Here’s another chapter of my ongoing translation of Nils Mattsson Kiöping’s 1667 travelogue. I’ve introduced a paragraph division for legibility.
Chapter 24: Sinai part 3
There is nothing on Horeb except for some guard houses for Arab soldiers. Having enjoyed four days and nights there, we said farewell to the Fathers, Catholics and Romans as well as Greeks, who accompanied us with a great entourage off the mountain, as follows. First the Litany was sung and then they read a blessing over us. When the Greek priests learned that we were leaving, their Prelate came to us with his entire retinue in the Carmelite monastery, where we had stayed, and coaxed us to dine with him. First Mass was celebrated, and then the food was set out. After we had eaten there was another Mass, and then we said farewell to them. But both the Greek and the Latin priests followed us off the mountain, singing all the way. All of them were dressed in Mass vestments, some carrying candles, some crosses, books or holy water.
Having thus descended from the mountain in such company, we found a number of mules and water at the ready for our trek to the ship. We reclaimed our weaponry, and again they read a blessing over us and sprinkled us with holy water. We then mounted and left. Two of these monks came with us and showed us many famous sites along the way. In particular, half a mile from the mountain, a completely dry place where they said that Aaron’s children Nadab and Abihu were consumed by fire. From there to another place where they said that the Children of Israel would have raised the golden calf, and worshipped it. A mile further on was a large Turkish church, into which no Christian was admitted on pain of death. There, they said, Moses would have stayed or slept when God spoke to him in a pillar of cloud. And in another Turkish temple which they called Beziel they said that the bush would have stood that Moses saw burn, yet not be consumed. And the monks said that this would be the same bush as they had in their monastery. Muslims venerate these churches greatly.
On the second day we came back to the ship. The crew had caught such an abundance of fish that they could not salt it all. That night so much red sand came flying on a west-southwesterly wind, and with a great storm, that no human could be on deck, so that we had to close all our hatches and pull tarred cloth over the lattice hatches. When this was over (it lasted for an hour) we could see neither deck nor water for all the sand. This gave us a certain indication that the wind had turned, and so we decided to set course for Swaquem, a town in Egypt on the Red Sea coast …