Thessaloniki

The road which connect Kalabaka and Thessaloniki pass in the proximity of the Mount Olympus, the most famous mount of the Greece and also, thanks to numerous Greeks legends, one of the most famous in the world. Even if the day was nice, the visibility was not good and we didn’t managed to see not even the outline of the Olympus. Arrived at Thessaloniki we found lot traffic because of the soccer game (the final of the Greece Championship) between Aris (home team) and Olympiacos from Athens (Aris lost 2:0). The streets were crowded by Aris fans, all dressed in yellow, the colour of their team. After the lunch served in the "El Greco" hotel, where we stayed for three days, accompanied by a guide we visited some tourist destinations in Thessaloniki.

San Demetrio’s church isn’t the biggest in Thessaloniki, but it is considered the most important because it’s dedicated to the patron saint of the city.

Near the church there are archaeological excavations of a roman theatre. Thessaloniki has a problem similar to Rome’s: as soon as the workers start to excavate there is immediately work for the archaeologist. This is one of the reasons why the city, today, hasn’t an underground (actually there are work in progress for the construction of the underground).

On the hill which dominate the city, you can find the centre of an old Thessaloniki’s city with its walls. The city, founded in 315 before Christ, from the king of Macedonia Cassandro. The name Tessalonica is in fact the name of Cassandro’s wife, half sister of Alessandro Magno. From the hill you can admire a nice panoramic view and you can realise how is the city extended.

Along the sea you can find the famous White Tower, considered the symbol of the city. During the Turkish domination they called it Tower of the blood, because they used it as the place of tortures and execution of the prisoners so the walls were stained by blood. After the liberation from Turks, the tower was whitened to hide the blood and from then on it’s called White Tower. Not far from the White Tower you can find a monument dedicated to Alessandro Magno, one of the most famous conqueror of all times.

The Orthodox church Panagia chalkeon is situated in the centre of Thessaloniki, near to the Aristotle’s square. It wasn’t possible to take a look, because as many other churches, it was closed to the public.

The city is full of life in every time of day and night, and numerous bars and restaurants are always crowded, while the shops have, for us, strange open time: in fact only two, three days per week are open in the afternoon. This fact wasn’t appreciated by women of our group. Another fact, valid for all Greece, triggered displeasure in the group: the price of the coffee (espresso) is between 2 and 5 euros. The traditional Greek coffee (same as the Turk) cost instead, less, between 1 and 3 euros.

South Balkan

Meteore

Thessaloniki

Mount Athos

Rila

Ohrid

Albania

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