Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Greetings from Greece dear family and friends! Today was a sight-seeing day in Thessaloniki. We started the day off with a run along the Thermaic Gulf and up to the famous "White Tower" which appears to be the main tourist attraction here. After breakfast in the hotel, we asked the hotel concierge about how to get on the Bus 50 "cultural tour" which I had read about on wikipedia and he couldn´t really explain it to me because his English was not so strong. Nonetheless, we headed to a local bus stop and just hopped on a bus and asked the bus driver and figured it out.
The coast line of Thessaloniki is nice and the different Byzantine, Christian, Roman, Turkish and Muslim monuments and historic buildings are cool, but I am glad that we are heading down south to Athens in a few days because there is not a whole lot to do here once you have taken the tourist bus. There are a lot of apartments and cafes along the coast and along the streets and everyone seems to like to hang out and "be seen" drinking these really cool looking coffees, called frappes or freddos (both cold). As you can see, we had to partake in this activity too, you know, to blend in with the locals.
We took a tour of the White Tower and learned a little about the significance of this region. Most of you probably already know that the books of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians in the Bible´s New Testament was written by Paul, to the church in Thessalonica. I really like the books of Thessalonians because they are both "encouragement" books and I like the whole concept of encouraging others and being encouraged.... Don´t you!?
Being in Thessaloniki has really made me look at these two books in the Bible with a fresh persective. Growing up in Australia, although there are lots of historically significant sites, especially Aboriginal sites, one must not forget that Australia is still a really young country, which was discovered by Captain Cook in 1788. (I think most of the houses in our German village were built by then!! Ha.) Paul wrote the letter to the Thessalonians over almost 2000 years ago.
Paul established the church in Thessalonica during his second missionary trip (about A.D. 51). According to the New Living Translation, Paul visited Thessalonica on his second and third missionary journeys. According to Wikipedia: "Thessalonica was located along the "Egnatian Way", which was a Roman road going from Rome to the Orient. This road was 19 feet wide and paved with stone slabs or packed sand. Paul and his companions travelled along this road from Neapolis to Thessalonica. Thessalonica is about 100 miles from Philippi and 500 miles from Athens." 
 We are staying on one of the main streets in downtown Thessaloniki. Guess what it´s called?! Egnatian Street! I thought that was cool.....
I wonder if Paul knew how good the sweets were in Thessaloniki? Oh yes. After our tour of the old and new parts of town, we walked down to the markets to have a look around and sample some things. Have you ever tried Lebanese or Turkish sweets? They usually have lots of sugar, nuts etc. Yes, I am weak when it comes to sweets. Well, we bought some to sample. Here is Zev practicing his best Greek (remember: "It´s all Greek to him"....heard that once or twice today ;-))
Look at how happy he is with his sweets....
Needless to say, it is 5pm and guess who is taking a nap on the bed next to me?
Signing off for now! Hope you are having a lovely week so far,
Fi xo


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