The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
A Picture of Tripoli
A Picture of Tripoli.
A sky of azure devoid of clouds, save on the far horizon where a filmy bank ot vapour makes gallant but futile efforts to combat the powerful rays of a warm late summer morning's sun, and is gradually merging into the blue immensity of the heavens. A wonderful panorama of land and sea. The countryside is thickly covered with trees and shrubs and gardens, and dotted with houses and villages, many of the former having roofs of bright red tiles which contrast pleasantly with their surroundings.
From our point of vantage, Tripoli itself cannot be seen, as the land drops away suddenly some two miles from the water's edge, thus hiding from view the township which nestles at the foot of, and clings to slopes of this natural terrace. El-Mina (the port) however, is plainly visible, lying on the farthermost point of a narrow neck of land. A passable harbourage is afforded by a number of narrow, low-lying sandbanks or minature islands. Two or three ships ride at anchorage, and fussy little tug" are towing lighters to and from shore.
Our eyes wander along the foreshore to the left, absorbing the beauties of Nature, from the comparatively clear and open land near the water's edge to the heavily-wooded hollows further inland. Olive trees reign supreme. Planted at regular intervals and in rows marvellously straight, thev cover highland and lowland, hill and dale.
Some three miles along, rising abruptly from the foreshore, and thus limiting the view in that direction, is a hill surmounted by a cluster of dwellings. This eminence is the head or termination of a low, irregular range which branches from the foothills of the Lebanon mountains behind. As the eye follows them back their peculiar formation is immediately noted, and becomes more marked further inland and the nearer they get to the parent range. Crest upon crest, they curl and roll away like giant sea waves whipped and tormented by a wind of enormous power, and appear finally to exhaust themselves upon the sides of the invincible heights from which they sprung. The mountains dominate the scene. The play of light and shade, from the golden yellow of the peaks and escarpments to the deep purples of the hollows, gladdens the eye and bewitches the senses. All the colours are in striking contrast to the perfect purity of the snowy summits, which sparkle and glisten in the sunlight, and seem filled with a spirit of gladness.
Mountain and lowland, sea and sky, hamlet and village and township, all go to the making of a picture of entrancing beauty. The breeze, not yet chilled bv the coming winter, is soft and warm and laden with the scent of the Mediterranean and sweet with the perfumes of shrubs and trees.