THE ISTHMUS OF SUEZ. 7. Route. 411
Farther to the N. lies Yenba', the seaport of Medina, which lies
about 92 M. to the E. of it. Yenba' el-Bahr, situated on the coast, with
about 2C0O inhab. only, lies in a sterile region, while the larger town of
Yenba' en-Nakhl, with about 5000 inhab., situated nearly a day's journey
inland, is surrounded with palms and other vegetation. The chief ex¬
ports are sheep, hides, honey, and dates. Steamers touch here at the
season of the pilgrimage only. As Yenba' en-Nakhl is only nominally
under the Turkish supremacy, Europeans cannot safely visit it except
under the protection of one of the principal inhabitants of the place.
Medina, like Mecca, is forbidden ground to Christians.
There are no harbours of note between this point and Suez, but El-
Wejj, opposite Koser, is an important quarantine station. Since the
cholera was brought to Egypt by the Meccan pilgrims in 1865, the quar¬
antine establishment here has been annually fitted up for a month and
a half or two months, at the time of the return of the pilgrims after the
Great Beiram. Both the caravans travelling by land, and vessels of every
nation from Arabian ports, must undergo quarantine here for five days,
or for a longer period if the outbreak of an epidemic is apprehended.
While the quarantine lasts, Wejj presents a very busy appearance. The
great Mecca caravan, which travels via 'Akaba, passes this way both in
going and coming. The town itself has 600-8CO inhab. only, a castle built
by Sultan Selim, with a garrison of a few soldiers, a spring of fresh
water, and, as the latter is insufficient during the quarantine season, a
steam engine for the distillation of sea-water. — The N. part of the
Arabian coast, as far as El-Wejj, is under the supremacy of Egypt.
7. From Suez to Port Sacid. The Suez Canal.
Between Suez and Isma'iliya there is no regular steamboat service
on the Canal; but large steamers traverse it daily on their route to India
and China, and in one of these a passage may generally be obtained
by applying to the agent of the company, to whom an introduction
may be obtained through the traveller's consul. The usual charge for
the trip is 10 fr., besides which food must be paid for in accordance
with the steward's tariff. The vessels of the Messageries Maritimes
(p. 10), however, issue cabin tickets for the whole trip from Suez to
Port Sa'id for 100 fr., including food and wine.
The 8. part of the Canal, from Suez to Isma'iliya, including the
Bitter Lakes and the entrance to Lake Timsah, is the more interesting.
The steamers generally make a very short stay at Suez, where a small
boat must be hired by the passenger who desires to land, but they halt
at Port Sa'id for half-a-day or a whole day, and lay to at the quay, so that
passengers can walk ashore. The passage from Suez to Port Sa'id occu¬
pies 16 hrs. (see below), but it now and then happens that vessels run
aground, in which ease part of the cargo has to be discharged, and a
detention of several days takes place.
The deck of the large steamers affords a good survey of the surround¬
ing country, but from the small steamboats which ply regularly between
Isma'iliya and Port Sa'id the passenger cannot see beyond the embank¬
ments of the Canal.
Railway from Suez to Isma'iliya (a train 'starts every morning at
8 o'clock, arriving at 10.50), see p. 400. From Isma'iliya to Port Sa'id
a small Egyptian steamer runs every evening, starting at 5.30, after the
arrival of the train from Cairo and Alexandria, and arriving at Port
Sa'id about midnight (fare 24'/2 fr.). A small screw-steamer belonging to
the Canal Company also runs every alternate day from Isma'iliya to Port
Sa'id (fare 19'/s fr.; the additional 5 fr. charged by the other steamers
are paid by them to the Canal Company as a tax). None of these steamers
accommodate more than 20-25 passengers. A place on deck should be
secured, if possible. The passage from Isma'iliya to Kantara (p. 422),
where a halt of >/2-3,m hr. is made for refreshments, occupies 2'/2hrs., and