thomas m wilson

Arriving in Greece, Thessaloniki to Volos

June 12th, 2023

Almost a week ago I left Granada in the dead of the early morning. I love this city, but I needed some more contact with nature.

So to Greece I turned… However I flew through Dusseldorf – amazingly I was able to get into this bit of forest with the two and a half hours I had between flights.

Dusseldorf airport – or five minutes walk from its front entrance anyway.

Next to Thessaloniki. Turns out I booked an apartment right in the centre of the city, looking onto the Roman palace ruins.  This town is lively beyond belief – it’s a festival atmosphere on the street ever evening of the week, with crowds of twenty somethings hanging out drinking, talking, walking, chatting, playing instruments.  Graffiti more common than in Granada – and generally a slightly more grungy feeling.  The language sounds less European than Spanish – definitely a Balkan feeling to the place.  It was all burned down in 1917, and the city within the area of ancient Thessaloniki is mainly 1970s six story buildings, in an endless sea.  With just a few exceptions.  So not a beautiful city by any means.  But what a lively atmosphere.  And bookshops here and there, cheap food, and the sense of possibility and happiness that twenty-somethings can bring to a social scene. 

Thessaloniki was mostly demolished by a big fire in 1917 – today it looks like much of Europe – concrete and not very beautiful.
The Dervini Krater, 330-320 BC. Hammered from bronze, full of artistry and eroticism, it is a jewel of Thessaloniki.
Outside the Rotunda, a monumental Roman building in the centre of Thessaloniki.
It is possible to get a very cheap dinner in this town.
Thessaloniki has about 850k people but 100 thousand of them are students. It is a very vibrant street scene in the centre (Rotunda in background).
After a two and a half hour drive south past Mt Olympus, the mountain of the gods, still snow capped, a water side restaurant in Volos served me a glass of ouzo. As the quiet water lapped the quay and the Greek flag flapped in the wind, I felt I had arrived.
Soon enough a taxi was winding up the slopes of the Pelion, and Volos receded in the distance. The air became much cooler and more refreshing by the time we were a thousand metres above sea level.
And I had arrived at my home for the next couple of weeks… Kalikalos, Anilio.