a series of wooden platforms 
upon which were arranged representations of 
the scenes of the Crucifixion with figures of life 
size. These were borne on the shoulders of 
men underneath, who being covered and not 



36 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

able to see where they were going, or becoming 
tired, committed certain eccentricities of move- 
ment that produced a ludicrous effect upon the 
representations above. After these followed 
a long double line of cavalry. 

When all had passed we bade our hostess 
good night, praising unlimitedly the procession 
and thanking her several times. We were 
learning to be Spanish in the observance of 
the amenities of life. She appeared greatly 
pleased at our interest and assured us the 
Easter fetes would be much more elaborate. 
They will be ** hermosissimas'* she breathed, 
her dark eyes rolling in ecstasy under her 
black mantilla. Evidently the modern woman 
of Villafranca still finds her highest joy in the 
ceremonies of the Church. 

Beyond Villafranca the scenery is attractive. 
From Vendrell the road ascends, affording 
beautiful backward views of the sea and broad 
sloping plains. Later, after crossing a moun- 
tain pass where not a shrub is seen to modify 
the stony desolation, it descends into a sunny, 
blooming plain to the small town of Mont- 
blanch. 

It is very commonly asserted in books on 
Spain, and by travellers who have been there, 



GLIMPSES OF CATALONIA. 37 

that with the exception of a few spots the 
natural scenery is dull and unattractive. It is 
a rather singular fact that in the face of this 
assertion the best writers, some of whom pref- 
ace their books with similar remarks, devote 
a good deal of space to descriptions of nature. 
Without seeming to be aware of it, they find 
much to admire in the scenery of the country 
they pass through. Spain has a greater variety 
of scenery than any other equal area in 
Europe, some of which, like art, needs to be 
studied to be appreciated, and the longer one 
travels there the more one finds to admire. 
One learns to regard with affection wide ex- 
panses of sea, great sweeps of plain and barren 
mountain sides. Besides having attractions of 
their own they serve by contrast to enhance 
one's appreciation of the oases of green, the 
kuertas and vegas, that every now and then 
appear. There is a charm of savage freedom 
in riding through wild nature often for miles 
untamed by the plough, which is better under- 
stood afterwards, when after crossing the fron- 
tier one emerges into the cultivated atmosphere 
of the well-tilled fields and vineyarded hills of 
France. 

In this part of Spain the prevailing type of 



38 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

dog seems to be a tall, exceedingly thin variety 
of greyhound with a long sharp nose and 
flattened head, in which room for the brain 
appears to have been overlooked. These dogs 
lack the intelligence of many other kinds. 
They would spring out upon us barking fierce- 
ly, but seldom came within reach of our whips. 
As they pranced about they reminded us of 
long-nosed mosquitoes. On the whole the 
Spanish dogs troubled us much less than those 
of Algeria. 

Montblanch has a small unpretending/^^^^<2, 
but the kindness of the proprietress makes it 
possible to pass the night there more comfort- 
ably than in some more pretentious places. 
The entrance of \}[i^posada like that of many 
others is from a sort of vestibule stable occu- 
pied by carts, horses, borrtcoSy dogs, and fowls. 
Upstairs we found a sightly sitting-room and 
adjoining it a sleeping-room. But more im- 
portant was the large black-eyed proprietress, 
who attended us smiling and begging to be 
allowed to help us, saying every few words she 
did not speak Castillano. With her it was not 
" Hay de todo," meaning she would provide 
what the guest brought with him, but she 



FALLEN POBLET. 39 

gave us all we required, and the charge for it 
including dinner, lodging, morning chocolate, 
luncheon, and wine was (our pesetas each. 

Five kilometres from Espluga and reached 
by a rough stony cart path just wide enough 
for a single cart, lie the ruins of Poblet, the 
famous Cistercian monastery, which played 
for seven hundred years an important part in 
the religious history of Aragon. 

Poblet was founded in 1149 by Berenguer 
IV., who endowed it by grants of large estates. 
Its endowments and privileges were increased 
by succeeding Aragonian kings, who in accord- 
ance with the fashion of the times used it as 
a retreat for penance and fasting during life, 
and as a sepulchre for their bodies after death, 
the sarcophagi in which these were enclosed 
being placed around the choir of the church. 
The Dukes of Cardona were also buried 
here. 

The example thus set was followed by the 
nobility and other persons of note, who made 
use of the opportunities it offered as a religious 
retreat, and whose bones were also granted a 
resting-place within its walls, so that in time 
its courts became a mausoleum of the dis- 



40 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

tinguished dead, embellished with elaborate 
and costly monuments. 

As the monastery grew in riches and power, 
new buildings were added, till they comprised 
not only cathedral, chapels, dormitories, re- 
fectory, chapter-house, and library, but palaces, 
hospitals, warehouses, and workshops of every 
kind. Its library became the largest in Spain, 
and the whole the largest religious establish- 
ment in Europe. It counted among its inmates 
besides the monks and temporary occupants 
of its cells, a small army of servants and arti- 
sans. The number of the monks reached five 
hundred without exhausting the accommoda- 
tions, but afterwards was cut down to sixty-six, 
and only persons of the highest nobility were 
admitted to membership. 

The monks ruled with undisputed sway not 
only over the monastery, but also over the 
large and productive estates tributary to it. 
As was but natural, they fell into habits of in- 
dolence and luxury, became arrogant in de- 
meanor and tyrannical in the exercise of power 
over their dependants. Some of their exac- 
tions were not only unjust but immoral. Even 
in the present century dark hints of the torture 



FALLEN POBLET. 4 1 

were not wanting. As a result the monks 
were feared and hated by the peasants, who 
only awaited a fitting opportunity to revenge 
themselves for injuries long endured. 

This came in 1835 during the Carlist agita- 
tion, when the Cortes passed the edict for the 
suppression of the monasteries. Then the 
vials of wrath were opened and a peasant mob 
invaded the sacred precincts. The monks 
barely escaped with their lives, leaving their 
treasure behind. With implacable fury the 
mob gutted the buildings, destroying every- 
thing within reach. Architectural ornaments, 
windows, paintings, monuments, and statues, 
including the royal effigies, were battered and 
shivered into fragments, and when no more 
remained that hands could demolish, the work 
of destruction was completed by fire. It was 
thoroughly done, and scarcely anything re- 
mained of the former splendour but debris and 
bare walls. 

The impression made on our minds by Poblet 
was similar to that made by the ruins of any 
group of modern buildings destroyed by fire, 
one of utter desolation unrelieved by the soft- 
ening influences of time. The buildings and 



42 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

walls which are left standing, denuded of the 
greater part of their ornamentation, give but 
little suggestion of the luxury which once ex- 
isted. The desecrated tombs stripped of their 
effigies and decorations do not fittingly recall 
the long line of notables whose histories were 
interwoven with that of this their last resting- 
place. The charm which attaches to West- 
minster, the Escorial, and Santa Croce is not 
to be found here. 

Architects may undoubtedly find profitable 
material for study in the restored church and 
in the fragmentary details which remain, but 
not enough is left to afiford any especial attrac- 
tion for the ordinary traveller. The latter 
may have an interest in visiting Poblet to see 
the devastation wrought by the violence of a 
mob as he would visit Casamicciola to see the 
destructive effects of an earthquake, but that 
is about all. The place has none of that at- 
mosphere of hallowed antiquity which tempts 
one to linger to reflect on the associations of 
the past, and when it has been seen, one is 
seized with the desire to get away as soon as 
possible from a spot which only casts a shadow 
upon the soul. 



CHAPTER V. 

EASTER SERVICE AT THE TARRAGONA CATHEDRAL 
—THE VENTA OF PERELLO— A PLEASANT HOUR 
WITH THE BRITON AT TORTOSA— SPANISH ANI- 
MALS AND THEIR OWNERS. 

IN planning a trip in Spain the question of 
the advisability of visiting Seville or Gra- 
nada never arises, but in regard to Tarragona 
it does. Those who have time to make a fairly 
comprehensive journey will probably find it 
will repay them to see this city. Here those 
interested in Roman remains will find the 
greatest number to be met with anywhere ex- 
cept in Merida, though for that matter with 
the exception of the fine aqueduct and portions 
of the walls, partly Roman and partly Cyclo- 
pean, they are neither numerous nor well-pre- 
served. One of the best of these is the 
** Torre de los Escipiones," poetically called 
the tomb of the Scipios, four miles distant on 
the sea-coast. This consists of a base and two 
stories of a tower of yellow stone, one face of 

43 



44 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

which has two large figures standing on pedes- 
tals much injured by time and weather. At 
the feet of one of the figures a good-sized tree 
grows out from the tower at a height of eight 
to ten feet from the ground, the trunk being 
nearly horizontal. 

We spent Easter in Tarragona and attended 
the impressive services in the grand mediaeval 
cathedral. If one cannot pass the Santa 
Semana at Seville it is well to hear the Easter 
mass at one of the chief cathedrals, for added 
to the striking pageant of priests and cardinals 
in gold-embroidered robes marching and chant- 
ing to heavenly strains from a stringed or- 
chestra, is the glorious setting, according to 
Wagner so indispensable, the columns, arches, 
and domes of the building itself. In Italy 
there is grand music at Easter, but not the 
solemn hieratic splendour of the Spanish in- 
terior, which when orchestra and organ-tones 
roll through the Gothic vaults forms an obligato 
of architectural song. 

It was most interesting to watch the assem- 
bled multitude. All over the floor of the great 
enclosure women in black mantillas kneeled 
devoutly, and men also scarcely less in num- 



EASTER SERVICE. 45 

ber, many of whom when not bowed in devo- 
tion leaned against the fluted columns with 
faces raised to the coro in rapt attention. 
How sublime the effect at the end when or- 
chestra, organ, and a chorus of boys* and female 
voices combined in a transcendent finale. As 
we walked out into the beautiful cloister it 
seemed to us but one thing could be more 
effective in music, and that would be the Char- 
freitag Zauber of Parsifal performed on the 
same spot. 

Puncture of our tyres by nails and thorns, or 
more often by the sharp strong needles of a 
variety of thistle which bordered the roads 
throughout the eastern provinces, was a matter 
of almost daily occurrence ; sometimes this 
happened two or three times in a day. The de- 
lays thus caused often afforded opportunities of 
studying the people. 

On the afternoon of Easter Monday a tyre 
collapsed as we were entering Perello, a village 
high up among the hills twenty-five miles from 
Tortosa, which was our destination that day. 
Rain was falling steadily and the village was 
full of people celebrating the Easter festivities. 
We sought the venta or inn accompanied by a 



46 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

noisy crowd whose holiday hilarity was tenfold 
increased by our appearance on the scene. 

The venta was a most squalid place and its 
entrance was blocked with people lying about 
asleep on improvised straw beds. One of us 
remained in the court to protect the cycles 
from the elbowing crowd which swarmed 
around, while the other went in to try to find 
a room for making the needed repair. With 
some difficulty the landlord was differentiated 
from his guests. He was a burly, red-faced, 
dark-eyed, excitable Valencian in velveteen 
jacket and red-tasselled cap, for the moment 
rollickingly good-natured, but looking as if 
slight provocation might transform his mood. 
His appearance recalled the Valencian of 
whom one reads, so blithe, gay, perfidious, and 
devoid of all good, '' who smiles and murders 
while he smiles." 

He came out into the court, but amid the 
deafening chatter of the crowd it was some 
time before we could make him understand 
what was wanted. At last comprehending 
that we were in straits, to extricate ourselves 
from which we needed only for a short time a 
place secure from the rabble, and his mind re- 



THE VENTA OF PERELLO. 47 

lieved of the fear that we wished to spend the 
night, followed by two villagers who shouldered 
the bicycles, he conducted us up a ladder, 
through a trap-door into a loft, where sacks of 
grain and guano were stored. Upon these the 
three men seated themselves to watch proceed- 
ings. Keeping one eye on the men, who all 
looked equally brigandish, and the other on the 
wheel, the repair was soon made. 

Meanwhile a fourth and rather better look- 
ing individual found his way into the loft and 
spoke to us in French, saying he heard we 
were passing through the town, and he would 
like to talk to us in our native tongue. We 
seldom stopped in a town, however small, 
where the man who spoke French, if only a 
few words, did not appear anxious to assist 
us by the use of this accomplishment. The 
country people almost invariably took us to be 
French, never dreaming that the representa- 
tives of any more distant nation could be trav- 
elling among them. Their idea of a foreigner 
seems to be embodied in the term *' Frances." 
When told on several occasions that we were 
from America, they regarded us with very 
much the same awe-inspired expression as 



48 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

might have been called forth had we been in- 
habitants of one of the heavenly bodies. Curi- 
ously enough, later in the south of France we 
met a number of French bicyclists, who said 
they had long wished to make a tour in Spain 
but were afraid to venture from fear of being 
attacked by brigands. 

When we were ready to go, we asked the 
landlord what his charge would be. Drawing 
himself up with true Spanish pride, with a 
flash of the eye and a rather indignant toss of 
the red tassel, he asked why he should take 
payment. We answered, while thanking him 
for his hospitality, as we had made use of his 
fonda we were willing to pay for the accom- 
modation afiforded. Flattered perhaps by the 
dignifying of his wretched venta with the name 
of fonda, after consultation with the French- 
speaking citizen, he finally decided to accept a 
small sum. We all parted good friends, and 
after thanking the men for their assistance, we 
rode away in the dismal rain rejoicing that we 
were not obliged to trust to the hospitality of 
the Perellian venta for the night 

The accommodations at th^ fonda at Tor- 
tosa were not so satisfactory as those hitherto 



THE VENTA OF PERELLO. 49 

met with. Remains of cigarettes were scat- 
tered over the unswept brick floor of our room, 
and the linen on the primitive beds did not 
appear any too clean. Of the rest of the 
scanty furniture, the less said the better. As 
no one seemed to have any idea of helping us 
with our luggage, we unstrapped and carried 
it upstairs ourselves. From Tortosa south- 
ward in the smaller places we found it did not 
make much difference what a hostelry was 
called, whether fonda, posada, or ventOj, para- . , 
dor or viuda inns of an inferior type, somie of 
them were good but others insufferably bad. 

When we went down to dinner the hostess, 
an obese, oily-looking south Spanish woman, 
met us on the landing, and as dinner would 
not be ready for half an hour, invited us into 
her private sitting-room, where we found her 
husband and a friend. She told us an " Ingles," 
a countryman of ours, was stopping at the 
fonduy and she would present him to us as soon 
as he came in. She asked many questions, 
the answers to which, though simple enough, 
seemed to make a great impression upon her, 
judging from her constant look of surprise 
and frequent exclamations of ** For Dios." In 



50 SKKTCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN iBERIA. 

a childlike way she repeated to the others all 
that we said, although they understood it as 
well as she. 

Ahcr a time, becoming weary of the conver- 
sation, we took out our note-books and began 
writing; our notes. For some minutes silence 
HM^^ncd, but it was soon broken by a shout of 
joy from the hostess heralding the advent of the 
///^/f's, **II(ire he is," she exclaimed, seizing 
his hand lovingly and drawing him towards us, 
I'your countryman." It was as a brother 
rather than as a countryman that we felt like 
gr(*(tting the tall, manly young Englishman in 
that out-of-the-way corner of Spain. He was 
stopping at Tortosa for the purpose of study- 
ing in th(* cathedral library for a few weeks. 
W(i had a pleasant chat together, quite forget- 
ting our landlady and her friends, until at a 
slight pause in the conversation, we were made 
aware of her existence by the sound of a sigh 
of contentment and a repetition of ** Por Dios." 
She sent us off like good children to dinner, 
her face beaming with joy at her success in 
bringing the countrymen together. During 
the comida the mozOy who in country inns does 
all the waiting at table d'hote, brought in a 



SPANISH ANIMALS AND THEIR OWNERS. 5 1 

bunch of cyclamen for the Senora with the 
compliments of the friendly hostess. 

Our slumber was disturbed that night not 
only by the discomfort of our beds, but also 
by loud, not wholly musical, singing on the 
street to the accompaniment of clarinet and 
tambourine. 

Wc had now been over two weeks en route. 
After passing the Spanish frontier we noticed 
that the animals met with on the road ap- 
peared more afraid of us than had been the 
case in France, and the farther south we went 
the more fear they showed. It was evident 
that bicyclists were not a familiar sight on the 
highways of that part of the country. 

The horses seemed to mind'us the least and 
they were generally ridden by caballeros who 
easily controlled them. The little grey, shaggy, 
bright-eyed asses, or borrzcos, carrying their 
peasantjiwft^ or panniers loaded with various 
wares on their backs, did not behave very 
badly. They usually sidled ofif a little at our 
approach, and pointing their huge unwieldy 
ears looked askance at us with a sharp, cunning 
expression, which seemed to say, I *11 jump if 
you come too near, but made no other demon- 



52 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

stration. Occasionally one did jump, and all 
the address of the driver was required to reduce 
it to obedience. 

But the animals we most disliked to meet 
were the mules, some large, some small, dark 
brown or black brutes, with a vicious eye and 
ugly disposition, without a savour of humour or 
wit. These were driven or used singly in carts, 
or four to six, one before the other, in waggons. 
They usually made no sign till we came quite 
near, when they would suddenly bolt to one 
side, or head around and start in the opposite 
direction. The drivers as a rule were either 
intoxicated, or asleep in, or walking behind the 
waggon, so that they could seldom exercise 
proper control. 

Where several mules were harnessed in line, 
if the leader kept his senses, the shying of the 
others created no great disturbance, but if he 
turned or ran to one side, all the rest invari- 
ably followed. Dismounting, the only thing 
for us to do, was about as bad as riding on, as 
this seemed to frighten them still more. The 
worst feature of all for us was, the muleteers 
were angry with us as the cause of the trouble, 
taking the ground that we had no right on any 



SPANISH ANIMALS AND THEIR OWNERS. 53 

part of the highway, and we undoubtedly owed 
our escape from personal attack on several oc- 
casions to the fact that the mules demanded 
all their attention. We found it advisable to 
ride on as soon as we could get by. So com- 
mon became such action on the part of the 
mules that at last we met them with dread, and 
often dismounted and walked by on the ex- 
treme edge of the road to avoid alarming them. 

One beautiful evening we were riding along 
the coast route approaching Castellon de la 
Plana skirting the picturesque mountain spur 
called El Desierto, the bold zigzag outlines of 
which were silhouetted against the western sky, 
when among other vehicles we came upon a 
two-wheeled cart drawn by a hybrid beast of 
the mule type, in which rode two men return- 
ing from their day's labour. Suddenly the 
mule bolted and ran at full speed in the oppo- 
site direction. One of the men jumped or was 
thrown out of the cart as it turned. The other 
tried in vain to check the animal which ran 
with him for some distance till stopped by a 
man on the road. 

The man who was thrown out was not hurt, 
and did not seem to take the accident amiss, 



54 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

but pursued the runaway. We followed slowly, 
wishing to give him a chance to assist before 
trying again to pass. He soon reached the 
cart and took the mule by the head. As we 
approached, the other man jumped out of the 
cart, and seizing a sort of mattock with heavy 
handle and long iron blade, and raising it 
above his head with both hands, ran towards 
us in a towering passion, threatening our lives, 
and swearing we should go no farther. 

We told him to stand back, and let us pass, 
but he paid no attention to the request, con- 
tinuing to advance in the same threatening 
manner. When became within about ten feet 
of us, seeing that something more than words 
was necessary, we drew our revolvers and cov- 
ered him. Instantly his demeanor changed. 
Lowering the mattock, and raising his right 
arm before his face as if to shut out the sight 
of the weapons that glared upon him, he 
crouched down and stood for a moment very 
much in the attitude of a whipped cur. Then 
seeing we did not fire, he quickly retreated 
towards his cart, ofifering no further obstruction 
as with revolvers still drawn we walked by. 



CHAPTER VI. 

TRANSITIONAL VALENCIA — ARCADIAN JATIVA — A 
MOUNTAIN-TOP TRELUDE TO AFRICAN SPAIN— 
AT THE VIUDA OF JIJONA. 

BETWEEN Castellon and Valencia, the 
olive groves are remarkably fine, and 
some of the trees are apparently very old, their 
massive gnarled trunks giving the impression 
of almost as great age as those of the Bois 
Sacres of Algeria. Later comes the huerta of 
Valencia, where the road runs for miles through 
orange and lemon groves. Whether it was 
a special year for large crops we did not 
learn, but many of the trees, which were 
large and luxuriant, were bent to the 
ground with their burden of golden fruit. 
Others looked like huge bouquets of orange 
blossoms, so completely lost were the details 
of the tree in the abundance of the flower, and 
the heavy fragrance of the air recalled our 
never-to-be-forgotten cycling days in Sicily, 
among the sweet-scented gardens near Palermo. 

55 



56 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

The wonderful productiveness of the huertas 
from here to Murcia is due to the admirable 
system of irrigation devised by the Moors and 
used ever since. Besides the extensive net- 
work of canals which distribute water from the 
rivers, Moorish irrigation wells are constantly 
passed, where a large vertical wheel with buck- 
ets attached raises the water from wells into 
reservoirs. 

With the exception of the teamsters the 
Valencians were amiable and ready to do us 
any favour in their power, and in return al- 
though willing to accept cigars they would sel- 
dom take money. Near Jativawherea stream 
had to be forded, we found the first man who 
for carrying the wheels over a river would not 
accept a tip. 

Valencia ought to be interesting from its con- 
nection with the Cid ** Campeador," who in 
1094 after a twenty years' siege entered it in 
triumph, and afterwards made it the scene of 
so many exploits. Its two grand gates, the 
Puerta de Serranos and Puerta del Cuarte, are 
worth stopping here to see, as well as the hand- 
some mediaeval Casa de Lonja or Exchange, 
and the half Moorish octagonal Torre de 



TRANSITIONAL VALENCIA. 57 

Miquelete, which is old and striking and has 
not been modernised to any extent. 

The two or three private houses mentioned 
as deserving a visit are not of much impor- 
tance, and even the famous ajimez windows 
very numerous here have the reputation of 
being a good deal modernised. These at- 
tractive openings, made to admit the sunlight, 
so Arab in style and name, become a kind of 
architectural sugar-plum to the tourist, who in 
the Mediterranean towns as well as in those of 
Andalucia expects to come upon them in his 
daily wanderings as surely as he does to eat 
his salted almonds at table d'hdte. 

When he has learned to admire the delicate 
arches and marble shafts topped by sculptured 
capitals, it is truly depressing to learn that a 
noted authority while acknowledging their 
charm says that, owing to their frequency and 
similarity of style, he is forced to admit the 
-possibility of their having been made in one 
place and sent about to different towns as called 
for. As he has no authority but his own sup- 
position for this hypothesis, we are not bound 
to believe it, but may insist on looking with 
unprejudiced eyes through the ajimez^ whether 



58 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

upon azure seas or the primrose-covered vega 
of Granada. 

Genuine African motives in architecture and 
scenery appear as one advances farther into 
the peninsula, but with respect to these Valencia 
is barely transitional. 

The fondness shown by the inhabitants of 
Aragon and Navarre for destroying their an- 
tiquities was exercised in Valencia in the tear- 
ing down of the grand old walls of which 
scarcely a vestige remains. 

Some would have us believe that the old 
Valencian, half Moor half Spaniard, fresh from 
the huerta and the rice fields, may still be seen 
if not in classic burnous, yet with the bright 
coloured manta hanging from his shoulders. 
This may be the case on state occasions, but 
when we saw him he wore a no more pictur- 
esque costume than the day labourer of Italy. 
In the country about Europesa and Castellon 
we saw men in the orange groves in white linen 
I trousers and alpar gatas. or hempen sandals, a 
♦ costume which must have been transmitted to 
their forefathers by the Moors in 1600, like 
the noriay or water-wheel, and other agricultural 
legacies. But picturesque costumes are rare 
here as elsewhere in Spain to-day. 



TRANSITIONAL VALENCIA. 59 

We went to the Corpus Christi chapel to see 
the chef d'ceuvres of Ribalta. As we entered, 
a stout black-robed sacristan motioned to us 
from the other side of the nave to stand back. 
Not understanding the meaning of the sign we 
continued to advance, when he hastily joined 
us, saying no lady was permitted to enter the 
chapel without a mantilla. 

** What, not a stranger wishing particularly 
to see the paintings?" 

** No, no one." 

** But we have no mantilla.*' 

** You will have to go and get one." 

** We are travelling. Our trunk is now in 
Murcia, and we do not care to buy a mantilla 
for a half-hour s use.'* 

As argument availed nothing, one of us sug- 
gested the sacristan might perhaps borrow a 
mantilla from some one of his lady friends and 
meet us with it later. The idea seemed to 
strike him favourably, and he agreed to meet 
us at four o'clock in the afternoon provided 
with the necessary article. 

At the appointed hour we returned and 
found him standing in the shadow of a column 
with a large black mantilla over his arm. One 
of us enveloped in its ample folds we made the 



6o SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERlA. 

circuit of the Ribalta, the merits of which it 
is difficult to appreciate on account of the 
darkness of the chapel even at midday. On 
our departure the sacristan received the man- 
tilla together with a propina with evident 
satisfaction. Probably this custom, which we 
observed nowhere else in Spain, will be strictly 
adhered to in the future, at least by that 
sacristan. 

Poets have sung of ** Valencia del Cid " 
and its huertay but they might find a more 
appropriate subject or at least a more poetic 
one in Jativa and its surroundings. Here one 
finds the Arcadian plain of the Moor with its 
miles of orange, olive, ilex, and carouba trees 
surmounted not by a half-modern Spanish city 
only, but by a grand castle of quaintest Moor- 
ish outline. 

The town of Jativa, clean and bright, lies at 
the foot of a beautiful verdure-clad hill, over 
which in a tangle of prickly pear, ilex, and ivy 
the ancient dog-toothed wall rambles upward 
in gray picturesque lines to join the Castillo. 
The hill is broken into two summits, separated 
by a deep ivy- and myrtle-grown ravine, and 
even here where the approach is wild and 



ARCADIAN JATIVA. 6 1 

Steep, the shattered wall finds its uncertain way 
until lost among the massive watch-towers of 
the romantic crumbling ruin at the top. 

As we walk in the few remaining rooms of 
this ruin, carpeted now with grass and tall 
honeysuckle, and look out of the battered 
openings, once windows, upon the fair vega 
below, we wonder with what thoughts the 
Infantes de Cerda, confined here in the thir- 
teenth century, looked upon the queenly realm 
of Valencia, visible to the sparkling sea. With 
feelings of hatred, it is to be feared, since 
Sancho el Bravo was enjoying the use of their 
royal prerogatives. Doubtless the wicked 
Caesar Borgia, also confined in one of the 
towers of Jativa, was a prey to equally unhal- 
lowed thoughts, as his gaze each day fell upon 
the orchards and rice fields interwoven with 
bands of liquid silver, for the two rivers of 
Jativa, although used to irrigate the plain, are 
not represented by beds of dry stones as are 
those of Valencia. 

This idyl of a castle seems chiefly to have 
sheltered royal personages, for again we read 
of Ferdinand the Catholic imprisoning the 
Duke of Calabria upon these heights. But who 



62 SKETCHES AWHEEL IX MODERN IBERIA. 

knows whether this languishing Italian, pining 
for his own beautiful Calabria, did not appre- 
ciate better than the others the huerta, the 
drab town clinging to the mountain side, and 
the far-removed cluster of peaks purpling in 
the lemon afterglow of a Spanish sunset sky ? 

In the old times the castillo evidently cov- 
ered a large area and was very strong, but now 
little remains standing except the outer walls 
and the broken Torre de Campana, crowning 
the highest crest of rock. Divinely picturesque 
it is, almost without a compeer in this land of 
romantic castles. The enchantment of the 
view will long linger in the memory of those 
who see it, for besides the semi-tropical beauty 
of the huerta, bounded on one side by varied 
mountains, there is Valencia, a note of modern 
Spain, which lies in its own garden, facing the 
broad zone of the infinite, the sea. 

You have but to cross a small bed of green 
and look out of another window to find such a 
contrast as only Spain offers. Here the walls, 
heavier than on the Valencia side, run tum- 
bling down into a desolate valley, where not a 
bush nor green thing relieves the picture. On 
the farther side of this a barren waste rises. 



ARCADIAN JATIVA. 6^ 



O 



which ends in a mountain range as dust-col- 
oured and monotonous as itself. 

Jativa is worth a visit if only for the study 
in contrasts it affords. The famed ve^-a of 
Granada is not so exquisite as the Jativa 
huerta, and the dreariest corner of the Al- 
pujarras cannot exceed in desolate abomina- 
tion the country behind the Torre de Cam- 
pana. Only a Moorish castle divides ripe 
summer from the barrenness of midwinter. 

Jativa was once famous for the manufacture 
of fine linen handkerchiefs. Now its people 
devote themselves chiefly to the cultivation of 
the soil. We found them good-natured, and 
not averse to serving as subjects for our kodak. 
Does the Spaniard show a higher degree of 
civilisation than the Moor in that he is willing 
to grant the desired favour, while the latter 
takes himself off at the first sign of an attempt 
at his likeness. Or is it only a more devel- 
oped form of conceit, for of a certainty the 
Spaniard thinks himself a beau gar (on. 

The path which winds up. the hill from 
Jativa to the Torre de Campana, edged with 
grass and shaded by olives, cypress, and huge 
cacti, makes a fitting avenue to the loveli- 



64 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

ness above. About fifteen minutes above the 
town it runs over a little plateau where a church 
stands embowered in a garden of locusts and 
olives. We happened to pass the church as 
the vesper service was over, and the congrega- 
tion, composed of the upper classes of Jativa, 
came pouring out. We made some inquiries 
about the path to a hermitage we were looking 
for. 

The ladies all in black mantillas gathered 
around, asking us about our nationality and 
object in coming to Spain. As we went on 
they followed, and when we stopped a short 
distance farther on to take some views, they set 
their portable chairs, carried for church use, on 
the ground near-by, sat down and gave them- 
selves up to the enjoyment of steady staring. 

The long, intense, unblushing, yet respect- 
ful stare of the Spaniard must be another 
Moorish inheritance, it is so exactly that of the 
Arabs of the interior of Algeria and .Morocco. 
A Spanish woman does not take a person in 
with a single, quick, penetrating, sweeping 
glance as does the English or American 
woman. She gazes steadily and in gazing does 
not seem to solve the riddle. 



ARCADIAN JATIVA. 65 

Owing to a number of mountain passes to 
be crossed, we were not able to reach Alicante 
in one day from Jativa, but had to put up for 
the night at the most out-of-the-way little 
place imaginable. The route lay through a 
desolate mountain region. The only town of 
any importance, Alcoy, was reached at noon 
when it was too early to stop off. Had we 
wished to stay there we could not have done 
so, as no room was to be had at the posada. 
The whole place was in an uproar with side 
shows and merry-go-rounds in full operation, 
the people being in that state of ebullition that 
characterises a Spanish country/?/^. As was 
usual when we arrived on the scene on such 
occasions, they worked off their superfluous 
spirits on us, pressing around to see us and our 
wheels and accompanying us until we left the 
town, which we speedily did, trusting to luck 
and some mountain venta for luncheon. 

We afterwards learned that the people were 
celebrating the annual April y?/^ in honour of 
the patron saint of the town, St. George, who 
is said to have fought on the Spanish side in 
the war with the Moors in 1227. Sham fights 
and various other spectacles take place at this 



66 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

time, but it would require superhuman endur- 
ance for a stranger to live in the town during 
the several days occupied by the festival. 

Alcoy lies at the base of a mountain range 
which, the people told us truly, it would take 
three hours to climb. For the cheerless ascent 
we had our reward in a very extended and 
striking view. We must have been, at the 
highest point, at least four thousand feet above 
the sea, which could be seen beyond the land 
in the dim distance. The horizon seemed 
limitless, owing doubtless to the clearness of 
the atmosphere. 

We overlooked many lower mountain ridges 
rising into sharply defined sections one behind 
the other from out a grayish plain. Nature 
seemed to have bewitched these with some 
trickery of her own, dyeing each ridge with a 
different coloured robe, and the combination of 
red, pink, blue, and russet was fascinating to 
behold. As we rode around the contours of 
the mountain, the scene lost none of its 
kaleidoscopic attractiveness, and on descending, 
the lower hills, which seen from above had 
appeared flat, rose into view in the form of 
long cockscombs of red and blue. 



AT THE VIUDA OF JIJONA. 6/ 

Just after sunset Jijona appeared high up 
among the hills, a row of white houses sur- 
mounted by a grey Moorish citadel perched in 
a nest of gigantic dolomitic rocks. The place 
had a savage picturesqueness that, had we not 
been obliged to spend the night there, would 
have inspired us with boundless enthusiasm ; 
as it was it looked too savage to augur well for 
comfort. Not having been able to learn 
whether it had 2l posada, we inquired of a man 
as we rode in. He said there was one, but 
advised us to go to the viuda where the accom- 
modations were better, so wondering what the 
viuda of the rock-crowned village might be we 
went in search of it. 

The houses all looked alike and in the ab- 
sence of any distinguishing mark it was not 
without some trouble that we at last diagnosed 
the right one. The front door opened into 
a bare room in which three women sat sewing, 
one of whom was the hostess. She gave us 
a room on the first floor, which though not 
luxurious, answered the purpose of a lodging 
place for the night. Getting up a meal was 
another matter and we soon realised we were 
in one of those historic taverns, where the 



6<S SKinClIKS AWIIKKL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

' tnivcllcr is expected to go out and forage for 
, liis own supplies. In an interview with the 
hostess on this subject we asked : 

** I lave you any meat ? '* 

** No. meat is not sold in Jijona after twelve 
o'clock noon." 

-Fish?" 

The landlady smiled a withered smile. **I 
hav(; not seen fish in many a day." 

** Well, then, eggs ? " 

She rellected a moment. ** Yes, I think I 
can get .some eggs." 

** Good, give us eggs — a great many." 

** How many, four ?" 

** What else have you ?" 

** Nothing but bread." 

** Then ten eggs if you please." 

With a surprised expression at the number 
called for by such gourmands she left us. It 
was growing dark and, not finding any candle, 
we went down to the room which served as 
hall, kitchen, and sitting-room for the family, 
to inquire for one, when they told us they had 
none. Hoping candles were sold after twelve 
o'clock in the town, we went out in search of 
a shop where we succeeded in securing two. 






AT THE VlUt)A OF JIJONA. 69 

On our return we found the woman actually 
attempting a tortilla or omelet. 

When she brought it to our room her in- 
terest in us seemed to have awakened, perhaps 
because we were long-suffering and bought our 
own candles. At any rate she served besides 
as roast an ancient smoked sausage, remark- 
ing with almost a pleasant tone of voice that 
if we remained until the next day at noon she 
could cook us some fresh meat, but not fish, 
that was rarely seen in Jijona. 

We ate the tortilla feeling crushed and 
ready to acknowledge our naivete in asking 
for fish in Spain when at least fifteen miles 
from the sea. It was surprising how fond the 
at first indifferent hostess became of us. In 
order to stop her questions and relieve the 
room of her presence we had to put our heads 
on the pillows and tell her we could not keep 
awake a minute longer. We paid the bill that 
night, as was our custom, as we were to leave 
at six the next morning, several hours before 
a Spaniard gets up. She held our hands and 
bade us adieu tenderly, making us promise 
that we would stay with her should we ever 
come to Jijona again. 



70 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

During the night we were dimly conscious 
in our sleep of a tremendous uproar, as of a 
mob, in the midst of which the word bicicletas 
was repeatedly heard. We had left our 
bicycles as we supposed securely locked up in 
the entrance room, having been assured no one 
would touch them, so the noise did not cause 
anxiety enough to awaken us. When we 
came to put the luggage on in the morning 
one of the handle-bars was found twisted around 
and the brake damaged. The cause of the 
tumult was now evident. A number of the 
townspeople had been admitted to view these 
curiosities, the like of which had probably 
never been seen in Jijona before, and in the 
consequent excitement they had tried to mount 
them with the result described. 

There was no question of morning coffee or 
chocolate either here or in many other towns, 
and a piece of dry bread was the only sub- 
stitute until we reached Alicante towards nine 
o'clock. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AN ENCOUNTER WITH TEAMSTERS— MOTIVES AMONG 
THE PALMS — GLORIES OF AFRICAN SPAIN — 
MURCIA, THE PEARL OF THE HUERTA. 

THE Fortress overhanging Alicante has 
been compared in appearance to a dust 
heap. This comparison does not ill apply to 
the whole environment of the place, although at 
times when the sun casts its shadows aslant, the 
unfruitful hills are transformed into beauty 
spots upon the landscape. In regard to the 
architecture of the city not much can be said, as 
its maritime importance, such as it is, has in- 
troduced so much of the modern as to obscure 
the prestige of the flat-roofed buildings. 

The one really beautiful place remarkable 
for its extreme contrast to the burned and 
leafless surroundings is the Paseo de los 
Martires, running by the sea. This is bordered 
by four rows of handsome palms, and who 
that has felt its magic, sitting before the 

71 



72 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

turquoise mirror of the sea in the witching 
play of the shadows cast upon the broad walk 
by the curling plumes, will ever think again of 
the Paseo of Barcelona ? 

Since leaving Valencia the animals on the 
road had become more numerous and more 
timid, and our progress was a good deal 
impeded by the frequent necessity of dis- 
mounting to avoid frightening them. At one 
of the towns an official asked us politely to 
ride slowly and with care when we met teams 
on the road. The people from here to Murcia 
have a large admixture of Moorish blood in 
their veins and have the reputation of being 
the most ill-disposed and revengeful of any 
in Spain. The teamsters appear to be even 
more addicted to the use of alcohol than those 
farther north, which does not improve the 
character of their otherwise none too gentle 
dispositions. They carry the long Albacete 
knife, which they use freely on slight pro- 
vocation. 

On a lonely stretch between Alicante and 
Elche we espied ahead a caravan of some 
twenty teams coming towards us. The front 
waggon drawn by four mules was minus its 



AN ENCOUNTER WITH TEAMSTERS. 73 

driver, who was riding in the second waggon. 
As we came abreast of it the mules made a 
dash for the side, dragging the waggon over 
the edge of the roadbed, which was raised 
about three feet. The driver, a huge bull- 
headed ruffianly fellow with a bloated sun- 
burned face, jumped down, and, instead of 
looking after his mules, made a spring for the 
male member of our party who had dismounted, 
and seized his wheel with threatening manner 
and words. Involuntarily one hand was carried 
to the revolver pocket but instantly withdrawn 
as the uselessness of making any resistance 
in the presence of a score of teamsters was 
evident. Seeing this movement and thinking 
probably a knife was about to be drawn, the 
man let go his hold of the wheel and beside 
himself with anger sprang to the back of his 
waggon and excitedly sought something there. 
We then started to walk on but had not 
advanced many steps when, turning, we beheld 
him only a few feet distant rushing upon us with 
a knife twelve to eighteen inches long in his 
hand, his fiendish face livid with rage. There 
was no time now for drawing a revolver, the 
assailant was too near for that He crouched 



74 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

down and drew back his arm to strike. There 
seemed to be no chance of escape. The stab 
of the gleaming blade could almost be felt, the 
exact spot where it would enter be judged. 
It was one of those moments when one feels 
absolutely defenceless in the face of almost 
certain death. Fortunately one of his com- 
panions, who saw what he was about, sprang 
upon him and caught his arm just at the 
critical moment, and two others coming up 
held him, telling us to go on. 

This sort of adventure was becoming a trifle 
too frequent to suit our fancy. We had not 
come to Spain to measure our prowess with 
that of intoxicated teamsters ; we neither 
aspired to the glory of shooting them nor did 
we court the notoriety of falling a sacrifice to 
their brutal passions. The stupid mule, the 
cause of the trouble, was in use everywhere, and 
up to this point his stupidity had steadily 
increased. While it seemed almost foolhardy 
to continue the journey with bicycles if this 
state of affairs was to last, as we had now 
nearly finished with the coast provinces, we 
determined to push on, hoping for better things 
in other parts. In this we were not mistaken. 



MOTIVES AMONG THE PALMS. 75 

After leaving Murcia the people were entirely 
different and never gave us occasion to 
complain. 

At Alicante African Spain may be said to 
begin. From there to Murcia the landscape, 
the atmosphere, the vegetation, all have a 
distinctly north African character. Elche, 
situated among thousands of date palms rising 
to the height of forty to sixty feet, closely 
resembles an oasis in the desert. Still 
although it has its palms and flat roofs and 
square towers, it lacks the mud walls and 
graceful burnoused figures that lend an 
Oriental charm to oases like Vieille Biskra. 
If the tourist has never been in any of the 
countries of north Africa nor seen an oasis 
in the Sahara, let him by no means omit to 
visit Elche, but let him not stop here but con- 
tinue on to Murcia by the carriage road, for it 
is on this drive that African Spain bursts upon 
him in all its enthralling beauty. 

Orihuela, the largest town on the route, is 
about thrity miles from Alicante and marks the 
narrowest point of the province of Valencia. 
For some miles beyond Elche the country 
remains flat, but before Orihuela mountains 



76 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

begin to appear bounding the huerta on the 
right. They are not very high but add an 
exceedingly effective line to the landscape, 
their grey rock cones rising perpendicularly 
from the luxuriant gardens lying under their 
shadow. 

Palm trees line the roadside for miles. The 
plain is covered with plantations of orange, 
lemon, pomegranate, fig, and olive, among 
which scattered palms lift their broad heads 
with far statelier pride than when standing 
with others in an oasis. At intervals small 
towns, very Oriental in appearance, with domed 
azure-tiled mosques, are passed, which nestling 
among the palms add to the attractiveness of 
the route. 

What is Elche as a picture compared with 
Granja with its double-towered Moorish church, 
or Coj with its old Castillo clinging to the 
frowning height, its houses built into the rock 
of the mountain and overgrown with aloes, 
fig, and cacti ? There are Callosa de Segura 
and Albatera, flat-roofed and minareted, where 
modern buildings if existing are lost among 
the foliage, and from these places may be 
seen the M on tafia de Callosa, where amethyst 



GLORIES OF AFRICAN SPAIN. "]"] 

Steeps glowing in the afternoon light contrast 
with the varied tints of the plain in an ensem- 
ble of colour and outline nowhere surpassed in 
effect. 

And so one passes from one bewitching 
scene to another from Elche to Murcia, a dis- 
tance of forty miles. We have taken grand 
rides, desolate rides, and lovely rides, but 
never one so intoxicatingly beautiful as this 
through African Spain. And in praising we 
echo the words of a German, one of the few 
writers on Spain who appear to have visited 
this region, '* Why is this lovely corner of the 
world so little known ? " 

In this earthly paradise the people, and es- 
pecially the children, of the towns were so rude 
and annoying that we hurried through them 
as fast as possible and were usually favoured 
with a parting shower of stones. Quiet enjoy- 
ment of the scenery was impossible, for when 
the towns were safely passed a shadow of dan- 
ger was lurking in the air whenever we met 
with a team or a mule. The one riding ahead, 
for the roads were often too bad to admit of 
riding abreast, rang the bell several times in a 
kilometre, awaiting anxiously the return ring 



78 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

as a signal of safety from attack by an angry 
teamster or muleteer. 

Murcia is the culminating point of this gar- 
den land. Semi-Eastern in its flat stone-roofed 
buildings, some of which are painted in colour, 
with its various towers, blue-tiled domes, 
cheery squares, and well-arranged alameda, it 
rises like a bright flower from the midst of its 
huertay which is fifteen miles long and ten 
wide. This huerta, best seen from the cathe- 
dral tower, is adorned with mulberry trees, tall 
canes, and golden grain, besides those staple 
beautifiers the orange, lemon, and carouba. 
One can see where at a corner across the valley 
the liuerta ends and the tawny desert begins, 
in other words, where irrigation ceases or, as 
the Spaniards say, the river is *'sangrado" — 
bled to death and can no longer do its work. 
The district is girt about by a circle of barren 
mountains. 

The term '* Poblacion agricolo que poco 
vale," an agricultural population of little worth, 
used of provincial Valencians, applies equally 
to the Murcians. "The Pagan goddess of 
apathy and ignorance rules as undisturbed and 
undisputed " in Murcia to-day as even North 



MURCIA, THE PEARL OF THE HUERTA. 79 

Spaniards smile and shrug their shoulders 
when the intelligence of the Murcians is dis- 
cussed. In the few days we spent in Murcia 
we had occasion several times to ask about 
places in regard to which no one was able to 
give a satisfactory answer. One day we were 
looking for the Monte Agudo, a much praised 
point of view a short distance from the city. 
Nobody we asked appeared to have heard of 
it, so we ascended the cathedral belfry to have 
the keeper point it out. It was quite useless : 
he designated numerous convents and unim- 
portant churches, but the Monte Agudo he 
had never seen. 

The Murcians resemble the Valencians in 
physique and complexion but are more indiffer- 
ent, and when angry are obstinate rather than 
fiery. They are not early risers. In most 
Sp3in\sh /ondas one can by pressing the matter 
procure a cup of chocolate by eight o'clock, 
but in Murcia servants and waiters remain dor- 
mant until the chief breakfast hour, about 
eleven. At meals the waiters throw the plates 
on the table before the guests in a manner that 
endangers the integrity of the china, and hurl 
the knives and forks after them with a total 



So SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

disregard of the place where they may land. 
The food is of good quality and abundant. 
Large plates of oranges stand upon the table, 
to which the guests help themselves freely at 
any time during the meal, picking them over 
to select the best. 

The climate is of course mild in winter and 
by April summer sets in. On the twentieth of 
April we saw grain fully ripe in the fields, and 
the temperature was too warm for comfort in 
the sun. The air was laden with the fragrance 
of orange blossoms. 



CHAPTER VIIL 

THROUGH THE GATE OF THE VANQUISHED MOORS 
INTO THE FLOWER LAND OF ANDALUCIA— THE 
RED PALACE OF GRANADA— EL ULTIMO SUSPIRO. 

THE twenty-seventh of April found us 
entering Andalucia through the " Pu- 
erto de los Perros," a narrow gorge in the 
Sierra Morena mountains. It is a wild rocky 
spot, not desolate, because of the trailing green 
that in Spain so often throws its softening 
presence over the boldest crags. Through 
this door the vanquished Moors retreated from 
Castile into Andalucia, but what a commentary 
on the Spanish appreciation of the great monu- 
ments they left behind is the name given to 
the pass, the Passage of the Dogs. 

In the mountains to the left the Knight of 
the Rueful Countenance accomplished his pen- 
ance, and somewhat farther back on the road 
stands the well known Venta de Cardenas, 
which like many another historic or legendary 

6 8i 



82 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

monument has an unimposing exterior resem- 
bling that of any other wayside venta. 

Once the mountains are passed the prodigal 
fields of Andalucia stretch southward, losing 
themselves in a wide perspective bounded by 
gold-shot, undulating hills. Again the contrasts 
of Spain are felt. Four days ago we left the 
palm land of Murcia, yesterday we wheeled for 
hours over the unvarying, toneless plains of La 
Mancha, and to-day nature spreads before us 
fields of buttercups and daisies yellow as Ba- 
varian mustard, long slopes of flaming poppies, 
and gardens of blooming wild roses, in which 
extremes of colour blend perfectly, as in the 
great Nibelungen harmonies. Before reaching 
Granada a night was spent at Bailen and a day 
at Jaen. From the latter town three moun- 
tain ranges had to be crossed before approach- 
ing the snow-crowned Sierra Nevada, but the 
journey was interesting, affording a varied com- 
bination of the fertile and the sublime. 

The route is well patrolled by the guardia 
civily who very sensibly even at the beginning 
of May cover their black hats with white linen. 
Here as everywhere else we found them very 
friendly. A thunder cloud was settling over 



THE FLOWER LAND OF ANDALUCIA. 83 

the snow fields of Mulahacen, as in a violent 
dust and wind storm we rode into the vega of 
the Moors. This unfriendly disturbance of 
the elements blew us tired and dust stained 
across the Plaza de Toros into the narrow 
streets of Granada. 

We wondered where the soft winds and fair 
skies of Andalucia had vanished to, as we 
ascended the Alhambra hill in disgust. We 
entered the Duke of Wellington's elm grove, 
the songful woods of the Alhambra, and disgust 
changed to admiration. 

An unkind critic of this park made the re- 
mark, he had read it was shaded by orange and 
cypress trees, but to his great disappointment 
he found " only elms." True, but he did not 
realize that in the eighty-three years since they 
were planted they have reached a height and 
luxuriance probably seen in few places in Eu- 
rope. Perhaps his impressions were acquired 
only in the day-time, when the insupportable 
guides to the Alhambra are waylaying every 
visitor and *'the chief of the Gypsies' model of 
the immortal Fortuny"is strutting abroad pos- 
ing and offering his photograph for sale. Had 
he walked among those trees in the gloaming, 



84 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

when their lofty tops are tipped with silver 
while night has fallen about their ivied trunks, 
when an enchanted sensuousness fills the air, 
when all disturbers have departed and the 
silence is broken by nothing save the song of 
the nightingale, more thrilling and haunting 
than ever an ^^olian harp, could he have 
called them ** only elms " ? 

If in 1829 Irving could say the Alhambra 
had been so often described that little remained 
to be said, how much more applicable is this 
remark to-day? Hence one is not called upon 
to repeat the legend in regard to the cabalistic 
signs of the hand and key over the Gate of 
Justice, but may content oneself with admiring 
its massive form and orange-red colour, which 
fancy delights to picture as the result of cen- 
turies of Andalucian sunsets. Neither does 
one thirst on the sweeps of La Mancha nor 
cross half a dozen ranges of Sierras to resusci- 
tate for the fiftieth time the doubtful tale of 
the blood spilling of the Abencerrages. 

After making the regulation round of the 
Alhambra, when a permit to roam at will about 
its courts undisturbed by guides is obtained, 
one feels very much as the young Englishman 



THE RED PALACE OF GRANADA. 85 

felt, who, unable to restrain his joy, rushed up 
to one of the lions of the fountain and began 
to stroke it tenderly. Much praised, much 
maligned '* Taza de los Leones." The nai- 
vete of action of the Englishman is certainly 
more to be commended than the criticism of 
another less imaginative tourist, who upon 
seeing the fountain exclaimed, ** Are those the 
famous lions of the Alhambra ? I would never 
glance at them twice. They do not look at 
all like lions.'' 

Such remarks are enough to call forth a 
snap of rage from the square jaws of these 
quaint historic beasts, and make one wish that 
the enterprise of tourist bureaus and steam- 
boat companies had not made Granada so 
accessible to the travelling philistine. Of 
course they do not look like lions as we see 
them, and those who prefer a nearer approach 
to the real thing need not travel as far as 
Granada to find it. If the resemblance were 
exact one would not care to throw oneself 
down under the moth-coloured marble columns, 
and looking across the sun-glanced court re- 
flect upon the verses written in praise of these 
flat-footed curios, the tenor of which ran, O 



86 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

thou who lookest upon these h'ons, note that 
*' they want only life to make them perfect." 
The association of such ideas with such lions 
produces just the motives that hold one linger- 
ing in this court. 

Much has been said against the Alhambra of 
late years. Some say they would not take the 
trouble to visit a place of which so good an 
idea can be obtained from photographs. Those 
who have seen something of the world know 
how much the opinions of such mental travel- 
lers, who have perhaps never been beyond 
the limits of their native town, are worth. But 
are not those who have seen it a little super- 
ficial in their judgment when they say, it has all 
gone to pieces or is ruined by restorations, or 
that it does not compare with the Alcazar of 
Seville ? 

For much of what went to pieces or rather 
was ruthlessly destroyed, Charles V. must be 
blamed, and for the ravages of fire the careless- 
ness of later time Spaniards, who permitted 
this great treasure to be inhabited and handled 
as it was ; but when all has been said, the best 
still remains in no sense a ruin. The restora- 
tions nowhere obtrusive, so ably carried out 



THE RED PALACE OF GRANADA. 87 

under the direction of Sefior Contreras, deserve 
only praise. Had wood been used in place of 
stucco, and glass where it should not be, and 
the mystic softness of age-tempered walls cov- 
ered with a tapestry of paint and mosaic garish 
as a modern rug, as in the Alcazar of Seville, 
then might the traveller forbear to go to Gra- 
nada. 

It is said the Moors liked bright colours, and 
perhaps they did, but should by any chance the 
shade of Yusuf I. find itself in the Sevillian 
palace to-day, it would doubtless flee at once to 
the more subdued and aesthetic halls of the 
Alhambra. If disappointment is felt on the 
first visit to the palace, repeated ones will efface 
this feeling, as we better appreciate its arches 
and columns so infinitely higher as artistic cre- 
ations than those of Seville, its inimitable media 
naranja stalactite ceilings made in thousands 
of pieces combined in fictions such as only the 
cultured sultans of Granada could invent, and 
its walls covered with inscriptions interwoven 
with numberless intricate designs of which the 
eye never tires, and dadoed with rarest ancient 
azulejos which find an echo only perhaps in 
those of the Mosque Verte at Brussa, in com- 



88 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

binations as delicate as the illuminated pages 
of the books in the Escorial library. 

And the views ! Who has not felt the 
charm of the Alhambra ever afterwards when 
once he has looked through the windows of the 
Sala de los Embajadores upon the sunny valley 
of the Darro and the distant heights of Alha- 
ma ? Leaving out of account the views of 
Granada and the vco^ciy the finest window motif 
is the Mirador de Lindaraja, overlooking the 
Patio de las Naranjas. Box, cypress, and 
orange-trees swaying in the breeze, surrounded 
by filagree arches and the dainty columns of 
the ajiinez, form a pastorale that needs only 
music for its completion. 

The apartments occupied by Ferdinand and 
Isabella and Irving and the Mirador of the 
Sultanas, afterwards boudoir of Elizabeth of 
Parma, also open on this court. We do not 
think so much of them as we look into it as of 
the Arabian inscription describing the garden 
** where the flowers of the earth vie with the 
stars of Heaven." 

Hegel says the intelligence, character, pas- 
sions, and culture of a people are reflected in 
the material and intellectual works left by 
them. The truth of this observation is well 



THE RED PALACE OF GRANADA. 89 

shown in the Alhambra, where the afterbreath 
of the spirit of the Moors hovers softly in all 
its halls. With this epitome of the learning, 
fancy, and fanaticism of eight centuries of cul- 
tivation before us, it is not strange that we 
turn away untouched even with common inter- 
est from the massive unfinished renaissance 
pile of Charles V., to build which artists went 
to Pisa and Florence for inspiration. 

That they did not find much is evident, 
though architects say that its style was good so 
far as it went. Charles intended it should be 
one of the finest palaces in Spain, but most of 
all he wished it to surpass in beauty the one left 
by the vanquished Mussulmen, that in the con- 
templation of the splendours of his reign, pos- 
terity should forget the architectural greatness 
of the Arabs. Had he really hoped to succeed 
in this noble scheme he would better have 
destroyed fully the important parts of the 
Alhambra. Doubting, as one is often forced 
to do, the good taste of the architectural re- 
forms introduced by this monarch, one feels 
grateful for the earthquake shocks that are 
reported to have dampened his zeal and caused 
him to abandon his Berruguetean chateau. 

There are other interesting things in Gra- 



90 SKKTCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

nada, but tlu^y are dwarfed by the presence of 
the Moorish palace, and one's first thought in 
the morning and last at night during a fort- 
night's stay is the Alhambra, One views with 
comparative indifference the effigies of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella in the Capilla Real. The 
likenesses are said to be perfect If so, how 
narrow must have been their royal souls, for 
if a judgment can be formed from carved 
images, all the cruelty and fanaticism of their 
successors lay smouldering in their dark eyes 
and hard cold features. One examines their 
splendid sepulchres and descends into the vault 
where their bones lie, and then hurries away 
to the Torre de la Vela for sunset. 

We had intended when we went to Granada 
to ride out to Santa Fe, where the capitulation 
of Granada was signed and whence Columbus 
started for his first American voyage, but after 
a week of the Alhambra we turned our wheels 
to the ''Ultimo Suspiro del Moro" instead. 
Accompanied by three Granada caballeros we 
rode over meadows, forded streams, and at last 
followed a bad dusty road up into the barren 
hills outskirting the Alpujarras, until, just be- 
fore it dipped into the valley beyond, our 



*'el ultimo suspiro.*' 91 

Spanish friends said " Halt.*' We turned and 
faced Granada. Here was the spot where 
Boabdil looked for the last time upon the vega 
and the city, and sighing passed on, leaving the 
field to the Catolicos. As we started on our 
return a silver-toned ring from a cyclometer 
told us we had ridden a thousand miles from 
the Spanish border to the ** Ultimo." 

The conquest of Granada may or may not 
have been to the advantage of Spain, this ques- 
tion historians can discuss, but the sympathy 
of the art-loving visitor of the Alhambra will 
ever follow Boabdil, weak though he was, into 
his lonely exile in the Alpujarras. 



CHAPTER IX. 

OVER THE MALAGA SIERRAS TO THE QUEEN OF 
THE SHIMMKRTNCi SEA— RONDA, A JAUNT TO THE 
CUEVA DEL GATO AND THE ZUMIDERO. 

THE approach to Granada is guarded on 
every side by chains of sierras and one 
must be prepared to grapple with steep grades 
in passing these. Inquiry about the road to 
Malaga only elicited the information that it 
was " muy pendiente " (very steep). South 
Spaniards are apt to call mountain grades muy 
pendiente y and they are often correct. In 
Spain as well as in Algeria we found it difficult 
to obtain any accurate idea of the character of 
a given road even from those who had been 
over it. 

The route from Granada to Malaga is one 
of the most interesting as regards scenery in 
Spain and well repays for the effort it demands. 
From Loja, a picturesque town on a hill sur- 
rounded by flowering meadows and possessing 

92 



OVER THE MALAGA SIERRAS. 93 

almost as many singing fountains as Granada, 
a good road ascends for some miles to the top 
of the mountain, chain, along which it runs for 
hours winding in a serpentine course from one 
ridge to another, until at last it comes out on 
an abrupt height over Malaga. 

The views obtained from the road after it 
reaches • the heights are magnificent and very 
extended. One looks off upon a panorama of 
sharp bald mountain peaks in various shades 
of grey, brown, and red thrown together in 
wildest confusion, their precipitous sides de- 
scending abruptly into abysses which the eye 
cannot fathom, or enclosing lower hills and 
valleys some green, some barren. Here 
and there villages dot the landscape, built 
in rocky fastnesses seemingly inaccessible, 
and one wonders how their inhabitants can 
wring their subsistence from such a desert 
wilderness. 

As we rode on the aerial pathway along the 
brink of precipices we were often obliged to 
dismount---aad_scramble over tfie ramblas or 
barrancas, dry beds of winter torrents, which 
had swept across the road. The spu^^ "^of 
the savage peaks and mountain sides around 



94 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

were gashed and gullied by these in every di- 
rection. They suggested the vivid descriptions 
of Irving of the fierce encounters between the 
Spaniards and Moors, when they met in bitter 
enmity in just such places as these, which " in 
after times have become the favourite haunts 
of robbers to waylay the unfortunate traveller." 
As we looked over the slopes " shagged with 
rocks and precipices " we could better appreci- 
ate what the scenes in the mountains of Mal- 
aga in the absence of roads must have been, 
when the good Master of Santiago on hearing 
the echoes of the war-cry of El Zagal told his 
knights entangled in the barrancas^ they would 
make a road with their hearts since they could 
not with their swords. 

We came out on the brow of the mountain 
as the sun was setting, when on rounding a 
hillock an entirely different scene suddenly 
broke upon us. Directly under us, four thou- 
sand feet below, lay Malaga in a garden of 
fruit-trees bordered by the sapphire sea, which, 
spreading onward, bounded the horizon in 
front. Back of the city the lower foot-hills 
were bathed in a flood of aqua-marine light. 
To the right, stretching away one behind the 



OVER THE MALAGA SIERRAS. 95 

Other into the dim distance, we counted ten 
mountain ranges, each enveloped in a hazy 
mantle of a different shade of blue. 

We asked a road repairer if the road down 
was good. Looking doubtfully at our wheels 
he answered, " Yes, it is good, but muy pendi- 
ente^ We had ten miles to ride and only an 
hour of twilight as we started on the descent, 
which proved to be very sharp in places. We 
were obliged to ride with caution, dismounting 
several times as the road wound around curves 
dangerously near the edge of precipices. The 
plain was reached in safety as darkness was 
closing in. 

Malaga is mentioned as a desirable winter 
resort for invalids. While the climate is doubt- 
less favourable, he must be a strong-nerved 
invalid who can endure the pandemonium of 
indescribable noises that renders night hideous 
in this city. Among these are the peculiar 
penetrating cries of the hawker and news- 
boy, the loud talking of the crowds surg- 
ing through the streets, the rolling of carriages, 
the rattle of iron window-shutters as they are 
drawn down for the night, and the frequent 
shriek of shrill whistles, all of which combine 



96 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

in a medley of sound that effectually banishes 
sleep till well towards morning. 

Of the sights of Malaga little need be said. 
The Gibralfaro, a hill at the east end of the 
city, affords a good prospect of the sea, the 
town, and the near mountains, but the view 
from it as compared with that of the pre- 
vious day from the heights above was as the 
view from the Rigi to that from the Matter- 
horn. The crumbling battlements of this for- 

, mer Hill of the Beacon scarcely give an idea 
of the impregnable walls from the parapets of 
which its brave defender ** Ez Zegry and his 
undaunted followers poured boiling pitch and 
rosin upon the assailants." 

A good idea of a Spanish hacienda may be 
obtained by visiting some of those around Mal- 
aga, which are well worth seeing. The orange 

* and lemon trees of those we saw did not im- 
press us as having the luxuriant vigor and size 
of those near Valencia. The gardens are large 
and contain many remarkable trees and plants, 
but do not compare with those of some of the 
villas near Palermo in the variety of rare trees 
or in artistic arrangement. However, the gar- 
dens of Palermo are ne plus ultra, and those 



RONDA. 97 

in question, to do them justice, show a nearer 
approach to tropical exuberance than aoy we 
have seen in Italy. Both the black and white 
bamboo grow in a profusion and attain a size 
probably unsurpassed elsewhere outside the 
tropics. The air at the time of our visit was 
melodious with the song of the nightingale. 

From Malaga to Ronda there is no direct 
road, so we were obliged to climb the moun- 
tains by rail to a place called Gobantes, where 
no building except the station is visible. Here 
a good road begins which, ascending over a 
pass, runs to Ronda, fifty-four kilometres dis- 
tant. Shortly before Ronda a well-preserved 
section of a Roman aqueduct is passed. 

As we were looking for an hotel, a man hav- 
ing the appearance of a valet-de-place stepped 
forward officiously and said to us in English 
the best hotel was near by and he would take 
us to it. Not liking to put ourselves under 
the guidance of a man of this kind we hesi- 
tated, but in the absence of any other suitable 
person in the crowd to appeal to we accepted 
his services. At the hotel he assumed the 
role of proprietor, as that individual was not 
to be found; and proceeded to show us rooms. 



98 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

In the absence of the porter and other ser- 
vants we made use of him to bring up our lug- 
lage and supply the rooms with towels and 
water, which he did without demur. He called 
himself an interpreter and was evidently in the 
service of the hotel. 

We wished to spend the next day in seeing 
something of the surrounding country, so after 
dinner we asked the interpreter if a guide and 
horses could be obtained. He replied : " Cer- 
tainly, the price of a guide will be ten pese- 
trasy and I will call in a stable proprietor to 
talk with you about the horses." On the 
arrival of the latter the interpreter said we 
should have to provide horses not only for 
ourselves but also for the guide. When ar- 
rangements for these had been made, seeing 
nothing of the guide, we asked '' Where is the 
guide?" The interpreter answered, '* I will 
be your guide." We felt we were being guided 
a trifle too much by this fellow, but there 
seemed to be nothing to do but to take him. 
We were thankful that most of our wander- 
ings were made in a manner that knew no 
such incumbrance. 

The next morning at six the horses were led 



CUEVA DEL GATO. 99 

up to the door of the fonda. A few minutes 
later the horse owner himself appeared mounted 
on a powerful black horse and expressed his in- 
tention of accompanying us. He might have 
been fifty-five years of age, was of good height 
and rotund figure, wore leggings, a short, 
rounded sack coat and broad-brimmed som- 
brerOy which shaded a good-natured face. On 
account of his weight he had some difficulty 
at times in mounting his horse, which he rode 
without saddle or stirrup, but when once 
mounted he sat with equal ease whether side- 
ways or astride. 

He was proud of his animals, which were 
all good and were real horses, with no taint 
of the mule about them, and it was evident 
though he did not say so, that he shared the 
contempt for the mule which every Spanish 
caballero, for such he considered himself, feels. 

Our first objective point was the Cueva del 
Gato, a cavern in the side of a mountain about 
two hours and a half distant, out of which 
flows a river. The trail leads down the bar- 
ren hillside and follows a valley through an 
uninteresting region, twice crossing the river. 
No sooner had we started than our companions 



lOO SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

took out their cigarettes and proceeded to sol- 
ace themselves, which diversion was indulged 
in at short intervals throughout the day. 
When their matches were exhausted they 
stopped to borrow a light of every one we met 
irrespective of his social condition. 

What would the Spaniard do without his 
tobacco ? It is his constant solace in all the 
activities of life. He uses the cigarette as a 
condiment to his food at meals. At the thea- 
tre he cannot enjoy what is being given on the 
stage unless viewed through a film of smoke. 
The chambermaid does not disdain the weed 
as he puts one's room in order at the hotel. 
The conductor on the street car takes the fare 
cheered by its fragrant aroma. The officer on 
parade issues his orders with a cigar between 
his lips. Its fumes even take the place of in- 
cense on occasion with the clergyman as he 
performs the last rites to the departed. A 
present of a cigar makes a Spaniard your 
friend, and the traveller's path is often smoothed 
by the timely exhibition of tobacco. 

Our caballero, who after all proved to be the 
real guide, also stopped frequently at houses 
on the route to satisfy his thirst with a glass 



CUEVA DEL GATO. lOI 

of Wine or cordial, on which occasions he never 
failed to invite us to participate in the refresh- 
ment nor to pay the bill himself, on no account 
allowing us to be responsible for the last. He 
considered it incumbent on him as a gentleman 
to do all the honours, and in fording streams 
or passing difficult places he always held the 
bridle of the Senoras horse himself. Neither 
he nor the interpreter seemed to be quite 
familiar with the route, stopping several times 
to inquire, from which we inferred that the 
Cueva was not so very often visited by trav- 
ellers. 

Arrived at the Gueva we found an opening 
in the rock twenty to forty feet high, the en- 
trance to which was blocked by large boulders, 
which we could not pass on account of the 
quantity of water flowing between them. No 
artificial means have been employed to make 
the cave accessible. On looking in nothing 
worth mention could be seen. We halted to 
rest the animals when the caballero took out 
of his pocket some bread and a sort of 
sausage, which he offered us with the assurance 
that the latter was home-made and innocuous. 
The composition of that sausage we would not 



I02 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

attempt to surmise. Its consistency was soft, 
its colour a brilliant vermilion, and one of the 
principal ingredients was garlic. Out of com- 
pliment to the donor and the place of its manu- 
facture we each took a small piece, which was 
with difficulty disposed of, but declined further 
offers on the ground of not wishing to deprive 
him of it. 

From the Cueva we went to the Gorge of 
the Zumidero, two hours farther. The path 
led up a rocky spur and down on the other side 
into a wild valley surrounded by limestone 
mountains. The bed of this valley consisted 
of an oval stretch of arable land planted with 
wheat. To get out of the valley we had to 
scramble up a long ascent, where the horses 
were obliged to pick their way with the greatest 
care. Opposite the highest part and still higher 
up on the bare mountain side was a basin sur- 
rounded except at its entrance by inaccessible 
crags. In this was perched a village the houses 
of which were built of the rock on which it 
rested. Its inhabitants earned their livelihood 
by cultivating the fertile land below. The 
whole region from here to the Zumidero was 
wild and grand. At the Zumidero, which lies 



THE ZUMIDERO. IO3 

in another valley between limestone peaks, the 
river which flows through the valley disappears 
into the rocks to reappear again at the Cueva 
del Gato below on the other side of the moun- 
tain. 

The caballero now went ahead to find a place 
for the noon meal, leaving the interpreter to 
guide us, who soon showed his want of knowl- 
edge of the country by leading us astray into 
a stony vineyard, where the horses floundered 
about among the vines to the consternation of 
the owners. At luncheon the caballero partook 
as freely of our viands, particularly of the wine, 
as he had ofi^ered us of his. 

Having spent most of the afternoon in an 
excursion farther east we returned to Ronda 
about five o'clock and dismounted at the Ala- 
meda, where being heartily tired of riding we 
dismissed the caballero and his horses, saying 
we would walk through the town and return 
to the hotel on foot. Judge our surprise an 
hour later when near the Alcazar at the other 
end of the town we came upon the horses and 
their master waiting for us. The latter's idea 
of politeness would not permit him to allow us 
to return to the hotel on foot, however short 



104 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

the distance. We had just bought a dozen 
oranges, some of which were given him, but 
he would not eat himself till he had prepared 
one for the Scnora. 

Ronda is situated on the brow of a hill, 
which falls on one side perpendicularly to the 
plain below and is cleft in two by a deep 
gorge. The interest of the place centres in 
these two features, with their concomitants the 
stream, cascades, old Moorish mills and bridges. 
Otherwise its situation is not especially remark- 
able. The man who wrote, ** There is indeed 
but one Ronda in the world," cannot have 
travelled very extensively, for there are places 
not so very distant similarly situated, which are 
more striking than Ronda. 

When we called for our bill at \}ci^fonda the 
interpreter made it out and receipted it. 

The road on which we came continues on 
to the second railway station beyond Ronda 
where it ceases, thus practically beginning and 
ending nowhere. In Andalucia direct connect- 
ing roads between important places are not 
always to be found. From here to San Roque 
the bicyclist is obliged to take the rail. 




ENTRANCE TO QORQE, RONDA. 



I06 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

knowledge was evidently too limited and he 
was altogether too pessimistic as regards the 
estimate put on human life in the empire of 
the Sultan to suit our purpose. 

We had had occasion before to remark the 
tendency in those who had no personal knowl- 
edge of certain routes of doubtful reputation 
to magnify the dangers connected with them, 
until if heed were given to their statements 
one might imagine one's guide or escort would 
turn assassins. Apart from the question of 
safety, which is always dependent on the mo- 
mentary condition of affairs in Morocco, that 
of how best to arrange for the journey is the 
chief one to be settled. If the traveller be in 
no hurry it is undoubtedly better for him to 
select his guide, attendants, and horses him- 
self, but if his time is limited he will be obliged 
to trust this matter to his hotel, in which case 
the expense will be about double. 

Time being an object in our case we referred 
to the hotel. This particular hotel, not far 
from the landing, is very Machiavellian in its 
policy with strangers. The manager assured 
us it was quite safe to go to Tetuan then, 
though it had not been formerly. 



TETUAN. 107 

" Can you recommend a guide ? " we asked. 

*' Oh yes, we will send a good one for you 
to talk with, and if you are not satisfied with 
him we will send you another." 

'* What will be the charge for a guide and 
animals to Tetuan ? " 

"That you can arrange with the guide." 

A few minutes later a suave, middle-aged 
Moor draped in a most spotless burnous called 
at our room. He had been parading the hotel 
corridors ever since the arrival of the boat as 
specimen Tangier Moor furnished by the hotel, 
it was to be supposed, for the hotel in Tangier 
furnishes everything from photographs to old 
coins, carved furniture, and antique embroid- 
eries. He was the guide and, as we had rea- 
son later to think, the only one of the hotel. 

He handed us a reference written by one of 
our own countrymen in terms suspiciously ef- 
fusive, which if true would make one wish 
to visit the whole interior of Morocco under 
such a guardian. He had been guide, friend, 
protector, interpreter, facilitator of photograph- 
ing, and cook, all in the superlative degree to 
the American tourist, and in Fez had even 
brought about an interview between the Amer- 



TETUAN. 109 

days-journey on its regal cushions was horrify- 
ing and it was discarded. The one mule which 
Salem provided for this occasion displayed an 
activity of movement never again observed 
after we started on the journey. 

The next morning we were off an hour later 
than had been agreed upon, for guides in Mo- 
rocco as well as in Switzerland may be tardy 
in starting. Headed by the mounted soldier 
furnished by the Government at our expense 
for protection, our caravan wound its way over 
the beach and sand dunes as beautiful in the 
pale light before sunrise as hillocks of driven 
snow. Is it because the sand dunes are less 
common and more beautiful than the Moor at 
Tangier that the tourist never mentions them ? 

The journey to Tetuan by the mule trail, for 
a road in Morocco is as rare as a buffalo in the 
United States, occupies twelve to fourteen 
hours, though Salem assured us his mules could 
make it in eight. The first part of the route 
led over a rolling, deserted, somewhat pastoral 
country, which was but little cultivated although 
the soil appeared fertile. We passed beautiful 
fields of pink oleanders, and the path was often 
bordered by wild roses, bluebells, and honey- 



no SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

suckle. Views of purple mountains were con- 
stantly before us, and now and then even of 
distant snow-wreathed Atlas summits. A large 
number of men and women, some as far out as 
twenty-five kilometres, were met with carrying 
sacks of charcoal into Tangier. The women 
were stunted and looked old and haggard 
under their heavy burdens. 

We lunched at noon under a small group of 
trees. Salem and the mule driver spread rugs 
and served a very good meal, for which we were 
quite prepared, the former having promised us 
every obtainable luxury while under his care. 
Water was carried in the porous jugs used here 
as well as in Spain, and was nearly as cool as if 
iced. 

The monotony of the journey was broken 
for the first time an hour after the march had 
been resumed by the carelessness of the driver 
who led the mule ridden by the lady of the 
party. Having become somnolent from the 
smoking of hashish at luncheon, he stumbled 
into a slough and drew the mule in after him. 
While he was floundering knee deep in the 
filth, the mule in its efforts to get out threw the 
rider, whose foot caught in the stirrup from 



TETUAN. 1 1 1 

which it was impossible to extricate it. After 
she had been dragged sufficiently far to become 
covered with mud to her waist, badly shaken 
up and frightened, Salem rescued her. 

While she sat on a stone recovering herself 
and reflecting upon the prospect of riding five 
hours longer with mud and water dripping 
from her skirts and oozing from her boots, an 
entertaining Eastern intermezzo took place. 
The mule driver after getting out of the slough 
bent his head and doubled himself together 
as if awaiting punishment. Salem went up to 
him and poured forth a volley of words, the 
harsh sound of which alone was intelligible. 
He then seized him by the shoulders and shook 
him with all his strength, and ended by giving 
him an emphatic kick that sent him rolling ten 
feet down a bank. The youth uttered no word 
of remonstrance but disappeared, while Salem 
leading the mules walked with us to ?ifondack^ 
the only building on the route, fifteen minutes 
beyond. 

On the way he tried to assuage our indigna- 
tion by promising to obtain a new driver at the 
fondacky where accommodation for animals is 
scarcely to be found, much less for travellers. 



112 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

Salem submerged the muddy boots in a pail of 
water, which did not conduce to the owner's 
comfort on the further ride to Tetuan. He 
then invited us to take cafe maure which in 
this case contained more than the usual quan- 
tity of sediment. 

When ready to start again the culprit ap- 
peared leading the mule and hanging his head. 
"Where is the new man ?" we inquired. Sa- 
lem expressed great regret and said he had 
offered the only other man he had seen at the 
fondack a, large price to accompany us, but he 
would not as he was on the return to Tangier. 
Appreciating the fact that he had never in- 
tended to dismiss the driver we took up our 
march. 

About an hour from the /onc/ack, at the top 
of a hill before descending into a wild defile, 
the first glimpse of Tetuan, still four hours dis- 
tant, is obtained. This view, so graphically 
described by General Prim, is said to be one of 
the finest in Morocco. It is a delightful sur- 
prise after the long ride in the wilderness. 
Surmounted by its massive fortress the city 
lies like a snowy half-wreath on a high bank 
overhanging the river, which winds through 



TETU AN. 1 1 3 

the greenest of valleys that in its verdure 
must have recalled forcibly the vega of Gra- 
nada to the Andalucian exiles. To the east 
rise lofty and graceful mountains covered with 
trees to the line where, high up, their slopes 
end in rock. Far beyond in the background, 
like a strip of fallen sky, lies the Mediter- 
ranean. 

Salem's fine mules did not prove so fast as 
he had stated. One in particular required the 
constant application of a stout stick to induce 
it to move at even a fair gait. It had also an 
unpleasant habit of shying suddenly at the 
Arabs who passed us and then running, when 
the rider was at its mercy not daring to draw 
hard on the bridle, which was rotten and had 
already been broken in two places, the broken 
ends being tied together with a single turn 
of string. On one of these occasions one of 
the mended places parted, nearly unseating 
the rider. The last three hours the mules 
were especially slow, and it required fourteen 
hours instead of eight to reach Tetuan, where 
we arrived two hours after sunset, when ac- 
cording to Eastern custom the gates are 
closed, 

8 



114 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

After considerable parleying between the 
guard at the gate and our soldier we were 
admitted, and went clattering through the 
cobble-paved deserted streets to a small inn 
on the edge of the city kept by a Spaniard 
and his wife, who took good care of us. The 
outlook from our windows the next morning 
was a revelation, for instead of facing on a 
dirty Oriental street, they overlooked the 
valley, in May a perfect orange garden, and 
the beautiful mountain range the highest peak 
of which is Beni Hosmar. 

Salem presented himself at what we thought 
a late hour, bringing a boquet of jessamine and 
honeysuckle. He apologised, saying he had 
been arranging for an interview with the Span- 
ish consul at eleven o'clock, as it was through 
him our invitations to the houses of the de- 
scendants of the Granada refugees were to 
come. 

We made the circuit of the town, which is 
completely Moroccan, the few Spanish resi- 
dents being lost among the natives. The 
scene in the great square and in the grain and 
fish markets is very animated in the morning 
when they are thronged with people, the 



TETUAN. I I 5 

negroes contrasting effectively with the Hghter- 
coloured Moors. In the grain market the 
Moorish women sat cross-legged selling grain, 
enveloped in coarse burnouses with enor- 
mous straw hats, which completely hid their 
faces. 

Rare arches surmounted with dentated cop- 
ings often in double rows marked the entrance 
of streets into the squares or into one another. 
Striking bits abound everywhere and so does 
dirt, and one is never sure of not having to 
stop near a large garbage heap to admire some 
beautiful architectural effect. The Basha 
street is particularly remarkable for its double 
tiered azulejos minaret and its rubbish heaps 
extending from the middle of the street to the 
top of the doorways of the houses. As we 
contemplated these monuments of filth, inhal- 
ing the while the perfume of the strings of 
jessamine provided by Salem, we inquired if 
there had been many epidemics of cholera at 
Tetuan. *' Never, cholera never was known 
at Tetuan, it is the healthest city in Morocco," 
he replied in French, having exhausted his 
English at our first interview in Tangier. 
With a feeling of pity for the people we read 



TETUAN. 1 1 7 

and handsome intelligent faces, dressed in 
spotless robes of the finest linen and sheen- 
iest silk. They had the commanding presence 
and high-bred manner we had noticed in the 
Arab chiefs of Algeria. 

Salem said, *' Here are the rich citizens of 
Tetuan, among them two or three whose 
houses you will probably visit in the after- 
noon." They seemed to be acquainted with 
him and greeted him in a friendly manner. 
As he presented us, their dark eyes lighted 
up and they received us with warm grasps 
of hands that were softer than velvet, and a 
cordiality that made us feel at home even in 
Morocco. 

We had seen in the Grande Kabylie the 
descendants of the race that had founded 
Granada, we had walked in the empty courts 
of the Alhambra, and here we found the last 
remnant of the brave but unfortunate people 
whose inheritance of that great treasure ended 
with the weak and vacillating Boabdil. In ap- 
pearance they were fitting representatives of 
their ancestors, who had conquered and main- 
tained themselves in Andalucia against all as- 
saults for eight hundred years, and developed a 



Il8 SKETCHES AWHEEL IS MODERN IBERIA. 

culture which, as shown in the few monuments 
spared by their more barbarous conquerors, 
has been the admiration of succeeding gener- 
ations. 

Some of them were in relations with the 
court at Fez and as we learned afterwards had 
been intrusted by the Sultan with missions 
to the governments of Europe. One or two 
spoke French, but these were exceptions. We 
next called upon the Spanish consul, who said 
he expected invitations for us by two o'clock. 
A visit to the walls and the picturesque ceme- 
tery followed. The latter occupies the side of 
a hill without the walls, and its tombs and 
monuments are larger and more elaborate 
than those of any cemetery we have seen in 
other Mohammedan countries. It seems to 
be a favourite resort of the inhabitants, many 
of whom sat around in groups eating luncheon 
or engaged in conversation. We then re- 
turned for dejeuner and Salem went to take 
his siesta. 

About four o'clock he reappeared with the 
invitations accompanied by a Moor in blue 
zouave trousers, red sash, and fez. He said 
he had brought the consul's servant or kawass, 



TETUAN. 119 

as etiquette required that we be announced by 
a servant at the different houses. We visited 
several, at all of which the owners received us 
in the patios, showed us about and were very 
cordial. The only women visible anywhere 
were slaves. 

One house, the largest and handsomest in 
Tetuan, has a history connected with it, which 
recalls the tales of charmed treasure found in 
the Alhambra. The owner, a handsome man 
of fifty-five, with a courtly demeanour, who 
has been in Europe more than once in the ser- 
vice of the Sultan, is the one who while on a 
diplomatic mission to Madrid received a blow 
in the face, for which insult the Spanish Gov- 
ernment apologised. We had read of the 
matter at the time it occurred, and were of 
course interested in meeting the ambassador at 
Tetuan. 

Some twenty years ago on breaking ground 
for the cellar of the present palatial residence, 
a buried treasure was unearthed consisting of 
a large amount of gold. Not daring to keep 
it the owner of the property sent it at once to 
the Sultan, who considering the sender a good 
and faithful servant took only half for himself 



I20 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

and returned the rest. The story is well known 
at Tetuan and is said to be true. 

At the entrance the kawass went ahead to 
announce us. Shortly he returned and the 
door was thrown wide open by a handsome jet 
black slave girl of about sixteen. The kawass 
entered before us, fell on his knees and kissed 
the hand of the host, who now came forward 
from the large patio to meet us. We all went 
into the patio, in the middle of which was a 
fountain surrounded by plants. This large 
peristyle had the Tetuan sky for its ceiling, 
being covered only by a wire netting to keep 
out the birds. The floor and columns of the 
arches were inlaid in different designs with 
blue, mauve, and yellow azulejos made after 
the manner of those of the Alhambra. The 
Granada refugees brought with them the art 
of making azulejos, a manufactory for which 
may be seen outside the wall of Tetuan, sev- 
eral large chambers formed by overhanging 
rocks being utilised in place of buildings. The 
colours are the same as those formerly used. 
Owing to the amount of tile and other orna- 
mental work in the house, eighteen years were 
required for its completion. 



TETUAN. 121 

A large dining hall ran the length of the 
patio on one side, and on the others either 
salons or sleeping rooms opened, thus produc- 
ing the effect of great size combined with vis- 
tas of columns and arches. The rooms had 
painted or inlaid wooden ceilings and were 
furnished with divans, mirrors, and a piano, 
and the walls were decorated with old Arab 
guns and sabres. Rugs were thrown about 
everywhere and in the sleeping rooms the beds 
were arranged with three to five mattresses. 
In front of each bedstead was one mattress on 
the marble floor for a slave. The under sur- 
face of the arches around the patio and the 
wall above were plain white, which produced a 
much less agreeable effect than the soft toned 
stucco work of the Alhambra. Apart from 
this discord in the beautiful interior one could 
almost imagine oneself in a palace of the 
Moors of other days. 

There was a second floor with a gallery, a 
part of which was enclosed, and through some 
small windows looking down on the patio we 
caught a glimpse once or twice of a woman's 
receding figure which quickly vanished. 

The owner showed us his household treas- 



122 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

ures with evident pleasure, but more than the 
rare tapestries, mosaics, and old weapons, we 
admired the bright pretty slaves, who made ex- 
quisite pictures as in white and pink muslins 
with bright sashes over their shoulders and 
bare arms decked with bangles they silently 
passed cafe maure and sweets. We asked 
Salem if the negro slaves in Tetuan were 
usually so attractive, when he shook his head 

saying " B is a connoisseur and buys only 

the handsomest." He also said the slave 
girls are treated with great kindness, being 
cared for like members of the family, which 
statement corresponded with the impression 
made upon us by their appearance and 
bearing. 

Feeling as if we had lived through a scene 
in the Arabian Nights we bade our host fare- 
well. He accompanied us to the threshold 
and took leave of us h la maure. Our servant, 
who had remained outside after announcing us, 
prostrated himself again as we left. 

While at Tetuan we spent the sunset hour 
at the old Castillo, the massive walls of which 
overtop the city on the west. After the sun 
had withdrawn its last golden glance from the 



TETUAN. 123 

mountains and the city lay cold and silent in 
the valley, the interesting moment of the day 
began, the ladies' hour. Gradually the flat 
white roofs became peopled with women com- 
ing out for their evening airing and gossip. 
Negresses also appeared gaily clad in red and 
yellow, their black faces uncovered, and were 
most amusing to watch. Active as cats they 
climbed over the parapets from roof to roof 
and romped and played together like children. 

Another day we made an excursion to the 
*' Source of the Zakkah," a trip which Salem 
regarded as his special privilege to make. 
He said he was the only guide from Tangier 
who knew of it, and although he had been 
there several times himself, we were the first 
travellers, with the exception of one English- 
man, whom he had taken to visit it. The 
sensation of being a pioneer in these days 
when every corner of the world is sought out 
by the tourist is certainly exhilarating. One 
is, however, far from feeling certain • of the 
fact, when one has only the statement of a 
ruse Tangier guide to rely upon. Still the 
jaunt proved a very delightful one. 

Custom seemed to demand that we should 



124 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MQDERN IBERIA. 

be under the charge of a soldier from Tetuan, 
so the place of our Tangier guard was taken 
by a bright young fellow who spoke a little 
French and made a good companion. The 
mule track led past the old walls overgrown 
with cacti and flowering bushes into the val- 
ley, and thence through orange, fig, and lemon 
orchards to the mountains. Hedges of grow- 
ing cane held together by wattles bordered 
the path, over which luxuriant trees towered 
and swayed. After fording several rivers we 
reached the mountains in about two hours. 

As we passed through a village on the 
mountain side, the mayor or chief riding a fine 
Arab horse came out to meet us. His saddle- 
bags were well supplied with oranges, of which 
he gave us all we could carry. He then joined 
us, taking the lead and acting as guide up the 
mountain. The soldier next followed, then we, 
and lastly Salem and the servant. However 
we may have looked, we felt quite adventurous, 
wending our way up the wild mountain with 
our four Moorish attendants. The grandeur 
increased as we ascended under the frowning 
summit of Beni Hosmar. From a high plateau 
we looked back upon Tetuan banded by walls, 



TETUAN. 125 

throned in green, and crowned with minarets 
and mosques. 

An hour and a half from the village, at the 
entrance of a wild ravine, we came to a large 
deep pool of eddying and bubbling water sur- 
rounded by mossy rocks and spreading trees, 
which was fed by a beautiful cascade of purest 
water, that came gambolling down from the 
mountain above. This was Salem's *' Source 
of the Zakkah," which furnished water power 
for the two or three hundred Moorish mills in 
the valley below, and a more sylvan spot it 
would be hard to find. 

The path ceased here. The Arabs spread 
rugs on the rocks for us, served us with oranges 
and then with two more who joined them sat 
apart in a picturesque group eating bread and 
drinking buttermilk, which was brought in a 
stone jug. Shortly some wild-looking shep- 
herds clothed in skins came up, and three shy 
Arab women in short red and white striped 
skirts confined at the waist with red sashes 
scrambled over the rocks to do washing in the 
stream. They were startled at first at seeing 
their laundry invaded by strangers, but soon 
recovered themselves and went to work mak- 



126 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

ing their brown feet do the duty of hands, 
every now and then throwing timid glances at 
us. 

While Salem and the others enjoyed a Mos- 
lem siesta, the soldier took u^ for a climb up 
the mountain, during which we looked into 
the thatch houses of the shepherds, which did 
not detain us long, for unlike those of the 
Tetuan grandees, they contained besides the 
women and children only a dog or kid and a 
few cooking pans. Boughs of trees served for 
beds and chairs. The soldier obtained for us 
one of the rude reed flutes used by the shep- 
herds. 

When we returned to the pool, Salem and 
the chief had a luncheon of boiled eggs and 
bread ready. The chief produced more of 
the large juicy oranges from the depths of his 
saddle-bags, and his black eyes snapped with 
delight as we returned his favours with praise 
and cigarettes. During luncheon we heard a 
splash, and looking down into the water met 
the gaze of the merry soldier enjoying a bath 
after his exertions on the mountain. Later he 
appeared in a fresh white burnous, and as we 
rode down the mountain hung his cast-off 



tetuan. 127 

clothing in a delightfully unreserved manner 
over his shoulders to dry. He laughed, sang, 
peeled our oranges, lifted the overhanging 
branches out of the way, was in all respects 
our willing slave, and rode into Tetuan hold- 
ing his gun upright and sitting his horse as 
only an Arab soldier can. 

The chief fully appreciated the dignity of 
his position, escorted us to the door of the 
Tetuan inn, where upon dismounting he pre- 
sented us with branchlets of golden oranges 
as a parting remembrance. The capacity of 
his saddle-bags seemed inexhaustible. The 
disinterested and open-handed hospitality of 
these rude natives of Morocco would do credit 
to many a more cultured people. 

Up to this time Salem had done his duty 
fairly well, and although he had disgusted us 
by his constant praise of himself, had shown 
us the main sights of Tetuan and given us the 
interesting trip to the Source. Beyond this 
his sense of obligation did not appear to ex- 
tend, and when sought for further services was 
not to be found, and we were left to our own 
resources. On the morning of our departure 
the mules were brought to the door in a filthy 



128 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

condition, unfit for use, and after we had left 
the city an Arab overtook us, between whom 
and Salem an emphatic discussion ensued, 
from which we inferred, though we could not 
understand the language, that the latter had 
neglected to render proper satisfaction for the 
accommodation afforded himself or the mules. 

On this day his indifference became still more 
pronounced, and instead of keeping with us and 
urging on the mules, as he had done on the 
way out, he fell behind often nearly out of 
sight, leaving us to the mercy of the stupid 
youth, who had no power over the beasts. 
Finally, as the afternoon advanced, they came 
to a standstill a long distance from Tangier, 
when we waited till he came up and insisted 
that he urge them forward. 

At the noon meal many things were want- 
ing, particularly the relishes, even the sub- 
stantial were scanty and of poor quality, and 
wine had altogether disappeared from the 
menu. Before reaching Tangier we had had 
enough of Salem, and were glad he was not 
to be our guide, provider, and friend on a 
six weeks' journey in the interior. The trip 
to Tetuan, barring the chance of sophistical 



TETUAN. 129 

guides, obstinate or shying mules, and rotten 
bridles, well repays the time and exertion it 
demands. Within a week of our return to 
Spain the foreign consuls were informed that 
owing to the disturbed condition of affairs in 
the interior of Morocco the Sultan would not 
guarantee further the safety of travellers. 



CHAPTER XI. 

TARIFA— OCEAN-WASHED CADIZ— PEONES GAMINE- 
ROS— ALCALA DE LA GUADAIRA— FAMED SEVILLA 
OF THE GUADALQUIVIR. 

FROM Algeciras we rode over the hills 
to Tarifa, which, like a white sea-gull, 
clings to the rocks of the southernmost point 
of Europe, and looks as if the next gale might 
sweep it into the boiling straits that half en- 
circle it. It is a romantic old town with its 
well-preserved walls and alcazavy one of the 
towers of which marks the place where the 
son of Guzman el Bueno was murdered, — el 
Bueno, dear to Spanish hearts because he pre- 
ferred the sacrifice of his son to opening the 
gates to the Moorish enemy. 

According to history Tarifa on its rock- 
bound peninsula has withstood gallantly many 
an attack, but to-day in its indolent southern 
apathy it is but a picturesque shadow of the 
substance of the past. From the short reach 

130 



TARIFA. 131 

of beach below the ramparts of the alcazar 
Spanish Ceuta and Moorish Tangier appear 
like white-crested breakers on the shore of the 
Sultan's land. 

From Tarifa to San Fernando the road is 
good and runs level nearly the whole distance 
through a well cultivated farming country 
dotted with farm houses of stone and thatch 
and well-to-do villages, the gardens of which 
were brilliant with red geraniums and lilies. 
Here as at the entrance to Andalucia the fields 
were carpeted with many-coloured wild flowers 
and fringed with flowering bushes. Scarlet 
poppies, deep yellow daisies and light yellow 
ones with deep yellow centres, red clover with 
long glistening heads, pink oleanders, and pur- 
ple rhododendrons grew in profusion. In 
place of fences and stone walls the land bound- 
aries were marked by strong hedges of vigor- 
ous century plant, the blossom stalks of which 
shot up twenty to twenty-five feet in the air 
like lines of telegraph poles. 

The broad chaussee leading over the narrow 
strip of land from San Fernando to Cadiz was 
once undoubtedly an excellent road, but had 
been allowed to fall into such an execrable 



132 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

condition of hillocks and hollows that the 
people could stand it no longer, and for some 
distance before Cadiz it was undergoing total 
reconstruction, so that it was impassable. Our 
only resource was to wade through a consider- 
able stretch of soft sand to the beach, on which 
we rode the last five kilometres into Cadiz to 
the music of the foaming surf. 

Cadiz has been inaptly compared in situation 
with Venice, the only point common to the two 
being that they are practically surrounded by 
water. Cadiz is not built upon a mud flat, it 
is not approached by lagunes, and the wild At- 
lantic storms, that beat upon the rock-bound 
peninsula on which it stands, would soon sweep 
Venice from its foundations into the Adriatic. 

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of Cadiz 
is the extreme neatness and cleanliness every- 
where seen. It is decidedly the best kept city 
we saw in Spain, and the same remark would 
not be untrue of regions beyond the Pyrenees. 
The impression is heightened by the ever 
ready brush of the whitewasher, which keeps 
the houses and walls in the most immaculate 
condition. Such care is the more remarkable, 
because the city is evidently in a state of deca- 



V 



CADIZ. 133 

dence, and no activity either of commerce, 
trade, or manufacture is apparent, which is 
adequate to the support of the sixty-five thou- 
sand inhabitants. 

If the spirit of modern enterprise could be 
infused into the people so as to induce them to 
construct suitable docks, the city might take 
the commercial rank to which its situation en- 
titles it. To the traveller, however, this city of 
Murillo's last work would not on that account 
become more interesting, for its chief charm 
for him consists in the sleepy quiet, which en- 
ables him to reflect undisturbed upon its long 
history during the almost three thousand years 
which have elapsed since it came into being as 
a Phoenician colony. 

As one looks over the city from the Torre 
de Tavira and sees the deserted miradores 
standing up from the house-tops, from which 
the merchants watched for the arrival of their 
ships, one can picture the time when Cadiz 
was a busy mart of trade and her fleets were 
seen on every sea. These miradores suggest 
structures similar in purpose though not in 
form still to be seen on the roofs of the weather- 
beaten houses of a small island in the Western 



134 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

world well known seventy-five years ago in both 
hemispheres for its whaling industry, but now 
more dead than Cadiz. With its good hotels 
and charming gardens on the edge of its sea- 
beaten ramparts, Cadiz makes a delightful 
resting-place. 

The main roads of Spain are kept in order 
by labourers called **peones camineros," each 
of whom has charge of a section of five kilo- 
metres. They live with their families in small 
but substantial stone houses with gable roofs, 
which stand by the roadside at an average dis- 
tance of five kilometres from one another. 
On the front of each is a painted incription, 
*' Casa de Peones Camineros." The occupants 
usually cultivate a small garden adjoining the 
house and keep a few domestic animals. 

The peones like the guardia civil are found 
in all parts of Spain, and we came to regard 
them with a very friendly feeling, being often 
obliged in the absence of towns to apply to 
them for information, shelter, or other assist- 
ance, and in no case was our application in 
vain. The most frequent favour asked of them 
was water either to drink or to fill into our 
canteens. Water except in the mountain re- 



PEONES CAMINEROS. 1 35 

gions was never to be found on the road, and 
they were obliged often to bring their drink- 
ing water from some distance, but they never 
hesitated to give us abundantly of their store, 
bringing it cool and fresh from the porous 
earthen jars in which it was kept. 

They almost always invited us to come in 
out of the sun and rest, placing chairs for us, 
and though poor often brought out azucari/los, 
a white spongy substance made of lemon, 
sugar, and white of eggs, which dissolved in 
water makes a palatable and refreshing drink. 
Payment for their hospitality they would have 
scorned with true Spanish pride, but cigars 
and cigarettes when properly offered they 
would take, though never more than one, so we 
always carried a good supply of these and of 
bonbons for the children, which did not come 
amiss, and delight sparkled from the eyes of 
many a child, who had never tasted anything 
sweeter than a garbanzo before. 

Between Xeres and Alcala we stopped one 
noon to lunch by the roadside a few hundred 
feet from a casa de peones camineros. As we 
were eating, the matron of the house came up 
and greeted us and asked why we had not 



136 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

made use of her house as a noon resting-place, 
which we were perfectly at liberty to <Sb. We 
thanked her and said we would drop in for 
water when we had finished. Presently a 
small boy came running up to us from the 
house, who told us excitedly that his mother 
sent him to call us to the house at once, as a 
herd of dangerous bulls was coming on the 
road above. We accordingly sought the shel- 
ter so kindly offered. 

Soon the bulls passed, some fifty or sixty in 
number, filling the whole road and driven by 
four well mounted horsemen armed with stout 
batons. These were the black, rather small 
but very active Andalucian bulls with quick, 
cunning eyes and horns sharp as needles, such 
as we had seen at the corridas in Granada, 
and had we met them on the road we should 
not have stood much chance of escape. 

We had several opportunities of observing 
the awe with which the people of Spain regard 
the bull. They do not in their fear always 
distinguish the sex of the bovine animals they 
are trying to avoid, but sometimes give as 
wide a berth to a gentle cow entirely innocent 
of malicious intent as to the terrible toro. 



ALCALA DE LA GUADAIRA. 1 37 

Alcala de la Guadaira should be visited for 
its ruined alcazar, its flour mills, for it is the 
bakery of Seville, its interesting cave houses, 
and more than all perhaps for 'the lovely first 
view of the Giralda it reveals to one approach- 
ing Seville from this side. The Moorish castle 
with its tapia walls, subterranean granaries, 
and large square towers is one of the most 
picturesque in Spain. But this fragment left 
by the dusky race is crumbling, and who can 
tell how soon the blind custodian of the Giral- 
da may cease to point out with unerring hand 
the dark outline of its keywork walls, for an 
earthquake or the destructive spirit of the 
Spanish may at any time level it to the earth. 
Nothinor could be lovelier than the sunset 
scene from the Torre de Mocha. Over the 
hilltop on which they stand ramble the crannied 
walls overgrown with grass and flowers ; below, 
supplying power to a legion of Moorish mills, 
the bottle-green Guadaira circles through a 
valley of verdure, and ten miles away, out of a 
soft haze which hides the city, towers the 
guardian of Seville, the Giralda. 

*' Se villa is also there but the mist covers 
it," said our cicerone, who we had forgotten 



138 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

was With US. Yes, we knew the Giralda indi- 
cated the presence of Seville, even as years 
before, when from the hills on the Via Fla- 
minia twenty miles away we saw the gilded 
dome of St. Peter's looming up alone between 
earth and sky, we knew that Rome lay be- 
neath. 

What a prognostic was the Giralda to the 
Moors who, after guarding it with superstitious 
fervour for over five hundred years, wished to 
tear down and obliterate it completely before 
delivering up the city to the Christians. Love 
of the Giralda passed from the hearts of the 
departing Mussulmen to those of the Span- 
iards, who in turn regarded this mueddin bel- 
fry as a sign of the prosperity of Seville. As 
the veil of mist floated higher we almost 
seemed to see, as did certain devout Spaniards 
during the thunder-storm of 1504, the tutelars 
Justa and Rufina rising in Murillo-like vapo- 
roso to support its swaying form and bulging 
sides. It is to be hoped that the Sevillians 
will continue to treasure their Giralda, which 
like a forgotten pennon of the Moorish host 
floats over the Andalucian city of romance. 

There is no need of an almshouse in Alcala. 



ALCALA DE LA GUADAIRA. 1 39 

One side of the hill above the town is honey- 
combed with caves which are used by the poor 
as dwellings free of rent and taxes. These 
caves run in tiers with paths between, and be- 
fore each is a garden, in which grow the 
prickly pear, fig, vines, maize, and vegetables. 
The combination of rock and foliage gives the 
whole hillside that singular appearance of pe- 
trous fertility seen only in southern lands and 
particularly in the presence of cactus growth. 
The people seemed quite as comfortably situ- 
ated as many who lived in houses, and in gen- 
eral appearance this almshouse hill of Alcala 
was far more attractive than the Gypsy quar- 
ter of Granada. Doubtless these caves have 
the same advantage over ordinary houses as 
those of Granada, of being warmer in winter 
and cooler in summer. 

At the fonda the chambermaid brought us 
some beautiful carnation pinks, and the mozo 
placed roses on our plates at dinner, which 
was served in a comedor opening on a marble- 
floored patio with singing fountain. The din- 
ner was unusually good and included well 
made soup, delicate fish, birds, candied bata- 
tas or sweet potatoes, bischoches, and oranges ; 



140 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

and yet a recent writer says, ** Had it not been 
for oranges we should have starved in Spain." 

But best of all was the sauce of good-will 
that garnished all that was set before us. We 
found the Andalucians of all classes more 
courteous and hospitable than those of the 
eastern coast or of the north, and while in 
every part we received much kindness, the 
Andalucians appeared to possess to a special 
degree a spirit of cordiality and friendliness. 

On a cool day the last of May we entered 
Seville, and as we were unacquainted with the 
intricate streets, the escort of two policemen, 
who kindly offered to take us to our hotel, was 
accepted. From the moment one enters Se- 
ville a different impression is made on the 
mind from that made by any other Spanish 
city. The narrow streets are covered with 
awnings, the squares and market-places are 
alive with bustling and characteristic Andalu- 
cian groups, the ear is assailed by a combina- 
tion of uncanny sounds emanating from an 
orchestra of hand-organs, strolling minstrels, 
water-carriers, and braying donkeys, the eye 
is seized by sudden glimpses of old arches, 
exquisite doorways, towers and roofs adorned 



SEVILLE. 141 

with coloured tiles, lovely patios with cool 
fountains and green plants suggestive of Se- 
villian beauties and summer night tertulias. 

One does not soon forget the June evenings 
when passing the golden tower of the Almo- 
hades and following the bank of the Guadal- 
quivir one continues on through the Alameda 
to the Botanical Garden and the promenade 
Las Delicias, a beautiful garden of roses, in- 
terlaced with palms and medlars. The Span- 
ish, better perhaps than others, understand the 
art of arranging parks and promenades so as 
to produce a pleasing harmony of trees, shrubs, 
and flowers. Not possessed of the English 
fondness for country rambling^ they do not 
care how dusty the roads or calcined the hills 
outside their cities may be, so long as they 
have their leafy fountained gardens and loafing 
places. And the names of these cool retreats 
in a language as beautiful as Spanish are 
songs in themselves, alamedaSy.glorzeias, and 
delicias. 

As to the impression one takes away of the 
Alcazar, this quite depends on whether it is 
seen before or after the Alhambra. If before, 
one leaves dazzled and overpowered by its 



142 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

kaleidoscopic magnificence, and arrived at 
Granada feels inclined to criticise the Alham- 
bra unfavourably. When visiting the Alcazar 
we recalled with some amusement the disap- 
pointment of a German in the Alhambra which 
he declared wanting in colour. And he was 
right. In this respect the Alhambra is but a 
shadow of the Alcazar. But in the matter of 
taste compare the degenerate shell designs and 
often inverted inscriptions on the walls of the 
Alcazar with the classic patterns and kufic in- 
scriptions of the Alhambra, the modernised 
ajimez windows with those of the towers of 
the Cautiva and Comares, the arches inclining 
to the pointed with the pure sweep of those of 
the Granada palace. 

In the coarse glass windows and the mosaics, 
gorgeous but not always proportionately cut, 
and in the unrefined wooden additions the in- 
artistic hand of the modern restorer is traced. 
Even from the time when the restorations be- 
gan to be made, about 1350, their general de- 
sign has been more Byzantine and less classic 
than that of the Alhambra, and when one 
considers the alterations and embellishments 
made during six centuries by Don Pedro, Don 



SEVILLE. 143 

John II., the Catolicos, Charles V., and Philip 
III. to suit their individual caprices, it is sur- 
prising that this monument of the Decadence 
has any trace of the Moorish remaining. 

What a blessing to posterity that this list of 
monarchs preferred the attractions of the gay 
Andalucian capital, and never remained long 
enough under the shadow of the snowy Sierras 
to incorporate their semi-Moorish, semi-Span- 
ish fancies into the nightingale palace of Gra- 
nada. It is fortunate for Seville that Don Pedro 
the Castilian had enough Moorish blood in his 
veins to induce him to employ Moors in the 
work on the exquisite Arab entrance fa9ade of 
the Alcazar, which, in spite of the staging put 
up for present repair, is in its pure Moorish 
lines ever a delight to the eye, an oasis amid 
the surrounding degeneracy. As a treasure- 
house filled with mosaics, marbles, coloured 
glass and azulejos one looks with admiration 
but not with unmixed pleasure on the Alcazar, 
for the purity and unity of the Alhambra and 
the temples at Paestum and Segesta, which 
satisfy fully the artistic sense, are here wanting. 

We have spoken of the Giralda as seen from 
a distance, but now viewed from the Cathedral 



144 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

square it loses none of its attraction. Despite 
the hideous weather-vane from which the tower 
takes its name and the last hundred feet of 
modernisations condemned by architects, the 
lower part is so harmonious, with its sunken 
patterns of roses and stories of delicate ajimez 
surmounted by the graceful bell gallery, that 
one is disposed to overlook the faults of the 
highest part, which are rendered less apparent 
by their distance from the eye of the observer 
three hundred and fifty feet below. 

Besides the Giralda perhaps the most satis- 
factory sight of Seville is the Museo, where 
the masterpiece of Murillo and a number of 
other fine works from his brush maybe studied 
undisturbed by the presence of Velasquez and 
a long line of Italian rivals. An annoying 
feature of the gallery is the attention given to 
the visitor by the attendants, who in expecta- 
tion of ^ propina follow him around boring him 
with worthless information. It would be better 
to charge a small admission fee, as in Madrid. 

A/ter seeing Murillo in Spain one is not 
surprised that Spaniards so revere the name of 
the genial master, whose brush whether in its 
calido or vaporoso style produced such poetic 



SEVILLE. 145 

results. The beggars and melon-eaters seen 
in other European galleries with all their 
grand realism affect one quite differently from 
the more ethereal creations in Spain. His 
large Conception is one of his grandest works. 
The face with eyes not turned heavenward is 
stronger than the usual one of his other Con- 
ceptions. The Virgin and her draperies do 
not seem to float in but rather to sweep 
through the air with infinite grace, suggesting 
in power and perfection of finish the red 
wonder of Titian at Venice. 

Seville has so many objects of interest that 
a month would not be unprofitably spent in 
studying them. The cathedral, the Caridad 
with its grand paintings under the guardian- 
ship of a modest little sister of charity, the 
Casa de Pilatos with its rich paizo, halls and 
walls adorned with magnificent azulejos, the 
various churches with fine retablos, archways, 
or towers, together with the suburban attrac- 
tions, combine to make this city a fascinating 
museum of art and history. 

It is not our intention to describe the tau- 
romachic revels of Spain, which have been 
dealt with so graphically by Gautier and other 



10 



146 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

writers. A recent Italian writer says Spanish 
civilisation is certain before long to put an 
end to them. After witnessing corridas at 
various places including Seville and Madrid, 
we should judge from the attendance and the 
intense enthusiasm of the audiences that this 
cruel sport still has a very strong hold upon 
the public. One corrida at Seville reached its 
acme of excitement when by demand of the 
people bafiderillas loaded with detonating fire- 
works were thrust into the last bull. These 
discharged their fiery streams upon the shoul- 
ders of the poor beast, which, tortured by the 
explosions, tore about the arena in a frenzy of 
pain and terror, much to the delight of the 
audience. 

At a corrida given at Madrid under the 
patronage of the Queen Regent for the fami- 
lies of those who went down with the war ves- 
sel Reina Regenie, ten bulls and over twenty 
horses were sacrificed. Tickets were sold by 
speculators at high prices and from noon on 
nothing but the corrida was of any account in 
Madrid. For three hours before the perform- 
ance the broad streets and avenues leading to 
the Plaza de Toros were thronged with people, 



SEVILLE. 147 

and those who were not bound for the corrida 
were out to see those who were. 

An hour before the beginning carriages be- 
gan to roll out to the ring. The brilliantly 
dressed ladies, when they wore mantillas at 
all, wore white ones, but French hats predom- 
inated. It was like a gala race day in England 
or America, the only difference being in the 
appearance among the crowd of the gorgeously 
dressed espadores driving, and the picturesque 
picador es on horseback. In this corrida the 
noted espadores Mazantini and Reverte took 
part, four bulls falling to the share of each. 

Reverte, who is of slender build, transfixed 
his second bull most dexterously at the first 
thrust, driving the espada into its body be- 
tween the shoulders up to the hilt. In doing 
this he lost his balance and was unable to 
escape the bull, which charged upon him strik- 
ing him with its horn in the back and throw- 
ing him down, and then fell dead a few feet 
distant. Reverte though evidently injured 
insisted on walking out of the ring unassisted, 
when he became unconscious and remained so 
for ten hours. His injuries did not prove 
serious and in a month he had recovered. 



148 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

Mazantini, whom we also saw at Seville, is 
a tall, powerful man, not of rising but of estab- 
lished reputation, and a very king of the ring 
he feels and shows himself to be. On this 
occasion when only after the third attempt he 
succeeded in killing one of his bulls, and hisses 
as well as applause sounded in the air, he 
gracefully touched his hat to the royal box and 
shrugged his shoulders and tossed his head to 
the audience as much as to say. Oh it might 
happen even to Mazantini. 

A little later he was struck from behind on 
the shoulder by an animal, the charge of 
' w^hich one of the banderillei^os had failed to 
turn aside. He walked up to the latter, gave 
him a blow and addressed him in forcible lan- 
guage, to which no reply was made. One of 
the most interesting features of a corftda in 
which he takes part, is to witness his perfect 
mastery of all the details of his art, and the 
matchless skill with which he plays with the 
fiercest animals, over which he seems to exert 
a serpent-like charm. 



CHAPTER XII. 

ROMAN MERIDA— NECROPOLIS OF CARMONA— DE- 
LAYS AND SPANISH DELIBERATION— DORMANT 
CITY OF THE CALIPHS AND ITS MOSQUE OF 
MANY COLUMNS. 

A GOOD road runs from Seville some two 
hundred kilometres through a sparsely 
inhabited, not particularly attractive country 
to Merida, interesting on account of its Roman 
remains, of which it has a greater number 
than any other place in Spain. The Roman 
remains of Spain, so far as we saw them, with 
the exception of some of the bridges and aque- 
ducts, are not as well preserved as those of 
France, Italy, and Algeria. Many are in such 
a ruinous condition that from them no very 
accurate idea can be formed of the completed 
structure, and are scarcely worth going out of 
one's way to see. 

Merida first came into notice as a Roman 
city about 23 B.C., when Augustus settled 
some of his veteran soldiers there. Like 

149 



150 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

some Other provincial cities it grew rapidly 
in population and wealth, and soon became 
an important place and the capital of the prov- 
ince, possessing a forum, circus maximus, am- 
phitheatre, palaces, and several aqueducts. 
It fell into the hands of the Goths in the 
fifth century, and into those of the Moors in 
715, neither of whom injured it, and it re- 
tained its prosperity and Roman appearance 
till captured by Alonzo el Sabio in 1229. Its 
decline began with the Christian dominion. 
What the Goths and Moors appreciated and 
spared, at the hands of the Christians was 
plundered, destroyed, and allowed to go to 
decay, and the once populous and flourishing 
city has dwindled to a dull country village of 
six thousand souls, and of its proud Roman 
monuments only ruined fragments remain. 
Here, as elsewhere in Spain, the French, dur- 
ing the Napoleonic wars, were responsible for 
not a small part of the demolition. 

The best-preserved Roman relic, and the 
only one in any sense complete, is the stone 
bridge two thousand five hundred and seventy- 
five feet long, which crosses the Guadiana. 
This was built under Trajan. It has been sev- 



ROMAN MERIDA. I5I 

eral times repaired at different points, but in 
the main is essentially Roman. It stands low, 
being only thirty-three feet above the river, 
and its great length gives it the appearance 
of being narrower than it really is. Its upper 
lines are wavy, some parts being higher than 
others, suggesting that the foundations may 
have settled, but the buttresses appear as 
solid as if recently made, and one can scarcely 
realize that it has been in constant use for 
nineteen hundred years. 

Next comes the arch of Santiago, also built 
by Trajan, which, with a single circular arch 
forty-four feet high, spans the street and joins 
the buildings on either side. Like most other 
Roman remains, it has been stripped of its 
covering. Whether it had other parts or 
formed a portion of some larger structure 
does not now appear. It is peculiar in that 
it is constructed of a single tier of huge gran- 
ite blocks fitted closely together, entirely de- 
void of ornamental projections, and in its 
massive simplicity forms an impressive ob- 
ject. 

Rising up in a meadow from a bed of grass 
and shrubbery, the foundations bathed by a 



152 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

Stream which flows between the piers, are the 
ruins of an aqueduct, of which now only a 
few arches are left. At this point, besides 
the top arches, two lower tiers were thrown 
across between the buttresses, but the lower 
arches are now broken away. The ruin has 
been taken possession of by a colony of 
storks, whose nests crown every available spot 
along its top and form a bushy capital to 
every isolated pier. The clatter of their bills 
as they stand solemnly on one leg or come 
flying back with frogs from the swamp below 
for the young, whose mouths are eagerly 
opened to receive the dainty morsels, are the 
only sounds which enliven this skeleton of 
the past. The graceful outlines, the contrast- 
ing colours of the brick and granite used in 
its construction, and the verdant setting make 
this remnant of Roman skill even more pic- 
turesque than the five-arched one near Con- 
stantine. 

Of the theatre '* Las Siete Sillas " enough 
remains to well show the arrangement of the 
auditorium, though the proscenium has mostly 
disappeared. The semicircular mass is com- 
posed of seven divisions, which run upward 



ROMAN MERIDA. 1 53 

and backward nearly, if not quite, to the orig- 
inal height, and the entrances to these are 
almost perfectly preserved. The lower en- 
trances slant upward to the surface of the hill, 
on the side of which the theatre stands. 

A depression in a grain field strewn with 
broken masses of masonry represents the am- 
phitheatre, and the area of the circus maximus 
has been so often turned over by the plough 
that its boundaries are not everywhere immedi- 
ately apparent though with care they can be 
traced. Its present condition certainly does 
not very vividly suggest the festivities that 
took place within its limits, nor such seats as 
can be seen the vast multitudes that applauded 
the victors of the races and gladiatorial con- 
tests. Aside from the massive walls of the 
Roman-Moorish castle, later the convent El 
Conventual, which as seen from the bridge are 
imposing, the other traces of Roman Merida 
scattered about the town and suburbs are 
scarcely worth mention. 

Carmona occupies a commanding situation 
on a hill, and with its Moorish castle crowning 
the summit, its two fine gates, the tower of 
San Pedro modelled with provincial boldness 



154 SKETCIIKS AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

after the Giralda, and the Roman Necropolis 
situated on a hill twenty minutes' walk from 
the city, is a place in which a day can be prof- 
itably spent. 

Every lover of nature must enjoy the view 
from the castle over the wide plain which 
stretches away to the Sierra de Ronda. 

The necropolis is an underground city of 
no small size excavated in the soft rock and 
containing chambers not only for the deposit 
of the ashes of the dead, but also for the ac- 
commodation of the living in the performance 
of the last rites to the departed. The ban- 
queting tables with triclinia, the places for 
statues and for incinerating the dead are well 
preserved. The ashes were enclosed in rec- 
tangular stone boxes about eighteen inches 
long. Here and there evidences of mural 
decoration can be seen, but in general the 
damp walls are covered with green mould or 
low vegetable growths. The museum above 
contains the iris glass lachrymal vessels, urns, 
and other objects usually found in Latin tombs. 
While this necropolis is most interesting and 
in many ways complete, none of its chambers 
can compare in finish and decoration with the 



NECROPOLIS OF CARMONA. 1 55 

subterranean tombs at Corneto, which are said 
to be three to four thousand years old, nor 
with the remarkably pr^erved rock tombs 
which form so important a part of the ancient 
remains at Sakkara, Thebes, and other places 
in the Nile valley. Taken in connection with 
these as well as with the rock tombs of Greece, 
Syria, and Palestine, the necropolis of Car- 
mona shows how extensively the custom of 
rock burial pervaded the ancient world. 

The road from Carmona to Cordova is very 
hilly, ascending grades largely predominating 
till it comes out high over Cordova at a point 
fifteen kilometres from the city. It was sandy 
and soft and in many places rendered still 
harder to ride on by broken stone which had 
been spread upon it. We left Carmona at five 
o^clock in the morning. As we entered Ecija 
at noon, one of the rear tyres was punctured. 
No other refuge being at hand, we drew up 
at the side of a house on the street and pro- 
ceeded with repairs, surrounded by the usual 
garrulous crowd, which quickly gathered and 
jostled one another in their eagerness to see 
what was going on. They did not disturb us 
except by the dust they stirred up, and in a 



156 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

few moments the tyre was made tight and in- 
flated and we started on. 

One of the cycles, which was fitted with the 
Boudard gear, had already caused much trouble 
by the interference of the narrow Carter case 
with the parts it covered. After leaving Ecija 
this machine began to give utterance to a 
chorus of grating and squeaking sounds, which 
would not be quieted by any amount of oiling 
and pushing on the case. Added to this it 
began to run hard. After several delays for 
oiling we finally stopped under a tree, took off 
both cases without finding any trouble with 
the chain or cogs, cleaned everything and re- 
placed the cases, which operation consumed 
an hour and a half. Still the machine did not 
run well. 

We had often when pressed for time on stop- 
ping for water or information been annoyed 
by the curiosity of the people, which led them, 
never appreciating the value of time them- 
selves, to ask us all sorts of questions before 
giving the desired aid or answer. 

On no occasion was the exhibition of such 
curiosity more vexing than on this day of de- 
lays. At six o'clock in the evening after thir- 



DELAYS AND SPANISH DELIBERATION. 1 57 

teen hours of hard work, in passing through a 
town we saw on the side of the street a Httle 
shop, where *' Varias Bebidas " or drinks were 
advertised. We were still twenty-eight kilo- 
metres from Cordova with some long sharp 
hills to climb, but we thought we would spare 
a few minutes to assauge the thirst from which 
we were sufifering. 

We stepped in and asked for sarza, sidra, 
and other beverages, which, notwithstanding 
the comprehensive list outside the door, were 
not to be had, and we were obliged to content 
ourselves with the only one, except the never- 
failing aguadiente, represented at this bar — 
viz.ygaseosuy an effervescing concoction of limes. 
After considerable fumbling under the counter, 
during which his attention was chiefly occupied 
in satisfying his curiosity in regard to us, the 
proprietor produced two bottles stopped with 
glass balls, which he proceeded leisurely to 
wash in a tub of water, rubbing them vigorously 
in every part and resting between the rubs to 
ply us with questions. 

After washing them till it seemed as if he 
would never stop, he dried them carefully and 
handed them to us. We asked him where the 



158 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

wooden opener was. He replied he had none, 
so in the absence of any more convenient im- 
plement we hammered away with a small 
pocket shoe-buttoner and at last succeeded in 
dislodging one of the glass balls, but the other 
resisted all efforts. He then brought forth 
two more bottles, which he washed in the same 
thorough manner with ever unsatisfied curi- 
osity, after which we tried our hand upon them 
with the shoe-buttoner with the result of open- 
ing one more bottle. 

We now told him our time was limited and 
suggested that he give us some glasses, Ac- 
cordingly, still asking questions, he took down' 
two glasses with great deliberation from a shelf 
and subjected them to the same cleansing 
process. After the loss of some ten minutes 
we obtained the gaseosa minus the gas. In 
the face of this experience who will venture to 
affirm that the Spanish are not a cleanly as 
well as a deliberate people? In what other 
land would the outside of a soda-water bottle 
be so carefully washed ? 

The hours passed, and at 8 : 30 p.m. 
we entered Cordova on foot, the rear wheels 
of both machines having been pierced a short 



MOSQUE OF MANY COLUMNS. 1 59 

distance outside the city. It had taken fifteen 
and a half hours to make a hundred and six 
kilometres. 

In retrospect we are grateful to that day 
of misfortunes for bringing us into Cordova 
when a full moon hung over the city, colouring 
with silver its jumble of buildings surmounted 
by the mosque, and transfornimg into ideal 
beauty the grand round-arched bridge span- 
ning the serene sheet of the Guadalquivir. 
We leaned over the bridge's stone parapet 
fringed with ashen grasses and satisfied our 
aesthetic sense, which in Spain was ever kept ac- 
tive, by a long look at the moon-enchanted river. 

Only a few Cordovan night dreamers idled 
about as through the magnificent Ionic arch 
which flanks the bridge we went into the cobble- 
paved city. With its tortuous streets and 
general dulness felt even in |:he daytime Cor- 
dova is more than any other in Andalucia a 
souvenir city of the Moors. The pulsing of 
modern life and enterprise fills the air of Seville, 
but one feels as if quiet Cordova were taking a 
nap after the departure of the caliphs before 
awakening to the presence of the ebullient 
Spaniard 



l6o SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

The guide-books tell what the mosque of 
Abd-el-Rhaman is and is not to-day, and they 
hint at what it was in other days. Perhaps 
that is all that can be expected, but the mind 
tries to picture it as it was when sixteen doors no 
longer existing opened on \}[i^ patio, revealing 
endless lines of pillars within and correspond- 
ing rows of orange trees without. The many 
vistas of arches and marble columns have with 
reason been compared to a forest of palms, and 
with the thousand bronze and silver lamps of 
other days burning amid its arches, it may be 
imagined as having resembled an illumined 
pillared oasis. 

The memory of the caliph who planned this 
wonderful mesquita and who daily assisted the 
workmen at their task is more to be cherished 
than that of the Christians who, when they took 
Cordova in 1146, used the columns of the 
mosque as hitching-posts for their horses. 
When one's walkamong the columned aisles is 
interrupted by the corOy here more odious if 
possible than in any other church of Spain, the 
fact that Charles V. regretted the sacrifice of 
hundreds of columns to the erection of this 
Christian altar in no way assuages one's grief 



MOSQUE OF MANY COLUMNS. l6l 

at this act of vandalism, for regret could never 
reproduce the idea of infinitude which had been 
destroyed. But such as it is with its columns, 
mihraby and mosaic archways, we must accept 
it, thankful to Abd-el-Rhaman for planning 
and to his successors for carrying out this 
prayer without words of the Moors. 



ZI 



CHAPTER XIII. 

CORPUS CIIRISTI IN HISTORIC TOLEDO— SARACENIC, 
JEWISH, AND CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS. 

THE bicyclette with the Boudard gear ran 
SO hard that it could no longer be de- 
pended on, and as no help could be obtained 
in Cordova, we took the train to Madrid where 
it was delivered to the agent of the maker to 
be thoroughly examined. He reported that 
after taking all the bearings apart nothing 
out of the way could be found. Nevertheless 
its running was not improved, so taking the 
bull by the horns it was exchanged forthwith 
for a new machine of the standard type, and 
on the third day we started for Toledo. 

Well powdered with dust from the yellow, 
lifeless Castilian plains which stretch between 
Madrid and Toledo we arrived at the latter 
place, which, were it not for its picturesque- 
ness, might be called the culminating point 
of dreariness of dreary New Castile. At the 

162 



164 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

this most interesting old place at their leisure 
without the sacrifice of bodily comfort. 

The day after our arrival, June 13th, was 
Corpus Christi, a church festival of more im- 
portance if possible with the Toledans than 
Easter. On the afternoon of the 12th, the 
people in the very expectant mood which 
precedes church and other f^tes in Spain, 
assembled in the plaza before the cathedral 
to see the dance of the Gigantes, which took 
place behind the iron railing at the entrance. 
These are figures some fifteen to twenty feet 
high dressed in long gayly coloured print 
gowns, with large inexpressive painted faces, 
which are manipulated in their performances 
by men inside them. After a stately dance 
they take a promenade through the streets 
followed by the youth of the town in a state 
of great excitement. 

The Gigantes, which are a favourite Spanish 
institution, are said to represent Moorish and 
Gothic kings, and among them are usually 
one or more negro faces, but they bear the 
names of male and female saints, are kept 
in the cathedral, and play an important r6le 
in church f^tes. San Antonio was the par- 
ticular favourite at Toledo and performed his 



CORPUS CHRISTI IN TOLEDO. 1 65 

minuet with a saintly giantess to the delight 
of groups of children and idlers before and 
at the f6te of Corpus. At the provincial fStes 
of Pamplona and other towns, the Gigantes 
are promenaded on the first day. 

The evening of this day was celebrated by 
the illumination of the cathedral tower, which 
was a sight of no little interest. Early in the 
morning of Corpus Christi sand was thickly 
strewn over the cobble pavement of the streets 
through which the church procession was to 
pass. The high houses were profusely dec- 
orated with evergreen, and from their balconies 
and grated windows hung large heavy silk 
draperies, bright red and yellow being the 
predominating colours. Above some of the 
streets, on a level with the house-tops, the 
patched awnings were so tightly stretched that 
barely a chink remained at the edges for the 
rays of the June sun to penetrate. 

Toledo had become a city of fancy in its 
gaudy gala dress, and as we walked on the 
sanded cobbles and looked at the ribboned 
houses, we felt like shadows of the past. This 
feeling was intensified when on coming out on 
the sunny square we found the exterior of the 
loadstar of Spanish sentiment and aestheti- 



CORPUS CHRISTI IN TOLEDO. 167 

music feast as the German goes to the con- 
cert-hall for his. 

After mass the whole population turned out, 
lining the streets and filling the windows and 
balconies to await the procession. All shops 
were closed and business was suspended. 
Mounted policemen rode about keeping the 
multitude back to make room for the proces- 
sion, but treating every one with a gentleness 
and politeness seldom shown by the police of 
most countries on such occasion. The same 
thing was noticeable in Madrid and other 
places, as well as the courtesy of all classes 
of the people towards one another, which is the 
more surprising when one considers the bloody 
spectacles of the arena, in which they delight. 

In the procession the military made a fair 
showing, and the clergy in magnificent white 
and gold vestments, carrying the custodia and 
rich silken banners, a great one. In the after- 
noon all Toledo and its concourse of visitors 
repaired to the bull-ring outside the city for 
the corrida. The evening was celebrated by 
theatrical performance and fireworks, which 
mark the conclusion of a church f6te. 

To judge of the real picturesqueness of the 



l68 SKETCIIICS AWIIEKL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

city, the walk on the south side of the Tagus 
must be taken. This involves a long ramble 
over sandy hill-tops, and through baked and 
riven ravines, which seem to have no outlet, 
and in their grimness suggest the dark deeds 
of bygone days which history associates with 
this bank of the river, when Moor, Jew, and 
Christian occupied at one time the tawny rock- 
girt city. All along the road the eye is greeted 
by striking views of Toledo guarded by its 
Moorish sentinel towers. 

The picturesque is found as much within as 
without Toledo. Its many brick towers par- 
ticularly exemplify the effective manner in 
which brick has been used in Spain as a 
building material, and those who dislike mod- 
ern brickwork can here learn to admire it as 
employed by the architects of earlier times. 
Whether the effect be due to the rough man- 
ner in which the bricks are put together or 
to the influence of the bright clear atmosphere 
of Spain, it is certain that these structures pos- 
sess a rich shading and tone, which is wanting 
in modern brickwork. 

After four centuries of rule the Moors left 
a larger number of monuments of their skill 



CHRISTIAN MONUMENTS. 1 69 

in Toledo than in many of the Andalucian 
cities, where the general style of building is 
more Arab. The gates are particularly inter- 
esting, built either by the Moors or by Moor- 
ish workmen employed by the Christians, the 
finest specimen being the Puerta del Sol, 
which with its embattled turrets and double 
rows of interlaced arches confronts one mag- 
nificently when ascending the hill to the city. 

Nowhere in Spain can the artist find motives 
more completely carried out than in the double 
line of walls, half Visigothic half Moorish, con- 
necting the bridge of Alcantara at one end 
with that of San Martin at the other. Of this 
last bridge, built in the thirteenth century, one 
of the five arches of which is a hundred and 
forty feet wide and ninety-five high, an inter- 
esting story is told by Street. When it was 
being rebuilt by the Archbishop Tenorio, the 
architect perceiving that when the centres sup- 
porting the arches should be removed the 
arches would fall, in his chagrin made a con- 
fidante of his wife. To save him from disgrace 
she set fire to the centring, and when the 
bridge fell its destruction was attributed to 
the fire. After it was rebuilt she confessed 



170 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

her fault. The Archbishop instead of making 
the architect defray the cost of the second 
rebuilding complimented him on the possession 
of such a clever wife. 

Moorish houses with now and then an arte- 
sinado ceiling are still numerous in Toledo, 
but owing to the frail manner of their con- 
struction and the small care received from the 
owners they are fast disappearing. After the 
cathedral the Jewish synagogues built much 
in the style of mosques claim attention, al- 
though their octagonal columns and horseshoe 
arches are so completely plastered with white- 
wash that even the harmonious eflTect of out- 
line is diminished. 

Out of the mass of architectural gems that 
are whitewashed in Spain one desires most to 
rescue quaint and richly carved capitals. Col- 
umns and arches in this white garb are often 
presentable, but it is fruitless to attempt to 
decipher delicate carvings after the brush of 
the dauber has been at work. Cristo de Luz, 
where Alonzo VI. hung up his shield on enter- 
ing the city, is the one completely Moorish 
church remaining, and its tiny interior in nine 
compartments is very effective. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE FONDA OF TARANCON— AN AUTOCRAT OF THE 

DINNER TABLE. 

THE road from Toledo to Aranjuez was 
merely a track in the soft sand, entirely 
unfit for any wheeled vehicle. As it ran near 
the railway we decided to put into execution 
if possible a plan we had once or twice previ- 
ously thought of, viz., riding on the side of the 
roadbed of the latter. Such an idea would 
not have been entertained for a moment in 
any Continental country except Spain, but 
here where individual freedom, or perhaps one 
might say licence, more nearly approaches that 
in the United States, it seemed worth while to 
make the attempt. 

Accordingly at the first station we asked the 
officials if such riding was permitted. They 
replied it was contrary to the regulations, but 
that it had been done. Far from peremptorily 
forbidding us as German officials would have 

171 



172 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

done, by the indifference with which they 
treated the matter, they rather encouraged us 
to go. Knowing the liberal construction 
which Spaniards of every class put upon laws, 
we started, the officials walking down to the 
track to see us off. This path proved much 
better than the road, although we were obliged 
to dismount many times on account of culverts 
and sleepers lying on it. Twice we were re- 
minded by flagmen that we were transgressing 
the rules, but we kept on and arrived at Aran- 
juez without accident. 

Since poets like Calderon and Schiller have 
sung of Aranjuez and what it was, we will pass 
it by and not attempt to say what it is not. 

With decided misgivings we alighted be- 
fore the primitive /onda of Tarancon, the only 
town of even slight importance between Aran- 
juez and Cuenca. We asked for the patron^ 
who with his wife came into the court to 
meet us. They expressed their regret at not 
being able to accommodate us as the house 
was full, and then proceeded to ask where we 
were from, how far we had come, where we 
were going, and above all how many kilometres 
we could make an hour. As nothing is gained 



THE FONDA OF TARANCON. I 73 

by abruptness in Spain, we satisfied their curi- 
osity and then appealed to the man. 

'* Can you not get us a room somewhere in 
the town ? " 

** Yes," he replied vaguely, his eyes riveted 
on the cyclometer of the woman's machine, ** I 
think so." Then with a look of delight at the 
bright thought that occurred to him, **That 
measures the distance does it not ? '* 

We nodded and asked again, *' Will you get 
us a room ? " 

** Oh yes, I will see about it soon. How 
many kilometres did you say an hour ?" 

*' Fifteen to eighteen as the road is," we 
answered, inwardly enraged, ** but your honour 
will get us a room soon, we are tired." 

** Yes, yes." And then he added, his esti- 
mate of our powers being evidently influenced 
by the enormous stories circulated among the 
people since the introduction of the bicycle, 
** Eighteen kilometres is nothing; we have a 
man in Tarancon who rides fifty an hour." 

We came near telling him the man was a 
liar, but refrained, only remarking, he must be 
exceptionally strong and carry no luggage. 
Unlucky word luggage, that struck him, and 



174 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

he was aflame to know how many pounds 
**equipaje** we each carried. We promptly 
told him and looking at the time found we had 
been twenty minutes before the door of the 
fonda. 

His wife who had disappeared now returned 
with her list of questions. '* Is the Senora 
tired ? " 

" Yes, dead tired," hoping to expedite mat- 
ters in regard to the room. 

** Does the Senora always wear thin blouses 
on the road ? " 

** Yes, when it is warm.*' 

We were preparing to leave in despair, when 
a tall, slender man with a beard, wearing a 
threadbare, shiny black frock coat, joined the 
group. He spoke to us in French, asking if 
he could be of service to us. We replied, we 
feared not, as the patron knew very well what 
we wanted, but either could not or would not 
accommodate us. He discussed the matter 
with the woman aside and then asked — 

** For how long do Monsieur and Madame 
wish a room ? " 

** Only one night," we replied, reassuringly. 

At that moment another man between fifty 



THE FONDA OF TARANCON. 1 75 

and sixty years of age, with stout figure and 
florid face, better dressed than the first, came 
up and shook hands with us saying, ** Cer- 
tainly Monsieur and Madame may spend the 
night if they will content themselves with a 
room occupied by a guest, who is absent for 
two days in Madrid, and will not disturb his 
effects." 

We asked to see the room, whereupon he 
assuming the role of host led us up stairs fol- 
lowed by the slender man, the patron and his 
wife, none of whom had anything to say in the 
presence of the jovial grey-headed French- 
man, for such he was, who was clearly com- 
mander in \\v'dXfonda. 

The rooms of th^fonda available for guests 
were three in number, one good-sized room 
and a small one in front, and a small inner 
room without windows opening out of the 
first. As we entered the large room a glance 
revealed the calling of the occupant. The 
walls and tables were adorned with a motley 
collection of objects employed in one of the 
learned professions, including rubber tubing of 
various kinds, ear trumpets, syringes, tunnels, 
atomizers, test-tubes, glass retort, stethoscope, 



176 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

electric battery, surgical knives and forceps, 
plasters and gallipots. 

On entering the dark inner room which was 
destined for our use, our olfactories were as- 
sailed by an overpowering combination of 
nauseating odours, among which could be dis- 
tinguished the fumes of ipecacuanha, valerian, 
and iodoform. As soon as our eyes became 
accustomed to the dim light, we saw the furni- 
ture consisted of two iron beds, one rush-bot- 
tomed chair, a small wash-stand and two low 
tables completely covered with bottles of medi- 
cine packed closely together, which last con- 
stituted the only visible effects of the absent 
guest whose quarters we were to occupy, and 
some of which contained the odoriferous sub- 
stances mentioned. On the dusty cement floor 
no sign of a rug was to be seen. 

The prospect of spending the night in that 
room was not alluring, but as there seemed to 
be no other alternative we accepted the situa- 
tion, deposited our traps upon two medicine 
boxes in the corner — the bottles remained on 
the tables undisturbed — and proceeded to or- 
der in what it was possible to procure for our 
comfort. 



THE FONDA OF TARANCON. I77 

The patron when asked about dinner re- 
plied, *'You will dine with the amigos about 
nine o'clock." As we had to leave at half-past 
five in the morning, we suggested that he pre- 
vail upon the amigos to dine somewhat earlier. 
He said he would try. When we were dressed 
we went into the sitting-room, where the 
Frenchman sat reading a Madrid paper, and 
the man in the threadbare coat was poring 
over an antiquated, ponderous vellum-covered 
medical folio. The latter, who was evidently 
an assistant or student, obsequiously placed 
chairs for us on motion of the former who 
begged us to make ourselves quite at home, 
at the same time presenting the lady of the 
party with a bouquet of arbol de Paraiso, the 
fragrant blossom of which he said was thought 
much of in that part of Spain, all good Castil- 
ians expecting to be presented with a branch 
on entering Paradise. 

The Paradise tree is a kind of acacia of 
graceful form with silvery leaves and small 
pale yellow flowers, the odour of which resem- 
bles that of the Balm of Gilead tree, and is 
very penetrating, perfuming the air for a great 
distance. To us it was very unpleasant, espe- 



12 



178 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

cially when combined with the smells emanat- 
ing from every corner of the room, and we 
were in no way inclined to envy the Spaniard 
his entry into Paradise. 

At half-past seven a young girl came in and 
prepared the table for dinner. To our surprise 
the meal was excellent, far better than could 
be expected in such a primitive place, though 
the china was coarse, the forks steel and two- 
tined, and there was a want of similarity in the 
drinking glasses. When we complimented the 
ragoftt with pease and the deliciously cooked 
l)artridge, M, le doctcur remarked graciously, 
**C'est moi, madame, c*est moi qui dirige la 
cuisine ici. A month ago, before I came, they 
could not cook in this house. Had you 
stopped here before that you could have eaten 
nothing. They cook, but I tell them how to 
prepare the cttisine fraufaise, and when they do 
not suit us I show them by taking hold myself." 

Upon this he tossed off with one quaflf a 
goblet of red wine, with which the assistant 
kept him supplied from a large pitcher. As 
the dinner advanced he became very genial 
and displayed a capacity for both eating and 
drinking. With a flourish of French polite- 



AN AUTOCRAT OF THE DINNER TABLE. I 79 

ness he urged us to help ourselves a second 
time, after which he proceeded to eat every 
remaining scrap himself. Unlike some medi- 
cal men higher in the social scale, he did not 
talk shop, but showed a knowledge of and ex- 
pressed decided opinions upon Spanish ques- 
tions social and political. 

He did not deny the advance of republican 
principles and commented freely on the power 
of the Jesuits in Madrid, which he affirmed 
was great. 

** How about the position of woman?" we 
inquired. *' Priest ridden," was his emphatic 
answer as he emptied another goblet. '* My 
friend here," pointing to the meek man oppo- 
site, whom although called amigo he treated 
like a menial, ** my friend here has been trying 
for fifteen years to elevate women in Spain, 
and show them they are under the power of 
the clergy. He writes constantly upon this 
theme but without result. Is it not so, amigo, 
without result ? " he inquired, smiling blandly 
on the timid assistant, who again filling the 
glass of his master, bowed assent but said 
nothing. 

** You see, Madame," he said, for like a gal- 



l8o SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

lant Frenchman he addressed his remarks 
chiefly to the lady, **my amigo is a Spaniard 
but I am not, though I have lived in this 
country twelve years, and have learned to put 
up with Spanish peculiarities. I am a French- 
man and a doctor and I understand women. 
I tell you the priests rule the women and 
through them the family, and therefore they 
have the upper hand in Spain." 

Having delivered himself of these pithy re- 
marks he changed the subject and asked how 
we liked the Spaniards. When we replied, 
"In general very much," he assented, and 
looking at his assistant said, ** A fair sort of 
people, not clever like the French but good- 
natured and worthy, is it not so, amigo f " 
Looking a trifle more crestfallen, if possible, 
than before, amigo replied that it was. 

'* But," he added, raising his glass to drink 
to the success of our further journey, ** the 
Valencians and the Murcians are a bad lot." 
This having been in a measure our experi- 
ence, we were amused at hearing him expa- 
tiate upon their failings, which he depicted 
graphically, evidently having knocked about 
among the people enough in the capacity of 



AN AUTOCRAT OF THE DINNER TABLE. l8l 

travelling quack to make his opinion of them 
of some value. 

After dinner he invited us to go to a cafe, 
where he said a cup of coffee could be had 
fit for a Frenchman, but we declined. Before 
going himself he graciously asked at what 
hour we were to leave, saying he would give 
the order for our morning chocolate, in which 
case it would certainly be ready at the desired 
time. We said we should be leaving at half- 
past five, and could go without breakfast if 
necessary, as we had often done in Spain. # 

" No need of that at all ; they may as well 
prepare your chocolate as to be wasting their 
time in sleeping," he said as he instructed 
\}ci^ patron, who had answered his call. Thanks 
to our medical protector, chocolate was ready 
for us in the morning, but an almost sleepless 
night among the odoriferous medicaments 
without ventilation had so vitiated our appe- 
tites that we were unable to avail ourselves of 
that refreshment, and coveted only immediate 
release into the fresh air. 

Monsieur le Quack was on hand himself to 
bid us a courteous adieu, and stepped out 
upon the balcony to see us start. 



CHAPTER XV. 

CUEN'CA, A PICTURESQUE CITY OF NEW CASTILE— 
IN THE MUSEUM OF THE PRADO. 

THE ride to Cuenca afforded one of many 
opportunities of studying the peculiari- 
ties of the climate of North Spain in June. 
It was so cold in the morning until nine 
o'clock that outside garments and woollen 
gloves furnished none too much protection. 
The shepherds wore their sheepskin mantles, 
and the few people met with on the road were 
muffled in heavy capas. From nine until 
twelve it was pleasantly warm, and from one 
to five insufferably hot, the sun in the cloud- 
less sky burning upon us so fiercely that on 
the long ascents we were obliged to push up 
we feared sunstroke. The down runs, how- 
ever, cooled us off so that we were able to 
keep on. After five o'clock the air cooled 
rapidly. 

We became accustomed to these extremes 

182 



CUENCA. 183 

of temperature, and were able to ride all day 
in the sun in white linen caps and light flannel 
shirts without injury. It is desirable, if one 
can do so, to follow the Spanish custom of 
taking a siesta under a tree or in the shade 
of some building during the hottest hours, but 
this is difficult to do on a bicycle tour, where 
distances are often great and time an object 
so that lying-off hours cannot be spared. 

Although little is left to denote it, Cuenca 
is of Moorish origin. Ford relates the follow- 
ing story of the capture of the city by Alonzo 
VIII., .who was encamped around its walls 
with a starving army. A Christian slave led 
out his Moorish masters sheep as if to pas- 
ture. Outside the gates he delivered them 
to his starving countrymen, who having killed 
and eaten the sheep dressed themselves in the 
skins and were led back into Cuenca on all 
fours by a side gate. Once inside they opened 
the orates to their comrades. From this flock 
of human sheep the hidalgo families are said 
to have descended. 

Later the city was noted for its arts and 
manufactures, but the French, who treated it 
no better than they treated other towns of 



184 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

Spain, put an end to its prosperity. In 1875 
the Carlists, on entering it, plundered the 
bank, taking away a large sum of money, 
burned the archives and generally damaged 
the city, which has little to show in architec- 
ture except its beautiful cathedral. 

Cuenca is more picturesquely situated than 
either Ronda or Toledo. It is built on a 
rocky height, the base of which is girdled by 
two graceful rivers one on each side, the 
Huecar and the Jucar, meaning sweet waters, 
that run their green course through the most 
luxuriant of valleys filled with paths and groves 
of handsome trees. On one side the city is 
approached by terraced fruit gardens rising 
like a grand staircase of verdure, above which 
stand perpendicular rock columns ; on the other 
it is guarded by abrupt wild rocks that fringe 
it in a hundred weird forms, their nakedness 
being modified like the points of Monserrat by 
lichens, ivy, and other trailing vines. 

Across the river valley and running back 

into the mountains rises a line of bold cliffs, 

which make the view from the city on this side 

grander than that from Toledo. As compared 

vith the latter place Cuenca combines more 



CUENCA. 185 

grandeur with more loveliness, and with its 
rock precipices and fertile garden slope im- 
pressed us as being the queen of the pictu- 
resque cities of Spain. 

The old part of the city, climbing the hill in 
narrow winding streets to the cathedral, makes 
a dull, toneless mediaeval picture. The cathe- 
dral has a wonderful combination of Moorish 
and Gothic in its arches, while much of the 
other work and decorations are Renaissance. 
But it is all harmonious and delightful to the 
eye, and were it not for the polar cold reigning 
within even in June, would detain one several 
hours at a time. We found a number of ca- 
thedrals cold in North Spain, but recall none 
where the temperature seemed so many degrees 
below freezing. 

The walks about Cuenca are numerous and 
picturesque in the extreme. One comes upon 
old water-wheels and ruined bridges bowered 
in vegetation that would be a mine to an 
artist. We spent some time seeking the cele- 
brated Puente de San Pablo, said to rival in 
solidity and height the aqueduct of Merida. 
We did not find it, but we found where it had 
stood. It had fallen five weeks before our 



1 86 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

visit to Cucnca. Fragments of the end arches 
clung to the rocks on either side of the gorge 
it spanned, and the bed of the Huecar was 
choked by a mass of stone and debris. The 
people saw it decay and did nothing to save 
it, saw it fall and did not care. Thus perish 
the monuments of Spain. 

'Wi^fonda was one of the worst we had met 
with. On the ground floor was a large cafi 
handsomely upholstered in red plush, where 
the men of the town spent their time playing 
cards or dominoes. Aside from this the other 
appointments were of the most meagre descrip- 
tion, especially those of the guest rooms. As 
for service, it did not exist. When we re- 
turned from our excursions towards night we 
hunted up the maid in the kitchen or the cellar 
and insisted on her setting the rooms to rights. 

Getting a foot bath was only equalled in 
difficulty by the attempt to find out about an 
excursion we wished to make to a place in the 
mountains called the Ciudad Encantada or 
Enchanted City, similar to El Torcal near 
Antequera. When we asked \\\^ patron about 
it he was unable to give us any definite infor- 
mation. He said the excursion could be made 



CUENCA. 187 

but would require time, perhaps several days, 
as mules could not be readily obtained in 
Cuenca. 

After three meals in the dining-room of 
th^/onda we gave up all thought of visiting 
the enchanted city. '* Every meal in itself an 
achievement " might be said of the Cuenca 
hotel, not precisely in Irving's sense but in re- 
spect to one's endurance of cold. We usually 
came in from our walks uncomfortably warm, 
but before going down to dinner put on all the 
extra blouses and underclothing our satchels 
contained as well as leggings. Why the at- 
mosphere was so deadly in that co^nedor we 
never discovered. Possibly because it was on 
the ground floor and the windows were never 
opened. It was always kept locked until ten 
minutes before meals when the mozo appeared 
with a huge key such as Alonzo VIII. might 
have received from the Moors, opened the door 
and lighted the lamps. After the meals the 
room was immediately locked again. 

The only good things we remember about 
\\\^ fonda were the excellent milk-ices spiced 
with cinnamon, which we enjoyed after walks 
in the sun, and the hot soups served at dinner 



l8S SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

where internal was expected to take the place 
of external warmth, which seemed to be ap- 
preciated as much by the few Spanish guests 
as by ourselves. This inn was not situated in 
the dull mediaeval part of the town but in a 
wide street in the modern suburb which was 
lij^hted by electricity, but electricity in Spain Is 
not synonymous with comfort. 

On the afternoon of our arrival we received 
a visit from a not infrequent disturber of our 
peace, an interviewer. As was our custom 
with these gentlemen we gave him scanty in- 
formation, revealing nothing of our future 
plans, and not permitting him to see that our 
knowledge of *'la hermosa lengua espaftola** 
was as extensive as it really was. Pleadino- 
ignorance of a language is an excellent means 
of ridding oneself of an interviewer. The 
following result appeared in the daily paper the 
next morning: 

'* The Englishman Senor Workman and his 
sposa distivgiiida, who are making the tour of 
Spain, arrived in Cuenca from Tarancon yes- 
terday afternoon. They rode two bicicletas 
77iagmjicas which they understand perfectly 
how to manage. It cannot be stated posi- 



CUKNCA. 189 

lively, but they will probably appear on the 
track at the velodrome to-morrow before the 
races. Owing to their limited command of 
our language, the reporter was unable to learn 
anything of their future movements." He had 
not mentioned the velodrome at the interview, 
and it is needless to say we did not appear 
there. 

While at Cuenca we mailed a letter to a 
hotel in Madrid to secure rooms. Two days 
later on our arrival at the hotel nothing had 
been seen of it, although Cuenca has direct 
rail communication with the capital, and is only 
seven or eight hours distant by the slow Span- 
ish trains. The manager did not appear at all 
surprised, and said the letter would probably 
arrive in a day or two, which it did. 

Postal affairs like other things in Spain are 
deliberately managed and mail matter is for- 
warded at the pleasure or convenience of the 
officials, sometimes lying two or more days in 
a post-office before being despatched. Indeed 
one may be thankful if one's mail is received at 
all. Quite a number of letters deposited by us 
at the post-offices failed to reach their destina- 
tion, and as many more known to have been ad- 



igO SKETCIiKS AWIIKEL IX MODERN IBERIA. 

dressed to us were never received. It is quite 
useless sendin<j small articles other than letters 
unless forwarded by parcel post with every 
precaution. We mailed from Granada seven 
small articles, such as are constantly intrusted 
to the post in other countries, of which only 
one was afterwards heard from. 

At our second visit to Madrid, which was one 
of some length, we came to the conclusion 
presumably reached by other tourists, that be- 
sides the interesting Armoury the Museum 
of the Prado is the great attraction of this 
lively but colourless capital. In a half-hearted 
way one rides in the Prado and the Retiro, 
walks in the broad boulevards, and stands in 
the Puerta del Sol hoping to see Mazantini in 
vestido de fiesta pass into a cafe; as he does 
not, one moves on, suppressing a yawn thinking 
how much better gvande ville allurements are 
understood in Paris. 

But the Museum of the Prado is a constant 
delight to the visitor, and is the one thing in 
Madrid that makes him desirous to return after 
leaving Spain. Having steeped one's art senses 
for years in the atmosphere of Italian painting, 
one enters the gallery in spite of all that has 



MUSEUM OF THE PRADO. igt 

been said in its praise just a little prepared for 
disappointment as regards Spanish art. Of 
course this feeling is unjust and rather an 
indication of one's own ignorance. It is doubt- 
less the outcome of the impression gained in 
Italy that art later than the sixteenth century 
belongs to the period of decadence. 

If we dispossess our minds of this idea and 
reflect that until the end of the sixteenth cen- 
tury Spanish was but a reflection of Italian 
painting, and that only from the seventeenth 
century on did Spain possess a national char- 
acteristic school, we are in a better position 
to enjoy Zurbaran, Ribera, the local inimitable 
Goya, and the immortals Velasquez and Murillo. 

The last is only appreciated when after a 
certain length of time in Spain we have be- 
come accustomed to the every-day style of his 
faces. Some disposed to be hypercritical com- 
pare his madonnas unfavourably with those of 
Raphael. One should not attempt to compare 
the realist with the idealist, for it cannot be 
expected that the inspired expression of the 
Sistine Madonna should be found in the sim- 
ple Andalucian features of the Spanish model, 
and we must look for something quite different 



192 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

in Murillo before we can fathom his greatness. 
Comparison in any case could only be made 
with Raphael's masterpieces elsewhere, for 
those in the Madrid gallery, however interest- 
ing artists may consider them and however 
great their technical value, owing to the dark 
colour of their restorations do not possess the 
charm of tone and feeling of those in Rome 
and Florence. 

What European gallery does not envy the 
Museum of the Prado its Velasquez ? Before 
this god of art even artists stand dumb and 
cease to compare. He is so unlike Titian, 
Vandyck, or Rembrandt, so entirely original 
yet typically Spanish. Taking up the work 
begun by Titian in Charles V., and Philip II., 
he makes us acquainted with various other 
members of the royal line down to Prince 
Balthazar. In the portraits of Philip IV. and 
his dwarfs, besides feeling the genius of Ve- 
lasquez as a portraitist we read the social his- 
tory of the weak king and the vanities and 
foibles of his court. 

It has been said Velasquez would have been 
a greater painter had he had a wider field for 
the exercise of his genius and not been so com- 



MUSEUM OF THE PRADO. I93 

pletely at the command of a tyrannical court. 
Possibly, but the genius of many great artists 
has been limited in its scope by the narrowness 
of their time, and nowhere is this more observ- 
able than in the work of the Italian school. 
His historical subjects and portraits are his 
grandest conceptions, his religious paintings, 
with the exception of the Crucifixion, being 
handled with less comprehension and a weaker 
hand. In the Crucifixion in spite of its im- 
pressiveness, the world that is conquered 
through death remains unseen, while around 
the form and features of the dead Christ hovers 
the despairing spirit that ruled in Spain during 
the reign of Philip II., when hope fled and 
fear took the place of faith. 

Whatever sins may be heaped on the heads 
of the Spanish rulers of the Austrian line, 
they cannot be accused of not having been 
art patrons, when one considers the character 
of the artists represented on the walls of the 
Museum of the Prado. It is owing to their 
patronage that Madrid is to-day almost as much 
the home of Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens, and 
Vandyck as any city in the lands that gave 

them birth. 

13 



CHAPTER XVI. 

THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM— OVER THE GUADARRAMAS 
—TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CASTILE. 

FROM Madrid we rode to the realised 
dream of Philip the Second's latter years, 
the Escorial. A few miles from the great 
" flat iron," under the shade of an ivy-grown 
wall, we spent the high noon, lunching on ham 
sandwiches such as only a Madrid confisseur 
can make, like the banditti described by the 
graphic Gautier, who also took their nooning 
near the Escorial feasting on ** jambon cuit en 
Sucre." Theirs was La Mancha, ours Galician 
ham, but the flavour given it by sugar was 
doubtless as delicate as in the days before the 
guardia civil cleared Castile of the knights of 
the highway. 

In no other country would one think of hav- 
ing ham roasted with sugar, but in Spain where 
the unexpected is often the best its taste is 
much improved by this saccharine addition. 

194 



THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM. 1 95 

Whether the dash of sugar is a gustatory in- 
heritance from the Moors, Spanish chroniclers 
do not say, for no good Castilian allows that 
the Moors ever entered Castile. For the bene- 
fit of travellers and epicures long may Madrid 
confectioners continue to sell '* jamon dulce" 
at their lunch counters. 

After being about six weeks in Spain we 
acquired the taste of the inhabitants for Span- 
ish sweets. At first they seemed a little coarse. 
Compared with those of France some of them 
are, but they are well made and when eaten 
sparingly very palatable. The Spanish com- 
bine cocoanut with sponge cake in a way that 
might rouse the envy of the chef of a Paris 
p&tisserie. Sugared dates with cocoanut are a 
Sevillian specialty. All the sugared fruits are 
particularly well prepared and superior to any 
we have seen except those of Sicily. 

Just as we were finishing our dessert of 
Madrid dainties a country boy ran up with 
the Spanish cry of terror, " toros," upon his 
lips, at the same time pointing to some large 
animals approaching behind the bushes. We 
gathered up our chattels and prepared to seek 
refuge behind the wall if necessary, while he 



196 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

speedily climbed up to a position of safety. 
Shortly five innocent-looking cows emerged 
from the bush and passed by into an adjoin- 
ing field without deigning to give us a glance. 
The boy would not come down till they were 
well by, insisting that being unaccompanied 
they were ** muy dafioso." 

We did not find the atmosphere of the 
** leviathan of architecture" so charged with 
the spirit of ennui as writers had led us to 
believe, although the amount of art found 
within its walls is in no way commensurate 
with the space it occupies, and this triumph 
of the building skill of Philip the Second's 
artisans did not prove half so much of a bore 
or so depressing to us as the monk's shell at 
Poblet. 

The temperature of the Pantheon late in 
June is glacial, more penetrating even than 
that of the Cuenca cathedral or of the sum- 
mit of Mont Blanc in September, but higher 
up in the other parts of the building it was 
more endurable. One hundred and forty 
Augustine monks still live in the Escorial. 
They are met with about the corridors and 
in the library, but the head father, before 



THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM. 1 97 

whom all bow and cringe as before a cardinal, 
is rarely seen outside his own apartment or 
private orange garden. 

On this occasion, hearing that the ** mat- 
rimonio ingles en viaje con bicicletas" were 
at the Escorial he came down to the church 
to meet us. We had with us one of the 
ordinary guides who introduced us to him, 
when he took charge of us and was our agree- 
able cicerone during the remainder of our 
visit. Attendants were ordered to open spe- 
cial cabinets, to let in light on relics usually 
shown only on certain saints* days, and to 
uncover mural paintings seen by the public 
but once a year. Although all these were 
not worth one hour with Velasquez in the 
Prado, we fully appreciated the kindness and 
courtesy of the padre and tried to show this 
by expressing admiration on the production 
of each treasure. 

We especially enjoyed the hour spent in 
the large library. Besides those ordinarily 
seen he showed us other wonderfully painted 
and illuminated books and manuscripts. The 
guide father was a handsome man about fifty- 
five years old, of imposing stature, who looked 



198 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

as if the good cuisine of the Escorial and 
highland air of the Guadarramas agreed with 
him. His manner betrayed what he after- 
wards told us, that his villeggiatura existence 
was varied by frequent visits to Madrid. 
Twice a week he drove in state to the royal 
palace to confess the Queen Regent. 

Curiously he showed an interest in bicy- 
cling matters, and said with a sly chuckle that 
he had read about a race that had recently 
taken place in Madrid between a Sevillian 
horseman and a cyclist. When we told him 
we had witnessed it he confessed he would 
like to have been present himself. We said 
we had seen a priest awheel in a small town 
of Catalonia and asked him if cycling was 
being introduced among the clergy as well as 
into the army of Spain. 

On this point he could give no information, 
but his admiration for the great Castilian 
mortuary was unbounded and most of all he 
worshipped its dimensions and massiveness. 
As he pointed out the size of the granite 
blocks in certain places he quoted with much 
satisfaction the words of Philip II. as he 
handed back the plans of the Escorial to the 



THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM. 1 99 

architect — ** Build me something that will 
stand." ** It has stood and it will stand," 
added ^^ padre with emphasis. 

He called our attention to the width and 
solidity of the grand staircase, though not to 
the frescoes, also to the fact that the Escorial 
has eleven hundred and ten windows, which 
with the best intention on our part failed to 
command our admiration, and as a final proof 
of the building's all-enduring strength he 
pointed out the flat stone arch supporting 
the corOy which vibrates when one jumps on 
its middle point, although it has borne the 
great weight above for so many years. 

Presenting us with a souvenir bouquet of 
the Escorial, he took leave of us in the orange- 
garden, into which he invited us, where, be- 
sides his holiness, only the gardener is usually 
permitted to enter. 

From the Escorial our route lay over the 
Guadarrama mountains, the highest peak of 
which, la Peftalara, is about eight thousand feet. 
The road is rideable for sixteen kilometres, 
then becomes stieep, and pushing one's ma- 
chine is in order for four good hours, till the 
Puerto de Navacerrada, the top of the pass, 



200 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

6065 feet, is reached. The scenery is wild 
and alpine. The mountain sides are clothed 
with a handsome growth of pine, a rather un- 
usual tree in the southern half of Spain, inter- 
spersed with slopes of fragrant yellow gorse, 
which grows so luxuriantly in southern Eu- 
rope, and here covers areas such as we have 
seen nowhere else, with its yellow mantle. 
Above tower the dark grey and black rock 
masses, frequently columnated, which form the 
summits of the range. 

From the top of the pass the view is far 
inferior to that from many of the passes of 
the south, though this is the second highest 
in Spain, the highest being in the Asturias. 
The first part of the descent to La Granja 
is steep, and owing to a soft road-bed cov- 
ered with stones was unrideable for several 
kilometres. Then the grade becomes easier 
and the road runs through a superb pine for- 
est, ** Pinar Grande del Rey," through the 
openings of which charming glimpses of the 
Guadarrama peaks are obtained 

At a village at the beginning of the ascent, 
a man seeing us headed for the pass had re- 
marked, ** You will not find many people on 



OVER THE GUADARRAMAS. 20I 

that route." He was right. In a distance of 
thirty kilometres, twenty of which we had to 
walk, we met only three human beings — a 
road repairer and a man and a boy driving 
mules. 

It was the last week in June, but La Granja 
was as dead as in winter. Th^ patron of the 
hotel, who was in bed when we arrived at two 
in the afternoon, told us at dinner they were 
only beginning to put the hotel in order for 
guests, the season not opening till the fifteenth 
of July. The palace of San Ildefonso is occu- 
pied for two months in summer by the infantas 
and a part of the court, but the Queen Regent 
seldom goes there, preferring the sea and her 
palace at San Sebastian. The Rambouillet 
palace, filled with comfortable, cheerful rooms, 
is without interest, as would be the gardens 
with fountains laid out in French style were 
it not for the peculiar contrast they form with 
the wild barren mountains overhanging them. 

It is worth while to walk through the gar- 
den, three quarters of an hour to the *' Ultimo 
Pino," the last pine at the upper part of the 
grounds, in which a wooden balcony is built 
that serves as a lookout. Near it runs the 



202 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

wall separating the royal estate from the path- 
less slopes of the Guadarrama. Looking over 
the oasis of La Granja the eye sweeps a dreary 
plain until it rests upon Segovia, a confused 
mass of buildings blurring the western horizon. 

Segovia, rising from the wavy upland of the 
red Castilian moor, is an interesting pile of 
old convents, churches, and houses surmounted 
by the handsome flamboyant cathedral. Its 
aqueduct of the time of Trajan, restored in 
1483, and again later, is the grandest as well 
as the best preserved in Spain. It spans the 
valley just outside the city in two tiers of 
arches, and forms a most impressive gate of 
entrance, as seen from the road which passes 
through it. This aqueduct and the situation 
of the city facing the chain of the Guadar- 
ramas, make Segovia attractive to the lover 
of the picturesque. 

Cycling has become popular among the bet- 
ter classes in Spain, who interest themselves 
in the clubs, and personally encourage all mat- 
ters pertaining to it as a sport. At one of 
two races in the velodromes which we at- 
tended, we were surprised at the number and 
character of the spectators. In various parts 



TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CASTILE. 203 

of Spain, but especially in Andalucia, Castile, 
and Leon, we received, from cyclists who were 
entire strangers to us, courtesies and atten- 
tions which added to the pleasure and interest 
of our trip. These were offered unsolicited, 
with a simple and natural cordiality that 
showed they were dictated by the high ideal 
of hospitality and regard for the welfare of 
strangers that forms such an admirable trait 
of Spanish character. 

We were called on by officers of clubs and 
others, who offered us any assistance that might 
be needed and invited us to their houses, 
were met on the road and escorted into cities 
or out of them on our departure, shown about 
them and taken to clubs or cafes, on no ac- 
count being permitted to settle any bills. 
Had circumstances favoured we might have 
seen considerably more of Spanish life, but we 
had much ground to cover in a limited time, 
and accepted no hospitalities that would inter- 
fere with our freedom or detain us. 

Had we so desired, by making known our 
plans and route at the bicycle club of the first 
city we reached in Spain, we could doubtless 
have had an escort from one city to another 



204 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

entirely through the country ; but we preferred 
freedom with the experience it might bring to 
a trip under escort with its attendant disad- 
vantages, hence we never disclosed our plans 
for the future nor route even to those who 
showed themselves friendly. 

About ten kilometres from Avila, as we 
came to the end of a long coast on the excel- 
lent road running from Segovia to Avila, we 
were met and accosted by name by a bicyclist 
who handed us his card bearing the name 
Don A. de la P. He seemed pleased to meet 
us and said he had been out on the road daily 
for a week watching for us, as he hoped we 
would visit Avila, and that he had followed 
our journey as announced in the papers with 
great interest. He was the representative of 
a Castilian family long resident in Avila, was 
dark, handsome, and about thirty years old. 
He spoke Spanish, French, and a little Eng- 
lish, was clever, well informed, and possessed 
of all the charm of manner ascribed to the old- 
time hidalgo, with a sufficient suggestion of 
the modern man of the world to make him an 
agreeable companion. 

He had lived for some time in Barcelona, 



TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CASTILE. 20$ 

had been in Madrid, but not long enough to 
become ** Anglicised," and now he had re- 
turned to Avila to be a companion to his 
father, as he was an only son. Although he 
had a high opinion of the antiquities of Avila, 
which he hoped to show us the following day, 
he rather disliked the idea of making his per- 
manent home *' en una ciudad tan pequefia y 
tan pobre." 

We were bearing down on the city at a fine 
pace, the keywork castellated walls already 
forming a diadem against a sapphire skyline, 
when Don A. called '* Senora " in a warning 
tone, and at the same time putting his English 
racer to its utmost speed overtook the Senora 
who was riding ahead and advised her to dis- 
mount. ** Toros ? " we inquired, scarcely able 
to restrain our amusement. ** Yes, toros," he 
replied, all the cheerfulness of the last half-hour 
disappearing from his face. '* Let us wait till 
they pass." Running across the road a short 
distance ahead pursued by two men, was a 
bovine family consisting of a bull, cow, and 
calf, which persisted in going in every direc- 
tion except the one desired by the pursuers, 
from whom they seemed only intent on escap- 



2o6 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

ing. As soon as they had reached the open 
ground on the other side we rode on. 

The /erz'a was being held at Avila, and the 
roads and hillsides immediately around the 
city were covered with animals of all kinds 
brought in from the country. The city was 
crowded also, and it was only with the assist- 
ance of our caballero, that we succeeded in 
obtaining quarters at the hotel. 

Avila is perhaps the best specimen of a 
mediceval walled city in Spain. The walls 
were begun in 1090, during which year eight 
hundred men are said to have been employed 
on them, and finished in nine years. Rising 
in places to a height of over forty feet, and 
their eighty-six towers to that of sixty, both be- 
ing well preserved, the city itself as seen from 
without is almost lost within them. They are 
very impressive and are seen to the best ad- 
vantage from the outside as one walks around 
them, which we did although it was no agree- 
able task forcing our way through the num- 
berless horses, asses, cows, goats, and sheep, 
that were gathered under their protecting 
shadow. 

Among the peasants attending the fair were 



TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CASTILE. 207 

a few picturesquely dressed, about the first we 
had seen in Spain. Here the picturesqueness 
was confined to the men, tall, dark Castilians, 
with large sombreros and jackets short, full, 
and striped, or of velveteen, close-fitting and 
often embroidered with spangles. 

Without the walls stand the beautiful 
churches of San Pedro and San Vicente strong 
rivals of the cathedral, and one wonders that 
so much of art should have been placed with- 
out the walls at a time these were necessary 
for its protection. The entrances of several of 
the churches are very striking. The finest of 
these is the western portal of San Vicente, 
which is a marvel of elaborate yet tasteful 
transitional work quite surpassing any of the 
entrances of the beautiful cathedral. 

Like Burgos, Avila is rich in splendid tombs. 
The cathedral has a number mostly by un- 
known artists of the thirteenth century, which 
are finely wrought. One of the best is that of 
the Bishop of Segundo in a small church out- 
side the city. The intellectual refinement of 
the old bishop's face is expressed with admira- 
ble skill by the sculptor said to be Berruguete, 
who obviously showed more aptitude for this 



2o8 SKKTCIIi:S AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

kind of work than for some others he 
attempted. 

The pride of Avila is the sepulchre of Don 
Juan, only son of Ferdinand and Isabella, who 
died at Salamanca at the age of nineteen. As 
we look at the peaceful features of the sleeping 
youth, we forget the cruelty and treachery of 
the Catolicos to Moor and Jew, and our heart- 
strings are drawn backward through the inter- 
vening centuries to the year 1497, when they 
stood by the lifeless body of their idol with no 
solace on this earth save the society of cour- 
tiers and of their insane daughter. Through 
the exit from this world of the studious, care- 
fully brought up Juan the kings of Austria 
succeeded to the crown of Spain. 

At Don A.'s suorcrestion we were to take a 
spin in the afternoon with him and a few of his 
friends to see the suburbs, but shortly after 
luncheon our caballero appeared without his 
cycle and said that, much as they wished to 
ride with us, they thought it unsafe to venture 
outside the walls on account of the toros, which 
might be met with coming to or going from 
the fcria. By this time fully understanding 
the Spanish view of the bull question, we did 



TWO QUAINT CITIES OF OLD CASTILE. 209 

not urge the matter but accepted Don A/s 
invitation to go to his club for coffee and ices. 

Later we went in search of the curious 
*' Toros de Guisando," which although fast 
disappearing from Spain are still to be found 
in a few places in the north. Avila was said 
to possess three of these, but as usual the peo- 
ple we asked were not able to direct us to them. 
Don A. among the rest knew of the Convento 
de las Madres and of everything connected 
with Avila's sainted Teresa, but in regard to the 
toi'os he could not enlighten us. At last we 
found two of them, quaint figures roughly 
hewn out of granite really resembling boars. 
Why they are called toros does not appear. 

One stood in a neglected corner of the 
courtyard of an old house belonging to an 
Avila *' duque," the other in a small square op- 
posite some barracks. Nothing is certainly 
known in regard to them, though the general 
belief is they were idols or landmarks of the 
primitive inhabitants. Like other mementoes 
of antiquity they ought to be carefully preserved 
in museums, instead of being left exposed to 
injury and weather, or broken up for building 

purposes. Some have Roman inscriptions, 

14 



2IO SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

nearly effaced by time and neglect, but their 
appearance does not suggest a Roman origin, 
and the inscriptions were probably made in 
later times. 

The fear of the toros was still uppermost in 
the minds of Don A. and his friends when we 
said we must leave Avila, and they advised us to 
wait till the fair was over. We smiled at their 
fears, bade them adieu, and passing the barrier 
of animals outside the walls in safety, set out 
for Salamanca. 



212 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

myriad mills, is satisfied with making a pictur- 
esque washpool for the merry washerwomen 
who line its banks. This sedate home of uni- 
versities contains in its new cathedral portals, 
university fa9ade, and entrances and fa9ades of 
numerous buildings, an odd medley of plater- 
esque and renaissance architecture, which, with 
due regard to the special artistic merits of each, 
jars the senses with its bizarre splendour. 

In chaste contrast with all this the eye revels 
in the quiet beauty and noble lines of the 
small twelfth century cathedral, which with its 
wonderfully simple and perfect dome rose like 
a rare exotic four centuries before the efflo- 
rescence of its great florid rival. 

Salamanca has almost as many interesting 
old houses as Avila has tombs, the most original 
one, containing a beautiful patio, being covered 
on the outside with stone shells. Several have 
handsome romanesque/^/^i?^, others noticeable 
features in their fa9ades and arcaded or reja 
windows. 

In Salamanca we had the same experience 
as elsewhere in Castile. When we went into 
a caft for coffee or ices, some one was sure to 
instruct the waiter to receive no payment from 



THE PROFESSOR OF ZAMORA. 213 

US, as if we were guests of the town. While 
taking ices late in the afternoon the president 
of the velo club and a friend introduced them- 
selves and offered to show us the university 
and other places of interest the following day. 
And so it was constantly, perfect strangers 
seemed ever anxious to do us favours. 

In Zamora, after a scorching ride from Sala- 
manca, we were sitting in the caft near the 
fonday when the president of the university 
came and sat with us. He said he had heard 
of our arrival and had taken his first leisure 
moment to pay his respects. He had recently 
learned to ride himself and was already an 
enthusiast in the sport. After it was arranged 
that he should accompany us about the city the 
next day, we invited him to take coffee or beer 
which is becoming quite a popular beverage in 
Spain. He readily assented, but when we 
called the waiter to settle the account, he 
would not permit us to pay, but drew himself 
up proudly, saying he would be ashamed of 
Zamora if it treated its guests in that manner. 

The next day he devoted his time to visiting 
the places of interest with us in the intense 
heat. Sightseeing in June and July in Span- 



214 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

ish cities, which then are veritable ovens, de- 
mands considerable power of endurance. One 
is far more comfortable cycling on the road 
where there is generally some air even if it be 
hot. We admired the endurance of Don T. 
as in the broiling noonday sun he delivered a 
long commentary under one of the gates on 
the history of Dona Urracg,'s interview with 
the Cid from the window in the wall above its 
arch. We, in light clothing, tried to find a 
spot where the sun burned less intensely, but 
the ardent Professor in the absorption of his 
narrative was entirely unmindful of its fierce 
glare upon his tall hat and black suit. 

Owing to the heat and the long ride before 
us on the day we left Zamora, our start was 
an early one. The Seilor, Prof. T., on account 
of an accident to his cycle was not able to 
escort us some miles on the road as he would 
otherwise have done, but he would not allow 
us to pass his door without a farewell greet- 
ing, and we found him in front of his villa 
at the end of the town waiting to bid us God- 
speed at five o'clock in the morning. 

From being the capital of Philip II., the 
scene of historic events and exciting pageants, 



MEDIEVAL CAPITAL OF CASTILE. 215 

Valladolid has degenerated into one of the 
most uninteresting cities of Spain. To be sure 
its cathedral is the chef d'oeuvre of Herrera, but 
those who have visited the Escorial are not 
likely to have much enthusiasm left to spend 
on this uncompleted abomination of the six- 
teenth century. No place in Spain offers a 
larger collection of painted sculpture than this 
city, though it might be questioned whether 
the examples seen elsewhere are not more 
pleasing. Those who, perhaps out of defer- 
ence to the artistic sense of the Greeks; affirm 
that a coloured statue bears the relation to an 
uncoloured one that a painting does to an en- 
graving, will linger in the museum over the 
works of Juan de Juni and Hernandez. 

With the exception of a certain number of 
finely executed effigies scattered over the 
country the Spanish artists seem in following 
the classic idea of colour to have failed in in- 
spiration in the carrying out of their concep- 
tions. 

One of the great events of the year in the 
provincial Spanish cities is x}[i^feria or annual 
market fair. This institution has come down 
from the Middle Ages and probably from 



2l6 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

earlier times, and corresponds to the annual 
markets held in most parts of Europe, which 
give the rural population an opportunity to 
dispose of the products of their industry. In 
Spain pleasure is combined with business, and 
\}[i^feria is made an occasion of especial festiv- 
ity. Ferias are held at different times in dif- 
ferent places, beginning in spring in the south 
and ending with the autumn in the north, and 
last from three to five days. 

Those of the larger places are widely adver- 
tised and special trains are run from distant 
points, even the people of Madrid being repre- 
sented at the fetes of Ronda, Granada, and 
Pamplona. These occasions are celebrated by 
processions in which the Gigantes take part, 
concerts by military bands, church services, 
illuminations, much burning of gunpowder in 
the shape of fireworks, theatrical performances, 
and the inevitable bull fight. 

The equilibrium of the cities is for the time 
being upset by the great influx of people from 
the country, with the consequent overcrowding 
and excitement. 

We met with these fairs unavoidably at 
various points on the route, in spite of our 



STREET SCENES AT BURGOS. 21 7 

efforts to avoid them, and always to our dis- 
comfort, though they afforded excellent oppor- 
tunities for studying the people. 

We arrived at Burgos the day before diferza 
began and remained during the four days it 
lasted. On applying for quarters at the hotel, 
they said their rooms were mostly engaged for 
the fair, and showed us two small scantily fur- 
nished rooms under the roof unfit for any one 
except perhaps an ostler. After considerable 
parleying they finally consented to give us at 
a high charge a single front room on the second 
floor, which when arranged for two contained 
barely space to stand in. This, the best hotel 
in Burgos, is opposite a large cavalry barrack, 
the windows of the lower story of which open 
directly from the stalls on the dusty street, and 
the lower story of the hotel serves as a dwell- 
ing-place for half a dozen horses. The fumes 
from the abodes of these noble animals per- 
vaded all parts of the house, including the 
comcdoVy to a degree not agreeable to persons 
of fairly educated olfactory sense. 

All the avenues in the immediate vicinity 
of the city served as herding-places for horned 
cattle, goats, and sheep, and were also occupied 



2l8 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

by long lines of hay and grain waggons, to say 
nothing of the crowd of peasants who attended 
the animals and thronged the city. The streets 
and squares were encumbered with booths and 
collections of miscellaneous articles spread by 
the various hawkers on the pavements. 

Here were sold wares of all kinds from house 
furnishing goods, boots and shoes, hats, cheap 
ornaments, and dress stuffs for the women, to 
second-hand clothing, penny whistles, and gim- 
cracks for the children, scrap iron, old brass, 
and rags. The Plaza Mayor besides being the 
headquarters of the vendors of fruits, primitive 
cakes and confections, was the site of a collec- 
tion of gymnastic arrangements for the enter- 
tainment of the youth, among which were a 
large horizontal log mounted on an axle sup- 
ported on two upright stakes, which two parties 
of boys, one on each side, tried to turn towards 
themselves by the friction of their hands, the 
axle ends being covered with sand, and a sort 
of "Ferris wheel" about eight feet high with 
four seats rotated by a hand crank, the fac- 
simile of which may also be seen in Lower 
Egypt. 

In one of the squares the " tooth-puller " was 



STREET SCENES AT BURGOS. 219 

plying his trade, addressing the crowd from a 
platform waggon on which were mounted his 
operating chair and four musicians, who struck 
up a refrain from three brass instruments and 
a drum as each victim seated himself in the 
chair, opened his mouth, fixed the muscles of 
his jaws spasmodically and gazed intently at 
the sky with an expression of desperate but 
heroic determination. 

In another place a young woman with pale 
face, blue eyes, abundant auburn hair, incisive 
voice, and impassive expression entertained 
an admiring audience from morning till night 
by her eloquent eulogies of the virtues of a 
chiropodic remedy, which she had for sale in 
small packages convenient for pocket use. 
One could not help admiring the calm perse- 
verance with which she pursued her calling in 
spite of the fact that towards evening her voice 
became husky. 

Among the different side-shows was a 
merry-go-round, placed inconveniently near 
the hotel, provided with a powerful hand- 
organ, from the front of which projected six 
huge brass trumpets. This organ might be 
called a monorgan, as it played only one tune, 



2 20 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

which was unceasingly repeated from ten in 
the morning till midnight, in strident, unmusi- 
cal tones mingled with the loud blare of the 
trumpets, until we wished our sense of hearing 
might be temporarily abolished. 

The knicrhts of the arena made their head- 
quarters at our hotel. Reverte, who, having 
recovered from the injurj' received two months 
before, had come from Madrid as the chief 
cspador of the occasion, had a front room to 
himself, the others, banderillcros and pica- 
dores, occupied some dark court-rooms, three 
or four in each. The latter, while quiet and 
orderly, were coarse in appearance and habits. 
Dressed and looking like common labourers, 
they spent the forenoon lounging around or 
mending their torn clothing, which the cham- 
bermaids, here women, were kept busy in 
cleaning for use at the corrida in the after- 
noon. 

After lunch they donned their silk stock- 
ings, ruffled shirts, and laced jackets, and rode 
in two omnibuses to the ring, a large crowd 
collecting outside the door to see them off. 
The costumes of the espadores are wonder- 
fully elaborate, being made of silk and other 



STREET SCENES AT BURGOS. 221 

materials of the finest quality, richly orna- 
mented with gold and silver lace. Besides 
red, green, pink, and blue, purple is a favourite 
colour for the groundwork, and is said to be 
as irritating to the bull as red. 

They all eat at one table, at the head of 
which sat Reverte, who was frequently greeted 
by his friends among the hotel guests. They 
minded their own business, made no disturb- 
ance, and in no way interfered with the com- 
fort of the other visitors. In what other 
country could twelve or fifteen professional 
butchers or cattle-drivers mingle for several 
days with the other guests of a reputable hotel 
without in some way making themselves ob- 
noxious ? 

After careful observation of men of this 
class both at the corridas and elsewhere, and 
comparison of them with the ordinary Span- 
iard, we cannot divest our minds of the im- 
pression that their profession exercises a 
decided influence on the expression of their 
faces, which acquire a certain tinge of brutal- 
ity such as one associates with gladiators and 
prize-fighters. This is more noticeable in the 
older members of the craft. This influence 



222 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA, 

may easily be traced if a picture of Mazantini 
taken several years ago be compared with his 
present appearance. 

The head padre of the Escorial clasped his 
hands and gazed heavenward when inquiring 
if we had seen the " marvel of Burgos," and 
the attitude of the rest of the world is very 
much the same towards this cathedral. Be- 
sides bringing our tribute of admiration let us 
stop a moment to find out, if possible, why we 
admire. It is easy to account for the interest 
of the architect, the sculptor, the painter, and 
perhaps the dilettante, in this museum of art, 
for if it be impossible to admire the whole, 
each will find his particular hobby well handled, 
either in the framework or the decorations. 

But it is more difficult for the tourist with 
a smattering of architectural knowledge backed 
by a cultivated sense of the beautiful to know 
why he is charmed. The first visit, no matter 
how long it may be, does not quite solve the 
problem. The mind is overpowered by the 
effect of columns, capitals, groined arches, and 
pinnacles loaded with an intricate mass of 
carvings, the details of which at first sight are 
scarcely distinguished and certainly not appre- 



CATHEDRAL. 223 

ciated. It may be only after several visits 
that he discovers why his artistic sense and 
imagination are so powerfully affected by this 
wonderful structure, and finds the reason in 
the symmetrical lines of the grand thirteenth 
century model embellished by the profusion 
of harmonious fifteenth and sixteenth century 
ornamentation designed and executed in the 
most tasteful and careful manner. 

Had the original framework been a produc- 
tion of Herrera and the decorations from the 
hands of the lesser sixteenth and seventeenth 
century artists, the marvel of Burgos would 
probably have been only a blot on the archi- 
tectural landscape instead of standing forth as 
a shining object in the panorama of Spanish 
art. With a few exceptions only the best 
work of the best artists of the four centuries 
that contributed to its completion was allowed 
to grace its walls. The mass of sculpture, 
were it not carried out in such perfection, 
would certainly confirm the first transient im- 
pression of an overloaded interior. The later 
sixteenth century artists, many of whom are 
said to have been of French or German origin, 
were amply endowed with originality and good 



224 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

taste. The whole building within and without 
is eminently picturesque, and herein doubtless 
lies another ground for its appeal to modern 
taste. Taken with its chapels, each in itself a 
temple of decoration with its treasures in paint- 
ings, carvings, and tombs, the cathedral merits 
several days of study even from a superficial 
observer. 

Spaniards are still filled with so-called reli- 
gious sentiment, but the fanaticism of the fif- 
teenth century has resolved itself into the 
mysticism of the nineteenth. Spain is more 
aesthetic than believing, more mystical than 
religious. The atmosphere of the temple of 
Burgos, however, is aesthetic, not mystical. 
When the shadows lengthen and modulated 
organ cadences echo through the grey twilight 
of the interior, the aesthetic sense is held cap- 
tive, but the mystic charm of the vesper hour 
at the Barcelona cathedral is wanting, where in 
the more subdued light verging on darkness 
columns seemingly without base or capital lose 
themselves in the arches above. Perhaps the 
best view of the exterior is obtained from the old 
Castillo on the hill over Burgos. Details that 
seen below are somewhat coarse are here soft- 



TOMBS AT MIRAFLORES. 225 

ened, and the group of richly carved perforated 
spires forms a striking picture. 

The superb tombs to be seen in nearly all 
the cities of the north reach their culminating 
splendour in the fifteenth century alabaster 
sepulchres at Miraflores, built by Isabella in 
memory of her parents. The recumbent fig- 
ures with the elaborate lacework of their 
robes astound the eye, but Gil de Siloe not 
satisfied with his success here surrounded their 
majesties with Biblical subjects and finally en- 
closed the whole with a fringe of foliage so 
exquisitely carried out, that we forget the cen- 
tral figures in contemplating the execution of 
the setting. The sculptor was unable to re- 
strain his hand, but although he may be charged 
with overloading, his art is carried to such per- 
fection as to silence criticism. 

What remained of the bones of the Cid and 
his devoted Ximena were placed under govern- 
ment protection in the town hall of Burgos in 
1842. The breast-bone of the Campeador and 
thigh-bone of his wife made a trip to Germany 
after the Peninsular War, but on being restored 
to Spain in 1883 joined their mouldering com- 
panions. Our first attempt to see them was 
15 



226 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

not successful. After knocking and ringing 
bells a girl opened a sort of office and said the 
concierge was out but she would call him. 
We waited some time — one usually waits in 
Spain and more often goes twice to lesser 
sights before seeing them. Finally a rusty- 
looking boy came in with a bunch of keys, and 
taking us across a hallway flung open a door 
with a bang. He led the way with lightning 
speed through a narrow room decorated with 
flags, heraldic insignia, and ancient half-worn 
chairs into another arranged as a chapel, in 
the centre of which stoo^ upon a pedestal a 
plain brown casket. The boy went about the 
room as if looking for something, but shortly 
seeing us standing by the casket approached 
it and with a sudden gleam of intelligence 
cried, ** Here they are," roughly trying to 
open the lid of the last resting-place of the 
Campeador. 

He shook the casket in his vain attempt, 
then finding the keyhole proceeded to try the 
various keys of the bunch, and lastly an old 
one he had in his pocket but without success, 
so we were forced to leave having seen of the 
Cid only what we had seen of Ferdinand and 



LAST OF THE CID. 227 

Isabella and many another historical person- 
age. The frowsy girl met us at the door say- 
ing the boy was not the concierge, and if we 
would come another day the latter would show 
us everything. 

As we had been following in the track of 
the noble Cid's exploits for some months it 
seemed well, as they were conveniently near, 
to make another attempt to see his bones. 
This time we found a man with a key that at 
once opened the casket, revealing what re- 
mains of the bones and ashes of the Cid and 
Ximena neatly packed away in two shallow 
compartments side by side. From such a cosy 
collection it seemed a pity that, as the guard- 
ian pathetically told us, the skull of Ximena 
should have been found missing when the 
bones were brought to Burgos. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

NATURE, ART, AND PEOPLE OF ARAGOX AND NA- 
VARRE—FAREWELL TO ESPA!^A. 

FROM Burgos we turned eastward and 
rode through Navarre and Aragon to 
Zaragoza. The route on the first day lay over 
the high tablelands separating Burgos from 
the valley of the Ebro. From the top of the 
watershed, which was reached about noon, an 
extended view opened over the river basin, 
which is here very wide, and is bounded on 
the north by the receding Pyrenees, on the 
west by the Burgos mountains, and to the east 
loses itself in the distance. 

It is cut up by short ranges of low mount- 
ains. As we began the descent our attention 
was attracted by one range lying far below 
composed entirely of red sandstone with per- 
haps a dozen beautiful pointed peaks, which 
in comparison with the other features of the 
vast landscape looked as if it had been carved 

223 



ARAGON AND NAVARRE. 229 

out to embellish a child's pleasure grounds. 
An hour later, after descending two or three 
thousand feet, the road wound around its base, 
and we were surprised to find that what from 
above had appeared like molehills were really 
mountains of rather imposing height. 

The road on this day was bordered on both 
sides by extensive fields of golden grain, which, 
untouched by the sickle, bent in long waving 
crests before the summer wind. At evening 
we reached Logroilo on the banks of the 
Ebro. 

Some hours after leaving Logroflo the 
country became as desolate and desert-like as 
anything to be found in Spain. The hills 
looked as if they had been riven by convuls- 
ions of nature and scorched by fire. Their 
red -clay and sandy sides scarred and gullied 
by the winter floods and washed clear of every 
living plant were now baked to a stony hard- 
ness by the burning summer sun, the heat of 
which radiated from the parched surface as 
from an oven, as we toiled up the ascents of 
this barren waste. 

Crowning the top of a hill in this region is 
the town of Alfaro, like many similar Spanish 



230 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

towns built of the red rock of and having the 
same parched appearance as the hill on which 
it stands. We reached Alfaro about two 
o'clock, and as our canteens were empty looked 
for water with which to fill them. No run- 
ning water was to be seen, so we tried to find 
a posada or restaurant but without success. 
At last in the deserted cathedral square we 
discovered the sign *' Bebidas " over a cur- 
tained doorway under an arcade, and went in. 

The usual midnight darkness which is pre- 
served in Spanish interiors during the after- 
noon hours in summer reigned. We ordered 
gaseosa, which the sleepy proprietor sent a boy 
to the cellar to fetch. Meanwhile we asked 
him to fill our canteens with water. He said 
he had none and would not receive a new sup- 
ply till after three o'clock. He also said no 
drinking water was to be had in the town and 
all that was used had to be brought from a 
distance in barrels, from which it was distri- 
buted to the inhabitants. This was done every 
afternoon. 

Even the houses of the peones camineros 
failed in this desert region, so we were obliged 
to travel the twenty kilometres over the hills 



ARAGON AND NAVARRE. 23 1 

to the next town without anything to assuage 
our thirst, which after fifteen minutes in the 
broiling sun was as great as ever. Not a tree 
was met with in the whole distance, nor any 
object on the road that could cast a shade ex- 
cept portions of the ruined walls of a house 
that had been destroyed in the Carlist war, like 
many ruins of posadas and farm-houses scat- 
tered about Castile, Leon, Navarre, and Ara- 
gon, burned during this time and never 
rebuilt. 

On arrival at Tudeli about four o'clock, be- 
fore seeking th^fonda we stopped at a modest 
restaurant in the square where ices were ad- 
vertised. The woman who served them hardly 
knew which to be more surprised at, our bicy- 
cles or our capacity for disposing of " helados 
de leche." 

The fonda of Tudela resembled most others 
of Aragon, which are not up to the standard 
of those of many parts of Spain. When the 
tourist enters his room he finds it scantily fur- 
nished and in the same condition in which it 
was left by the previous occupant, the bed un- 
made, the table encumbered with dishes upon 
which are the remnants of the last meal, the 



2^2 SKETCIiES AWHEEL IX MODERN IBERIA. 

unsvvept floor garnished with stubs of cigars 
and cigarettes. Thus it remains during the day, 
no attempt being made to put it in order, and 
it is impossible for the new occupant to make 
himself comfortable. At evening during the 
comida the bed linen and towels are changed 
and fresh water brought. All else is left as 
it was before. And yet the dining-room is 
lighted by electricity. 

When the unimportance and primitiveness 
of Tudela and the backwardness of its people 
are considered, it is surprising that this town 
of nine thousand inhabitants should have such 
an impressive colegiata, which may rightly be 
called one of the grand Spanish churches. 
Although built somewhat earlier, it resembles 
the cathedral of Tarragona, and while its style 
is generally plain many of the capitals show 
excellent thirteenth century carving. Of its 
three striking doorways, the west one with 
eight rows of quaint carved figures is extremely 
beautiful and merits its reputation of being 
one of the rare doorways of the world. The 
effect is marred by its unfortunate position, 
and it seems out of place facing the narrow 
dingy streets of Tudela. 



ARAGON AND NAVARRE. 233 

Looking up at the tall bare houses that line the 
unpicturesque streets of many Spanish towns, 
the question ever arises, how could such meagre 
environments produce the authors of the price- 
less churches and doorways found amid the 
general architectural poverty. History is often 
silent as to the origin of these geniuses, though 
we gather that some were Spanish, others 
French or Italian. In the latter case, what in- 
duced them to exercise their creative art in the 
towns of the plains and sierras is all the more 
a matter of conjecture. 

Between Tudela and Zaragoza the plains of 
Aragon swept before us in all their barren 
nakedness. The day was lowery and the 
journey which at best was lonely was made 
doubly so by thunder showers, which darkened 
the horizon in front and played about the tops 
of the mountains bordering the river terrace, 
and which we feared might cross our path at 
any time. The towns were few and far apart 
and the houses of our iriends the peones cam- 
ineros exceptionally infrequent, only four being 
passed in half a day's ride. 

Towards noon some rain-clouds that had 
been gathering on the right seemed about to 



234 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

sweep over us. A sharp clap of thunder and 
large drops of rain falling on our faces warned 
us we were likely to get a wetting, when arriv- 
ing at the top of a hill we saw a small white 
house at the bottom of the descent We flew 
downward pursued by the growling tempest 
behind, and just in time to escape its fury drew 
up at the house, where a woman with four 
frightened children clinging to her skirts stood 
outside watching our approach. We never 
welcomed shelter more than at that moment, 
and when half an hour later we stepped out on 
the drenched red plain, over which hung an 
opalescent rainbow, we were glad the bonbons 
had not failed and that we could fill all the 
small uplifted hands. 

Looking back as we rode off we saw the 
woman gazing after us with the children at 
her side enjoying their sugar-plums, and as we 
whirled onward towards Zaragoza, her parting 
words, ** Vayan ustedes con Dios," were borne 
on the breeze to our ears. We treasured the 
words now each time we heard them, for the 
days when the sweet Spanish wayside greeting 
would charm our ears were fast being num- 
bered. 



ARAGON AND NAVARRE. 235 

In this region grain which is harvested the 
last of June is threshed in a novel manner. 
It is first collected in great ricks outside the 
towns. Then the surface of the clay soil is 
smoothed over a greater or less area, wet down, 
and allowed to dry hard in the sun. The 
grain is spread upon this and mules driven up 
and down over it. The straw is afterwards 
removed and the broken chaff and grain tossed 
up in the wind, which blows the chaff away 
leaving the grain clean, advantage being taken 
of the strong north winds which blow at this 
season. We passed large quantities of straw, 
chaff, and grain which had been separated from 
one another in this manner. 

The backwardness of the people of Aragon 
as compared with those of Leon, Castile, and 
Andalucia is very noticeable. Not only have 
they little idea of cleanliness, modern comfort, 
and mode of life, but they seem stupid, and evi- 
dently come less in contact with the outside 
world than the inhabitants of the provinces men- 
tioned. They resemble the people of Catalonia 
and the eastern coast in many respects, but in 
none more than in their curiosity and meddle- 
someness, which were displayed to an especial 



^36 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

degree in Zaragoza, where they, notably the 
women, stared like cattle. The men and boys 
could not keep their hands off our bicycles, 
ringing the bells, feeling the tyres, and pressing 
the saddles as if these vehicles were on exhibi- 
tion for their particular entertainment and 
instruction. 

The Zaragozans seem wanting in apprecia- 
tion of the care that is due to their art inherit- 
ances. On visiting the Casa Zaporta with its 
beautiful sixteenth century patzOy the lower 
story is found occupied by a waggon factory 
and the upper parts given over to other busi- 
ness enterprises, and to poor families who run 
up and down the once palatial stairway and 
use its carved pillars and ornamented reliefs 
for purposes of their own, entirely oblivious to 
any damage resulting from such use. 

The same indifference as to decorative value 
and the iconoclastic spirit more or less prevalent 
in Spain caused them to tear down the lean- 
ing tower, also built in the sixteenth century in 
Moorish style, which while lacking the fineness 
of real Moorish work was, if one may form an 
opinion from photographs, interesting on ac- 
count of its form and of its leaning ten feet 



ARAGOl^ AND NAVARRE. ^37 

from the perpendicular. In speaking with a 
photographer about it we asked, ** Was it 
taken down because of its insecurity?" He 
laughed and said, ** No, it had been repaired and 
was in perfectly safe condition." ** Why then 
was it done ?" ** Oh, because the people were 
tired of seeing it stand there," he answered. 

The population of Zaragoza appear to be as 
much given to Mariolatry as the Sevillians, 
judging from the throng of worshippers seen 
daily at the church of the Pilar. This hideous 
cathedral is built around the brocatello pillar 
on which the Virgin is supposed to have de- 
scended from Heaven. An architectural mon- 
ster in the way of a chapel, in which services are 
held at all hours, surrounds the column which 
stands in its rear wall. The Pilar itself is 
hidden from view by its coverings except at 
one point on the outside of the chapel, where 
an oval aperture a few inches in diameter 
admits of the worshipper kissing its marble 
surface. 

This has been a sort of Mecca for centuries 
to the Aragonese, and on the anniversary of 
the Virgin's descent thousands pay homage at 
the shrine, but one is scarcely prepared to see 



238 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

the constant stream of men as well as women, 
who on ordinary week days stand awaiting their 
turn to perform the osculatory act of devotion. 
We returned in the afternoon to watch the 
procession which if possible was larger than in 
the morning. The kisses of the rich followed 
those of the poor, and the men pressed their 
lips as devoutly as the women through the 
opening in the wall. One fairly intelligent 
looking man after kissing the Pilar approached 
the altar of the Virgin near by, knelt and after 
praying briefly, brushed off the dusty step with 
his handkerchief, bowed his head and kissed 
that also. 

The cathedral of La Seo, the most important 
church of Zaragoza architecturally, has interest- 
ing features. The interior is nearly square, 
has double aisles, and the coro is less obtrusive 
than in most Spanish cathedrals. In spite of 
badly ornamented capitals, the tall massive 
columns speading into half-lighted vaults and 
producing the effect of clusters of tall lilies are 
extremely impressive. 

It is often the case in Spain that the gro- 
tesque stands under the same roof with the 
glorious in art. So here, an absurdly deco- 



FAREWELL TO ESPA5JA. 239 

rated Churrigueresque chapel makes one wish 
that China rather than Salamanca had been 
the birthplace of Churriguera, while admiration 
is called forth by other chapels filled with ar- 
tistic work and richly carved alabaster tombs. 

With the exception of San Pablo, which has 
an imposing Moorish octagonal brick tower, 
few buildings of interest are left in Zaragoza. 
The old houses have disappeared, and the 
modern ones are built in such a tasteless, un- 
substantial manner as to give the city a monoto- 
nous, unprogressive appearance. 

In leaving Zaragoza the street being badly 
paved and filled with waggons, we rode on the 
promenade, as we had often done in Spain 
without interference from the police. But on 
this occasion we had hardly started, when we 
heard whistling and calls, to which at first we 
paid no attention, but as they continued we 
dismounted. A gendarme at once accosted us 
demanding our names and a fine of ^v^ pesetas 
each. We remonstrated, saying we had ridden 
on the promenades all over Spain, particularly 
in the morning when few people were out, and 
being strangers did not know that this was 
prohibited in Zaragoza. He persisted in his 



240 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

demand, when several gentlemen interfered 
taking our part and telling him this was no 
way to treat strangers. For some time they 
made no impression on him and we were 
about to pay the fine when he yielded and per- 
mitted us to depart. The unusual zeal dis- 
played in the administration of civil affairs in 
Zaragoza in many respects so behind the times 
was amusing, but the incident afforded another 
proof of the friendly disposition of the Spanish 
caballerosy who from the beginning to the end 
of our journey were always on hand when 
needed, ready to do us a favour. 

We rode over Pamplona through the Pyre- 
nees of the Basque provinces to San Sebas- 
tian and Irun, where our Spanish pilgrimage 
of three and a half months ended. At Pam- 
plona the feria was beginning, the day after 
our arrival being the ** Fiesta de los Gigantes," 
when they dance before the cathedral, march in 
the procession, and pay their respects to the 
tutelar at San Lorenzo. Although the ffites 
of Pamplona are among the most renowned of 
Spain, as we had already seen to our satisfac- 
tion all that was offered on the programme, 
including the sacrificial performances of the 



FAREWELL TO ESPA5JA. 24 1 

heroes of the arena, Reverte and Guerrita, we 
pushed on without waiting for the other fes- 
tivities, having a run of twelve hundrec^ kilo- 
metres across France on our hands after leaving 
Spain. 

Shortly after leaving Pamplona we met with 
a last instance of disinterested Spanish courtesy. 
A peasant was driving a mule laden with flasks 
of wine up a long hill which we were also 
obliged to ascend. He seemed impressed by 
our having to push our bicycles, and said he 
was better off than we as the mule did his 
work for him. Adding we must be thirsty he 
offered us wine from the flasks, and upon our 
declining the offer, urged the matter until we 
told him we never drank wine en route. 

Another incident shows a bright side even 
to Spanish beggar life. A traveller stopping 
in Madrid had been in the habit of giving a 
few centimos daily to a little girl on the street. 
One morning as he passed the corner where 
she stood he gave her as he supposed the 
usual sum. Presently he heard some one call- 
ing him, and looking around saw her running 
after him. On overtaking him she held up a 

two peseta piece and said, " Your honour has 

16 






P 



242 SKETCHES AWHEEL IN MODERN IBERIA. 

always given me centimes, but to-day by mis- 
take this was among them." 

Similar episodes help to fill the note-book of 
the traveller who lingers a few months in 
Spain. If he pursues his researches beyond 
the lines drawn by couriers, tourist bureaus, 
and hotel attendants, he will meet everywhere 
both among the educated and the poorer classes 
in^n de szicle Spain the hidalgo spirit of the 
days of Calderon. Sharper contrasts exist in 
its nature, art, and people than in many lands, 
but it is just these contrasts and the peculiar- 
ities of custom, the cosas de Espana that ren- 
der the Iberian peninsula so attractive and 
inspire those who have been there with a long- 
ing to cross its boundaries again.. 



THE END. 



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