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[Page 81]

Sunday 23rd November
Mountainous Country (Balkans) and rapid rivers for final run to Sofia. Train running four hours late. Arrived at Sofia at 2.30pm. Car from British Military Mission met us and took us to the Legation where we are to stay. Gen Baird who is in charge of the British Mission is absent in London. The General's chief assistant is Major Neate RFA. He was for some time on Gen Chauvel's staff in Palestine and is looking after us well. Sr [indecipherable] Lamb also present and other officers. Servants are employed who are Russians and had been prisoners for some time. They gave us some nice orchestral music during and after dinner. Arranged to continue journey tomorrow to Constantinople, also for food for our journey. Sofia a modern town with some good buildings. The British Legation buildings are very good indeed. I had a most interesting talk with Major Neate re Balkan states generally and their future. He also showed me copies of some most interesting reports sent by his General to the War Office.

Monday 24th November
At 7.15 am caught train for Constantinople. Sleeping accommodation secured for us by British Mission Staff and also necessary provisions for the journey. Country snow clad everywhere. Rising sun on mountain tops as we left. Sofia very beautiful indeed. Mountainous country for some distance (Balkan Ranges) then wide valleys come into view  €“ excellent soil and carrying heavy maize crops. Took a number of photos en route of country generally and Bulgar peasants etc. Philippopolis a good town passed about 4.30pm.

Tuesday 25th November
I had an excellent nights rest. Refreshment car attached to car at 9 am. At 8.30 am passed Kouleli [indecipherable] the Turkish Junction station for Salonica. Entered Turkey and passed through Adrianopole during small hours of the morning. Country now comparatively poor and uninteresting. Because of shortage of time our visit to Salonica front and Athens now cancelled. Lunched and dined in Restaurant car. Trains controlled by French. Our entry into Constantinople by rail from the North West rather tragic remembering our hopes and aspirations of April 1915. Unfortunately it was dark before we entered Constantinople and in consequence missed the beauties of the last half hours rail run. Arrived at Station at 8.30pm. Officers from GHQ were there to meet us with car for ourselves and light lorry for our baggage. As we had been travelling very light this latter vehicle

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