It’s been a busy few weeks so here’s a few snippets to enjoy while I play catch-up, both courtesy of the Guardian in the last week.
Robert Curzon, traveller and diplomat, hit rough seas as he tried to sail to Lemnos through the Dardanelles as excepted from his book ‘Visits to the Monasteries in the Levant’ (1849) in Weatherwatch. It’s appropriate for the windstorm we’re experiencing at the moment, though thankfully it’s blown away any clouds and leaving a bright blue sky. I wonder if where the bay he mentioned might be, further up the straits or here near Guzelyali, where there is a wide bay?
Keeping with the literary theme, Poem of the Week featured ‘Hero and Leander’ by Christopher Marlowe. Hero was a young priestess from the Temple of Venus in Sestos, north of Eceabat on the European side of the Hellespont (see map), while Leander was a young man from Abydos, on the Asian side near present-day Canakkale. They meet, fall in love and Hero lights a lamp in her tower to guide Leander’s nightly swim across the straits. Once again a storm rises one winter night, blowing out the lamp and leaving Leander to the mercy of the straits. Hero on learning of his drowning throws herself from the tower. Marlowe’s telling is strong and imaginative, the sensuality in the Guardian extract is palpable.