The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
A Walk in Macedonia
A Walk in Macedonia.
Through the morning mist we walked briskly to gain warmth, and climbed a hill close to the hospital. We stood on a sunlit isle, set in a sea o! vapour white as a heror's breast, but where sunbeams fell, flu-hed with purple and gold.! The mist heaved like tbe ocean itself and filled all the valleys with foam. Far off gleamed, the peak of Olympus, proudly rising above the mist and shrouded lesser peaks.
Bathed in sunlight, we sat on our own little hill top, above the busy way of men,; it was like being in a quiet room whose windows opened or peace and b-auty. A restful hour, then we came. from on high and v andered down the road. The mist had lifted and we saw familiar sights: motor transport wagons, ambulance vans, mule teams drawing guns, old-fashioned carts, overladen donkeys, a motley throng of people in (to us) outlandish costumes, and soldiers of several nationalities, pas-ed to and fro along the main road to the hills and the many canvas-covered colonies scattered over the undulating country.
Turning towards the city, we were soon walk-ing over cobbles through a jostling crowd from which arose a bable of cries; some proclaimed the merits of their wares, others talked, laughed or wrangled, while the vehicular traffic on the hard cobbles, and the jangling bells of horses and donkeys, added to the din. Here sat a row of little bootblacks, close by were bearded men, sallow-faced lads with trays of hot, greasy pastry, vendors of figs, dates and nut3, a sausage merchant, his wares rolled on long bars over a brazier, and men with trays of bright-coloured sweets and almond-rock. Further on were street stalls, some on wooden stands others simply cloths on the ground, displaying laces, pins, pipes and so forth, also "souvenirs of Salonique", such as aluminium rings, wooden crosses, old bells "antique" brasswork, and pieces of silk and satin with pictures and words worked on them in gaudy colours.
French soldiers, in attractive blue uniforms elbowed their way. along the street, past long-gowned Jewish women wearing green headdresses, and poorly-clad Greek girls, while Greek priests, in flowing black gowns and high caps Serbs and Italians jostled each other on the roadway. Turkish women with faces veiled French girls in modern Western dress, and nursing sisters of the same nation, clad in dark cloaks, added to the throng, Britain and Australia were represented by sisters in grey and V.A.D.'s in navy blue.
The sky was cloudless, everything gleamed with light and warmth, and turning homewards we faced again the long, white road leading across gently undulating country which rises to a line of hills, near enough to show details of crag and cleft yet at a distance which made their chasms deep blue. Hills and sunshine and golden air all spoke of peace, but rows.of peaked, mud-stained tents would not let us forget that war had brought us to this land of wonders and" tragedies.