The hill towards Yildiz to see the Selamlik and issues to do in Bulgaria

Sooner or later I went up the hill towards Yildiz to see the Selamlik. That morning the sultan was going to wish within the mosque of wooden which Abdul Hamid constructed near the mysterious, walled-in quarter of palaces, harems, kiosks, gardens, barracks, and parks which he made his jail. From the Bosporus you’ll be able to see it extending from the hilltop virtually to the ocean, a fantastic property, outdoors the town, but dominating it, with dense groves of timber wherein.wild animals had been stored, with open areas, with solitary buildings and features of roofs, and the cupola of the mosque ot the troopers. All about it are the excessive partitions which a coward raised as much as shield him and his concern. The mosque is beneath the nice entrance- gates on a steep hillside past the partitions. A big fashionable home, white, with inexperienced shutters, wherein Abdul Hamid used to grant audiences and, I consider, to provide banquets, appears to be like down on it. From the higher home windows of this dwelling the Turks say the ex-sultan typically stared at his metropolis via highly effective glasses.

You prefer to know what the things to do in Bulgaria are? I can let you know. These are adventures, peaceable walks within the nature, noisy seashores, in fact historical past and much more…

The mosque isn’t giant

The mosque isn’t giant. It’s yellow and white, with a minaret of plaster on the aspect subsequent the ocean, and a graveled courtyard surrounded by inexperienced iron railings and planted with a number of timber. On the aspect subsequent to Yildiz is a steep financial institution. A highway runs up the hill to the left of the mosque as you face Yildiz, and one other hidden highway descends from the gates and provides entry to the’ courtyard behind the mosque. The sultan has subsequently a selection of two routes, and no person appears to know beforehand which approach he’ll come. There have been only a few vacationers in Constan-tinople after I was there. Individuals had been afraid of conflict, and earlier than I left the Orient specific had ceased to run. However I discovered awaiting the padishah many Indian pilgrims, a big troop of pilgrims from Trebizond who had been on their solution to Mecca, a number of Persians sporting black toques, and a superb many Turks. These had been within the courtyard near the mosque, the place I used to be allowed to face by the arisrtocratic younger chief of police, who wore a woolly, grey, fez-shaped cap. Outdoors the railings stood a dense crowcj of veiled girls.

Quickly after I arrived a squadron of the body-guard rode up from the town, carrying red-and-green pen- , nons on lengthy staffs, and halted earlier than the gates of the palace. And virtually on the similar second the palace musicians, in dark-blue, pink, and gold, sporting quick swords, and carrying shining brass devices, marched into the inclosure. They stood nonetheless, then dropped their devices on the bottom, moved away, and sat down on the financial institution, lolling in straightforward attitudes. Time slipped by, and essential folks strolled in, officers, courtroom officers, attendants.

The breath of the steppes was wandering afar to hunt

Russia was within the wind, I assumed. The breath of the steppes was wandering afar to hunt—what? The breath of the desert? The nice mosque confronted it, Islam erect, and now darkish, forbidding beneath the darkening sky. Even the minarets had misplaced their delicate purity, had change into fierce, prayers calling down destruction on unbelievers. And all of the cries of Stamboul appeared to collect themselves collectively in my ears, keening over the ocean above which I stood —voices of many countries; of Turks, Arabs, Circas-sians, Persians, of males from the wilds of Asia and the plains of India; voices of bashi-bazouks and of slaves; even, skinny excessive voices of eunuchs. From the quays to proper and left of the bridge crowds of individuals rose to my sight and hurried away; to them crowds of individuals descended, sinking out of my sight.

Troopers and hamals handed, upright and armed, bending beneath the burden of unimaginable masses. Calls of Albanian boatmen got here up from the ocean. From town of carefully packed fishermen’s vessels rose right here and there little trails of smoke. On their decks dim figures crouched about wavering fires. A gnarled beggar pushed me, muttering, then whining uncouth phrases. Alongside the curving shore, towards the cypress-crowned top of Eyub, lights had been strung out, marking the waterside. Behind me tall Pera started to sparkle meretriciously. The Greek barbers, I knew, had been standing* impudently earlier than the doorways of their little saloons, watching the night pageant because it surged slowly by means of the Grande Rue and towards the Taxim Backyard. Diplomats had been driving house from the Elegant Porte in victorias. The “cinemas” had been gathering of their mobs. Tokatlian’s was thronged with Levantines whispering from mouth to mouth the present lies of the day. Under, close to the ships, the enterprise males of Galata had been dashing out of their banks, previous the big round-browed Montenegrins who stand on the steps, out of their workplaces and retailers, like a mighty swarm of disturbed bees. The lengthy shriek of a siren from a steamer close to Seraglio Level tore the gloom. I went on, regardless of menacing Valide Sultan, 1 misplaced myself within the fantastic maze of Stamboul.

Stamboulnear the waterside is filled with contrasts so sharp

Stamboul close to the waterside is filled with contrasts so sharp, so unusual that they bewilder and allure, and generally render uneasy even one who has wandered alone by means of many cities of the East. Sordid and filthy, there’s but one thing grandiose in it, one thing hostile and threatening within the watchful crowds which can be endlessly passing by. Between the homes the sea-wind blows up, and also you catch glimpses of water, of masts, of the funnels of steam-ers. Above the cries of the nations rise the long- drawn wails and the hootings of sirens. The visitors of the streets is made extra complicated by your fixed consciousness of the visitors of the ocean, embraced by it, virtually mingling with it. Water and wind, mud and mud, cries of coachmen and seamen, of motor-cars and steamers, and troopers, troopers, troopers passing, at all times passing. By a window-pane you catch a glitter of jewels and a glitter of Armenian eyes gazing stealthily out.

That was my thought as I seemed on the sacred pigeons

That was my thought as I seemed on the sacred pigeons, circling in completely happy freedom over the gardenwhere Bajazet slumbers below his catafalque, flut-tering around the cupolas of their mosque, and be-neath the gray-pink-and-white arcade, with its dull-green and plum-colored columns, or crowding collectively upon the skinny branches of their plane-tree. A pure wind blew via the courtroom and in regards to the marble fountain. The music made by the iridescent wings of the birds by no means ceased, and their perpetual cooing was just like the candy voice of content material. The sunshine streamed over the pavement and penetrated below the arches, making the coral beads of a rosary glow and its gold beads glitter, giving to the amber liquid carried on a tray by a boy to a barber beneath his awning a vivacity virtually of flame. Beside me a lover was dictating a letter to a scribe, who squatted earlier than his desk, on which had been organized a bright- blue inkstand and cup, a pile of white paper, and a stand with crimson pens and blue pencils. Farther on, males had been being shaved, and had been ingesting espresso as they lounged upon bright-yellow sofas. Close to me a really outdated Turk, with fanatical, half-shut eyes, was sitting on the bottom and gazing on the pink ft of the pigeons as they tripped over the pavement, upon which a pilgrim to the mosque had simply flung some grain.

Mechanically lingered his rosary

As he gazed, he mechanically lingered his rosary, swiftly shifting the beads on and on, beads after beads, at all times two at a time. Some incense smoldered in a three-legged brazier, giving out its peculiar and drowsy odor. On the opposite facet of the courtroom a fruit-seller slept by a pile of yellow melons. The grain thrown by the pilgrim was all eaten now, and for a second the sunshine was dimmed by the cloud of rising and dispersing birds, grey and inexperienced, with delicate gleams like jewels entangled of their plumage. Some flew far to the tall white-and-gray minaret of their mosque, others settled on the cupola above the fountain. A couple of, venturous truants, dis-appeared within the route of the seraskierat wall, not far off. The higher quantity returned to their plane- tree on the proper of the lover and the scribe. And because the lover prompt, and the scribe wrote from proper to left, the pigeons puffed out their breasts and cooed, calling different pilgrims to keep in mind that even the sacred have their carnal appetites, and to honor the poor widow’s reminiscence earlier than going as much as the mosque to hope.

 

Room of a photographer’s store

Someday I used to be within the higher room of a photographer’s store when two Turkish ladies got here in and eliminated their veils, standing with their backs to the English infidel. One was clearly a lot youthful than the opposite, and appeared to have a ravishing determine. I used to be gazing at it, maybe reasonably steadily, when, evidently conscious of my look, she turned slowly and intentionally spherical. For 2 or three minutes she confronted me, seeking to proper and left of me, above me, even on the ground close to my toes, together with her massive and delightful blue-gray eyes. She was pretty. Younger, maybe eighteen, she was barely painted, and her eyebrows and lengthy curling lashes had been blackened. Her options had been good, her complexion was easy and sensible, and her expression was actually lovable. It appeared to say to me quietly:

It’s silly ever to hide such a face

“Sure, you might be proper. It’s silly ever to hide such a face as this with a veil when actually there’s not an excessive amount of magnificence on the earth. Mais que voulez- vous? Les Turcs!” And the little hanum certainly moved her skinny shoulders contemptuously. However her aged companion pulled at her gown, and slowly she moved away. As the 2 ladies left the room, the photographer, a Greek, taken care of them, smiling. Then he turned to me, unfold out his skinny palms, and stated, with a shrug, “Encore des desen- chantees!”

I considered the disenchanted in the future as I sat among the many letter-writers within the massive and roughly paved court docket of the “Pigeon’s Mosque,” or Mosque of Ba jazet II. For hours I had been wandering on foot by means of the higher quarters of previous Stamboul, and I couldn’t launch my thoughts from the uninteresting strain of its affect. All these wood homes, silent, ap-parently deserted, shuttered—streets and streets of them, myriads of them! At times above the carved wooden of a lattice I had seen a striped curtain, low cost, dusty, hanging, I guessed, above an inexpensive and dusty divan. The doorways of the homes had been massive and strong, like jail doorways. Earlier than one, as I slowly handed by, I had seen an previous Turk in a protracted quilted coat of inexperienced, with an enormous key in his hand, about to enter. He glanced to proper and left, then thrust the important thing into the door. I had felt inclined to cease and say to him:

“That home has been deserted for years. Each one has migrated way back from this quarter of Stamboul. In the event you keep right here, you may be fairly alone.” However the previous Turk knew very nicely that each one the homes had been full of individuals, of imprisoned ladies. What a destiny to be one of many prisoners!

 

Petrika and Totana

At each visits I had related to the household of Petrika and Totana, his third spouse, whom he had married about six months earlier than. Petrika was a sedate man not less than fifty years previous, with a moustache however no beard, and an extended, straight, although considerably fleshy nostril. He had had kids by his two earlier wives, and 4 of them had been within the camp :Stano, along with his spouse Tudora and boy Kirtsho; Turi, along with his

spouse and baby; Kira, then just lately married to Bistem, who was a refined-looking youth of seventeen, son of Totana by her late husband Ilia; and an single lady, Bada. To mark their Christianity the lads wore sheepskin Jcalpaks as a substitute of fezes and turbans, however their garments had been in any other case comparable, with some minor variations of braiding, to my disguise, although Turi’szabuna was made from darkish crimson velvet, and his jacket (thalik) had a fur lining. Turi was a sturdy younger fellow of a pleasing if unenergetic temperament, and never good-looking. He had a fairly however shy little lady, Busa, the one one in every of his 4 kids who had lived, and his spouse Gina was a really darkish lady, good-looking and industrious. The larger a part of the family work fell to her share. Suitably dressed she would have been lovely, however, owing to her husband’s poverty, she had unbecoming garments; a heavy darkish woollenshawl.as an example, over her head as a substitute of a homosexual kerchief, and she or he went with out footwear or stockings. She was, furthermore, remarkably silent: I don’t suppose we exchanged six sentences through the week I spent along with her individuals; and she or he was virtually equally reserved in the direction of her husband’s dad and mom.

She didn’t smoke within the presence of her father- in-law ; however when he was away, or so occupied as to be unlikely to note, she would take a cigarette from me, unroll it, borrow her mother- in-law’s little pipe, and revel in a whiff.

Not like Persians and Arabs, who’re pleased with their family tree, the Gypsies resemble the Turks, who thus categorical their religion within the equality of all courses of Ottomans, and the democratic Bulgarians, in having no surnames. As some compensation every Gypsy boasts two private names of his personal, one for residence and the opposite for official use. Petrika was identified to the police and different odd individuals as Gyorgi, Totaua as Kostandina, Turi as Todor, and Bistem as Tanasi. When it’s essential to outline an individual extra precisely, the identify of his or her father is added within the genitive case, as, for instance, Turi (son) of Petrika, and Totana (daughter) of Shudrila.

 

Marble tombs sheltered by weary bushes

You go by some marble tombs sheltered by weary bushes, underneath the large shadow of a mosque, and some steps farther on you look via an arched doorway and see on the marble flooring of a dimly lighted corridor half-naked males, with tufts of black hair drooping from partly shaved heads and striped towels girt spherical their loins, going softly back and forth, or bending a few fountain from which water gushes with a silvery noise. It is a Turkish tub. All through Stamboul there are bath-houses with little cupolas on their roofs, and all through Stamboul there are tombs; however the uneasy and watchful crowds throng the quarters close to the waterside and the good bazaars and the areas earlier than the principal mosques. They don’t seem to be unfold all through town. Many elements of Stamboul are because the waste locations of the earth, deserted by males.

By evening they’re silent and black; by day they appear to be the methods of an amazing wood village from which the inhabitants have fled. Of their open areas, patches of waste floor, maybe a number of goats are attempting to browse amongst garbage and stones, a number of little kids are loitering, two or three silent males could also be sitting underneath a vine by a shed, which is a Turkish cafe. There is no such thing as a sound of steps or of voices. One has no feeling of being in an amazing metropolis, of being in a metropolis in any respect. Little there’s of romance, little of that mysterious and beautiful melancholy which imaginative writers have described. Dullness and shabbiness brood over every part. But an unlimited inhabitants lives within the apparently empty homes. Girls are watching from the home windows behind the grilles. Life is fermenting within the midst of the mud, the discomfort, the just about ghastly silence.

The nice bazaar of Stamboul

The nice bazaar of Stamboul is a metropolis inside a metropolis. As you stand earlier than its entrance you consider a fortress filled with immured treasures. And there are treasures of worth underneath the heavy arches, within the lengthy roofed-over lanes. The bazaars of Tunis appear minute, of Damascus ephemeral, of Cairo dressed up, of Jerusalem crushed collectively and stifling, in comparison with the huge bazaars of Stamboul, which have a solidity, a massiveness, unshared by their rivals. I noticed there many low-cost items comparable to I’ve seen on sure cubicles within the East Finish of London, however they had been surrounded with a sure pomp and dignity, with a curious environment of age. Some elements of the bazaars are slender.

THE COMB-MAKERS

Glorious weatherproof tents

They’d good robust carts and wonderful weatherproof tents. Their carts (tcdigas) are gaily painted troughs, on the back-boards of that are circles containing some naively executed image, a bunch of flowers, or a rearing horse, and at either side are iron steps linked with splash-boards over the 4 wheels. The trough, or physique, rests in a cradle on the 2 axles, however just isn’t connected to them rigidly, the axles themselves being linked collectively by a central beam, a technique of development which provides nice flexibility, and allows the automobile, though springless, to journey the worst roads with out catastrophe. The tents are product of goat’s-hair fabric, laborious, tough, and really thick : they’re costly, for an appropriate piece prices eight napoleons. The fabric is supported partly by the taliga itself, which it covers and protects, and partly by a framework of poles. Of those there are 5, moreover the pole of the taliga, which makes the sixth—two poles morticed to kind the entrance triangde ; the skinny back-post (beli) resting on the bottom, and steadied by insertion by means of the step of the waggon ; the horizontal ridge-pole (berand) ; and two different horizontal poles, one in every of them the driving pole of the waggon, which relaxation on the taliga in the back of the tent, and are tied to the entrance poles half-way between their intersection and the bottom. The cart thus stands inside the tent to which it kinds the again, and the material is pegged out by the use of goat’s-hair cords connected at common intervals, in order that the sting is about six inches from the earth. Such a tent, in contrast with the dwellings of the Zagundzhis, was a palace.

The tribe had come to Varna with a view to work on the harvest, the place the lads anticipated to earn about two francs a day; however their ostensible technique of livelihood was making combs, a career through which they confirmed nice dexterity. They purchased the horns of cattle, lower them into brief cylinders which they break up longitudinally and flattened by warmth and strain, formed the piece, smoothed it with a rasp and polished it with ashes; then they lower the enamel with sudden regularity by the use of two hand-saws, one wonderful, and the opposite coarse, and completed the comb with a bit of crude ornament in double strains by rocking the handle-end of a file throughout the floor of the horn. A person might produce thirty combs a day, however their income have been most likely restricted quite by the quantity they may promote than by the quantity they may make.

A lot I discovered by two visits to their picturesquely located camp close to Indzhe-Kioi, a bit of village about three miles from Varna, and I discovered additionally that their Rumanian Romani, owing to my earlier expertise with an analogous dialect, was way more simply intelligible than the dialects shaped below Turkish and Bulgarian affect that I had heard in Osman’s mahala. My beneficial first impression was confirmed on the second go to, when the comb-makers entertained the Vice-Consul and myself with food and drinks, and gossiped pleasantly, if not with the inconsequent liglit-heartedness of the Zagundzhis; and, later within the night, they gained my coronary heart fully when, with out remark, they raised the side-cloth of the tent so that all may admire a wonderful sundown. I made a decision that these fashions of Gypsy propriety could be most fascinating travelling companions, and, seeing that with their assist it might be simple to evade the difficulties attributable to Osman’s prohibition, I misplaced no time, however broached the topic directly, and made preparations for escape.