Friday, September 10, 2010

Athens & Thessaloniki

We arrived in to Athens around 6pm and opted to catch a taxi to our hotel.. We got ripped off by the taxi driver and charged 30 Euro for the taxi but let it go and checked in to our hotel and decided to go for a wander... We had noticed some drug deals going down around the corner in the taxi but ignored it and decided not to walk down that street!! Once we go out of the hotel we had been walking for around 70 seconds when we saw a guy walking towards us with a syringe in his hand - not to threaten people with but for him to shoot up, walked up another 50 mitres and a guy was actually squatting in the street shooting up!! We saw at least 6 deals go down. I was clinging to my bag tightly and we got some food and quickly headed back to the hotel to eat and didn't leave again for the day!
The following morning we got up and went to the Central train station to get our tickets to Thessaloniki. The underground train station was very well maintained and the streets were a lot cleaner during the day. We then went to the Acropolis and wandered around that area for a couple of hours before heading back to the main station for the 6 hour train to Thessaloniki.
Rory and The Acropolis
View of Athens from The Acropolis
Thessaloniki is in Northern Greece, closer to Macedonia/Bulgaria and Turkey - its the second biggest city in Greece and a friend from home has been living there with her family for the last 4 weeks so good chance to catch up with her and break up the massive train trips!
We arrived in around 9pm and couldn't book our tickets on to Sofia as the international train ticket desk had JUST closed! We then caught two buses to our hotel.. we were actually staying at least an hour out of the city in a beachy area called Perea, its a bit like Glenelg but with Jetty Road and Holdfast Shores combined and along the shoreline. Very pretty and nice and quiet - not very many international tourists!
Rory and the Jetty
The Beach

The following day we got up early for a morning walk and then came in to the city to meet up with Vikki, had lunch together and hung out for a couple of hours then came to the train station to book our next train to Sofia. The city is really lovely. Also set along the sea but with a concrete border not the beach, the city is humongous!! Lots of coffee shops and people drinking various forms of iced drinks.. not big alcohol drinkers here! All of the bars are actually coffee shops!
White Tower
Hanging out with Vikki
Had a mixed grill and some beers for dinner and were both asleep pretty early!
Our last day we went for a morning walk and then bussed it back to the train station to pop our luggage in lockers and then met up with Vikki again. Wandered around the city and hung out in the parks - had a really nice day!
Park Treats
Park Beers

Spent another 3 hours waiting for the train and now off to Sofia!!

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