Greece

Thessaloniki: "Welcome to Greece"

Litohoro
Greece
July 6, 2001

I took the bus south. It took one hour to cross the border out of Bulgaria and another hour to cross into Greece. After all the passport checking and rechecking - standing around in the hot sun for two hours - the driver drove about thirty seconds, pulled off the road and we stopped for a coffee! As Manuela might say, “Welcome to Greece.”

I arrived in Thessaloniki on July 4 and celebrated with a drink at a bar overlooking the Bay of Thessaloniki. I finally made it to the Sea. The bar was noisy and crowded with young people on cell phones, and the orange juice I ordered cost about as much as a full dinner in Sofia. I guess I am now in the West.

Yesterday I rented a car for my trip here in North and Central Greece.

You think Bostonians are crazy? Parisians? New Yorkers? Floridians? Forgetaboutit. Greek drivers are …!!! It’s a Greek Tragedy and The Furies are everywhere!

Greece: "Mountains; Beaches; Mountains"

Thessaloniki, Macedonia

July 15, 2001

My Dear Family and Friends,

This evening is my next to last day in Macedonia, my next to last day in Greece, and the next to last day of my journey in The Balkans. And what a journey it has been. Almost five weeks by airplane, train, subway, bus, car, taxi, hydrofoil, ferry, and foot. Lots of foot.

Perhaps you have guessed that I did not make it to the peak of Mt. Olympus. The morning after my four-hour climb to the refuge halfway up the mountain, the goddess of Prudence prevailed over the god of Arrogance (I was hurtin') so I trekked down for three hours to a hot meal, a hot shower, and a warm bed.

{C}

Athens: The Local Scene

Athens
Greece
April 24, 2015

My friends,

I suppose that when you think of Athens you think of Greek temples and marble columns and sculpture from centuries ago.  And I am sure that very soon I will see those unique features of the city.

But on this first morning I head out from my hotel to Victoria Square.   From the square I can take the subway to the Acropolis stop.  But instead  I decide to walk in that direction.   I eventually arrived at the station but not at the temple.

Athens: The Acropolis

Athens

Greece

April 25, 2015

Here I am at THE Acropolis, one of the wonders of the ancient world. 

So why am I so “down?”

Jetlag?

Homesick?

Headache from the din of noisy tourists?

Just can’t get motivated!

Then along come a Greek Goddess and her Faithful Companion. 

Athens: Museums

Athens

Hellenic Republic

Sunday

April 26, 2015

 

I need a drink every time I visit a place like this.

Housed in a small, lovely building, displaying a variety of secular artifacts and religious icons, the Jewish Museum of Greece carries the appropriate name - a museum - the lifeless panorama of history.

Jews lived in Greece for more than two thousand years.  But in large numbers, Jews arrived in Greece following their expulsion from Spain and Portugal in the late Fifteenth Century.  For more than four hundred years, communities thrived here, especially in the northern city of Thessalonica, known as the “Little Jerusalem.”  In 1940, the Jewish population of Thessalonica exceeded 53,000 children, women and men.

Athens: The Fun Ride

Athens

Greece

April 26, 2015

Hello,

My friend Ralph Velasco is a professional photographer and tour guide.  He recently published a book called Essence of a Place.

The subtitle of the book is A Travel Photographer's Guide to Using a Shot List for Capturing Any Destination.

http://ralphvelasco.com/products/essence-of-a-place-photography-ebook/

Ralph suggests more than a dozen categories including “Customs and Traditions.”

May I add a sub-category?  “Recreation.”

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