The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DUBROVNIC, Yugoslavia—I stopped to look during my drive on Friday morning at a small farmhouse, a very poor one, and found an old woman of sixty running what I took to be a three acre farm all alone. Both her husband and son are dead and her daughter is married and lives at some distance but she comes to help her mother in the busy season.

At present the old lady has six grandchildren with her. I asked what they ate and she said: "Oh, I have two cows and a little garden with vegetables and I make butter and cheese and bread". The cooking is done on an open hearth in summer and the bread is baked over the coals with ashes and coals spread over the top of it, so it is a good solid loaf.

The State pays a sum for every child but I did not think that the old lady or the children were getting much of a variety in their diet.

There was only one room besides the kitchen in use and that had two beds so the other children must have curled up on the floor.

Dr. Gurewitsch and I strolled down the streets about seven p.m. where, I think, most of Sarajevo strolls at that hour and it was interesting to watch the crowds. Then all three of us drove out to another spa for dinner and Saturday morning, July 11th, we started off for Titograd.

The trip to Titograd by air was uneventful. We looked down first on considerable war damage and then we got into the mountains. As one sees these mountains one realizes why the Montenegrins never surrendered when they took refuge in them. One is over the mountains and only sixty feet above sea level when one reaches Titograd, which is a new town and the present capital of Montenegro.

We stayed only a short time and then got off by car for the old capital, Cetinje, where we were to lunch. Here, besides the head of the workers council and the city officials who met us, there was a delightful old gentleman, Dr. S.V. Grgin. He was nine years in the U.S., a doctor, and a man of the world. In spite of his 74 years he showed us around the city after lunch and saw to it that we missed nothing.

The museum is an interesting one on the history of Montenegro. Then he took us on a beautiful drive, ostensibly it was only a short distance out of our way to Kotor, but we went off the main road and went winding high up into the mountains to a beautiful spring which the legend says makes anyone who drinks this water three years younger. Needless to say, we drank it and then started down to meet the regular road to Kotor.

The road to Kotor is called the serpentine drive and there are 27 or 28 hairpin turns on it, but the views are the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life.

By five o'clock we reached Kotor and the plan had been to go on to Dubrovnic but we all felt we had had about as much motoring as we could take in a day, so we had a rest and a stroll before dinner. We dined on the hotel veranda and since it was Saturday night, the orchestra played till almost one o'clock in the morning and the young people danced modern dances as well as some that looked to me like folk dances.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Dubrovnic (Yugoslavia) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 22, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.