Thessaloniki, Greece

Although there was some disappointment about not being able to take the ferry to Trieste, that evaporated once we arrived in Thessaloniki.  We used Hyatt points to stay four nights at the Hyatt Regency Resort at Thessaloniki.  Having left the hustle and bustle of Athens, the park like setting of Hyatt was a breath of fresh air.  It was also nice to have a climate controlled room without hearing the annoying buzz of mosquitos during the night.  For four nights in Athens, all five us would wake at different times and hear pesky mosquitos. It was not like the apartment was inundated with mosquitoes, there were just a few that were small and fast.  They left their mark on Rachel, Ella, and to a lesser degree Sarah. The mosquitoes seemed to have a preference for hands, feet, face, and whatever was sticking out from under the covers.  Marcia and I did not escape unscaded so we had to exercise self control to avoid making the bites worse.

Our goal at Thessaloniki was to relax, swim and do little sight seeing.  The hotel staff made life very pleasant.  The setting was beautiful.  There were indoor and outdoor pools.  Since it was early in the season, the outdoor pool was like jumping in the Atlantic off the coast of Maine or Lake Michigan in June. As is often said, it’s not bad once you get in. The outdoor was actually bigger than the below video would indicate.

The concierge on duty was also the one who helped with bags and parked cars. Over the four days we were in Thessaloniki, we talked with Mike and Marios numerous times.  They had multiple suggestions for beaches, museums, restaurants, and shopping. The kids had hit the upper limit of their tolerance for museums and car trips to ancient sites, so we let Marcia do a solo visit to the Jewish museum in Thessaloniki.  Sadly, the once thriving Thessalonikian Jewish community was decimated when almost they were put on trains to concentration camps and did not come back.

We did make short trips to Mediterrean Cosmos Mall. It was the place to go for locals.  They claim to be the largest mall in Northen Greece.  I believe it because we walked by all of the 200 plus stores.  Here the girls are trying to avoid the camera. The food court had 15 or so restaurants.  Note Marcia and I did not go with the KFC option.
The view from the outdoor seating for the food court.  Notice the Aegean Sea between the peninsula and the amusement park.
Proof that Marcia and I ate the local option and not KFC.  2.8 Euros (about $3.15 USD) for each of our chicken gyros.  Absolutely delicious.  We will miss the many Greek salads, gyros, and lamb we enjoyed in Greece.

Our concierge, Marios asked about our travels, so I gave him our URL.  He mentioned his colleague, Mike kept a blog on his motorcycle travels with his wife and number of their friends.  The blog has great pictures, and there is a translate function to convert Greek to English.   Over and over again, the best part of traveling is meeting people and getting a glimpse into their worlds.