Kent and I have finally waited to the day to start our journey for the summer holidays.
We received a text message from British Airways to drop our luggage a day before the travel date to avoid queue. When we reached the airport, it was not crowded. We checked our bags in without much hassles but we had to wait at the airport until the next day to depart. The night was long and the airport was dead quiet.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece. The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedonia. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedonia as daughter of Philip II.
Thessaloniki does not give us a good impression when we first arrived. We actually found our hotel, Hyatt Regency, instead an oasis in the region. The city looks dirty, not well maintain and is surrounded with flat looking buildings. It is an ancient city with rich history and therefore many ruins and ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman’s building can be found among the new buildings.
However, we appreciate more of the city after we visited the Heptaprygion or more known as Yedi Kule which means Fortress of Seven Towers. The view from the top of the hill is amazing. And we agreed that the only way to appreciate this city is to look for the hidden gem in the city itself.
Apart from the history, museum and the archeological site, Thessaloniki is also known for its cuisine. Since ancient time, Thessaloniki serve as an important port in the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean, therefore there are many influence from Asia Minor, Arab, Armenian and many others.
Most of the sightseeing places can be reached by foot from White Tower.
White Tower of Thessaloniki
We bought a museum pass for Euro 15 that covers Archeological Museum, Byzantine Museum and White Tower of Thessaloniki.
White Tower is a monument and a museum at the waterfront. It is worth seeing, specially the view on the top of the tower. There is a cafe on the top, however, it is temporarily close due to the COVID. Not far from the White Tower stands a statue of the Alexander the Great near a park. If the time allowed, get on a ferry near the White Tower for a ride. It costed Euro 3 for a person, however, free of charge for the ride if you purchased a drink on the ferry.
Statue of Alexander the Great
It is located not far from the White Tower, by the Waterfront of Thessaloniki.
No entry fee.
Rotunda was a massive circular structure with a masonry core that had an oculus like the Pantheon in Rome.
It was later converted into mosque during Ottoman period and now a museum.
Arch of Galerius ( Kamara)
Not far from the Rotunda stands the Arch of Galerius.
Archeological Museum of the Roman Forum of Thessaloniki
Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Museum of Byzantine Culture
Church of Prophet Elias
Church of St Demetrios
Towards the end of our stay in Thessaloniki, the weather is getting more and more unbearable due to the heat wave. There were days the temperature is at the high 47 Celsius. Turkey is burning, and there were fire 10 miles away from where we were staying.
Therefore, we decided to leave Thessaloniki earlier than planned and visit the Greek islands. While we were in the air flying to Rhodes island, we can see Evia island was still on fire. It has been burning for days and still burning.