Category: LM6

Home / Category: LM6

The Easter Torch Part 8

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

The trap was ingeniously contrived: a long rope fastened round a block of wood; lengthwise, at the place where the sawn panel had dis-appeared, was a spring-ring which Leiba held open with his left hand, while at the same time his right hand held the other end taut. At the psychological moment he sprang the ring, and rapidly seizing the free end of the rope with both hands he pulled the whole arm inside by a supreme effort.

In a second the operation was complete. It was accompanied by two cries, one of despair, the other of triumph: the hand is “pinned to the spot.” Footsteps were heard retreating rapidly: Gheorghe’s companions were abandoning to Leiba the prey so cleverly caught.

The Jew hurried into the inn, took the lamp and with a decided movement turned up the wick as high as it would go: the light concealed by the metal receiver rose gay and victorious, restoring definite outlines to the nebulous forms around.

Zibal went into the passage with the lamp. The burglar groaned ter-ribly; it was obvious from the stiffening of his arm that he had given up the useless struggle. The hand was swollen, the fingers were curved as though they would seize something. The Jew placed the lamp near it—a shudder, the fever is returning. He moved the light quite close, until, trembling, he touched the burglar’s hand with the burning chimney; a violent convulsion of the fingers was followed by a dull groan. Leiba was startled at the sight of this phenomenon.

Strange exaltation

Leiba trembled—his eyes betrayed a strange exaltation. He burst into a shout of laughter which shook the empty corridor and resounded in the inn.

Day was breaking.

Sura woke up suddenly—in her sleep she seemed to hear a terrible moaning. Leiba was not in the room. All that had happened previously returned to her mind. Something terrible had taken place. She jumped out of bed and lighted the candle. Leiba’s bed had not been disturbed. He had not been to bed at all.

Where was he? The woman glanced out of the window; on the hill in front shone a little group of small bright lights, they flared and jumped, now they died away, now, once more, soared upwards. They told of the Resurrection. Sura undid the window; then she could hear groans from down by the door. Terrified, she hurried down the stairs. The corridor was lighted up. As she emerged through the doorway, the woman was astonished by a horrible sight.

Upon a wooden chair, his elbows on his knees, his beard in his hand sat Leiba. Like a scientist, who, by mixing various elements, hopes to surprise one of nature’s subtle secrets which has long escaped and worried him, Leiba kept his eyes fixed upon some hanging object, black and shapeless, under which, upon another chair of convenient height, there burnt a big torch. He watched, without turning a hair, the process of decomposition of the hand which most certainly would not have spared him. He did not hear the groans of the unhappy being outside: he was more interested, at present, in watching than in listening.

Sura gave a cry

He followed with eagerness each contortion, every strange convulsion of the fingers till one by one they became powerless. They were like the legs of a beetle which contract and stretch, waving in agitated movement, vigorously, then slower and slower until they lie paralyzed by the play of some cruel child.

It was over. The roasted hand swelled slowly and remained motionless. Sura gave a cry.

“Leiba!”

He made a sign to her not to disturb him. A greasy smell of burnt flesh pervaded the passage: a crackling and small explosions were heard.

“Leiba! What is it?” repeated the woman.

It was broad day. Sura stretched forward and withdrew the bar. The door opened outwards, dragging with it Gheorghe’s body, suspended by the right arm. A crowd of villagers, all carrying lighted torches, invaded the premises.

“What is it? What is it?”

They soon understood what had happened. Leiba, who up to now had remained motionless, rose gravely to his feet. He made room for himself to pass, quietly pushing the crowd to one side.

“How did it happen, Jew?” asked someone.

“Leiba Zibal,” said the innkeeper in a loud voice, and with a lofty gesture, “goes to Jassy to tell the Rabbi that Leiba Zibal is a Jew no onger. Leiba Zibal is a Christian—for Leiba Zibal has lighted a torch for Christ.”

And” the man moved slowly up the hill, towards the sunrise, like the prudent traveller who knows that the long journey is not achieved with hasty steps.

The Easter Torch Part 7

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

In a few moments, this same gimlet would cause the destruction of Leiba and his domestic hearth. The two executioners would hold the victim prostrate on the ground, and Gheorghe, with heel upon his body, would slowly bore the gimlet into the bone of the living breast as he had done into the dead wood, deeper and deeper, till it reached the heart, silencing its wild beatings and pinning it to the spot.

Leiba broke into a cold sweat; the man was overcome by his own imagination, and sank softly to his knees as though life were ebbing from him under the weight of this last horror, overwhelmed by the thought that he must abandon now all hope of saving himself.

“Yes! Pinned to the spot,” he said, despairingly. “Yes! Pinned to the spot.”

He stayed a moment, staring at the light by the window. For some moments he stood aghast, as though in some other world, then he repeated with quivering eyelids:

“Yes! Pinned to the spot.”

Prolonged crisis

Suddenly a strange change took place in him, a complete revulsion of feeling; he ceased to tremble, his despair disappeared, and his face, so discomposed by the prolonged crisis, assumed an air of strange serenity. He straightened himself with the decision of a strong and healthy man who makes for an easy goal.

The line between the two upper punctures of the panel was finished. Leiba went up, curious to see the working of the tool. His confidence became more pronounced. He nodded his head as though to say: “I still have time.”

The saw cut the last fiber near the hole towards which it was working, and began to saw between the lower holes.

Experience burglar

“There are still three,” thought Leiba, and with the caution of the most experienced burglar he softly entered the inn. He searched under the bar, picked up something, and. went out again as he entered, hiding the object he had in his hand as though he feared somehow the walls might betray him, and went back on tiptoe to the door.

Something terrible had happened; the work outside had ceased— there was nothing to be heard.

“What is the matter? Has he gone? What has happened?” flashed through the mind of the man inside. He bit his lower lip at such a thought, full of bitter disappointment.

“Ha, ha!” It was an imaginary deception; the work began again, and he followed it with the keenest interest, his heart beating fast. His decisioft was taken, he was tormented by an incredible desire to see the thing finished.

“Quicker!” he thought, with impatience. “Quicker!”

Again the sound of bells ringing on the hill.

“Hurry up, old fellow, the daylight will catch us!” said a voice outside, as though impelled by the will of the man within.

The work was pushed on rapidly. Only a few more movements and all the punctures in the panel would be united.

At last!

Gently the drill carried out the four-sided piece of wood. A large and supple hand was thrust in; but before it reached the bars it sought two screams were heard, while, with great force, Leiba enclosed it with the free end of the noose, which was round a block fixed to the cellar.

The Easter Torch Part 6

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

His throat was parched. He was thirsty. He washed a small glass in a three-legged tub by the side of the bar and tried to pour some good brandy out of a decanter; but the mouth of the decanter began to clink loudly on the edge of the glass. This noise was still more irritating. A second attempt, in spite of his effort to conquer his weakness, met with no greater success.

Then, giving up the idea of the glass, he let it fall gently into the water, and drank several times out of the decanter. After that he pushed the decanter back into its place; as it touched the shelf it made an alarming clatter. For a moment he waited, appalled by such a catastrophe. Then he took the lamp, and placed it in the niche of the window which lighted the passage: the door, the pavement, and the wall which ran at right angles to the passage, were illuminated by almost imperceptible streaks of light.

He seated himself near the doorway and listened intently.

From the hill came the sound of bells ringing in the Resurrection morning. It meant that midnight was past, day was approaching. Ah! If only the rest of this long night might pass as had the first half!

The sound of sand trodden underfoot! But he was sitting in the comer, and had not stirred; a second noise, followed by many such. There could be no doubt someone was outside, here, quite near. Leiba rose, pressing his hand to his heart, and trying to swallow a suspicious lump in his throat.

There were several people outside—and Gheorghe! Yes, he was there; yes, the bells on the hill had rung the Resurrection.

They spoke softly:

“I tell you he is asleep. I saw when the lights went out.”

“Good, we will take the whole nest.”

“I will undo the door, I understand how it works. We must cut an opening—the beam runs along here.”

Distance on wood

He seemed to feel the touch of the men outside as they measured the distance on the wood. A big gimlet could be heard boring its way through the dry bark of the old oak. Leiba felt the need of support; he steadied himself against the door with his left hand while he covered his eyes with the right.

Then, through some inexplicable play of the senses, he heard, from within, quite loud and clear:

“Leiba! Here comes the coach.”

It was surely Sura’s voice. A warm ray of hope! A moment of joy! It was just another dream! But Leiba drew his left hand quickly back; the point of the tool, piercing the wood at that spot, had pricked the palm of his hand.

Was there any chance of escape? Absurd! In his burning brain the image of the gimlet took inconceivable dimensions. The instrument, turning continually, grew indefinitely, and the opening became larger and larger, large enough at last to enable the monster to step through the round aperture without having to bend. All that surged through such a brain transcends the thoughts of man; life rose to such a pitch of exaltation that everything seen, heard, felt, appeared to be enormous, the sense of proportion became chaotic.

The work outside was continued with method and perseverance. Four times in succession Leiba had seen the sharp steel tooth pierce through to his side and draw back again.

“Now, give me the saw,” said Gheorghe.

The narrow end of a saw appeared through the first hole, and started to work with quick, regular movements. The plan was easy to understand ; four holes in four corners of one panel; the saw made cuts between them; the gimlet was driven well home in the center of the panel, when the piece became totally separated from the main body of the wood it was pulled out; through the opening thus made a strong hand inserted itself, seized the bar, pushed it to one side and—Gentiles are in Leiba’s house.

The Easter Torch Part 5

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

Then he had passed under the portico, and had listened at the top of the stone steps by the door which was secured with a bar of wood. He shook so that he could scarcely stand, but he would not rest. The most distressing thing of all was that he had answered Sura’s persistent questions sharply, and had sent her to bed, ordering her to put out the light at once. She had protested meanwhile, but the man had repeated the order curtly enough, and she had had unwillingly to submit, resigning herself to postponing to a later date any explanation of his conduct.

Sura had put out the lamp, had gone to bed, and now slept by the side of Strul.

The woman was right. Leiba was really ill.

Night had fallen. For a long time Leiba had been sitting, listening by the doorway which gave on to the passage.

What is that?

Indistinct sounds came from the distance—horses trotting, the noise of heavy blows, mysterious and agitated conversations. The effort of listening intently in the solitude of the night sharpens the sense of hearing; when the eye is disarmed and powerless, the ear seems to struggle to assert its power.

Approaching horses

But it was not imagination. From the road leading hither from the main road came the sound of approaching horses. Leiba rose, and tried to get nearer to the big door in the passage. The door was firmly shut by a heavy bar of wood across it, the ends of which ran into holes in the wall. At his first step the sand scrunching under his slippers made an indiscreet noise. He drew his feet from his slippers, and waited in the corner. Then, without a sound that could be heard by an unexpectant ear, he went to the door in the corridor, just as the riders passed in front of it at walking pace. They were speaking very low to each other, but not so low but that Leiba could quite well catch these words:

“He has gone to bed early.”

“Supposing he has gone away?”

“His turn will come; but I should have liked”

No more was intelligible; the men were already some distance away. To whom did these words refer? Who had gone to bed or gone away?

Whose turn would come another time? Who would have liked something? And what was it he wanted? What did they want on that byroad—a road only used by anyone wishing to find the inn?

An overwhelming sense of fatigue seemed to overcome Leiba.

Could it be Gheorghe?

Leiba felt as if his strength was giving way, and he sat down by the door. Eager thoughts chased each other through his head, he could not think clearly or come to any decision.

Terrified, he reentered the inn, struck a match, and lighted a small petroleum lamp.

It was an apology for a light; the wick was turned so low as to conceal the flame in the brass receiver; only by means of the opening round the receiver could some of the vertical shafts of light penetrate into a gloom that was like the darkness of death—all the same it was sufficient to enable him to see well into the familiar corners of the ipn- Ah! How much less is the difference between the sun and the tiniest spark of light than between the latter and the gloom of blindness.

The clock on the wall ticked audibly. The monotonous sound irritated Leiba. He put his hand over the swinging pendulum, and stayed its movement.

The Easter Torch Part 4

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

What followed must have undoubtedly filled the driver with respect. The young passengers were two students, one of philosophy, the other of medicine; they were returning to amuse themselves in their native town. They embarked upon a violent academic discussion upon crime and its causes, and, to give him his due, the medical student was better informed than the philosopher.

Atavism; alcoholism and its pathological consequences; defective birth; deformity; Paludism; then nervous disorders! Such and such conquest of modern science—but the case of reversion to type! Darwin, Hackel, Lombroso. At the case of reversion to type, the driver opened wide his eyes in which shone a profound admiration for the conquests of modern science.

Criminal proper


“It is obvious,” added the medical student. “The so-called criminal proper, taken as a type, has unusually long arms, and very short feet, a flat and narrow forehead, and a much developed occiput. To the experienced eye his face is characteristically coarse and bestial; he is rudimentary man: he is, as I say, a beast which has but lately got used to standing on its hind legs only, and to raising its head towards the sky, towards the light.”

At the age of twenty, after so much excitement, and after a good repast with wine so well vinted and so well matured as Leiba’s, a phrase with a lyrical touch came well even from a medical student.

Between his studies of Darwin and Lombroso, the enthusiastic youth had found time to imbibe a little Schopenhauer—“towards the sky, to-wards the light!”

Leiba was far from understanding these “illuminating” ideas. Perhaps for the first time did such grand words and fine subtleties of thought find expression in the damp atmosphere of Podeni. But that which he understood better than anything, much better even, than the speaker, was the striking illustration of the theory: the case of reversion to type he knew in flesh and blood, it was the portrait of Gheorghe. This portrait, which had just been drawn in broad outline only, he could fill in perfectly in his own mind, down to the most minute details.

The coach had gone. Leiba followed it with his eyes until, turning to the left, it was lost to sight round the hill. The sun was setting behind the ridge to the west, and the twilight began to weave soft shapes in the Podeni valley.

Gloomy innkeeper

The gloomy innkeeper began to turn over in his mind all that he had heard. In the dead of night, lost in the darkness, a man, two women and two young children, torn without warning from the gentle arms of sleep by the hands of beasts with human faces, and sacrificed one after the other, the agonized cries of the children cut short by the dagger ripping open their bodies, the neck slashed with a hatchet, the dull rattle in the throat with each gush of blood through the wound; and the last victim, half-distraught, in a corner, witness of the scene, and awaiting his turn. A condition far worse than execution was that of the Jew without protection in the hands of the Gentile—skulls too fragile for such fierce hands as those of the madman just now.

Leiba’s lips, parched with fever, trembled as they mechanically followed his thoughts. A violent shivering fit seized him; he entered the porch of the inn with tottering steps.

“There is no doubt,” thought Sura, “Leiba is not at all well, he is really ill; Leiba has got ‘ideas’ into his head. Is not that easy to understand after all he has been doing these last days, and especially after what he has done to-day?”

He had had the inn closed before the lights were lit, to remain so until the Sabbath was ended. Three times had some customers knocked at the door, calling to him, in familiar voices, to undo it. He had trembled at each knock and had stood still, whispering softly and with terrified eyes:

“Do not move—I want no Gentiles here.”

The Easter Torch Part 3

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

On the main road there was a good deal of traffic, an unceasing noise of wheels accompanied by -the rhythmic sound of horses’ hoofs trotting upon the smooth asphalt.

But suddenly the traffic stopped, and from Copou a group of people could be seen approaching, gesticulating and shouting excitedly.

The crowd appeared to be escorting somebody: soldiers, a guard and various members of the public. Curious onlookers appeared at every door of the inn.

“Ah,” thought Leiba, “they have laid hands on a thief.”

The procession drew nearer. Sura detached herself from the others, and joined Leiba on the steps of the inn.

“What is it, Sura?” he asked.

“A madman escaped from Golia.”

“Let us close the inn so that he cannot get at us.”

“He is bound now, but a while ago he escaped. He fought with all the soldiers. A rough Gentile in the crowd pushed a Jew against the madman and he bit him on the cheek.”

Leiba could see well from the steps; from the stair below Sura watched with the child in her arms.

It was, in fact, a violent lunatic held on either side by two men: his wrists were tightly bound over each other by a thick cord. He was a man of gigantic stature with a head like a bull, thick black hair, and hard, grizzled beard and whiskers. Through his shirt, which had been torn in the struggle, his broad chest was visible, covered, like his head, with a mass of hair. His feet were bare; his mouth was full of blood, and he continually spat out hair which he had bitten from the Jew’s back.

Fierce glance rest

Every one stood still. Why? The guards unbound the lunatic’s hands. The crowd drew to one side, leaving a large space around him. The mad-man looked about him, and his fierce glance rested upon Zibal’s doorway; he gnashed his teeth, made a dash for the three steps, and in a flash, seizing the child’s head in his right hand and Sura’s in his left, he knocked them together with such force that they cracked like so many fresh eggs. A sound was heard, a scrunching impossible to describe, as the two skulls cracked together.

Leiba, with bursting heart, like a man who falls from an immense height, tried to cry out: “The whole world abandons me to the tender mercies of a madman!” But his voice refused to obey him.

“Get up, Jew!” cried someone, beating loudly upon the table with a stick.

“It’s a bad joke!” said Sura from the doorway of the inn, “thus to frighten the man out of his sleep, you stupid peasant!”

“What has scared you, Jew?” asked the wag, laughing. “You sleep in the afternoon, eh? Get up, customers are coming, the mail coach is arriving.”

And, according to his silly habit which greatly irritated the Jew, he tried to take his arm and tickle him.

“Let me alone!” cried the innkeeper, drawing back and pushing him away with all his might. “Can you not see that I am ill? Leave me in peace.”

The coach arrived at last, nearly three hours late. There were two passengers who seated themselves together with the driver, whom they had invited to share their table.

The conversation of the travellers threw a light upon recent events. At the highest posting station, a robbery with murder had been committed during the night in the inn of a Jew. The murdered innkeeper should have provided a change of horses. The thieves had taken them, and while other horses were being found in the village the curious travellers could examine the scene of the crime at their leisure. Five victims! But the details! From just seeing the ruined house one could believe it to have been some cruel vendetta or the work of some religious fanatic. In stories of sectarian fanaticism one heard occasionally of such extravagant crimes.

Leiba shook with a violent access of fever and listened aghast.

The Easter Torch Part 2

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

Leiba went to the town hall, then to the sub-prefecture to denounce the threatener, begging that he might be watched. The sub-prefect was a lively young man; he first accepted Leiba’s humble offering, then he began to laugh at the timid Jew, and make fun of him. Leiba tried hard to make him realize the gravity of the situation and pointed out how isolated the house stood from the village, and even from the high road. But the sub-prefect, with a more serious air, advised him to be prudent; he must not mention such things, for, truly, it would arouse the desire to do them in a village where men were rough and poor, ready to break the law.

A few days later an official with two riders came to see him about Gheorghe; he was “wanted” for some crime.

If only Leiba had been able to put up with him until the arrival of these men! In the meanwhile, no one knew the whereabouts of Gheorghe. Although this had happened some time ago, Gheorghe’s appearance, the movement as though he would have drawn something from his breast, and the threatening words had all remained deeply impressed upon the mind of the terror-stricken man. How was it that that memory remained so clear?

It was Easter Eve.

From the top of the hill, from the village lying among the lakes about two miles away, came the sound of church bells. One hears in a strange way when one is feverish, now so loud, now so far away. The coming night was the night before Easter, the night of the fulfilment of Gheorghe’s promise.

“But perhaps they have caught him by now!”

Good business

Moreover, Zibal only means to stay at Podeni till next quarter-day. With his capital he could open a good business in Jassy. In a town, Leiba would regain his health, he would go near the police station— he could treat the police, the commissionaires, the sergeants. Who pays well gets well guarded.

In a large village, the night brings noise and light, not darkness and silence as in the isolated valley of Podeni. There is an inn in Jassy— there in the corner, just the place for a shop! An inn where girls sing all night long, a Cafe Chantant. What a gay and rousing life! There, at all hours of the day and night, officials and their girls, and other dirty Christians will need entertainment.

What is the use of bothering oneself here where business keeps falling off, especially since the coming of the railway which only skirts the marshes at some distance?

“Leiba,” calls Sura from within, “the coach is coming, one can hear the bells.”

Wooded hills

The Podeni valley is a ravine enclosed on all sides by wooded hills. In a hollow towards the south lie several deep pools caused by the springs which rise in the hills; above them lie some stretches of ground covered with bushes and rushes. Leiba’s hotel stands in the center of the valley, between the pools and the more elevated ground to the north; it is an old stone building, strong as a small fortress: although the ground is marshy, the walls and cellars are very dry.

At Sura’s voice Leiba raises himself painfully from his chair, stretching his tired limbs; he takes a long look towards the east; not a sign of the diligence.

“It is not coming; you imagined it,” he replied to his wife, and sat down again.

Very tired, the man crossed his arms on the table, and laid his head upon them, for it was burning. The warmth of the spring sun began to strike the surface of the marshes and a pleasant lassitude enveloped his nerves, and his thoughts began to run riot as a sick man’s will, gradually taking on strange forms and colors.

Gheorghe—Easter Eve—burglars—Jassy—the inn in the center of the town—a gay restaurant doing well—restored health.

And he dozed.

Sura and the child went without a great deal up here.

Leiba went to the door of the inn and looked out on to the road.

The Easter Torch Part 1

12/02/2019 | LM6 | No Comments

Ion Luca Caragiale (1852 ?—1912)

Caragiale first came to the attention of his country’s readers through the pages of Convorbiri Literare, a] literary periodical to which he contributed several short stories. Maiorescu, Roumania’s most distinguished critic, became at once interested in this new author, and under his influence, Caragiale quickly assumed a place of importance among the writers of his country. Prof. S. Mehedintzi, in a preface to Roumanian Stories, writes: “Caragiale, our most noted dramatic author, is … a man of culture, literary and artistic in the highest sense of the word. The Easter Torch ranks him high among the great short-story writers.”

This story, translated by Lucy Byng, appeared in Roumanian Stories, published in 1921 by John Lane, by whose permission, and that of the translator, it is here reprinted.

The Easter Torch

Leiba Zibal, mine host of Podeni, was sitting, lost in thought, fey a table placed in the shadow in front of the inn; he was awaiting the arrival of the coach which should have come some time ago; it was already an hour behind time.

The story of Zibal’s life is a long and cheerless one: when he is taken with one of his feverish attacks it is a diversion for him to analyze one by one the most important events in that life.

Huckster, seller of hardware, jobber, between whiles even rougher work perhaps, seller of old clothes, then tailor, and bootblack in a dingy alley in Jassy; all this had happened to him since the accident whereby he lost his situation as office boy in a big wine-shop. Two porters were carrying a barrel down to a cellar under the supervision of the lad Zibal. A difference arose between them as to the division of their earnings. One of them seized a piece of wood that lay at hand and struck his comrade on the forehead, who fell to the ground covered in blood. At the sight of the wild deed the boy gave a cry of alarm, but the wretch hurried through the yard, and in passing gave the lad a blow. Zibal fell to the ground fainting with fear. After several months in bed he returned to his master, only to find his place filled up. Then began a hard struggle for existence, which increased in difficulty after his marriage with Sura. Their hard lot was borne with patience. Sura’s brother, the innkeeper of Podeni, died; the inn passed into Zibal’s hands, and he carried on the business on his own account.

Here he had been for the last five years. He had saved a good bit of money and collected good wine—a commodity that will always be worth good money. Leiba had escaped from poverty, but they were all three sickly, himself, his wife, and his child, all victims of malaria, and men are rough and quarrelsome in Podeni—slanderous, scoffers, revilers, accused of vitriol throwing. And the threats! A threat is very terrible to a character that bends easily beneath every blow. The thought of a threat worked more upon Leiba’s nerves than did his attacks of fever.

“Oh, wretched Gentile!” he thought, sighing.

This “wretched” referred to Gheorghe—wherever he might he!— a man between whom and himself a most unpleasant affair had arisen.

Gheorghe came to the inn one autumn morning, tired with his walk; he was just out of hospital—so he said—and was looking for work. The innkeeper took him into his service. But Gheorghe showed himself to be a brutal and a sullen man. He swore continually, and muttered to himself alone in the yard. He was a bad servant, lazy and insolent, and he stole. He threatened his mistress one day when she was pregnant, cursing her, and striking her on the stomach. Another time he set a dog on little Strul.

Asserted with violence

Leiba paid him his wages at once, and dismissed him. But Gheorghe would not go: he asserted with violence that he had been engaged for a year. Then the innkeeper sent to the town hall to get guards to remove him.

Gheorghe put his hand swiftly to his breast, crying:

“Jew!” and began to rail at his master. Unfortunately a cart full of customers arrived at that moment. Gheorghe began to grin, saying: “What frightened you, Master Leiba? Look, I am going now.” Then bending fiercely over the bar towards Leiba, who drew back as far as possible, he whispered: “Expect me on Easter Eve; we’ll crack red eggs together, Jew! You will know then what I have done to you, and T will answer for it.”

Just then, customers entered the inn.

“May we meet in good health at Easter, Master Leiba!” added Gheorghe as he left.

kazanlak, kazanlak lavender field, holidays to bulgaria, bulgaria holidays to, to holidays bulgaria, lavender garden, lavender kazanlak, kazanlak lavender garden, private tour kazanlak

Holidays Bulgaria – Kazanlak – the town of the most beautiful among women, the rose…

There is something in Kazanlak, which is not only the beautiful nature and the fascinating women. There is something which is in the air, something which is soaked in the soil… Something that explains the specific atmosphere and flavour Kazanlak has. Atmosphere of a place where time stands still but life doesn’t; where one can feel peaceful, calm and safe. And the flavour of the rose, the unique rose.

The Valley of Roses and the Valley of the Thracian Kings both symbolize Kazanlak. Kazanlak is located at the foot of Stara Planina Mountain (Old Mountain), in central Bulgaria. A small, picturesque town of around 70 000 people. It is 194 km away from Sofia (Sofia day trips), the capital of Bulgaria. A place, good enough to be the start of your holidays Bulgaria.

Visit Bulgaria and the Valley of Roses

visit kazanlak rose garden, holidays to bulgaria, to bulgaria holidays, bulgaria holidays to, kazanlak valley of roses, thracian kings, kazanlak

Visit Bulgaria and Kazanlak. Learn about the most beautiful among women, the rose. And how it found its place here in that valley.

The Valley of Roses – because of the Rosa Damascena. The same rose that finds the conditions in Kazanlak (like high humidity, suitable temperature and sandy soil) to be more favourable for the cultivation of the rose than the ones in its own country of origin, Tunisia. The legend has it that somebody brought the rose to Thrace from the region of the town Kashan in Persia through Syria and Damascus. Bulgarian scientists presume that a Turkish judge (customized Istanbul tours) introduced the cultivation of the roses to the region round Kazanlak. The judge had beautiful vast gardens planted with fragrant roses. Whatever the truth is, the fact is that the Bulgarian rose oil soon made a name for its superior quality.

Kazanlak Damask Rose

The greatest treasure of the region of Kazanlak – the rose, became one of the nation’s symbols. That is why at the beginning of the 19th century this rose got its new name, the Kazanlak Damask rose. And the valley to the south of the Central Balkans people now know as the Valley of the Roses. Along with the production of rose oil, a leading role in the economic development of the region was commerce related to the roses. In 1740 Bulgaria for the first time exports rose oil for France. The first official records of rose oil exports refer to trade with Germany and Austro-Hungary beginning in 1771.

Be a Bulgaria tourist and enjoy the Festival of the Rose

Since 1903, here in this Valley, we have been celebrating the flowers and especially the main and most beautiful flower – the rose. First, people used to celebrate the Festival of the Rose as the Festival of the Flowers but until the present day all Kazanlak people and its thousands of guests have been celebrating it as the Festival of the Unique Rose. Among Bulgaria tourist attractions, Kazanlak is a unique place because there is beauty and life there.

holidays to bulgaria, kazanlak, private kazanlak tour bulgaria, kazanlak etnografic complex, kazanlak etnografic, kazanlak in bulgaria

What are the things to do in Bulgaria, in Kazanlak? Visitors of the town can see exhibits of original photographs and documents. They show the cultivation of roses during the Bulgarian Age of Awakening (18th -19th centuries). And also in the 20th century, in the local Museum of the Rose, founded in 1984. Tools used to cultivate the rose gardens are on display. Vessels to store and transport rose oil and rosewater are on display as well. Visitors to Kazanlak can learn more about the region’s rose cultivation at the Kulata Ethnographic Complex.

Holidays Bulgaria in the Valley of Thracian Kings

I am sure you remember when I mentioned that Kazanlak is known not only as the Rose Valley, but the Valley of the Thracian Kings. Many Thracian tombs are found in the area – the Big Kosmatka Tomb, the Big Arsenalka Tomb, Ostrusha Tomb…

kazanlak reproduction, thracian tomb, holidays to bulgaria, to bulgaria holidays, bulgaria holidays to, kazanlak valley of roses, thracian kings, kazanlak

Here ruins of the Thracian capital Seuthopolis, have been found. The tradition was that the capitals got their names after their founder and ruler – Seuthes III. The Big Kosmatka Tomb is supposed to be the place where Seuthes III was buried. This is one of the most impressive tombs, not only because of its size but because of the fact that it hadn’t been looted.

Golyamata Kosmatka

It dates back from the 5th century BC. The temple was buried under the 20-metre (66 ft.) high “Golyamata Kosmatka” mound. “This is probably the richest tomb of a Thracian king ever discovered in Bulgaria. Its style and its making are entirely new to us as experts,” said Georgi Kitov, the head of the team of archaeologists that found the tomb. Serving also as a symbolic tomb of Seuthes III, it contained an enormous treasure, exhibited now in the Iskra Museum and Art Gallery. Archaeologists discovered more than 70 silver, gold and bronze objects during the excavation. People used them as ritual offering to the gods. The temple was used between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC, when a symbolic burial ceremony of Seuthes III took place. After the symbolic burial ceremony, the temple was closed and the entrance sealed and buried.

This article is copied from www.enmarbg.com. For more information, you can click on holidays Bulgaria.

Going Koptos

25/09/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

“And when he came from the temple he told me all that had happened to him. And he said: ‘I shall go to Koptos, for I must fetch this book; I will not stay any longer in the north.’ And I said, ‘Let me dissuade you, for you prepare sorrow and you will bring me into trouble in the Thebaid.’ And I laid my hand on Na.nefer.ka.ptah, to keep him from going to Koptos, but he would not listen to me; and he went to the King, and told the King all that the priest had said.

The King asked him, what it that you want is?’ and he replied, ‘Let them give me the royal boat with its belongings, for I will go to the south with Ahura and her little boy Merab, and fetch this book without delay.’ Therefore, they gave him the royal boat with its belongings, and we went with him to the haven, and sailed from there up to Koptos.

Koptos and Harpokrates

Then the priests of Isis of Koptos, and the high priest of Isis, came down to us without waiting, to meet Na.nefer.ka.ptah, and their wives also came to me. We went into the temple of Isis and Harpokrates; and Na.nefer.ka.ptah brought an ox, a goose, and some wine, and made a burnt offering and a drink offering before Isis of Koptos and Harpokrates. They brought us to a very fine house, with all good things; and Na.nefer.ka.ptah spent four days there and feasted with the priests of Isis °f Koptos, and the wives of the priests of Isis made holiday with me.

In addition, the morning of the fifth day came; and Na.nefer.ka.ptah called a priest to him, and made a magic cabin that was full of men and tackle. He put the spell upon it, put life in it, gave them breath, and sank it in the water. He filled the royal boat with sand, took leave of me, and sailed from the haven: and I sat by the river at Koptos that I might see what would become of him. And he said, Workmen, work for me, even at the place where the book is.’ In addition, they toiled by night and by day; and when they had reached it in three days, he threw the sand out, and made a shoal in the river.

And then he found on it entwined serpents and scorpions and all kinds of crawling things around the box in which the book was; and by it he found a deathless snake around the box. And he laid the spell upon the entwined serpents and scorpions and all kinds of crawling things, which were around the box, that they should not come out. And he went to the deathless snake, and fought with him, and killed him; but he came to life again, and took a new form. He then fought again with him a second time; but he came to life again, and took a third form.

Egyptian short story

24/09/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

Anonymous: about 1400 B.C.

The manuscript of this story was found during the Nineteenth Century in the tomb of a Coptic monk. Nothing is known of the author, but it is assumed that he lived not long after the time of the probable origin of the Egyptian short story. Setna and the Magic Book is one of those wonder tales that have from time immemorial evoked the admiration of the world, and particularly of the Orientals.

Whether or not the Egyptians actually believed all they were told in a fairy tale is an idle conjecture: but it seems probable that the strange happenings described in this story were accepted by many. Even the present age of science has not entirely banished a belief in magic: some of the finest of modern tales are based upon an ineradicable belief in the supernal oral.

Senta and the Macig Book

The mighty King User-maat.ra (Rameses the Great) had a son named Setna Kha.em.uast who was a great scribe, and very learned in all the ancient writings. And he heard that the magic book of Thoth, by which a man may enchant heaven and earth, and know the language of all birds and beasts, was buried in the cemetery of Memphis. And he went to search for it with his brother An.he.hor.eru; and when they found the tomb of the King’s son, Na.nefer.ka.ptah, son of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mer.neb.ptah, Setna opened it and went in.

Now in the tomb was Na.nefer.ka.ptah, and with him was the ka of his wife Ahura; for though she was buried at Koptos, her kadwelt at Memphis with her husband, whom she loved. And Setna saw them seated before their offerings, and the book lay between them.

And Na.nefer.ka.ptah said to Setna, “Who are you that break into my tomb in this way?” He said, “I am Setna, son of the great King User.- maat.ra, living forever, and I come for that book which I see between you.” And Na.nefer.ka.ptah said, “It cannot be given to you.” Then said Setna, “But I will carry it away by force.”

Then Ahura said to Setna, “Do not take this book; for it will bring trouble on you, as it has upon us. Listen to what we have suffered for it.”

Turkey Women National Volleyball Team

24/09/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

Your successes as the Turkey Women’s National Volleyball Team in Europe made all of us proud. You especially were the best in receptions. What is the source of this success?

Turkey Women’s National Volleyball Team players have been playing together for a long time. When you look at it, there are very young players too but most of us are experienced players. Throughout our sports careers we all played in very high-level games and now we are able to shake off that stress and nervousness of big games. Of course, we can also say that our team is successful because it is an ambitious and energetic team.

You got married last year. Congratulations. What is the role of your family in your achievements?

Thank to my dear husband Onur

Thank you. I always say; I believe that my marriage brings me luck. My husband Onur Sonsirma is indeed my biggest supporter, he has always been by my side in tough times and good times too. If I achieved something, if I am mentioned when volleyball in Turkey is in question, both my husband and my family have great share in this. I was badly injured in 2008 but they never gave up hopes on me, always encouraged. Through this opportunity, I want to thank my dear husband Onur, my mom and dad, all my family.

What plans do you have other than volleyball?

I am not planning to do anything related to volleyball in the future; all I want is to be a mother after quitting!

How would you evaluate Turkey’s position regarding volleyball?

In Turkey, the most successful team sport is definitely volleyball. But unfortunately, I cannot say that we are appreciated decently. When a football team of our country ranked third in Europe, it was the biggest deal but when a similar thing happens in volleyball, we cannot observe such an effect. We keep saying ‘More successful we are, more support will there be’ but sadly we haven’t seen that yet.

What would you suggest to younger volleyball players who take you as an example?

Whatever you are doing, do it with love. When you do not, then it helps neither you nor others. Therefore, I suggest them to live in love, will and working hard, also to improve themselves at every turn.

Topmost flower

26/08/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

And the youth went to the valley of the acacia; and his elder brother went unto his house; his hand was laid on his head, and he cast dust on his head; he came to his house, and he slew his wife, he cast her to the dogs, and he sat in mourning for his younger brother.

Now many days after these things, the younger brother was in the valley of the acacia; there was none with him; he spent his time in hunting the beasts of the desert, and he came back in the even to lie down under the acacia, which bore his soul upon the topmost flower. And after this he built himself a tower with his own hands, in the valley of the acacia; it was full of all good things that he might provide for himself a home.

Seven lathors

And he went out from his tower, and he met the Nine Gods, who were walking forth to look upon the whole land. The Nine Gods talked one with another, and they said unto him: “Ho! Bata, bull of the Nine Gods, art thou remaining alone? Thou hast left thy village for the wife of Anpu, thy elder brother. Behold his wife is slain. Thou hast given him an answer to all that was transgressed against thee.” And their hearts were vexed for him exceedingly.

And Ra Harakhti said to Khnumu, “Behold, frame thou a woman for Bata, that he may not remain alive alone.” And Khnumu made for him a mate to dwell with him. She was more beautiful in her limbs than any woman who is in live whole land. The essence of every god was in her. The seven lathors came to see her: they said with one mouth, “She will die n sharp death.”

And Bata loved her very exceedingly, and she dwelt in his house; he passed his time in hunting the beasts of the desert, and brought and laid them before her. He said: “Go not outside, lest the sea seize thee; for I cannot rescue thee from it, for I am a woman like thee; my soul is placed on the head of the flower of the acacia; and if another find it, I must fight with him.” And he opened unto her his heart in all its nature.

Windmills in Turkey

21/03/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

Only the breeziest of hills become home to windmills, where grains are ground into flour. When the winds rouse enough might to turn their large wheels, the crushing stone begins to do its work.

Some of the windmills are struggling to resist the disruptive means of time.


Morsels of grain, now turned into fine powders, replenish markets and tables alike. Though Anatolia’s tradition of many a century has been replaced by more contemporary processes, windmills still firmly exist all around Turkey. Let us go where the wind takes us…

ON WINDY HILLS

By far, the Bodrum peninsula houses the highest number of windmills in Turkey. Nearly all villages connected to the county have remnants of the abandoned ground-grain tradition. About eighty windmills, the oldest being nearly four hundred years old, reside on the various windy peaks of the peninsula.

The mills sitting atop Gumusluk bay resemble lions with their tails cut off — grand yet solemn. Their blades are broken, draped in pieces of torn cloth, while their interiors are in ruin. In Gumbet village, the roofs as well as the blades of many mills have disappeared completely. One gets the feeling that those beautiful cylindrical bodies will crumble at any moment. Where once they created a formation resembling a string of pearls gracing the land, some of them now serve as barns, others as storage for hay. Is it not ironic that nearly all touristic Bodrum market souvenirs feature grander semblances of these actually shattered monuments?

Windmill Museum in Yalikavak

Only the Windmill Museum in Yalikavak can help us reimagine their full, original charms. As Yalikavak’s symbol, the windmill housing the museum was repaired and put into use again as a touristic cafe by a private business owner. The pleasure of sipping tea in the shade of this old windmill, at the peak of a breezy hill, is hard to match, especially in the dead heat of summer. The picture need not be so melancholic though – help is on the way for the turn mills. The Bodrum Peninsula Promotion Foundation is currently dedicating its efforts to the restoration of all the mills in the country as well as their integration to cultural tourism.

This article is published for enmarbg. For more interesting information about tours Bulgaria, please visit tours Bulgaria .

Tips From The Artists

20/03/2017 | LM6 | No Comments

With all the exhibitions opening nowadays, Istanbul is becoming a veritable art city’. Catching alt of them is out of the question. If you’d like to be guided by tips from the artist as you tour the major ones, just keep on reading!

“I Chose Art”

When asked what means one can use for political action, German artist Joseph Beuys replied, “I chose art. ’’Now, an exhibition, ‘Joseph Beuys and His Students’, at the Sakip Sabana Museum (SSM) explains a lot. You have to take time to read all the panels if you want to understand… Accompanying Beuys in the exhibition, which brings together close to 350 drawings, photographs and prints, are his students, Peter Angermann, Lothar Baumgarten, Walter Dahn, Felix Droese, Imi Giese, Imi Knoebel, Katharina Sieverding and Norbert Tadeusz. Through 1 November.

“This Is Not A Retrospective!”

‘Site’ is not a retrospective even though it covers Sarkis’s 50-year career as an artist. The artist is royally annoyed if anybody says this. Hallmark of the exhibition, curated by Levent Qalikoglu, Chief Curator of Istanbul Modern, are materials that are open-ended, multi-layered and stubbornly unfinished… as well as Sarkis’s constantly re-created installations, works he has saved up and breathed life into over the years, the costumes, the sculptures, the stained glass and the neons… Head for Istanbul Modem to see this exhibition, which the artist is continuously renewing. Through 10 October.