One of the first European cities that a Turkish primary school student hears of is Thessaloniki/Salonica as our great founder, Ataturk was born here. However, we never learn anything about its culture, history, or architecture so this trip has been pretty surprising for me. It’s the second biggest city of Greece and you feel amazed when you see the whole land from its castle and highest walls called Kastra/Eptapyrgio in the nort-eastern side of the acropolis. Of the seven towers in the fortress, the middle one that flanks the entrance was constructed by the Turks in 1431. It was erected immediately after the fall of the city (1430) and was named Yedi Kule, as the whole fortress came to be known. Our entrance to that beautiful city was unforgettablly funny. As we arrived there quite late like at around 2 am, we were tired and sleepy and had difficulty finding our hostel. Later, a police car started to follow us and warning us to stop. A few minutes earlier, we had broken a little ‘no turn’ traffic rule and so felt scared to death. However, these two officers turned out to be the most friendly cups in the world as finally they escorted us to the hotel. How lucky we were! Before going to Kastra, of course, our first stop was Mustafa Kemal’s house which has recently been renovated and now serves as a free museum exhibiting some lovely photos of Ataturk. That place was the most moving part of my trip and I felt once again that our father was really a hero and I feel so happy, lucky and proud of him. Passing that house, we climbed until those Byzantine walls and fortress which gave us a breathtaking view of the city. There we met a very nice Italian guy with whom we had a Greek coffee along with an enjoyable chat. Later, we went down to the center wandering around beautiful streets totally covered with a variety of graffities. I had never seen such a city having a graffiti in its every part. Its population (around 750.000) mostly consists of young people so it’ll be the European Youth Capital. Also it’s the capital of the region of Central Macedonia, which sounds confusing to us as Macedonia is also another country. Thessaloniki is pretty beautiful, warm, cheap and easy. You can have a great dinner (with souflaki) by 10€ and a buffet breakfast by 3€ gbut avoid asking for extra tea as it’s also 3€). No need for car or bus to travel as it’s amazing and easy to walk around. White Tower on the coast is a must-see and free for students like me 😉 it has many more monuments and sights to see so I’d like to visit it again and again.
Sozun ozu: Okula basladigimiz anda ogrendigimiz bu Avrupa sehrinin neye benzedigini bilmeyerek gecen yillarin ardindan nihayet gidip gorme sansini yakaladik. Yunanistan’in ikinci en buyuk sehriymis, nufusu 750 bin civari olsa da. Dolayisiyla kucuk, sicak ve sevimli bir sehir. Zaten girer girmez sevimli, iyi niyetli, iyi derecede Ingilizce konusan polisleriyle gonlumuzu kazanmisti. Bize eskortluk yaparak otele ulastiran bu super adamlara cok minnattar kaldik. Ertesi sabah ilk is Ataturk’un evini ziyaret ettik. Bal mumundan yapilan heykeli, hayatinin farkli kesitlerinden cok guzel fotograflariyla harika bi muze olmus. Hele bu zamanda farkini, zekasini, yetenegini daha iyi anladigimiz Atamizla gurur duyarak ayrildik. Sonra Yedi Kule diye daha once derslerde duydugumuz bolgeye sehrin kuzeydogusundaki Bizans duvarlari ve kalesinin oldu yere ciktik. Manzara muhtesem, surlar Turkiye’de oldugu gibi bakimsiz. Italyan bir cocukla tanisip hos bi kahve muhabbeti ettikten sonra sehrin merkezine rasgele sokaklara dala cika indik. Her yer sasirtici derecede grafitiyle donanmis, bazisi cok guzel bazisi bicimsiz de olsa sehre ayri bi ozellik katmis hepsi. Nufusun buyuk cogunlugunun genclerden olustugunu duymustuk bu yil da Avrupa Genclik Baskenti secilmis. Yine de yerde genc insanlari gormek de insana ilginc geliyor. Selanik, yeme icme konusunda acayip ucuz bir sehir. Her seyiyle tastamam bir aksam yemegine 10€, acik bufe kahvaltiya 3€ veriyosunuz. Ama cay istemeyin yanina cunku bi cay da 3€. Gorulecek cok tarihi mimarisi olan bu guzel sehre tekrar tekrar gitmek isterim sahsen 😉