A Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt, and Italy by Ida Pfeiffer

By Ida Pfeiffer

Translated from the German by way of H. W. Dulcken. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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The beautiful mosques, with their graceful minarets--the palaces and harems, kiosks and great barracks--the gardens, shrubberies, and cypress-woods--the gaily painted houses, among which single cypresses often rear their slender heads,--these, together with the immense forest of masts, combine to form an indescribably striking spectacle. When the bustle of life began, on the shore and on the sea, my eyes scarcely sufficed to take in all I saw. The "Golden Horn" became gradually covered as far as the eye could reach with a countless multitude of kaiks.

All coffee-house keepers are obliged to buy their coffee ready burnt and ground from the government, the monopoly of this article being an imperial privilege. A building has been expressly constructed for its preparation, where the coffee is ground to powder by machinery. The coffee is made very strong, and poured out without being strained, a custom which I could not bring myself to like. It is well worth the traveller's while to make an EXCURSION TO EJUB, the greatest suburb of Constantinople, and also the place where the richest and most noble of the Turks are buried.

In the market and the squares we notice a great preponderance of the male sex over the female. The former are seen bustling about every where, and, like the Italians, perform some duties which usually fall to the lot of the softer sex. We notice a mixture of the most different nations, and among them a particularly large number of Jews. The bazaar is overloaded with southern fruits of all kinds. Oranges and lemons are seen here in great numbers, like the commonest of our fruits. The prices are of course very trifling.

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