El Azraky applies the name Djebel el Hazna to this part of the mountain; and says that the road was cut through the rock by Yahia Ibn Khold Ibn Barmak. On the other side of the opening, the road descends into the plain of Sheikh Mahmoud, so named from the tomb of a saint, round which the Syrian pilgrims generally encamp.
In my drawing-room, which had columns of Arabic architecture, I had placed a large, soft couch, covered with a carpet from Djebel Amour, very nearly in the costume of Assan, but I could not sleep, as I was tortured by my continence. There are two forms of torture on this earth, which I hope you will never know: the want of water, and the want of women, and I do not know which is the worst.
This rock continues along the road, with few variations, as far as the vicinity of Djebel Nour, to the eastward of Mekka, where granite begins. I learned at Mekka, that, south of Hadda, some hours distant, a mountain yields fine marble, which served for the pavement of the great mosque.
This tribe is in rebellion in Djebel Hauaran, on account of the conscription, and some of them, it appears, have taken refuge in the fastnesses of Hermon, where they are beginning to plunder travellers.
The rate of our march from Mekka, when we were quite alone upon our dromedaries, and able to accelerate their pace at pleasure, was not I therefore calculate from Mekka to the foot of Djebel Kora, about thirty-two miles; to its top, ten miles; and from thence to Tayf, thirty miles, making in the whole seventy-two miles.
The Harmless Guard Caesarea Philippi The Valley of the Druses The Sides of Mount Hermon An Alarm Threading a Defile Distant view of Djebel Hauaran Another Alarm Camp at Katana We Ride into Damascus. Damascus, May 12, 1852. We rose early, so as to be ready for a long march.
Szafra and Beder are the only places in the Hedjaz where the balsam of Mekka, or Balesan, can be procured in a pure state. The tree from which it is collected grows in the neighbouring mountains, but principally upon Djebel Sobh, and is called by the Arabs Beshem. I was informed that it is from ten to fifteen feet high, with a smooth trunk, and thin bark.
I believe that there is no other station of equal length entirely destitute of water, in any part of Arabia frequented by caravans, like the four days between Djebel and Shageyg. The well of Shageyg belongs to the Aenezy tribe of Rowalla; and whoever wishes to go from Southern Syria to Nedjed, must necessarily pass here.
In front of Djebel Hassany are several islands; and the sea is here particularly full of shoals and coral rocks, rising nearly to the surface; from the various colours of which, the water, when viewed from a distance, assumes all the hues of the rainbow.
It was circular, about ten miles in its greater diameter, and bounded on the north by the broad peak of Djebel Saman, or Mount St. Simon. In the morning we passed a ruined castle, standing in a dry, treeless dell, among the hot hills. The muleteers called it the Maiden's Palace, and said that it was built long ago by a powerful Sultan, as a prison for his daughter.
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