JULY 13, 1953
NAUPLIA, Greece—One of the pictures I think I shall keep in my mind is the blue sea of the Mediterranean, or rather of the Gulf of Corinth, and the little red tiled roofs of the whitewashed houses. In the daytime all the houses have their doors and windows shut and look almost unoccupied but that is because if they are opened the flies will flock in. As it is, as soon as the light comes in the morning they begin to buzz in your room, but they seem to disappear completely with the evening light, so that all the windows are opened and everything comes to life. I can't help feeling that a few good American screens would be useful but two purposes are served by shutting up the houses. They are kept cool within their thick walls and since most of them have no refrigeration, I suppose how cool you can keep your house is important even to the food supply. Some things are undoubtedly kept in water just as they used to be at home with us.
We left Patras at about nine o'clock this morning and drove along the sea most of the way, looking at the mountains on both sides and thinking what a wonderfully fertile valley part of this land was after the arid land we had gone through in coming over the mountains.
About a quarter past eleven we found a beach with some shade and we stopped and went in swimming and then lay around in the sun for a little while, writing letters or sunning ourselves until after one o'clock when we went up and asked the small restaurant proprietor if he would let us sit at one of his tables and eat our picnic lunch.
By 4:30 we reached old Corinth but it was still so hot that we decided to go into the museum first. We had hardly started walking around when Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmoor who are living at present at the American excavations in Corinth, appeared, just back from Athens. They welcomed us warmly and walked around the museum with us and then took us to their house for a cup of tea which certainly was a godsend, for the sun was still much too hot to go over the excavation.
By six o'clock it was a real joy to see what we could under Mr. Dinsmoor's guidance. It was delightful having him take us around for he told us many of the old legends, for instance, the story of Medea and Glauce and how the latter threw herself into the well after wearing the poisoned cloak presented to her by Medea who did not like having her husband take a second wife.
Then we saw the old drinking well in the city which goes back to 400 B.C. This supply is still much on the same order as it was then.
Many other interesting things can be seen through the eyes of the archaeologist who does the digging to discover the differences through the layers of earth but I think they were disappointed at this site in not getting down more often to the Greek and having to preserve so much of the Roman.
We saw the spot in one corner of the excavation where St. Paul spoke to the Corinthians, they say, and that gives you quite a shock for it is a long way back.
We ended up the day at a little hotel called the Bourdgi off Nauplia. We are completely surrounded by water and I think we would be glad if we had the time to stay longer, though it is not as comfortable as the hotel Cecil where we were last night at Patras.