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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 446

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with my companion, the Maltese flag captain of the Tessei which brought me here from Alexandria, and Ismail, on two excellent mules of the country, whose owner accompanied ns as guide on a donkey. In an hour and a quarter we passed the northern extremity of the plain of Larnaca which was covered with heath and brushwood and burnt grass. We then rode over and between round hills, naked and white, in general like sandhills, in the valley of which we followed for an hour the course of a mountain-stream, now dry, and covered with the finest oleanders and cistus, and large trees of brushwood, but bearing no marks of cultivation. After leaving these hills we came to a plain, on the beginning of which, at half past ten, we stopped at the village of A thiainou, consisting of a few houses of mud, and a neat Greek church. It is four hours (of distance) from Larnaca and half-way to Nicosia. Round it are a few fields of corn, and some insignificant gardens of olives and mulberry trees. This being the village of onr guide, we dined here off some eggs cooked for us by hie wife, and at noon set off again, onr haste not permitting ns to consult onr comfort, which was attacked by a burning snu. All the rest of our road to-day lay along a very rich plain entirely uncultivated (except in the immediate neighbourhood of a village), covered with long grass, brushwood, heath aud thistles, and occasionally varied by low round whitish hills, sometimes of earth, and sometimes of stone. At one we crossed a muiintain-streain, now dry, but in winter considerable, over which lay a good stone bridge of six arches, built by the Venetians, and to the left of which was the village of Beroi, and to the right (in going) that of M argon. At half past three we entered Nicosia, ronnd which, in sight of it, are the villages,all inconsiderable, of Athalassa, Aklangiar, Palgiogothizar, Kaimaklee, Aimalouthaeis, S. Themeetrie, Mayionissa and Strovilion. Nicosia (which has been supposed to occupy the site of the ancient Tremitus) is situated in a low, rich, extensive plain, of which the moisture is shown by the quantity of rushes it bears, and which accordingly causes constant fevers in summer. Behind (to the north of) the city is a line of high, brown pointed mountains which completely domineer it ; and all ronnd it, on the plain, aro a number of low round hills; the city must therefore have been either formidably strong 01· ridiculously weak ; strong if the Venetians had forts on these hills and mountains, which would command the plain, and assure a constant supply to the city; and in tho contrary case absolutely untenable for any length of time: 1 rather believe the latter, as 1 saw no remains of forts in the vicinity. It is surrounded by walls which form (as far as I could see, and as 1 was told) η hexagon : they are very broad, being double, and having the middle space filled with trodden earth ; the upper half slopes like a pyramid, and at intervals some paris project to defend the other: they are of unequal height, in some part of thirty, und in some of forty, feet, are irregularly built, as the pyramidical slope is often continued to the bottom (where it was so 1 saw dogs running down them) and have no fosse. A few Venetian cannon romain ou the ramparts, and these aro immoveable from the ruined state of their wooden cannages. The ground of the city is very nnequal, being in some parts elevated to the height of the walls within, and iu some a deep valley : this is perhaps caused by the earth taken out to till np the space between the walls. As every honse has a large or small garden attached to it, the first view of the city is very pleasing from the contrast which this cultivation affords, with the dark mountains behind. The Greeks told us that to encompass the city requires an hour and a half on horseback, which would give it the not improbable circuit of foni* aud a half miles. The gardens within the walls are well cultivated, and abound in tig, olive, mulberry, orange, lemons and pomegranate trees. Immediately on arriving we rode to the Greek convent, which, though irregnlarly built, is large and commodious, and delivered a letter with which Jlr Vondiziano had furnished ns 436 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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