Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hanging Out in Thessaloniki

As we drove from Germany to Turkey, we passed through Greece and spent two nights in Thessaloniki. This city, located on the Aegean Sea, is the second largest in Greece.

It was quite comical using the GPS to navigate through the streets, as Ferit's GPS application apparently isn't able to speak Greek. The app constructed us to continue along the course of the road for 3 kilometers and then to turn right onto "Epsilon tau eta nu iota kappa iota sigma Alpha mu iota nu iota sigma." Ha!

The White Tower, which is the symbol of Thessaloniki.
The tower served as both a place of executions and a prison during the Ottomon Empire.

Dilek, me, & Ferit, in front of the White Tower.

I enjoyed walking around the city and seeing preserved bits of history
sprinkled among the modern buildings.

And I really loved seeing all the feral kitties sprawled out, relaxing on the ruins.

I less-enjoyed seeing all the scum and garbage at the shore of the Aegean.
Can you spot the dead, bloated city rats?

Meet a very waxy Mr. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk,
the founder of the modern day Republic of Turkey.
We visited Atatürk's birthplace, which was in Thessaloniki.

I particularly enjoyed learning about the compulsory population exchange
that occurred shortly after the Republic was established.
As part of the exchange, the Muslim population living in Greece was exchanged
with the Greek Orthodox citizens leaving in Turkey.
The purpose of the exchange was to achieve ethnic-national homogeneity.

As we walked around town,
Ferit & I had some fun balancing on some yellow posts.

It's hard to resist posing in front of a wall full of graffiti.

After dinner, we walked back to the sea and saw folks lounging about on the dock...

...while thousands of people filled the streets in protest.

Once a year, when the Prime Minister comes to town, people from all over Greece
come to Thessaloniki to protest anything and everything under the sun.

These two protestors make for an interesting photograph.

As do these two protesting wanna-be's.

The city was just as gorgeous at night.


  1. Doh me ew on the bloated rats! But impressive balancing, had I tried that you woulda had a pic of me sprawled on the ground. Love the photos and history lessons.

    What were the wanna be protestors protesting?

    1. Thanks, Tony.

      The wanna be protestors were protesting the protests of the protestors.

  2. Sarah, my friend Anna is living in Thessaloniki for several months with her husband -- they are Greek Americans and trying to become fluent in Greek before he (Mike) starts working as a priest. Anna blogs about it here:

    1. I just spent some time reading Anna's blog. Thanks so much for the link! I always enjoy reading about other people's adventures in new territories. Best of luck to Anna and Mikey! :)


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