The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Ruy Gonzalez De Clavijo

Chios island

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On Tuesday morning, at the hour of mass, they reached the port of Chios, and the ambassadors landed, and caused everything they had on board the vessel to be taken on shore. There is a small town on the island of Chios, and the island itself is small, and belongs to the Genoese. The town is on a plain facing the sea, and it is divided into two wards, and is surrounded by many vineyards and fruit gardens. The land of Turkey is so close to Chios, that it is clearly visible. In this island there are villages and castles, and the mastick grows here on certain trees. The town is well fortified with a wall and towers, but it is in a plain. In this island the ambassadors received news that the eldest son of the Turk, who was conquered by Tamerlane, was dead, and that his brothers were fighting for the succession to the land. The ambassadors wished to depart from Chios at once, but they did not find a vessel ready, and remained on the island until the 30th of September, when they engaged a small Castilian vessel, commanded by a Genoese named Boquira de Marta. On Sunday the vessel got under weigh in the middle of the night, and made sail with a fair wind. At daylight they were off an inhabited island called Metella {Mytilene}, and two other islands were in sight on the left hand, called Pixara and Antipixara. In the afternoon they were near a cape of the land of Turkey called Cape St. Mary; and at dusk the wind increased so that the sails were split, and blown into the sea.