Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Walk Down Memory Lane

This year for Father's Day, Dad, I'm giving you a walk down Memory Lane, which for at least today is a street in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Greek elections today are another reason our trip has been on my mind. While we were in Thessaloniki, I remember feeling overwhelmed at times about the history so visible before us. A history marked by centuries of invasions that have left their mark, but have not destroyed the country, the culture, the food, the courtesy that we experienced. I believe the survival skills developed over those centuries will help the people of Greece, whatever the outcome of today's elections. I look forward to visiting again.

Until then, Dad, this trip back to 2006 and the best vacation ever.

From the fresh-squeezed orange juice in the hotel to the anarchists across the road, from the ancient Roman ruins to the new restaurants with fresh, delicious food, from the sandals you bought on the first day to the good honey "for Americans" and everything in between, I loved being in such a wonderful and interesting place with you.

Thank you for being a great travel companion on that trip and for my whole life. Happy Father's Day!

Our hotel, the Hotel Olympia. Not so fabulous looking on the outside, but it was very nice on the inside.

Mosaic map of Thessaloniki on the wall in our hotel lobby. Lovely overview of the city.

Outdoor art we decided must represent tourists with maps. We looked like this every single day!

Daddy and the Greek flag on the roof of our hotel. A little tattered, but still hanging in there. (the flag, not Daddy!)

Ancient ruins, buildings and churches on every corner. Surrounded by high rises and other modern conveniences. I live in Atlanta, where old is only 100 years old. Completely different feel in Thessaloniki.

Roman Rotunda

Roman Amphitheater, just down the block from our hotel.

Lovely, modern government building with ancient ruins in front

Church dating from about 1000 a.d.

Byzantine Wall above the city

Colorful stall at the outdoor market

Inside the 4th (or 5th) century Church of Agios Dimitrios, said to be the largest in Greece. Agios means saint. Daddy's looking at the silver reliquary where the saint's remains are housed.

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