“Travels to a Different Time” : June 27/28, 1971: Korcula: Laying Low with Ankle Problems: No Luck Octopus Fishing; Gypsies and Caught with Her Pants Down! Fritz on the Radar!

June 27, 1971: Korcula, Yugoslavia: Up at 8 this morning and off to the beach. Went spearfishing and saw a huge fish out of range. We stayed on the beach until two and then headed back to our pension. Mom twisted her ankle on the way and somehow broke my watch. Not a good day for Mom! She had a hard time making it back and I had to help her. After a lunch of ham, bread and cheese I left Mom behind and went down to the beach. No luck with spearfishing. When I returned I was told that the doctor paid a visit and she should keep her ankle on ice and if her ankle was not healed or much better in a couple of days to go to the hospital. We ate dinner with our hosts in the dining room and afterwards Mom lay on the couch and we played cards, returned to the room and read. Expenses for the day $6.28.

June 28, 1971: Korcula, Yugoslavia: Mom’s ankle seems much better. I went into town and picked up breakfast of Fructal orange juice and raisin buns. I then played cards with the invalid and went down to the beach. We managed to make it to a nearby restaurant for a first-class fish dinner. We had dessert in a pastry shop and came home to play cards. Mom is slow but I think tomorrow she will be ready for longer trips.  Margaret Mary Stephen Diary Entry: I never saw so many scrawny pregnant cats. They eat the rind off the cheese and the meat wrapper and all. The island is beautiful-the old town is undergoing restoration. Expenses for the day $15.61

June 30, 1971: Korcula, Yugoslavia: After breakfast we walked to a town called Vela Luka. We returned around noon and I went to the beach to try my new octopus lure that the fisherman use. No success. I then went for a swim in the overcast weather and was shivering when Mom brought over some lunch. After lunch I rented a small boat and again tried octopus fishing. No luck again. We did see some traditional Croatian dancing at a cinema after dinner. Not that I like dance but they put on a beautiful show. We had fun recognizing the cousin and brother of our friend at the travel agency. Expenses for the day $8.47.

July 2, 1971: Korcula and Hvar, Yugoslavia: We were out the door at 10:30 to catch our ship to the island of Hvar but Mom forgot her toothbrush and toothpaste so I rushed back to get it in the bathroom and a girl was peeing. She pulled up her pants and shouted,” Momento, Momento!” An embarrassing moment for both of us. We were on the boat at 1 and went deck class which on this ship was steerage class. There was a big crowd of gypsies on board all of whom were poorly dressed. We arrived at Hvar at 3:30.

June 30, 1971, Korcula, Yugoslavia:  Margaret Mary Stephen letter to daughter Barbara: Barbara, as far as I know we will be returning to New York from Frankfurt. We will be seeing Fritz either in Munich or West Berlin. We are waiting to hear from Heidi whether she will be in West Berlin in the middle of August. Korcula is beautiful and it is very old and quaint. We had wanted to go to a fishing village today but it is too windy and cold. The beach is rocky here and I miss the sand. I am very tanned but Robert not so much as he is in the water a good deal of the time. He bought a smaller speargun than last year so it is not so awkward to carry around. He also has an octopus fishing lure a dreadful looking thing. Unlike Greece there are only a few hippies here. There are many items on restaurant menus that aren’t available. The food at the pension we are staying at is really good. The people here are very surly. They must think we are Americans. I would not want to live behind the Iron Curtain. There is no variety in the stores and very little in the food stores. The fruits and veggies are mostly poor quality unlike Greece. There is lots of good wine here. Cigarettes are 22 cents a pack. Robert writes in his diary most every day. I am sure if you read it you will get a kick. Today we will take an empty wine bottle and go to a wine shop where they fill it up. The locals bring large jugs to be filled up. There is no milk here except sterilized milk in cartons. Robert does not even like to try it. Like Greece the bread is very rough.

Photo: WorthPoint

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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