Γεια σου. Με λενε Αλλι.

February 24, 2009

Ειμαι φοιτητρια. Εμαι απο τιν Αμερικι.

(Hello!  My name is Allie. I am a student. I am from America. Woooo learning a completely new language)

I realized that this weekend was the last full weekend I am likely to spend in Thessaloniki until right before I leave.  I understand that sounds pretty absurd considering I am in Greece technically until June 6th, but there are tons of one night/two day trips planned all over the country by the school, not to mention the trips I plan on taking on my own… so that is that!

In honor of my ‘last’ weekend I thought I should write a little more about the city itself.  Sights, sounds, smells and the like.

Salonica is about one sixth of the size of Athens, and you can tell immediately when you arrive.  Orienting yourself around the city is simple (especially once you learn the alphabet ahaha), as everything spreads out from the two main streets along the harbor.  Despite being Greece’s second largest city, there are no tall buildings in Thessaloniki, the highest I’ve seen are maybe fifteen stories high.  Almost every room has a porch and I can only imagine how much the water-view apartments along the harbor cost.  The buildings are a vast array of pastel colors: whites, blues, pinks, oranges and even the occasional yellows.  Ruins dating back to the Romans or Alexander  pop up in crowded marketplaces.  Stray animals are absolutely EVERYWHERE and frankly, cars here are more willing to stop for a stray dog crossing the street than a person (particularly a foriegner who looks lost.)  As a New Yorker at heart I find myself barely ableto contain my fury when cars honk at ME crossing the street, my first instinct is always to shout expletives.  If iI don’t get hit at some point during my time here I will consider myself very lucky.

The manageable size of the city reminds me of DC or Boston (of course I have some bias to always think of those cities first).  The sidewalks, however, are nothing like those I used to enjoy running along so much in DC.  They are narrow and pot-holed and my knees hate every second I spend running on the concrete boardwalk, though my eyes could not be happier.  An eight minute walk from my apartment is the boardwalk and the perfect forty minute run takes me along the water all the way to the White Tower and back.  I have a view of Mount Olympus, the whole gulf of Thessaloniki and the entire city stretching up the hillside to the ancient Byzantine walls that used to be the city limits. 

I will write more later but now I have to catch the bus in time to shower before Taverna Tuesday. (which I would like it known, I nicknamed and now the entire study abroad program has caught on… ahh the little things that make me happy)

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