Blogs from Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece, Europe

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Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki August 27th 2015

27 August Feast of St. Monica I apologize for my absence during these first couple days in Greece; I have been tired at night and our internet connection has been poor. Monday, the 24th was a travel day across the border between Turkey and Greece. We stayed overnight in Neapolis (Kavala), where Paul would have arrived on his way to Philippi. Tuesday, we traveled to Philippi and celebrated Eucharist at the stream, which commemorates the location of the baptism of Lydia (Acts 16:14-15). On Wednesday, we visited a 5th Century Byzantine Basilica, which still functions as a Greek Orthodox Basilica. Today, we visited the convent of St. Stephen in Meteora, this is one of six monasteries dating back to the 11th century that are perched atop ancient rock formations carved out by a prehistoric river. ... read more
Possible Site of Paul's imprisonment in Philippi
Stream of Lydia's Baptism
St. Demetrius Basilica

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki June 3rd 2015

We arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece this morning at about 7.30am. Our overnight voyage was smooth and our docking took place without us even being aware that we had made the transition from sailing to stationery! By the time we ventured out of bed the ship had already been in port for at least half an hour. We had a leisurely breakfast before heading off into Thessaloniki for a few hours. We walked along the sea front to the White Tower which houses Thessaloniki's history museum. All the interpretative boards were in Greek and the English audio guide was disappointingly scant on information. Still, it was a tower that we could ascend for a view over Thessaloniki's harbour-side area ... and we hadn't climbed a tower for a week or so!! From the White Tower we walked ... read more
Thessaloniki promenade
White Tower from the park
Arch of Galerius

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki November 9th 2014

THESSALONIKI. November 8/9, 2014. Rain, Overcast, cold. The train left promptly. We had settled in for the 3 hours. Then about 45 mins later there was a Greek announcement. Everyone else but us, got up, got down their bags and made for the door. Found an english speaker who told us there was a train change. No advice when booking! Arrived in T, the second city of Greece, at a very small station not indicative of a second city. Lined up for a taxi, with the homeless, before deciding to go searching in the rain for a taxi. Northern Greece looks to have been hit hard by the financial dramas. Huge youth unemployment must be very demoralising, evidenced by the chronic graffiti. Sat around most of Saturday afternoon due to the constant drizzle. Sunday was much ... read more
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Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki July 26th 2014

Final stop on my itinerary. I rented a place on airbnb that someone in Skopje had recommended. First airbnb this trip, as most cities had nothing much to offer in this part of the world. It was great - I rented a room and got the whole place because the woman renting the room went on vacation the evening of the day I arrived. Awesome! The town itself, though, was less awesome than I expected. It's kind of ugly, but it does have cool ancient sites right in the middle of town to visit. And some good museums. And a TGIFridays that I might have eaten at. Twice. It was so sunny and so hot, it was almost too much. I could have taken a bus into the downtown, but chose to walk 30 min in ... read more
The white tower
The white tower
White tower

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki May 9th 2014

Bei näherem Hinschauen waren die Schwäne auf dem See vor dem Hotel Pelikane (aber ohne den Pelikan-Füller). Erster Teil des langen Tages: auf kleinen Bergstraßen durch entlegene Dörfer, malerisch, wunderschön. Temperatur von 16 ° bis 10 ° oben auf den Bergen. In der Umgebung von Kastoria gibt es offenbar Bären, auch wenn ich keinen gesehen habe. Aber es gibt an den Straßen Schilder und die Autobahn ist bärensicher eingezäunt. Dann 400 km Autobahn: wieder ganz neu und wieder leer. Ich hätte mir ja gleich dennken können, dass ich auch hier eine Autobahn finanziert habe. Die hier hat mir aber insofern richtig gut gefallen, als sie Kilometer lang an den Seiten mit dicken, blühenden Ginsterbüschen bewachsen war, die wunderbar dufteten. Ich konnte mir richtig die Massen an Bienen vorstellen, die hier an der Arbeit waren und einen ... read more
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Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki November 20th 2013

When searching for flights, there are three factors in play - price, destination, and date. Usually, you can specify two of the three factors. In order to find cheap flights for example, you are able to choose the destination OR the date. In this case, we were limited to traveling during a mandatory vacation, and so the destination was ‘whatever came about’. In fact, I had no idea where Thessaloniki was on a map, but quickly found out that there is quite a bit of history and culture in the second largest city in Greece. Flying in on Aegean Airlines (quite an experience in itself), we passed by Mount Olympus, which conjured screams of excitement from our kids. Reading legends of grandeur and the Greek gods (even the Percy Jackson series) in preparation for the trip ... read more
Walking the old city wall
Crypt of St. Demetrius
Beautiful Byzantine Churches

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki » Perea September 19th 2013

Thessaloniki and Northern Chalkidiki - Day 12 Thursday 19th September So after 10 days of self guiding ourselves around mainland Greece, Glyn an I felt no shame at paying €2 each to go on the 'Hop on' Tour of Thessaloniki bus this morning. It took about 50 minutes, whilst the guide talked about Byzantine stuff, mosaics and a statue of some guy on his house.... or so I thought, in fact he said he was on his horse. The bus was pretty empty and the guide kept making us look at photos of mosaics on the screen above his head when I was quite happily staring out the window having a bit of a day dream. Had I come to Thessaloniki on day 1, all the Byzantine Churches, random bits of falling down Roman walls and ... read more
Thessaloniki
Kittens at Bar Kyma
Our sort of secluded beach

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki » Perea September 18th 2013

Mount Olympus to Thesssaloniki - Day 11 Wednesday 18th September I'd set the alarm for 6.30am as we had a mountain to climb, but bed was so comfy that I didn't get up quite that early. After breakfast and telling our hotelier, Alex, that we'd left the key in the door as he shouted goodbye to us from his room, we were on our way. I drove us just under 10 miles to Prionia, the place you can drive closest to the top of the mountain and parked up. It was just after 9am and eerily silent with just a handful of cars, one grotty squat loo, a closed cafe and a couple of guys organising bits of lumber. The only sounds were barking dogs and the ringing of bells on the collars of a pack ... read more
Glyn enjoying the walk up Mount Olympus
The Gods farting
Prionia

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki June 1st 2013

Gelato now seems to be a thing of the past but I will report again once we reach gelato area again. Breakfast this morning was included in our room rate and a very good Greek style breakfast it was too with creamy yogurt and a half cooked peach,egg,salami,beetroot etc. The day was fine and sunny and it had the feeling it was going to get very warm as the day progressed. The unusual sandstone 'hills'were formed 60 million years ago and are quite extraordinary as we have seen nothing else like them in our travels around Greece either this time or before. What is more remarkable about this World Heritage site is that on the tops of the 'hills' six monasteries have been built to follow the teachings of the Greek Orthodox church.The first was built ... read more
The pillars of Metora at sunset
The sandstone pillars at sunrise,Meteora
A little later after sunrise.Note the line of stones in the sandstone face

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki May 8th 2013

We left sad to leave the rolling hills and sadder to say goodbye to the engaging people we had met in Serbıa but also excited to be heading towards the sea, which we both hadn't seen in well over a year. On the bus leaving Plananıcıa we met Soran, we enjoyed sharing stories and he recently sent us an inspiring poem describing our meeting. We arrived in Nisa few hours later and started investigating how we would get to Greece. There were two trains leaving early the next morning. One to Skopje, Macedonıa and the other to Sofıa, Bulgarıa but still we had no idea if we could easily get to Greece from either of those places. Erıc had a gut feeling that Sofıa would be our best bet so at 2am we boarded a very ... read more
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