#3 Lawrence of Arabia in Tremadog

ColonelThomas Edward LawrenceCBDSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935) was a British archaeologist, army officer, diplomat, and writer who became renowned for his role in the Arab Revolt (1916–1918) and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign (1915–1918) against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia, a title used for the 1962 film based on his wartime activities. Wikipedia


It was odd standing outside outside his home in Tremadog in a house named Gorphwysfa, now known as Snowdon House. There was no one to speak to, the house was locked but it made me link adverntures. There were those of Eric Jones, also a motorcyclist who lived around the corner, Lawrence in Syria when he stayed in the Baron Hotel in Aleppo and my being there biking around the world in 2008. HIs phone was still in a corner of an upstairs seating area and I stayed in his room to write about my stay:


Parallel World 2008, Syria

"I rode into Aleppo and straight to the Baron Hotel. Once installed, I walked through the Armenian quarter to take coffee. At the intersection of two busy streets I sat in a salon decorated with art deco mixed with Byzantine motifs wrapped around red hearts. A chandelier of string beads hung in the far end of what was equal to anything that could be seen in Paris. Windows were open and the traffic stop-started busily. Just a block away from the Baron Hotel, women in burkas walked a few paces behind their husbands. I sat and wrote.


I would write how the desert skewered me with its might heat where in a journey knowing your position is of being alone and fragile you somehow seek out shadows to hide away, he knew more, to be able to step away from himself with meaning. For him the fringes of the deserts he had crossed "were strewn with broken faiths.” When Lawrence's will had gone, he feared to be alone, "lest the winds of circumstance, or power, or lust, blow my empty soul away.”


I sat and I pondered and I returned to my hotel and I ate and I slept and the next morning breakfast was served at nine. There was again time to stroll along the streets around the hotel. Like the streets, the Baron Hotel was sticky with the nostalgia for the past. My hero, T.E.Lawrence, had stayed there. Was he not a road warrior? It might compare as a moth to something much larger, but were we too not road warriors? As bikers, were we not a sub-species capable of understanding what it is to be different. We like the sound of being different, maybe it's a way of thinking or just a throaty cough, but then Lawrence in his most famous piece of poetry said in his Seven Pillars of Wisdom, that “all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”


I left Tremadog and made for Carnarvon and the Llyn Peninsula.


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