Summer in Thessaloniki

by Kristi Kostallari - 5 years, 4 months ago

It was the beginning of August 2012 and I had just returned from my studies in the US. I was really excited to come back to Thessaloniki, Greece, the place where I grew up. I couldn't wait to meet my old friends from high school, hang out and have fun. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that during that period of the year, most locals are away from Thessaloniki in the nearby beaches of Halkidiki or in their villages of origin. It didn't take much time to realize that my plans of meeting my old friends in the city would have to wait for a while... And I started thinking, what I could do to have a good time given the new situation. Suddenly a great idea passed through my mind: How would it be if I started visiting the sights of my hometown as a tourist? The idea sounds simple, but considering that most people do not visit the sights of their home city that often, it is a great educational opportunity. So what I did was wandering around with my bike and taking pictures of the sights that I considered characteristic of the city. I went down the Nea Paralia which still is my favorite area to go for a walk and relax. At some point I arrived at the White Tower, the symbol of Thessaloniki and I noticed that they had improved the surrounding area. Then I notice that there was a bus touring around the city which I had to take. So I hop in and start the journey thought the history of Thessaloniki which was influences by many civilizations (Greek, Roman, Turkish, Jewish, etc). I was amazed to see the historical significance of those places I pass by everyday. Certainly this experience helped me value more my hometown and appreciate its culture. The tour ended at the same spot where it began (the White Tower area) and when I started riding my bike, I was glad for deciding to take the initiative for this experience.

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