Saturday 24 June


Mr Müller thinks it probable that we may be stopped by fresh rows in N. Greece, yet, not knowing well what to do, we resolve to go on, and make Mandanika [modern Dafni] our noonday, and Kokkinomelia our night, halting places. I rose before 4 a.m., and drew {sketch 76?}; anything more magnificent and park-like than this Achmèt Agà scenery there cannot exist, though sunset is the time when the Amethyst mountain, the dark planes, and the yellow corn, contrast most finely. By 6.30 C. was up, and we breakfasted with the Müllers — very kindly, good people, and Mrs M. exceedingly pretty. Off by 7 a.m. Wonderful pine scenery! {sketch 78} so bright and green, and such purple hills, for the red soil made them look positively plum-colour.

Edward Lear, Near Achmèt Agà, 24 June 1848
The Noel-Baker Family Papers, reproduced by kind permission of the Noel-Baker Family and the British School at Athens

Our ride was through the whole length of it — streams, vales, and some little cultivation. Drew at a little goat-be-covered church — the vale and hill very Swiss-like and grand. Arrived 11.30 a.m. at Mandanika. Settled under a walnut tree by a fountain in a garden, but the midges obliged us to have the tent put up. The heat was horridodious — the flies, ants, etc., worse — so I slept little and woke hot and cross. Janni and I are at odds about carrying my sketch book, so I had to walk all the afternoon, as I cannot hold it on horseback, with my lame left arm. Soon, 2.30 p.m., we begin an ascent of endless pine woods — wonderful pines! — anything so green as the earth, or so lilac as the hills, surely there never was seen before! We came at one time to a steep descent, where some vast pines, with great roots, were magnificent, but there was no time to stop. Spring of water grateful. Immense ascent. Vulture (Ὄρνία) circling about — gay rollers. Great heat. At the top, of course, a little plain, and a great view of the mountainous part of the island — lilac and green, such gold greens! Then we descend, and the scenery changes — gray limestone, with silver-branched old oak and ilex, and dark out-stretching firs. Lower down, 6 p.m., scenery more “rural” — parky, clumps of pines, and greensward. Just at sunset, the most glorious view of all, deep brown black firs, with rosy plain far below, and blue-lilac pinegrown hills between pale sea, purple heights and golden sunset. Having sketched a little {sketch 81}, for the way one can only devote ten minutes to subjects requiring four or five hours’ study is too absurd, we were soon at the village of Kokkinomelia, a little cabin in a nest of rocks and trees, and devouringly ferocious dogs — a cabin prepared for us. Fine peasants, simple Greek tunics, blankety. Dogs!!! Tea — chickens — gazing females.

Edward Lear, Near Kokinamelia, 24 June 1848
VIS4488, reproduced by kind permisssion of Museums Sheffield
This entry was posted in Achmèt Agà, Kokkinomelia, Mandanika. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *