Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Friday 9th January 1942

Left Jerusalem and the YMCA this forenoon. Now we're at the Winter Palace, Jericho.

It is much warmer here. In Jerusalem one always felt a bit chilly or just on the edge of warmth, so that one longed for a snug fireplace (are there any in this Palestine?) This afternoon however we had tea in the garden, just as on a summer afternoon in England. and we sat long over our cups of brew (I with a tin of cigarettes at hand) and talked of the good days of the great peace before 1939.

Earlier we had made a survey of the land below the Shangri-la mountain. We left Jericho's greenery behind and climbed a dun coloured hill which had obscured our view of the base of the mountain. At our feet was yet another deliciously green little oasis – a terrifically peaceful, sheltered valley with the great mountain towering beyond it. Dotted about the green and brown of the valley were occasional small white houses, each one surrounded by bushes and trees – some looked like poplars. Here we were much nearer to the cliff buildings. Near enough to see blue shutters on their windows, near enough to hear a bell ringing. And we could see a track which zig-zagged up the hillside.

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