June 12: We arrived in Athens from JFK at 4 a.m.and after phoning the Milagressi’s at 7 a.m. we took a taxi to their place. We went shopping with Niovi buying lots of fruits and vegetables. We enjoyed a big bowl of cherries and at noon it was 93 degrees and 87 in the house. My little afternoon nap turned into a 7-hour sleep. We had a dinner at 7 and headed out to Constitution Square for a walk. We had a snack upon our return and off to bed at 11. Jet lag is so hard to shake with a 9-hour time difference. Margaret Mary Stephen Diary Entry: Our friends were glad to see us I am sure. They remembered the many things we did with them last year at the monastery in Panaormitis. Their little Andreas has grown in both ways. Life here is different as they are up at 5:30 and leave around 6:30 for work until 2 and return home and make a big lunch and then they sleep until 6. White clothes here look so white. I guess it is the blazing sun that they are dried in. Niovi has a clothesline at the back of her balcony and the clothes drip down to the awnings below. Each time I have to hang something out and look down far below I feel sick. I don’t like heights.
June 14: Mom wanted to cook the MIlagressi’s some boeuf bourguignon so it was out to the butcher and grocery store. For the dinner I had to buy some red wine which cost 60 cents a bottle. We had a big lunch and the beef bourguignon was good but not as good as home. We watched Peyton Place on television and after had a siesta. Margaret Mary Stephen Diary Entry: The taxis in Athens are plentiful and they are mostly Mercedes Benz and very cheap although each time I get into one I feel like I will end up in the hospital. The traffic is not as bad as it is in Rome or New York but there are no stop signs. I just pray! No wonder the Greeks are so religious. Robert is having his fill of cucumbers and they are the long English kind. The cherries are the same as home and the oranges smell different but they are sweeter.
June 15, 1971: We left for downtown on the number 12 bus trying to find the Yugoslavian tourist office and found it getting some information about a possible trip there. It wasn’t long before we decided Yugoslavia would be our next destination. We bought passage on a Russian ship called Adsharia.
Photo: Robert K. Stephen