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Zofona > Zofona Serbia > Balkan region > Thessaloniki, Greece
In April 2007 we drove to Thessaloniki because of spring holiday at Yde's school. We never visited Greece before. To be honest, I thought it would look a little bit more organised, especially the outskirts of Thessaloniki are messy. The centre of Thessaloniki looks nice, plenty of shops and nice buildings but the harbour view is not spectaculair.
The mediterranean way of living means full street in the evening, people are enjoying late diners at 10 pm and even the smallest children play outside far beyond what we would consider bedtime. But this also adds to the atmosphere of the city, it makes it more vibrant.
We stayed in two different hotels, hotel Egnatia palace is ok and has the advantage of being located very close to the main shopping streets and the harbour. It is not really cheap and the rooms are not special but if you quickly need something it is ok. The second one, hotel Olympia, is worth booking. Nice and modern rooms for a reasonable price, disadvantage is the very small elevator. It is located just a little bit further away than hotel Egnatia but right next to a street with antique shops and good restaurants.
We also visited Halkidiki, a peninsula located 70 kilometers from Thessaloniki. According to information on the internet the tourist season should start in April but everything was completely closed. And this really means everything, even supermarkets in the small villages were empty and deserted. The only activity we saw were bulldozers working to bring new sand to the beaches. If you want to visit Halkidiki, do not expect any action before May.
We kept on searching for an hotel but Yde got sick while driving around. Therefore we radically changed plans and decided to drive back to Skopje, Macedonia. It is just closer to Belgrade so if Yde would feel worse we could be home in less than 4 hours. Friends of us are now living in Skopje and we spend some time with them, and Yde and me climbed to the top of a mountain. He was a little bit afraid but also very proud as you can see.
We stayed two more days in Skopje before driving back to Belgrade. So if you decide to drive around in the Balkan region try to visit Skopje and Thessaloniki. Both interesting destinations and definately worth visiting. (posted by Jitze, 05/05/07)
Greece, official tourist info site
Greece according to Wikipedia
Thessaloniki according to Wikipedia