Monday, November 13, 2006

Thessaloniki

We came out of Kosovo back to Skopje for a few days. Wow the weather can change fast. It went from 25C to 2C practically overnight. We had a nice relaxing time in Skopje but were looking forward to moving on. Greece was actually never on the original plan and decided on more or less last minute. It is too expensive for us and we had no plans to do any more than see Thessaloniki and cut the corner on our way to Turkey.
We had a cool host and it was the first time really that we had other guests there as well. There were 3 others, making it even more fun. For some strange reason I never could get oriented in Thessaloniki and always felt lost. Not a good sign. It was really strange because there was no communist architecture anymore but lots and lots of apartment buildings and balconies. Crazy heavy traffic, very modern and expensive food. We didn't really see much and ran into the missionaries so hung out with them in the evenings. Ping pong and pool were fun but basketball was the best. In true Ammon fashion I ended up with a bloody nose too. If you don't bleed you aren't having fun. Odd fact for you, the mission in Greece/Cyprus is the most expensive in the world and the least successful as well. That's a huge contrast to Albania which is one of the best in Europe.
The weather was good and we spent the better part of a relaxing week there. Thessaloniki (I like it's other name Salonica better actually) is the 2nd largest city in Greece and historically was the 2nd city of Byzantium. It also has some great Byzantine ruins right in the middle of town.
From Thessaloniki we took head to Istanbul. Truly an amazing city and I immediately fell in love with it. Huge and with tons of history and character. I can't think of a more immediately impressive city. Gotta go check it out.
Ammon

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