Means of Travel

Bardizag is on the northern side of a mountain which slopes down to the plain five miles beyond. This plain is bounded by the arm of the sea of Marmora. Ismid, the city of that district, at the opposite end of the Gulf, was the favorite summer resort of the Byzantine court. There are still ruins around Ismid of the old summer homes of the Byzantine aristocracy. The only means or way of crossing this Gulf was by rowboat at a place about three miles wide. The Turkish row boats are rather small and some are equipped with a sort of sail which is used if there is a high wind, but usually the boats are propelled by oars. On the northern side of the Gulf, opposite Ismid was the Iskele. Iskele is the Turkish rendering of the Greek word "shala" which is a sort of wharf built out from the shore to which the boats are moored. There was a little nest of huts with a coffee house and an inn. This constituted the "shala". Every time one goes out of the city, he must pass the customs and be examined by them. The city officials are in charge of this procedure. Before getting into one of the row boats to be taken across the Gulf one must pass by the custom officers. From there one rides in an open carriage for another five or six miles and finally reaches Bardezag.

There were two roads; one used in the summer and one in the winter. The road used in the summer was very dusty but good travelling if it was dry. The road we used was a very narrow one, a stone road, which was very very old. In some places many of the stones were missing and the huge holes were filled with mud and water. No carriages could go along this road. This was a real old Roman road. It had been repaired from time to time but repaired in a way identical with the way the Romans had built it. As the road was not very well kept, it was not used very much. I witnessed the shooting of a horse along this road one day. The horse in stepping from one stone to another slipped into one of the holes in the road and began to sink in the sucking, clay-like dirt. All efforts to get him out of the hole were futile. He tried to help himself but it was of no use. He was finally shot. Some weeks after this happened I went over to the place and found that only his skull remained. Jackals had eaten him and had scraped the bones clean in a very short time.

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