>Travel Pictures


Thessaloniki is the 2nd largest city in Greece, and a natural base for our first few days in the northern part of the country. We hadn't anticipated much more than a crowded port city, but instead were surprised by a crowded, history-full port city. It seemed that everywhere we turned, we found another Greek, Roman, or Byzantine church, ruin, or excavation.
The city opens onto the Aegean, and is full of narrow streets with cafes and walking areas scattered about. Everywhere you look, there are signs of the old and new coexisting.  This is part of the original Roman wall that first defended the city.
Galerius was a Roman Officer who helped defeat the Greeks and make Salonica, as it was known at the time, a Roman city.  He built an arch to commemorate his triumph and it sits right in the middle of modern day down-town Thessaloniki. 
The White Tower is THE landmark of Thessaloniki.  It was first built as a Byzantine defense citadel, but has since been used as a jail, a government building and a museum.

The excavations of the Romans Agora fascinated Alea.  She found shards of pottery all over - some probably quite old. The kids called them "Harry Pottery."

The transcendence of ancient 'utility' was brought home to us as we saw modern PVC tubing being used to transport water in exactly the same manner as clay tubes were in ancient times. Alea actually kept the piece of clay pipe she's holding and brought it all the way back to Belgrade with us. (for those who are concerned, the piece she had was not an antique - it was from a rubbish pile)
Thessaloniki had two very nice museums, the only two indoor museums we ever went to!  The church is outside the Museum of Byzantine Antiquities.  This icon is indicative of many found in Orthodox churches.
Two beautiful churches in Thessaloniki.  The one on the right is new and the one on the left was built in 1065. 

The old Roman agora was the center of the town around the time of Christ. It is amazing to see how far below today's street level it all is - all under the 'stuff' that has piled up in the last 2,000 years. We spent a fun morning exploring the shops, theater, winery, and museum tucked away under the busy streets of the city - and we were the only ones there.

The archeological museum was undergoing reconstruction, so we were surprised to find piles of 'old stuff' just lying around in the courtyards. Breck thought the going was a little tough and took a breather by a modern flower pot.

Cafes were everywhere in town, and so when mom and dad wanted to take a break, we would usually hit one of those. The kids found their favorite in Thessaloniki - they had an UNO game (as well as Scrabble in Greek!).

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