Greece, Thessaloniki - Beautiful Place in Greece
Today we visit Greece's forgotten corner.
Greece has been a frequent theme in the media. We know mostly islands of Greece like Crete, Rhodos or Kos, or the capital Athens. Thessaloniki seems to have been put somewhere in the background. It is, however, a city from where Cyril and Method had come to Central Europe, their mission is obligatory curriculum in Czech schools.
There is much to see in Thessaloniki – for example, Arch of Galerius, Forum Romanum, Bey Hamam, Byzantine fortification etc. There is really a lot. You have to spend more than just a day or two in Thessaloniki.
In 315 BC, Macedonian king Cassander founded the city. In his youth, he was a student of Aristotle as well as Alexander the Great, Ptolemy, or Lysimachus.
Thessaloniki is named after Cassander’s wife Thessalonike, Alexander the Great’s half-sister. Thessaloniki became an important center of Christianity around the year 50 AD (during Roman rule). Apostle Paul founded the first church there. When the Roman Empire spilt to the western and eastern empire, Thessaloniki was the second city of the Eastern empire, right behind Constantinople. According to evidence 150 thousand people lived there. In London lived about 25 thousand people then, 50 thousand in Paris, 15 thousand in Prague, and 200 thousand in Constantinople.
Thessaloniki’s influence spread even to Central Europe in the 9th century for Cyril and Method, brothers from the city, spread Christianity there. But the story is too well known to go deeper into it. So for now we omit it.
Thessaloniki is located on the east of the Thermaic Gulf . The city is in tropical climate. Temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius are no exception. However, Thessaloniki’s proximity to the sea make it more bearable. But don’t get too excited. The closest beach is about half an hour ride from the center.
For instance, a beach in the town of Perea, is probably the closest to Thessaloniki, only 17 kilometers. The good thing is that a bus line goes there. This long beach is very popular as the night life shows.
If you don’t mind a longer haul, then visit a popular resort in Asprovalta. It is 80 kilometers to the west from Thessaloniki. Otherwise small town grows bigger due to tourism in summer. No wonder. Crystal clear water and pine groves is a strong incentive.
To be continued...
GPS: 40°37'57.5"N 22°56'28.9"E
Text: Maxim Kucer
Photo: Wikipedia.org: Eftchyia Zerde, Elisa Triolo, Evilemperorzorg, Knop92, Hombre
The green island of Thassos is situated in Eastern Macedonia. It is green because mountain peaks are covered by pine and olive groves. Its rocky shores are washed by the tranquil Aegean Sea. You will not find any airport or industrial zone. That makes the air here great. Thanks to the marble subsoil, one of the best marbles in the world is mined here.
Last time, we wandered around the best beaches you can find near Thessaloniki. Unfortunately, these are not as close for you to reach it on foot. However, beautiful environment should do.
Last Friday, we visited an underground museum that is, honestly, not very interesting except for being underground. Today, our trip goes to other, more interesting museums.
One of the most popular holiday resorts in recent years has been Greek island of Samos, the birthplace of famous Pythagoras. What reason stands behind large numbers of tourists coming there between June and first half of September? There are actually couple of them!
After several articles on London we jump across Europe to the Mediterranean, actually to the east part of the sea. Today we will have a taste of sun after rains of London, and warm waters of the Sea of Crete.
We return to Greece again to see another less known place. Well, more or less...
This time we decided to set off to explore towns and cities in Greece. Litochoro was one of our first stops. This "stone town" is situated close to the Olympic Mountains.
Upon our visit to Litochoro, we moved several kilometers on. Our next stop was a typical Greek village with amazing nature, interesting architecture and amazing vistas.
We stay in the sunny country of Greece also this week. Today, we visit the most popular summer resort on the Olympic riviera – the town of Paralia. This sea resort is about 8 kilometers away from the capital of Pieria prefecture. Paralia is a great place to relax at and have fun.
We end our journey across Greece on Skiathos, an island in the Aegean sea. It makes the Sporady archipelago together with the neighboring islands of Skopelos and Alonissos. If you like Mama Mia musical, this is a total must for you.
Last week we have lured to you to our trip to Crete. This hilly island hides many things, no healthy tourist would miss that. Today we will take a look on one of the largest cities of Crete, Rethymno. First, we will talk about local cuisine. Next week will visit some landmarks.
After unveiling gourmet side of the Cretan city rise from the comfortable sitting in one of the local restaurants and we will explore the historical legacy left by several millennia of human habitation.
In Rethymno we have already spent a lot of time. We saw something of its historic heritage, even if there is yet much more to see. We just randomly mention some of them.
We left Rethymno. It slowly fades behind us. We travel towards Cretan nature in the Samaria gorge.
After Samaria we move today to Agios Nikolaos.
Last look at Agios Nikolaos and a trip to Spinalonga.
In today’s article we say farewell to Crete. This farewell is will be more in historc manner for we visit the most important landmark in the island – the palace of Knossos.
Local people don´t call the island other way than tell Zante. This home of giant tortoises, not about a typical Greek island with countless historical monuments, but if you will go there, you spend nice a very pleasant holiday, at which you will surely like to remember.
In the first part of our journey across the island of Zakynthos, I suggested that this place is indeed an ideal holiday destination, but there are not too many attractions. It is waste to invite every lovers of ancient architecture, because frequent earthquakes destroyed everything in the past, what could be kept from the time of Homer.
The third part of our little serial about the island we will finish by its greatest attraction is beach, where in 1980 wrecked smuggler ship.
The last and final part of our journey around the island we will finish in places where I had the opportunity to spend summer holidays - Limni Keri.
I go up a moderate hill to reach Asklepion where Hippocrates had his “office”. How Asklepios became a god? It was like this: Appollo, a god of health, wanted to teach his son Asklepios. He perfected heiling powers and thus became the god of medicine.
There was a large testing staircase in the center of Asklepion. To ensure good reputation of the hospital, the patients were supposed to walk up the stairs to the sanctuary without any help. If some died, they removed his body quietly in the night so nobody would see it...
Kos is one of many Greek islands. It is a popular destination not only for Czech tourists. It is located in the Aegean Sea near the Turkis shores near the Bay of Koss. It is a small island – it is 45 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide. The shore is 112 kilometers long.
The city with cultural traditions, with known rhetorical school (attended by Cicero and Caesar) and the famous sculptural school. Ever since its foundation (408 BC) the capital of the island is Rhodos, lies in whose northern tip.
Today we travel to Greek island of Kos. I met there Iva, a nice Czech, so we travel together. On the ship are all kinds of nationalities – French, Italians, Germans, English, Hungarians and us, Czechs! It is funny that I understand almost everyone yet they don’t have a clue. Our journey is pleasant. It takes around 50 minutes.
Based on Hippocrates the present Hippocratic oath was formed. Right in a shop I buy a papyrus with full oath in Czech!
One of the most attractive places on Rhodos east coast is Lindos, a city built in the rock. It has a acropolis and the temple of Athena of Lindos. The knights of the order of Saint John built the greatest local landmark.
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