The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Viii Ambassadors Return

Voyage Turkey to Spain

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On Friday, the 12th of September, they reached a castle called Vicer, which belonged to a Moorish Mollah, and Mollah means 'doctor' or 'learned man.' This Mollah received them with much honour, and they dined with him. All this country was ravaged by Kara Toman. The ambassadors departed, and the guide said that they must visit a lord, who was in a city called Aspir, for that he had letters from his lord to him; and from Tarcon to this place, the road led over mountains. The lord of this land was named Piahacabea, and it is plentifully supplied with provisions, though mountainous. On Saturday they went to see this lord, and gave him a robe, and dined with him, and he gave them a guide to take them to the territory of the emperor of Trebizond (Trabzon). On Sunday they ascended a very high mountain, without trees, which was four leagues in the ascent, and the road was so rugged that men and beasts went up it with great difficulty. On this day they left the land of Georgia, and entered the land of Arraquiel. The Georgians are fine handsome men, and their religion is the same as that of the Greeks, but they have a different language. On Monday they dined at a village in the land of Arraquiel, and slept at another village. The reason why this Moor is lord of Aspertenia and Arraquiel, is this:-the people of the country were discontented with their lord, whose name was Arraquiel; and they went to the lord of Aspir, and offered to give him the lordship, so they seized the lord of Arraquiel, and put a Moor in his place to rule over the Christians. This land is very rugged and mountainous, and in it there are difficult passes, in some places the road being continued by wooden bridges, stretching from one rock to another. In most parts of the land beasts of burden cannot pass, and men carry the burdens on their backs. There is little bread, and the ambassadors were in great danger in this land, as the Christian Armenians are an evil race, and would not let the ambassadors pass, until they had given up some of their property. They travelled for four days through the mountains, and reached some houses near the sea, being six days journey from Trebizond (Trabzon). It was a very bad road, until they came to a place called Lasurmena; and all this land of Trebizond (Trabzon), near the sea, consists of very high mountains covered with fine trees, and there was a vine creeping up every tree. They make wine from these creepers. On Thursday, the 17th of September, they arrived at Trebizond (Trabzon), and found a ship about to sail for Pera (Galatea), laden with nuts; but there was a foul wind, and she had put into a place called Platana, six miles from the city. The ambassadors obtained all they required, and took a boat, in which they went to the ship. The captain was a Genoese, named Nicolas Cojan. They sailed, and were twenty-five days in reaching Pera (Galatea). On Thursday, the 22nd of October, they arrived at Pera (Galatea) in the night, and found two Genoese carracks, which had come from Caffa, and were going to Genoa. The ambassadors sailed in one of them on the 4th of November, and reached Gallipoli, where they took in a cargo of cotton, and then sailed to the island of Chio. On Monday, the 17th of November, they sailed again, and passed the island of Sapienza, and the cape of St. Angelo. On Monday, the last clay of November, they arrived at the island of Sicily, and anchored. On Wednesday, the 2nd of December, they sailed, and, after encountering a great storm, came to the city of Gaeta, in the kingdom of Naples, and remained there five days; when they sailed, but, meeting another great storm, they again put into Gaeta. On Tuesday, the 22nd of December, they again set out, and, meeting another storm, were obliged to put into Corsica, where they passed their Christmas; and on the following Sunday they were off the port of Veane. On Sunday, the 3rd of January, they reached the port of Genoa; and the coast, for six leagues before reaching the city, is lined with beautiful houses, and gardens, which is a very pleasant thing to see. The city is well peopled, and has beautiful houses, and on most of the houses there is a tower. The ambassadors went to Savona, where the Pope was. On Monday, the 1st of February, they sailed from Genoa, in a ship commanded by Master Bienboso Barbero, and they met with such violent storms, and such bad weather, being worse than any they had encountered in all their voyages, that the voyage lasted from the 1st of February, when they left Genoa, to Sunday, the 1st of March, when they landed at San Lucar, and took the road to the city of Seville. On Monday, the 24th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1406, the ambassadors reached the court of their lord, the king of Castille, which they found in Alcala de Henares. LAUS DEO. End of the chronicle of the great Tamerlane, and of the itinerary of the voyage which the ambassadors made, who were sent by the most serene king Don Henry: with a relation of the notable and marvellous things which were met with in all the land of the East. Printed in Seville, in the house of Andrea Piscioni, in the year 1582. THE END.