Blogs from Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece, Europe

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Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki July 2nd 2018

Spectacular concert. What a memorable evening of music led by Emily Ellsworth with Anima,, Sarasota, and two Greek choirs. Sharing the stage, making music together is powerful. The house was packed. The audience included a group of kids from Village Philyros. What a wonderful reunion afterwards. We started our day at the pool with swimming and a a Greek pizza party. Oh what a day we have had. Packing and bed.in progress. ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki July 1st 2018

It was quite a day visiting the Children's Village of Philyros. We learned about the orphanage and sang a fun song for them. Then we found a common song- everyone knows "if you're happy and you know it , clap your hands". We all then put a fresh coat of paint on the playground equipment. Lots of red, blue, and yellow paint applied and also on on our appendages It was a spectacular experience. Some sightseeing. Plenty of good Greek food and water. And a rehearsal with all the festival choirs Sleep will feel very good tonight ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki June 30th 2018

Two rehearsals were bookends to a wonderful day here in Thessaloniki. Breakfast was quite fantastic. Everything anyone could ask for from eggs to crepes to 10% Greek yoghurt. Breads and sweets and fruit and yes Dolmades and many other Greek traditional foods Morning rehearsal brought our Greek choir friends to join us and Sarasota Young Voices We walked to a charming square for lunch. Many great looking plates of food consumed at outdoor cafes. A trip to the Byzantine Museum (the history of early Greece) was very interesting with enthusiastic guides. And then- dinner. Greek porkchops with ice cream for dessert before returning for another rehearsal to end the day All in all a good day in Greece. Now for some sleep! ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki June 11th 2016

Today I took a day-long tour to the two capitals of the Macedonian kings. Alexander and his father lived in the new capital, Pella, down on the plain but they returned to the old capital, Aigai (surrounding the modern town of Vergina), for ceremonial occasions and to be buried. No one knows for sure where Alexander's tomb is, but by some miracle the tomb of his father, Philip, was found at Aigai undisturbed in the 70s. It yielded an amazing wealth of objects, including the golden box in which Philip's cremated remains were placed and a beautiful wreath made of gold leaf, formed into oak leaves and acorns and my favourite: Philip's greaves (bronze shin protectors) which were mismatched because of an injury to one leg. Unfortunately I can't post a photo from Aigai because this ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki June 9th 2016

I was rather excited at the idea of taking my first ride on a Greek train this trip. My alarm didn't go off so I scrambled to get to the station for the 6:40 departure. When I got there, it was very quiet. A few homeless-looking guys were hanging around. No train. No one in the office. After a few minutes I went to see if there was anything posted to indicate that something was amiss, and sure enough there was a notice with the dreaded word ΑΠΕΡΓΙΑ - "strike" in Greek. No trains today. Welcome to Greece! I hustled over to the bus station to find I had plenty of time before the first bus of the day at 8:00. I could have used that extra hour of sleep! I've now found a website that ... read more

Europe » Greece » Central Macedonia » Thessaloniki October 5th 2015

So I climbed Mt. Olympus. It’s possibly the most incredible and most taxing adventure I’ve ever had. I knew it would be strenuous. I knew it would be amazing. It was definitely worth every step and every sore muscle that I found. The bus left Thessaloniki at 11ish on Saturday and took us the two hour drive to the trail head, where cold fresh mountain water spouted from a hole in a stone wall. We filled up our water bottles as our guide reminded us that we needed to stay together and stay on time. This is the first serious hike I’ve been on in a large group, and by large group I mean about 35 of us. I don’t know if I’ll ever hike in such a big group again, but I couldn’t have done ... read more
Foggy Mt. Olympus Climb
Fog in the Trees Feels like Home
Donkeys

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




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