June 17, 1971, Letter From Margaret Mary Stephen to Diane and Gerald Frank: We left Athens yesterday on a beautiful Russian luxury ship. We will be onboard 4 days and our first stop is Corfu right near Jackie O’s Island. Then to Venice and Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia where we will get off and stay for 2-3 weeks. They say it is something. I met a handsome German six foot two on the ship. He is fun and we have been swimming and dancing every night. He has two sons but I have not heard about a wife. That will come later. He leaves the ship at Venice. I assure you I am getting more than my fair share of attention from the best-looking man on the ship.
The Greek food is as grim as ever. They still poach eggs in oil. I don’t think I have put on weight but that will come later. The Russian food is good. They don’t use much seasoning. The meals have lots of courses with several things I have not eaten before.
Robert has a bit of sunstroke as he stayed out too long in the sun. June 18, 1971: After dinner Fritz and I took a carriage ride in Corfu. The Russians would not give us our passports. Robert was still feverish when we returned. He is not drinking enough fluids. We met a couple from Moscow and have become friends with them. They are charming people but I will say they look different than us. Their clothes and shoes are so poorly made of cheap materials but their smiles and laughter make up for anything lacking in the clothes they wear. I would like to go to Russia one day.
When I do things like this it makes me realize how lonely my life is. If it wasn’t for you and my children I would wish to die.
Photo: Fotini Stephen