I jo PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
among fallen columns and huge masses of masonry, where, in succession, palaces and forums
Roman temples, s, Byzantine basilicas, mosques, and mediaeval churches hav<
The foundation of the cathedral can be traced, and near to the edge of the low cliffs then
the remains of a church of the Crusading era, consisting of its three apses and four ma
buttresses, which stand erect and firm, though the walls they were intended to support fell long
(They are shown in the steel engraving.) 1 once spent an hour or two here quite alone,
while my fellow-travellers and our attendants were all wisely sleeping or resting, during the
mid-day hours of a midsummer clay, in a shady place by the seashore. I mounted the low cliff
and wandered among the ruins. Not a human being was visible, and I shall never forget the
impression which the solitude and silence and utter desolation of this place made upon me.
are a U-w cisterns, but only one shallow well of brackish water, within the walls; hut
the Roman city was evidently well supplied. There are traces of a low-level aqueduct, which
brought water from Nahr ez Zerka, and fragments remain of a high-level conduit, which
crossed the marshes <>n arches of fine masonry, and conveyed spring water from the main source
of the Zerka, in the distant hills.
On the sandy shore south of the mole (see page 108) I gathered beautiful pale yellow
poppies and prickly sea holly, and found some good specimens of white and yellow-tinted
opercular but no perfect shells, though the shore was strewn with broken ones. The Arabs
call these ruins Kaisertyeh, thus preserving the name of the city in its Greek form, KcuoipeuL.
From Caesarea we pursue our way southwards along the seashore, presently crossing the
bed of the Wad)' Mefjir (called by some writers Nahr Akhdar), and hastening onwards to .1
rocky point of land which forms a small harbour, where there is a rude landing place I
boats, called the Minet, or port, of Abu Zabura. It is near to the river Iskanderu:
(Alexander), to which il gives its more popular name of Nahr Abu Zabura (see map). This
r in the summer time has not sufficient force to reach the sea, but forms a shallow lake net
far from it.
At this point we leave the seashore and ascend the cliff of the broad sandstone ridge on
our left. The first village we come to is Mukhalid, standing near to the high road about
a mile from the cA^c of the cliffs, midway between the river Iskanderuneh and Nahr el balik
(see map). It is the centre of the melon-growing district. I was here once with my brother
at the commencement of the melon harvest. We approached this place at about half]
n one July morning. A lively picture of Arab life was before us. All along the r
between the road and the (^A^o (A~ the cliff, as far as we could see, north and south, there 1
- of various kinds iA' melons, and groups of duskv peasants in white shirts, with leathern
girdles and large white turbans, were busily engaged gathering them and building them up
in pyramids. Hundreds of camels were there too, some walking away well laden, Ott
kneeling patiently while their panniers were being filled with the bulky fruit. White tentt
were pitched here and there in the melon gardens: they were the tents of the tax-gatlv
who had come to claim the tribute of the melon harvest.