Ali's Guestbook

24th April 2020

to be honest
Most people raving about how lovely Thessaloniki is fall into two broad categories... Thessaloniki regionalists, ie locals who have been born and raised here, and have a very stong sense of connection with their particular part of the world. It's their home, it's the best in the world, it "rulezzzz", and anyone who says bad things about it must be ill intentioned, malicious, or Athenean (they got some kind of perpetual enmity between them, though Atheneans themselves play a large part in, too). The other category that has nice things to say about Thessaloniki are non Thessalonikan students, from all over Greece, who have associated the fun and excitement of early adulthood and college life with this city, housing, as it does, the second biggest student population in Greece. Rarely if EVER have I met a Greek who was neither a college student in Thessaloniki, nor FROM Thessaloniki, who lived and worked in this city and had much good to say about it. Every person, from every other part of Greece that came to work here despises it. It's filthy (literally! the trash are picked on an... indeterminist, to put mildly, schedule and regularly overflow the trashcans into nice little impromptu mini-landfills by the sides of the pavement), it has non existent public transportations, it has execrable, third world level housing (hope you enjoy hearing the neighbours blasting music at eleven, at any and all hours, cause there sure is a lot of that going on in here - and with most appartments dating back into the 60s and 70s, you'll get to hear it well better than anywhere else in the country)... Not to put too fine a point on it, life in Salonica generally resembles life in a huge, overblown, overpopulated ghetto. It's a dump.
29th November 2016

My 2 cents...
I'm from Portland, Oregon visiting my daughter who is a student here for one semester. I'm certain there are lovely people here and maybe there is something pretty hiding among the chaos. But my cliff notes description is this... Thessaloniki: an upscale 1980's Tijuana but without the charming people.
11th April 2016

time to rebuild
Sir, I think "Tragic VW bus" needs to rebuild. Do you mind to share the exact location? cheers.
From Blog: Highland Fling
21st January 2015

I like your analogy...
and agree with your point about weather vs climate. A couple of years ago I thought I would become better informed on the subject of global warming or climate change. I'm an engineer so can usually get to the bottom of things. As an engineer I was responsible for implementing Sustainable Development principles for U.S. Navy installations. I helped develop LEED, the U.S. green building criteria, with a Navy dorm being the first to be certified. I also worked for the White House's Office of the Federal Environmental Executive writing Greening the Government Executive Orders. So I wasn't starting from zero knowledge. I like to look at the facts and hear both sides. Of all the books I've read, the one that significantly formed my opinions was "The Hockey Stick Illusion" by A.W. Montford. The subsequent release of the Climategate emails confirmed my views of the current state of climate "science." Science that selectively picks data that supports a preconceived view is not science. Not making the data available to other scientists so they can replicate the experiment is not science. Only seeking peer reviews from those who agree with you is not science. Preventing the publication of contradicting research and seeking to banish such researchers from academia is not science. Any science that depends upon "the science is settled" appeal to authority argument is not science. Furthermore, Michael Mann, the leader of this group of true believer climate scientists, apparently has only an elementary knowledge of statistics that was easily challenged when real statisticians got involved. As for the majority of scientist agreeing to man's negative impact on warming, most of the purported scientists who show up at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meetings are hangers on...more political wonks...enjoying the free ride to nice destinations. Climate science has become a religion, with sceptics (not "deniers") subject to ad hominem attacks rather than their arguments debated. I agree that there is global warming, but not that man has had a significant impact. That's why Mann and company tried so hard to hide the Medieval Warming Period when there was very little CO2 produced by humans. His graph of temperature showed only the last few years having significant warming...the shape of a hockey stick. Average global temperatures have not increased since 1997. The recent NOAA report stating that the last year was the warmest in history identified the ocean temperatures as being the highest, not due to man made CO2 but due to ocean mechanisms. Temperatures over land were cooler. These natural cycles which are ultimately driven by the sun, have much more to do with temperature swings. I agree that we shouldn't pollute or waste resources and should consume less energy, but I do not agree that investing trillions of dollars to stop or reverse warming is the best use of limited resources when there are so many more uses for those resources that have an immediate benefit to providing pure water to the vast majority who do not have it. I hope you and Michelle had a merry Christmas, and have a happy New Year! I would love to visit with you the next time you come this way...this time it's my treat!
19th January 2015

work or death
In India and Peru i thought it is the toughest job to carry stones as woman and clean peoples ears on the street with a needle (yak), and sell weird Foof on buses and trains while actually you might end up very far from home (in case you had a home). In Romania (Journey of Iska) kids just collect coal (acually steal) from running trains and their lung is full of smoke. By the time -if they are lucky- they reach the age of 14 probably half f their lung already destoryed. I do appreciate that I have a chance to complain about my job, and if I want can just change it. Thanks for sharing.
11th September 2014

Photography & Traveling
Great photos
24th September 2013

Great observations in 2004 about climate change...
in 2013 the average global temperature hasn't increased in 16 years, and the IPPC has fallen into disrepute...about to release version 5 of their reports.
21st January 2015

not quite the point I was making...
Best explanation I've heard was in Cosmos - a man walking a dog on a beach, on a leash in a straight line, the dog will run all over the place, the man will walk towards a destination. The weather, day to day, year to year is like the dog, the climate is the man, it may take decades to the pattern there. There is little controversy about global warming now among scientists, it's happening and will cause turmoil for the weather and climate.
24th September 2013

Good decision...
not going back to seven to seven, traveling while living off your IT skills, and keeping Travelblog (in caps) going.
From Blog: Homeward Bound
24th September 2013

Your hopes were fulfilled...
more than a few people are now writing on this site. And thanks for allowing the "diaries" to be back dated, which allowed me to go back all the way to 1949.
24th September 2013

Travel blogs have come a long way since your first Travelblog...
and TB has a long way to go still. Thanks for making this possible!
25th August 2013

The state of the interwebs...
11 years on (2013) I just took a look at the links I posted on this blog back in 2002, not one of the three are relevant now, Lehman is bankrupt, Old Spitalfields has a proper domain now, and Wetherspoons let the domain lapse. Time to update the links.
13th August 2013

Thank you
I have been reading various Travel bloggers for last so many months.Thank you very much for coming out with such a nice travel site.
6th July 2013

This site helped change my life.......
My whole travel experience was made just that bit more perfect with this site. I have always thanked you for creating it as it helped create the new me, and the sheer goodness that has come from this time. The changes I was forced to make in 2007 were challenging and at times painful, writing my experiences here not only brought back my creativity but helped others too, in 2013 and in hindsight these were the best days of my life without a doubt. Although better days are here now as a direct result. Ali thank you for your vision dedication and for giving me the confidence to scuba dive and teaching me how to roll backwards off a rocking boat at sea and for your continued friendship. I think the entire travel population on here wish to thank you for making many lives happy.
20th March 2013

I've just been in the Ijen crater and saw that guys. I do agree - it's the worst job one could think of. But I don't feel sorry for them. From what I've seen they just don't care about their life at all. They live no longer than 45 years because their lungs get burnt. But they don't even cover their faces when they get into clouds of volcanic gas. Moreover, inhaling that pioson every day is not enough for them, most of them smoke! I just can't imagine what must be in their heads to kill themselves like that.
25th February 2013

Wow, Iceland!!!
Never been to Iceland and your blog gives me idea! Thanks for sharing - great pictures!
22nd November 2012

Lord of the Rings photos! On our way back to Oz in January from UK we are having a week on Pangkor Island. Unfortunately not around for a Christmas get-together in KL but would hope to come back to Malaysia another time.
18th October 2012

Man, thanks!
I feel great just seeing these photos ... You are an excellent photographer! You will have great success in your career :) I wish you luck!
18th October 2012
Goðafoss - Waterfall of the Gods

It is awesome!
You are a genius of the photografy... I admire you so much!
16th August 2012

Great piece of advice. Go! I'll be adding it to the ol' list then. :o) Pictures are fantastic by the way.
15th August 2012

Fab photos!
Such intense colors and great framing! Clearly it's also your great eye and not just that impressive lens you're carrying. I'm impressed that a natural slow traveler can pick up the pace when necessary. Hope working in SF isn't too intense--there's great county around there for visits, adventure and photos--enjoy!
12th August 2012
Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Wow Ali, great picture.
10th August 2012
Linda Hamilton and sister.

'Neigh sayers'
Looks like you met a few 'neigh sayers' in Iceland. :)
8th August 2012

Beautiful photos
Your photos are magnificent Ali. The colours are simply unbelievable. I hope to get to this magic destination one day!
8th August 2012
Rio Carnaval 2008

imi plac pozele dar ma intreb cum de primul barbat din poza a reusit sa-si faca ochii galbeni

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