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BARREN COUNTRY.

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CHAPTER X.

Journey Continued — Convent of Asomatos — Mountain Pass

Beautiful Scenery-Execrable Road-Villages of Keriana, Adil, and Maroulas-Arrival at Retimo–Description of that TownCitadel—Population-Trade-Provincial Council-Departure for Canea-Dangerous Road-Armyro-Mineral Waters—Splendid Scenery --Neo Horio—The Capo's House–The Ridiculous and the Sublime-Day of Waterloo-Bay of Suda-Arrival at Canea -Description of the Town—Great Increase of its Population.

We resumed our journey on the following morning as the sun first broke upon the snowy peaks of Ida. The early part of our ride was over a rough and barren country, the soil of which, mostly gravel and ferruginous clay, is friendly to the growth of no other forest trees than the carob and wild olive. From the underwood, our dogs sprang a great many partridges, of the common brown kind, and our guides told us that wild

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ROUTE FROM APODOULO.

boars are very plentiful in that part of the island.

Our road conducted us across a succession of very rugged ridges and deep ravines, that furrow the side of Psilorite. Near the head of one of these dells-yet screened from the sun's rays by the lofty summit of the mountain—is the large village of Stenefavri, and, a little farther on, we passed that of Isigiani, situated about a quarter of a mile from the road, on the left.

After having travelled about five miles from Apodoulo—our sleeping place—we descended to the bed of the great valley mentioned in the preceding chapter, the water of which flows to the southern sea of Candia, and into which the numerous minor ravines that we had previously traversed finally open.

The valley presents a wide pebbly bed, but is so thickly covered with myrtle and oleander, that the windings of the transparent stream which waters it cannot be followed, even with the eye. So luxuriant, indeed, is

[graphic]

Printed by CHaltmands

MOUNT IDA & CONVENT OF ASOMATOS.

Published by H. Colburn 6, Marlboro'sirect.

CONVENT OF ASOMATOS.

283

the growth of these shrubs, that their boughs, loaded with blossoms, hung high above our horses' heads, and screened us from the rapidly increasing heat of the sun. The side of the mountain range on our left was clothed with corn, vines, and olives, and studded with villages and orchards, rendering the ride perfectly beautiful. In three hours and a half, we reached the convent of Asomatos, and—though yet early in the day—were induced, by its lovely situation, to make a halt of some hours.

The convent is much fallen in estate (literally as well as figuratively) since the time when Candia was under the Venetian rule. It consists now of but a few ruined out-houses and a small chapel. Its only inmates are three Capuchin monks, who depend entirely on the cultivation of their garden for subsistence.

From the garden, a splendid view is obtained of the mountain range to the east; and the little white chapel, with its picturesque belfry, occupying the foreground, is set off

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