Billeder på siden



to great advantage, by a rich belt of foliage that springs up behind. In the court-yard, in front of the chapel, are some of the finest cypresses I ever saw.

The monks, truly good souls, (Acupatosincorporeal) volunteered to provide for our bodily wants by furnishing breakfast -an offer which our early ride made us accept without much solicitation, although our cold pig (at which they cast most longing glances) rendered us in some measure independent of their hospitality. Coffee, milk, bread, eggs, and fruit, were quickly produced, as also wine and vinegar-all, they assured us, the produce of the convent lands. With respect to the first article on the list, there was evidently some little mistake; the two last, I gave the worthy monks full credit for having manufactured — and they were clearly the production of the same barrel.

The dress of this religious order is very peculiar; it is altogether of black. The jacket and shaksheer are of cotton, made in the usual Greek fashion, but bound round



the waist by a broad black leather belt. The legs are encased in strong leather boots, or, more properly, leggings, sewn on to shoes. A high stand-up fur cap completes the singular costume.

Resuming our journey in the afternoon, an ascent of a couple of miles brought us at length to the head of the valley, where a rocky pass presents itself between the two great mountain ridges of Psilorite and Levka. The view, looking back, is very fine, and the pass itself is wild and beautiful, being thickly clothed with dwarf oak and myrtle, shadowed with carob and wild vines, and overhung by precipitous rocks.

After descending a little way on the north side of the pass, the road enters a wooded ravine, in which the varied foliage of the oak, plane, olive, and arbutus, spreading out in unrestrained luxuriance, presents an impenetrable barrier to the sun's rays whilst, beneath their shade, the ground is clad with fern, heather, and mastic. A spring of icy cold water, that issues gurgling from




this: the main communication between the fields where the riches of the country grow, and the harbour whence they are shipped for exportation. It can be likened only to the inside of a shark's lower jaw.

Making a vow never again to grumble at the payment of tolls on an English turnpike-road -should I be fortunate enough to live to see

gave my horse his head, and abandoned myself to reflection. My thoughts naturally recurred to Egypt, and rested with gratitude on Mohammed Ali, who, by the establishment of the school of surgery, at Abouzabel, had qualified—as I fondly hoped—the assistant Galen of the regiment quartered at Retimo, to set a broken limb in a case of emergency.

Fortunately no opportunity of putting his capability to the proof occurred, as, after sundry stumbles, we reached the village of Keriana in sound skins. It is situated nearly at the foot of the hill, and is distant about two miles from the sea, the intervening country being gently undulated, and covered with fine crops of corn and plantations of olive-trees.



After traversing Keriana, the road inclines slightly to the west, sloping down towards the coast; and, in about a mile, reaches the village of San Demetrio, the church of which is an interesting ruin. A short distance farther on is Adil, a place with more claims to be called a town than any we had seen since leaving Candia ; and, between it and Maroulas, the country is very productive in corn and oil. The latter village is finely situated on the left of the road, some little way up the side of the mountain ridge we had descended. About half a mile beyond it, we rejoined the direct road from Candia to Retimo, which keeps along the coast on the north side of Mount Ida.

After crossing a fine stream of water, we arrived at Perivoglia—the gardens of Retimo -a long, straggling, ruined village; and, in another half hour, were at the gates of the town. The latter part of the road (from Adil) is very good. The total distance from the convent of Asomatos is about fifteen miles, and occupied us six hours.





Retimo stands on a low cape that, jutting about three-fourths of a mile into the sea, terminates in a rocky eminence, which is crowned by the citadel. From the foot of the hills to the town - a distance of three hundred yards—the isthmus gradually diminishes in breadth from one thousand two hundred to five hundred yards: and here an old embattled wall, of Turco-Venetian construction, extends across it diagonally from sea to sea. The western part of the line is thus, in military phrase, refused, on account of a high conical knoll, that stands out from the hills in front of the place, which would favour an attack on that side, if the walls were advanced nearer to it.

There are two gateways in the land front, one near the sea-shore on the eastern side of the isthmus, the other towards the centre of the line. The wall is about twelve feet thick, loop-holed for musquetry, and irregularly flanked by artillery. From both the extremities of the line, slightly built walls retire along the sea-shore, until they meet the pre

« ForrigeFortsæt »