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07 November 2005

A Short Trip to Thessaloniki

Rumours and facts about Greece's northern metropolis

As stated in the previous post, I spent this weekend on a short trip to Thessaloniki, hopping on a train Saturday morning and coming back Sunday at noon. Actually not long enough (by a huge margin) to really get an idea about this city. Greeks have a few cliches about Thessaloniki and its people: The city is described as being much nicer and friendlier than Athens. Let's examine those rumours to their fact value, using strictly scientific criteria...


First of all, Thessaliniki is said to be easier to navigate: Most big roads going in parallel to the sea line and if you are lost you can always go downhill until you reach the shore. On the other side the only thing sure in Athens is that there will be streets and houses around you in every direction for as far as you can imagine, no matter where you are.

Thessaloniki Street
scene

The people in Thessaloniki are said to say "Συγνώμη" (Signomi, "sorry") when they for example accidentally bump into you in the street. They will happily drive their cars over you when you cross the street without watching (they are Greek, after all), but supposedly they will apologize and explain to you that you were wrong. Athenians say that Thessalonikiotes are better dressed and especially the Greek boys insist that the girls are very beautyfull (I won't comment on the second point, but I felt a bit shabby in my "wozzitmatter" travel clothes).

People from Thessaloniki boast about the places to go out and their night life. These are said to be heavily improved due to things being so close together, while in Athens you need a car to go to the next bar. Even the food is said to be better in northern Greece. Wow.

From my short stay there, I can only say that I now assume all these rumours to be true. I liked the place a lot, even though I have seen only so little of it. There are actually places where the taxis stop in a line to pick up passengers. And from a completely representative sample of Taxidrivers, 2 out of 2 were not only friendly, but in fact funny, cracking jokes, telling stories and spreading good vibes. These thing are unbeknownst to Athenians.

My impression might be distorted to the positive by the friendly reception and hospitality of the HelMUG members up there. Thanks a lot you guys! (Special thanks to Dimitri for offering us lowly Athenians a couch for the night. Interesting place you have there and I enjoyed looking at all the books.)

Posted by betabug at 09:27 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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