My husband and I had a great one week visit to Thessaloniki, Greece where our daughter Delaney is spending her first semester of college. We split our time between the city and outlying towns. Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece situated on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea (we found a last minute deal at Hostelbay.com/ferries and decided to pull the trigger spontaneously). November is off season which proved to be the perfect time to see the sights without the summer crowds. I found our hotel on https://hoteljules.com/ and the hotel was right on the water which meant watching beautiful sunsets every night.
The hotel was also walking distance to many restaurants and markets. The first day we had a food walking tour. We were able to taste the local foods and learn about the area while walking through Aristotle Square and the open air markets.
A fun alleyway with sculptures overhead and lots of bird cages.
I snapped a photo of this old guy in the antique row. I just thought he was adorable. I didn’t inquire but I guess he would have sold me anything I wanted out of the room behind him. The graffiti was compliments of the Greek youth and was everywhere. I know, I’ve been known to say I like graffiti but I’ve kind of changed my mind. When I say it was everywhere there was no part of the city spared and it was not pretty.
We took a train to Meteora to see the monasteries built on top of the rocky hills. It was spectacular and well worth the long train ride there. We stayed overnight which meant we had a sunset tour the first night and a morning tour the next day. Both were beautiful.
On our last day there we hired a guide to take us hiking on Mt Olympus. Delaney joined us even though she was a wee bit tired from her all night escapades in the clubs that stay open until 7 am. The mountain was beautiful, the air was so fresh. The hike was challenging because you were either going straight up or straight down.
The mountain wasn’t really purple like my cell phone shots made it look. It was light gray actually. It was crazy beautiful though.
We ate lunch on a plateau and talked to our guide about the Syrian refugee crisis. It was so interesting to hear stories from someone who has actually encountered and housed refugees. She told us the family she housed had spent the winter on the Turkey border living in tents. She said they are just like us. Normal people trying to keep their families together and find a safe place to live.