The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Iii The Voyage from Constantinople To Trebizond.


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ON Wednesday, the 14th of November, at the hour of mass, they made sail, and set out with a fair wind down the strait, which forms the mouth of the great sea. At the third hour they were off a tower, which stands close to the sea on the Grecian side, called Trapea. They went into port at this place, filled up with water, and had dinner. After dinner they continued their voyage, and soon afterwards they passed two castles on hills near the sea, the one being called 'El Guirol de la Grecia,' and the other 'El Guirol de la Turquia,' the former being in Greece, and the other in Turkey. The Grecian tower is ruined and deserted, but the Turkish one is inhabited. In the sea, between these two castles, there is a tower surrounded by the water; and at the foot of the Turkish castle there is a tower built on a rock, with a wall connecting them. Formerly a chain was stretched from one tower to the other, and when the land on both sides belonged to the Greeks, these castles were used to guard this strait; and any vessel passing from the greater sea to Pera and Constantinople, or from Pera to the sea, was stopped by a chain stretched across from one castle to the other, and was thus detained until the dues were paid. At the hour of vespers they reached the entrance of the greater sea (the Black Sea), but, as it was late, they anchored and remained until the next day. This strait is very narrow, and the land of Turkey is on the right hand, and the land of Greece on the left; and on both sides many churches were in sight, close to the sea.