“Travels to a Different Time” : 24July1974: All Over Yugoslavia: Turkish Invasion of Cyprus a Hot Topic: The Ugly American and Smashed Cars Down the Gorge: Yugoslav Army Mobilizes Behind Me!

Up for breakfast at 07:00. I met my German Easy Rider friend for breakfast. The room was buzzing with talk of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The borders into Greece may be closed because of the Turkish aggression. So there is some confusion. After breakfast I came up and packed with grim determination as I want to get to Dubrovnik and hitchhiking can be brutal in Yugoslavia. Your best bet is to be picked by a tourist as opposed to a Yugoslav. I did think of taking the plane to Dubrovnik so I went into the JAT Airlines office and what a disorganized mess. It took me a half an hour to find someone to speak to and I had to listen to some American whining loudly about the service and making a fool of herself. The “Ugly American” syndrome. Obviously, a person thinking she was back home in Mountain Lake New Jersey as opposed to behind the Iron Curtain! The airfare was $15 but it was departing next morning so forget it. A gruelling walk in the heat to the highway. Sticking your thumb out is the easy part of hitchhiking. Getting to the right road to stick your thumb out can be gruelling. With all the walking I do it is no wonder I am a vacuum cleaner for food! My first lift was with a Yugoslav working in Philadelphia. What impressive scenery up in the mountains. He left me off at Pristina in Kosovo and another gruelling walk to get to the right road. Weary I sat down and shortly I heard a whistle and a soldier motioning to me to get moving. I was right outside a military base. Speaking of military there are rumours the Yugoslav military has mobilized just south of here along the southern border with Greece. Two Austrian guys in a 404 Peugeot picked me up. A great car. In fact the best car I have been in since Fritz’s Alfa Romeo. They took me to Titograd in Montenegro where we stopped at a campground. Overcrowded with inadequate facilities but what an incredible drive here up in the mountains. We stopped a couple of times to soak the beauty in. Treacherous roads with gorges with rushing rivers below and no shortage of smashed up cars below. Yikes! I met a Canadian from Calgary with strange plaid pants. Pooped it was off to bed a 21:00.

Greek civilians imprisoned by Turkish invaders in Cyprus: Tourist in Yugoslavia in a state of confusion

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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