Sunday, December 9, 2012

19: Florence, March 1932

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Arrived in Florence (A), Italian Firenze, afternoon of March 21st. Beautiful old palaces and art galleries and black and white marble cathedral, with Piazza del Duomo in front. Michelangelo’s statue of David prominent in another square.

Campanile and dome of the Duomo (Cathedral)
Campanile is from design by Giotto and was begun in 1334.  276 ft. high.
March 1932 

Source:  Hilton

Church of Santa Croce
(from 13th to mid 15th Centuries)
Contains tombs of Michelangolo [sic], Galileo, Rossini, et al. 

Source:  Virtual Tourist

Portion of wing of Pitti Palace.  Boboli Gardens, and tower of Palazzo Vecchio.
March 1932 

In Boboli Gardens
Pitti Palazzo
March 1932

Boboli Gardens
Source: My Destination

In courtyard of Palazzo Ricardi, one of old homes of Medici family, now partly public offices, 
partly museum.
March 1932

Sunday, December 2, 2012

18: Greece and Venice, March 1932

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We saw lots of porpoises in the Sea of Marmora (A) going out. They were very beautiful and playful. Arrived at Piraeus, Greece, (B) morning of March 14 and caught a taxi five miles to Athens (C) and the Acropolis. Beautiful hill and real architecture. Saw large groups of the "Ladies from Hell," elite Greek soldiers who wear kilts and shoes with pointed toes which curve upward. Sailed through Corinth Canal  (D) which is cut through stone isthmus near ancient city of Corinth. Ship has only a few feet clearance on each side from stone banks.

Ship next steamed into Adriatic Sea and north to Venice (E). Italian police and soldiers are picturesque. Some wear Napoleon-like hats, others with Robin Hood hats with feather and cloaks. We passed many sailing ships in Adriatic which on March 16th was fairly cool, misty and cloudy.

We see several leaning towers as we pulled into the dock at Venice. Went to nearby Pension Seguso and to the San Marco nearby. This is great cathedral erected supposedly over the bones of St. Mark, their patron saint who died in Alexandria, Egypt, but who had been promised by an angel that his bones would rest in Venice. The body was smuggled out of Alexandria under pork carcases and taken to Venice. The basilica seems all domes and gilt with a number of fine mosaics in beautiful colors and showing fine scenes in the arches below.

Piazza San Marco
Church and Companile.
Present building completed 1094.  First Ducal chapel on this site finished about 832.  St. Mark's remains brought to Venice in 828.
March 1932 

Next east is the Doge's Palace, a beautiful structure with many huge beautiful historic paintings inside. Above the central arch of the San Marco, by the way, are four bronze horses taken as booty by Venetians when they captured Byzantium (Istanbul). I was in Venice for Palm Sunday, a great religious day for Catholics. Huge crowds poured out of the cathedral, each person carrying a small sprig resembling palms. Saw many fine museums and art galleries. I liked particularly the paintings of Tintoretto. To get very far in Venice you catch a motor boat. Gondolas were slow and expensive. Venice is on 100 islands separated by almost 150 canals crossed by about 380 bridges. Adjoining the San Marco, by the way is a high bell tower with a winged lion atop.

On Grand Canal
Taken from Gondola
March 1932

Doge's Palace

Friday, November 30, 2012

17: Island of Rhodes, Roman Ruins, and Turkey, March 1932

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March 7 landed at Beirut,  Lebanon (A). Mountainous in interior, some were snow capped.

 March 1932
Island of Rhodes

Island of Rhodes
Fileremo, formerly the Acropolis of Ialysus
March 1932

Stopped at Island of Rhodes (B) March 9. Rocky, Saw some Roman ruins. Beautiful scenery. Sail into the Dardanelles straits (C) and see some of the old stone forts still there, through the Sea of Marmora (D), which is so big you see no land and though the Bosporus to Istanbul. Saw Mosque of Sancta Sophia, erected originally by the Emperor Constantine, reconstructed by Theodosius and finally by Justinian in about 538 A.D. It has a gigantic dome with flying buttresses and a number of auxiliary domes, semi-domes and interior round arches. It is an impressive sight inside. I set my camera for time exposure and had the picture when a Mohammedan priest told me no pictures were allowed inside [see interior below]. I was so flustered that I later took a second exposure over the same film.

Mosque of St. Sophia
March 1932

The modern Turks wear clothing similar to ours, use the same alphabet and letters we use and the women no longer wear veils as we had seen in Egypt and Palestine.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

16: The Holy Land, February - March, 1932

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February 25 I caught the train for Jerusalem at 6 p.m. I curled up in a blanket I had with me. The country got more and more mountainous after we crossed the Suez Canal. Went through a real sandstorm and then into beautiful orange growing country and through mountains to Jerusalem. Cook’s dragoman met me at the train the morning of February 26th and took me by roadway cut through big wall when Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany visited there in 1898.

Clarence on Donkey
Pool of Siloam (near)
Village of Silwan (Siloam)
Junction of Tyropean and Kidron Valleys
Christ anointed the blind man's eyes, presumably near here.
January 1932
Mainly Yemen Jews (Living in Islam since Mohammedan times and speak Arabic as well as Jewish.) 

Clarence on Donkey
Valley of Kidron
Tomb of Absolam
Graeco-Roman style
Associated with David's son since 16th Century.

Tomb of Absolam, Wikipedia

That morning we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, supposedly the site of both Golgotha and crucifixion and entombment, all according to Queen Helena, mother of Constantine, first Christian Emperor of Rome. This consists of several interconnected dark churches with many candles and bickering clergy of Roman and Greek Catholics, Armenian Catholics, and Copts (Egyptian Christians). This is all now inside city wall but was outside at the time of the Savior. Present churches are described as a barbarous reconstruction of medieval structures razed by fire in 1808. We proceeded along the Via Dolorosa, supposedly the road which Christ trod, but actually about 30 feet higher since one city has been built on ruins of the other successively here. Came to the site presumedly of all where Pilate delivered judgment.

El 'Azariyeh (Bethany)
Supposed house of Simon the Leper where women anointed Christ with ointment
January 1932

Source: Ancient Faces

In the afternoon motored to Bethlehem, 5 ½ miles south and a little east of Jerusalem. Great fortress-like buildings comprise the Church of the Nativity with three contiguous convents maintained by Latin, Greek Orthodox, and Armenian churches. The traditional site of the nativity is a cave beneath the choir of the church.

I visited Dome of the Rock on Mt. Moriah February 29th. Byzantine (Greek) architects built the present domed structure in about the seventh century for Arabs controlling the area. A sum equal to about the revenues of Egypt for several years was appropriated. The dome is very beautiful, startling in design and gorgeous in coloring. Stained glass windows in cement frames in beautiful arches with blue and white tile. The tiles were added by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1561. Passages from the Koran, white on a blue enamel background are prominent. Guide says some of the supposed 17th Century windows were put there after a 1927 earthquake. Very dim on the inside, but soon fine coloring of the interior begins to penetrate. Great rough rock is surrounded by a fine grille of French wrought iron. Rock is supposed to be where Melchizedek offered sacrifice, where Abraham was about to offer up Isaac, and where Mohammed was translated to heaven on back of his white steed. It is the spot where the ark of the covenant stood. Through a pointed door we descended 11 steps to the grotto where blood from sacrifices was supposed to come down. Solomon’s stables were below gratings. At Wailing Wall, remains of the original wall of Herod’s Temple, many Jews were praying and were crying.

Looking across Kidron to East walls of Jerusalem and Haran enclosure (Solomon's temple) from solid "Tomb" of Zachariah.

Tomb of Zachariah, Wikipedia

March 1, I went up Mt. of Olives across the valley to the east. On the way I stopped at the Garden of Gethsemane and saw really old olive trees where Christ supposedly prayed and sweat drops of blood. I then went to the summit of the Mount of Olives and climbed 214 steps to the top of a tower from which we could see the great vista through a rainstorm.

Minaret near Chapel of Ascension
Mt. of Olives
February 1932

Also I went to Gordon’s Calvary and Golgotha as accepted by the Church of England. This is outside the present city wall. Later I climbed the city wall and walked around the city. King David Hotel and modern city are outside the city walls.

Guide at excavations of ancient (Biblical) city of Jericho.
February 1932

Image: Wikipedia

Also I drove over surfaced highway through Wilderness of Judea past ruins of Inn of the Good Samaritan to Jericho where I had lunch. Went south to the Dead Sea, where I took a swim.

Dead Sea
February 1932

Image: Wikipedia

Left Jerusalem by car early morning of March 5. Stopped at a place where Jesus supposedly conversed with the Samaritan woman at the well. Had lunch at Nazareth and descended from the hills through Cana to blue Lake Galilee which is 622 feet below sea level. Nearby Mt. Hermon with snow is 9,000 feet above sea level. Stayed overnight at a good hotel along the lake. Took a half hour’s boat ride on the lake which still yields lots of fish. It takes a little more than half an hour to dive from Nazareth to modern port of Haifa. Mt. Carmel is on point at end of great curve of Bay of Acre. Boarded the Italia a small Italian ship, traveling 3rd class distincta (special). Wisconsin couple who had traveled on the “Ubena” first class and had stayed at the Grand New Hotel with me in Jerusalem were aboard.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

15: On to Egypt, February 1932

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Steamed up the Red Sea February 15th through 17th with haze and fog the rule. One beautiful sunset which disclosed high mountains to the north. With Rev. Winter won men’s doubles in table tennis, with Mrs. Noyes won mixed doubles in shuffleboard and was on the winning team of six in tug of war.

Arrived at Suez at south end of the Suez Canal February 18th at 6 p.m. The canal is wide enough for two ships to pass each other. There was a little signal station every several miles. On the Egyptian side are palms frequently and some farms. Palestine side at first is plain desert with a camel visible now and then. Ismailia is a good-sized city where major traffic crosses between the two countries.

Nile at Cairo
February 1932

Landing at Port Said was quite a chore. Arabs, which I will use to describe most Egyptians, are a tricky and grabby lot. I passed through customs and health check and caught the train for Cairo. The country is very green. Here and there was a canal which you could detect ahead because the forest of masts of small ships. We saw many primitive methods for raising water from canals such as the crank and screw method almost like a meat grinder, and by a pot on a derrick. I also saw plowing by primitive wooden blade and pulled sometimes by a camel and a cow attached together.

Nile near Cairo
February 1932 

On the Nile near Cairo
February 1932 

I arrived at Cairo in the afternoon of February 19th and taxied to small pension (hotel). Mohammed Solomon, dragoman (guide), took me to an Egyptian theater and we watched dancers. Many veiled women and lots of French women (many prostitutes) on the streets.

I left next morning at 8 a.m. for Memphis and the Sakkara Step Pyramid. Dragoman said there are 49 pyramids. Viewed a colossus statue of Ramses II lying out flat with head broken off. Then went on and found similar statue in alabaster marble under roof, head intact. I went in one artificial cavern where there were sarcophagi for 24 sacred bulls. Then drove north to Great Pyramid. The main entrance was walled up but a new entrance was wide enough to enter. On each side of the steep passageway were shelves flanking center groove. At intervals of several feet were rectangular holes where slaves could rest from their labors of pushing sarcophagi up. The King’s chamber was just half way up from all directions. The Queen’s was on-fourth and the daughter’s was three-fourths of the way up. Immense stones supported the roof. Interior stones irregular, only the outer stones were fitted. The two great pyramids were encased with marble (alabaster) which was purloined by Arabs for mosque building from all but the top quarter of the next to largest pyramid.

February 1932
Note alabaster capping stone left undisturbed on top portion of second largest pyramid. 

Image: Wikipedia

Napoleon wanted to move the Sphinx which is carved out of solid stone, but was unable, so he fired a cannon at it and knocked off the nose. The Sphinx has a body of a lion and a human face. I rode a camel part of the way around the pyramid. It was like going up an elevator since you mount a camel which is kneeling down. The hind end raises a notch first, then the front goes up a notch and the process continues until you seem high up in the air. Many caves and buried shrines in that area.

Two of Cairo's finest mosques, near Citadel
February 1932 

Citadel and Mosque of Mohammed Ali.
Latter is constructed of the alabaster capping stone of the Pyramids.
February 1932.

Image: Tour Egypt

Egypt then had 14 million people with cultivated land of only 14,000 square miles. One square mile had to support 1,000 people. There was much poverty and many unemployed persons. Saw many mosques, bazaars, and great museums. Cairo is a huge city. Major museum had King Tut’s golden treasures. Wooden furniture restored. It was of beautiful designs. Mummies of Ramses II and so on had all been withdrawn from the public at that time since Egyptians figured bodies should be private.

Central Hall of Egyptian Museum

I bought traveler’s check at Thomas Cook and Sons with my gold since it was unlawful to take gold out of Egypt.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

14: Mozambique to Yemen, February 1932

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Arrived at Port Amelia, February 1st, but not allowed to go ashore. Reached Daar-Es-Salaam February 3rd. This means “Haven of Peace” in Arabic. Formerly German East Africa, then British East Africa. Beautiful green palm trees. This is the center of native shipping industry. Arabian dhows sail under many flags from here carrying mangrove bark, copra and other tropical produce. The dhows stop at many lesser ports and creek mouths. Lots of Indians come aboard selling curios of ivory and ebony, also clothing, shawls, wraps and every rubber footwear.

Natives at water hole.  Dar-es-Salaam.  Also Mr. Strutt, So. Rhodesia.
Note paraffin tins (Kerosene).
February 1932

Left Daar-Es-Salaam at 6 a.m. February 4th and arrived at Zanzibar, 48 miles away, at about 11 a.m. It is the most important trade center and the largest city in East Africa. The 640 square mile island and nearby Pemba (380 sq. miles) formed a British protectorate. Population for the whole island in 1921 was: Europeans 270, Swahilis (natives) 165,000, Arabs, 20,000, Indians 15,000, Commorians 3,000. Total 203,270. We saw the sultan’s palace and traversed a maze of cross streets. English church was quite nice, built of coral and cement. Indians and natives of all varieties, most wearing white or red fez. Some lovely dates in the market but they were covered with flies. Also huge bananas. Native boys come on launch near boat and dived for coins.

Talked with a young fellow going back to his father’s farm between Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro*, 9,000 feet above sea level. No winter or summer but a log of rain in winter months. Big game hunters go through in summer he said. Licenses cost up to 100 pounds ($500) for aliens.

Native War Memorial
February 1932

I also stopped briefly at Tanga [Tanzania], then went to Mombassa [Kenya], arriving February 7. Went ashore with another fellow and saw Catholic and English cathedrals with native worshipers. Big oil storage center on north side of island. Saw camels turning a primitive mill for grinding seed for oil. This port had been occupied in past by Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Portuguese. Legal status of slaves not abolished until 1007. We could buy a pineapple, green coconut for its milk and naartjes (tangerines) for cheap prices. Crossed the equator somewhere in that neighborhood.

Fort Jesus
Mombassa, with old tablet
January 1932
[The picture is dated January, but the narrative states February]

Image: Wikipedia

Fort Jesus, Mombassa
Old Harbor
Erected first by Portuguese

Arrived at Aden [Yemen], a majestic sight Sunday February 14. It has great bleak mountainous precipitous barren crags and is part of a wildly distorted volcanic peninsula. It had a population of 56,000 with a fair number of impressive buildings. It was an important trade and coaling station annexed to Great Britain in 1839. Drinking water was distilled from sea water. Arab water cart was an interesting sight. The driver delivered the water in a brass jug. Arab traders and lots of Indians thronged the streets. Lots of goats around. Fish and bundles of green stuff for fodder were hawked about. We viewed at a distance a Parsee burial ground with attendant vultures. Millet in a nearby oasis is reported to grow 12 feet high.

February, 1932

*Around 2006, a son, a grand-daughter, and a grand-son went to Africa and hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

13: January 1932, Mozambique

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I caught the train at 4 a.m. from Nelspruit for Lorenco Marques, Portugese East Africa. The Portuguese were much more harsh toward the natives than were the English or the Dutch. Some beautiful hotels and other buildings there. Loaded aboard the ship were many tones of black mineral, apparently manganese, and many bags of corn meal, both brought by rail from the interior. Native labor sung and chanted with gusto loading the bags onto nets lifted into the ship’s hold.

It was a beautiful German East Africa Line ship, the “Ubena.” In the same third class cabin with me was a Church of England monk (celibate), Reverend Winters, who had been working with natives near Nelspruit. Also in my cabin were two old heavy men, one with Masonic charms headed for Port Said and the other from Durban headed for England. Weather warm and no baths because water too muddy, stewards informed us.

General Hertzog, head of South African government, announced that the country was leaving the gold standard, following the lead of Great Britain. Fortunately I had invested most of my available funds in gold one-pound coins obtained from a Brother Muir who worked in a bank in Johannesburg. This gold therefore commanded a premium. South Africa also announced an increase in its subsidies for exports: wool from 10 to 25 percent; mohair from 10 to 25 percent; fresh fruit from 15 to 20 percent and fresh and frozen meat from 10 to 20 percent.

We sailed from Lorenco Marques January 26th after lengthy loading of freight.

I was up at 6 a.m. next morning exercising and then bathing. Steward called us in turn when bath was ready by signed up schedule. Bath water was warm sea water. One morning he came in to call Rev. Winters to his bath, Winters was kneeling in his bed praying. The steward whacked him on the bottom, saying, “Bad! Bad!” German for “bath! Bath!” The rest of us in the cabin were chuckling. On the voyage up the east coast of Africa I would follow the same routine; early rising, exercise, bath, breakfast, reading scriptures, and whatever was available - playing deck tennis, quoits, table tennis, checkers, or going ashore where possible.

On January 28th, we pulled into the port of Beira, also under the Portuguese, in mouth of two rivers both navigable. Great bars of copper bound for Belgium were among the freight loaded using booms (ships’ derricks) and lighter boats. Other freight loaded: sisal, asbestos in big bags, and copra. Crocodiles are in the rivers, we were told.

Sixteenth Century Fortress of stone imported from Portugal
in small boats of that period and some coral rock.
The only place never captured from the Portuguese in East Africa.
January 31, 1932

On January 31st pulled to anchor off Mozambique, on a coral island about a mile and half off the north coast of Portuguese East Africa visited by Vasco De Gama in 1498. Walked into town, saw castle and prison which was extremely hot. Native section very closely built, thatched roofs, walls of bamboo fastened together with cross pieces and plastered over with stoney mixture.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

12: A Few Last Thoughts and Some Sight-Seeing

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I stopped off in Johannesburg (A) and made a short trip to Pretoria (B). I saw one of the big gold mines near Johannesburg. The natives who did all the labor, were pretty raw, dressed in castoffs and slept on boards and blankets, and ate with their hands and no utensils. We watched them eat their noon meal which consisted of a big dab of corn meal mush slapped into a wash pan or pot, with a big ladle full of soup with vegetables and a little meat.

The quartz rock which contained gold was hauled up, crushed and concentrated using a cyanide process to leach out the gold from the sand. Huge piles of sand from the mines, would be blown by the winds sometimes, making things gritty in Johannesburg which nonetheless was a city several times as large as Salt Lake City.

This photo is unlabeled, but it appears it could be a gold mine.

 "Ramah", Johannesburg
May 1932 [Not sure how this could be May as he left Johannesburg on 
January 21, 1932 and Fawz is in the picture]
Elder Kenneth Y. Stringham
Sr. Muriel Groves
Elder Harold H. Smith
Mr. Esterhuizen
Prest. Don Mack Dalton
Elder Kenneth Sutherland
Elder Samuel L. Gardner
Sr. Groves Westerhuizen
Elder Clarence S. Barker
Elder Herman J. Smith

Mountain Goats at Johannesburg Zoo
Fine residential section (Park View) in background
Elders Thomas Y. Wilson
Harold H. Smith
Herman J. Smith

Newly completed
October 1931

Natives lived in huts and compounds on the edges of the towns. It was illegal at that time to hire a native for a skilled position. They also could not ride with whites on railroads. Apparently it would take a generation or more to educate them up to civilized standards. Law compliance then was good. Boer-Dutch at the time were ruling South Africa and they believed in keeping the natives segregated.

Once a family in Kimberley was invited to attend the wedding of their native maid to be held in the small Catholic Church at the Location (colored area) outside town. The maid had a family of several children but had never had money enough to be married before. The children stood with her in the wedding line.

Another time Elder Smith and I were in Bloemfontein and saw a long procession of blacks walking behind a hearse. We followed along and went to the colored cemetery. A prominent native had died. The natives, some of them well dressed, sobbed and cried and sang conventional Christian hymns in their native language with good volume and tone.

Native Funeral
November 1931

It was January 21 [1932] when I was on my way by railway from Johannesburg to Nelspruit (C), a small town at entrance to the higher portion of Kruger National Park. Lower parts were closed during hot weather because of danger from malaria. A guide picked me up and drove in a Model A Ford touring car. We saw thousands of wildebeests (brindled gnu) a lumbering buffalo-like animal, thousands of quaggas (zebras) and large numbers of many types of beautiful deer, including kudu, kind of like a moose elk, spring bok, (an antelope), and finally a lioness with three cubs. She started coming toward us, so we drove fast enough to keep well ahead of her.

January 1932

Kruger National Park
January 1932