Thessaloniki – Athens little sister

Thessaloniki, or Slonica, may feel like Athens little sister but should definitely not be underestimated.

Greece’s second largest city and capital of the state of Macedonia is located almost 500 km from Athens in a bay at the Thermatic Gulf. Named after Alexander the Greats’ sister, the cities history began in 316 BC and led its inhabitants through the Roman period, the Byzantine era and the Ottoman period to its independence in 1912. Today, Thessaloniki and its people beam with hospitality and kindness. This is one of the reason friends of mine who own Zone Garage Calgary decided to make this the first stop on their recent trip to Greece.

It is very easy to navigate the city and it only takes a good 30 minute walk from the waterfront at the lower end to the hilly higher end. As the different historic periods left their marks, there is quite a lot to discover and it is easy to forget time when you walk through Ano Poli, the upper town, and it´s steep, labyrinth streets and stop at its hidden cafes and impressive ruins. The Jewish community influenced areas in the lower town settling in Thessaloniki in the 15th and 16th century. This contributes to its diversity until today with an awe-inspiring synagogue, remarkable mansions and moving exhibitions at the Jewish Museum.

Modiano Market
When you feel like recharging your batteries, do not forget about Modiano Market. Local vendors offer fresh fruits and vegetables, delicious Greek olives, tempting sweets and traditional drinks, you simply cannot resist!

The rather easy-going Greek lifestyle invites visitors to get an iced Frappe Coffee and take a rest at one of the squares, watching the hustle and bustle of the city or stroll past the White Tower and enjoy the stunning view over the sea.

Those looking for indoor activities will not be disappointed by the cities countless museums and churches or find themselves drawn into one of the many shops selling local arts and craft work.

You can end your day in one of the modern bars or traditional tavernas with some finger licking dishes, sweet indulgences like revani (a syrupy semolina cake), ouzo or raki and a mesmerizing sunset.

It is all too easy to spend day after day, strolling around the city, discovering yet another hidden treasure in the streets of Thessaloniki, getting carried away by imagining what life must have been like in the ancient times.

If you think these reasons aren´t good enough to check for the next flight to Thessaloniki right away, there is more!

Halkidiki
Just a short ride from the city the popular peninsular Halkidiki enchants its visitors with dazzling beaches and lovely towns. And if you drive down the opposite side of the coastline, Mount Olympus challenges you to a hike and rewards you with a stunning landscape and a unique view over the sea.

So if you want to get away and enjoy a relaxing holiday on your own, with your partner or a group of friends, while having every option to explore a vibrant city, UNESCO monuments, culinary delights and a pulsating nightlife as well a inviting cafés, blue flag winner beaches and picturesque landscapes for wandering and hiking, Thessaloniki should be top of your list!

Three Things That We Would Tell a New Traveler

Is it hope or fear? Or maybe it is just excitement? There is absolutely no doubt that traveling for the first time can really provide you with all sorts of emotions. The reason for this is because when you leave your home to travel the world for the first time ever, you just don’t know what to expect. You don’t have any travel experience under your belt and you are as green as you can possibly be. Has anyone you know ever done this kind of stuff? This will probably be one of the first questions that you will have once you hit the road. And since you are so young and inexperienced when it comes to traveling, making some rookie mistakes shouldn’t throw you off your game too much. After all, you will probably have no idea what you are doing anyway, right? That being said, here are three things that we would tell a new traveler. We really hope you find all of these things useful!

Don’t Be Scared
When it comes to traveling, fear can be a very powerful deterrent. Although taking the leap into the unknown can ba a pretty scary thing to do, you need to know that you are far from being the first person to travel the world. Just remember that you are going to meet a lot of nice people along the way, and many of them will be more than willing to help you get to your next destination. If millions of people can do this kind of stuff each and every single year, what makes you think that you are not going to be able to do it? You may be scared now, but you will love every minute you spend on the road once you get used to being away from home.

Don’t Rush
It can be very tempting to try to see it all at once. But keep in mind that rushing through 10 different cities in 10 days just wouldn’t leave enough room for exploration. So, just take it easy. Try to take it all in – the scenery, the tourist attractions, and everything else.

You Don’t Need a Lot of Travel Gear
When it comes to covering a long distance, less is more. What this means is that you don’t need to bring a whole lot of travel gear with you. We strongly recommend you to buy a smaller travel backpack, because that way, you will not be tempted to pack everything that you can get your hands on.

How To Cut Your Expenses and Save More Money For Travel

We want to start this thing off with a little exercise that we have prepared just for you. So, are you ready to test yourself? Okay, great – here’s what you need to do! Take a piece of paper out of your notebook and write down all of your expenses that you can think of. This includes things like your mortgage, health insurance, car payments, cable bill, school payments, mobile phone, and just about every other expense that you can think of. Once you have done that, calculate how much money you spend each month on all of these things in total. The next thing that we want you to do is take another piece of paper out of your notebook and write down all of your luxury expenses. What we mean by this is that we want you to calculate how much money you spend on things like food, drinks, shopping, and movie nights, as well as that coffee that you drink with your friend every single day.

And just in case you can’t really calculate all this stuff right now, we want you to track your expenses for a period of 14 days and then come back to us with the results. Once you are done with all this math, tell us what you got. But wait just a second, we are pretty sure that we already know the result! The result is a large amount of money, isn’t it? But does this have anything to do with travel? Of course it does! You see, one of the main reasons why so many people out there don’t travel very often is because they think that they don’t have enough money to do it. While most of us have expenses that we just can’t cut, we all definitely have some expenses that we can get rid of pretty easily – only if we had the will to do it. That being said, here are some things that you should stop spending money on every single day!

Cut the Coffee
Do you love to drink coffee with your friend every single day? Well, that coffee loves to drink your money, you know? Having an occasional coffee night with your friend is completely okay, but doing it every single night is a bit too much.

Get Rid of Cable Television
We are all aware of the fact that we are living in the age of the Internet, right? That being said, there are many different online streaming services that allow you to watch your favorite TV shows for a relatively small price. So, do you really need to spend all that money on cable television?

Use a New Credit Card
A good credit card can give you not just free money, but free rooms and free flights as well. Who wouldn’t want to have something like that, right? So, get a travel-related credit card and start earning points as soon as possible.