12 hours and 2 buses after leaving Taksim I awoke from a light doze on the bus to the predawn sight of white houses perched ona cliff above the water which told me I must be in Greece. Arrived in Thessaloniki bright and early on Saturday morning and was met by Maggie and her aunt at the bus station. After dropping my bags at the house and enjoying a strong Greek coffee, Maggie and I headed out to explore the town.
Started ont he waterfront where we found the town's most famous landmark, the White Tower whose bloody history and amazing views made it a great spot to visit. Inside is a cool museum onthe history of the town but there is no English. A little further along is a statue dedicated to Alexander the Great which we visited and then headed inland to find food. We soon learnt that ordering a main and an entree in Greece is not the best plan but luckily we were spared from finishing all our food when a sudden downpour drowned the last few zuchini balls or we may still have been there eating now.
Completely stuffed, we braved the rain and stumbled across the site of the Roman Forum' an enormous archeological dig site in the centre of the city which we were able to explore before visiting the beautiful St Demetrius church. Sadly the catacombs were closed but we will try again in a few days, and the rest of the church was pretty amazing with mosaics and relics aplenty.
Strolled around for a bit and recharged at a Starbucks (don't judge us!!) until it was close to sunset and then trekked up the hill past more Roman ruins; the Palace and Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda, to the ruins of the Byzantine walls and fort overlooking the town. Enjoyed a fabulous view of the sunset over the ocean and walked the whole way around the walls before deciding to call it a day so I could finally, finally get to sleep.