Monday, June 29, 2015

GREECE: Pelion and Thessaloniki, Guest Post by Lucas Gutierrez-Arnold

We rented a four-person bike to pedal along the waterfront in Thessaloniki.
In May, my grandson Lucas spent two weeks in Greece and Turkey with his family—my daughter Jennifer, her husband Humberto, and my granddaughter Alessandra. During the trip Lucas kept a log of some of their activities as part of his school assignment. I am delighted that he has agreed to share some of his posts with The Intrepid Tourist. Lucas just finished fifth grade. The trip was organized around a professional conference Jennifer was attending in Thessaloniki.

Kayak trip in Pelion, from Damouchari beach to Fakistra beach.
Day 4: Pelion
I woke up, had breakfast, and went for what was meant to end up as a walk.  But later on in the walk we passed by a place that gave kayak tours, and so we went on one. Our first stop was in a cove where Greek women and children hid during WW II while their husbands and fathers were in the Resistance. We saw engravings in the limestone, the latest from 1936 when the war started. Next we went to see a couple of sea caves.  One of them was the biggest sea cave on that side of Pelion. In that cave I saw some stalactites almost 70 cm long. Later, after we got home from kayaking, we went to see a 1000 year old tree that was pretty short and stubby but very wide!

The White Tower in Thessaloniki.
Day 6 : Thessaloniki
I woke up very early so my mom could get bright and early to her conference. After my mom left, my dad and my sister and I went to see the White Tower. There was a very interesting little red panel outside. It said that the White Tower used to be called the Red Tower because executions took place on the White Tower’s top and the executioners let the blood run down the sides. The reason it is called the White Tower now is because  a convict white-washed the whole entire tower in exchange for his freedom.  Once we got inside the tower you had to go up a winding tunnel to get to the top. At the top of the tower you had a great view of the port, which  gave the Thessalonians  control over the port because of the high vantage point.

View of Thessaloniki at night.