My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DELPHI, Greece—Late Wednesday afternoon we went to tea with the archaeological group at the American excavation house and they were kind enough to go over with us the trip we are now making. They mapped out the roads and the sights we were supposed to see and lent us a guide and a book on Delphi, all of which was most kind and helpful.

People have their different favorite spots in Greece and one young girl said "you must go to Olympia" and an English woman who was present, having just come back from Olympia, added that it was the most beautiful spot in Greece and that she and her husband had just spent a month there and it was ridiculous for us to go for just one night.

On the way home we had a look at one temple which is being restored right in the city and then we went back to the hotel and dressed for our dinner party at the Embassy.

We were delighted to find that the dinner was to be at little tables, buffet style, out in the garden. There were a number of Greek people present and I was happy to have the opportunity to meet them since I have done so little since I have been here that I had talked to very few people in the government. Some of the guests, of course, I had met when they were in the U.S. and it was pleasant to renew old acquaintances.

We had decided if we were going to see anything of Greece, to start early on Thursday morning so we left at 8 o'clock for Delphi and on the way we visited a Byzantine monastery where we had been told there were many wonderful mosaics of the ninth century.

The Greek Orthodox priests who live there and are trying to restore the church looked very poor and we noticed when we signed the book that few people had been there in the last few years.

We had expected to walk 45 minutes to reach the monastery but our driver was determined to find a way to it that would not necessitate walking and he did. We kept asking him when we would have to get out and walk but the time never came for suddenly we were at the entrance to the monastery.

After examining the mosaics we had lunch on a lovely terrace under an old tree at a stone table which had been built, I imagine, for the monks, pleasure. After lunch we continued to Delphi.

On arrival we deposited our bags and started out at once, visiting the museum and all the various areas of excavation.

The stadium seemed to me very remarkable and I liked finding the boys of the neighborhood, first the young boys and then the older ones, playing rugby in the stadium just as the games had gone on there over 2000 years ago.

Everyone tells you that because of the sheer bare rock surrounding the temple and the theatre that this is a most awesome and rather terrifying place. I am afraid that though I was interested and thought the setting perfectly remarkable, it did not give me the feeling of foreboding, in the sense of the anger of the gods, which everyone else seems to feel so strongly. Perhaps the sunset light was too soft and if we had had a thunderstorm or an earthquake I might have looked upon it quite differently.

We strolled through the village with a critical eye to catch every glimpse of village life and then we had dinner out under the trees in front of our hotel. Altogether we had a thoroughly delightful day.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Delphi (Greece) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 10, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.