The Garden of Eden

Khnoos is an old Armenian village consisting of a cluster of houses. After a wet season long pieces of wheat are frequently seen to be growing out of the sides of the houses. This undoubtedly comes from seed which are mixed with hay and chaff and which were originally in the materials with which the walls of the houses are constructed. The Khnoos lies on a plain close to the source of the Tigris and Euphrates. On the way from Erzerum one passes almost at the foot of Mt. Ariat. Mt. Ariat does not rest on the rest of the plain but the rock formation of its crest gives one the impression that it does, and the arch [sic] is still pointed out to tourists as resting on top of the mountain.

The trip which I took to Khnoos was in the late spring and the streams which we had to cross were swollen from the melting of the winter snows. At well used fords ferrymen are usually stationed. These for a consideration assist the traveler's course in passing across the current of the stream. When I crossed over was told to take my feet out of my stirrups and hold my knees up on the pummel of the saddle. A man at each side of the horse held the leather strap of the stirrup and then the horse was led into the water. In the shallow fords both horse and men walk across but in some of the deeper fords they have to swim. It is a very peculiar sensation to be riding on a horse with his head directed up-stream and the bobbing heads of two men on either side with apparently no direction but one sees the shore gradually approaching as the other shore is receding.

Not far from Khnoos the road passes along a valley on either side of which are rolling hills. You come through a pass on to a small plain completely hidden by hills. It is a beautiful little plain surrounded by hills. This place is called by the inhabitants the Garden of Eden. At the time I first passed the plain was covered with a profusion of prettily petaled blossoms, - various colors - purples, yellows, reds and blues, and as far as I could see blossoms rippling in waves which was caused by a gentle wind blowing over the field very much like a breeze passing through a field of wheat. It was a beautiful sight in that late spring day, too beautiful to be ever forgotten.

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