Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sightseeing in Thessaloniki

On Sunday evening, we decided to stop working around the house and go down to Thessaloniki to be tourists. So we took the bus from Panorama (about 30-40 min ride) and got off at the White Tower, which is a famous landmark here. It was originally part of a 15th-century seawall. The Turks turned it into a prison -- actually Death Row -- where Janissaries (soldiers pulled from the Christian population) carried out brutal executions. It was said that you could see blood dripping down the walls of the tower, so it became known as "the Bloody Tower." In 1890, prisoners whitewashed the whole structure, hence the current name. You can go inside for a tour, but unfortunately it's closed until some time next year. After we stopped there, we walked down the sidewalk which runs along the Thermaikos Gulf and turned right into Aristotle Square. There we met a German man and his two kids who were also doing the sightseeing thing. We had met them on the train to Belgrad. They were very nice, so we went to see the old Roman Agora with them and then went for a drink along the seaside. I don't know if it was a language barrier, but we THINK they told us that when they visited Albania, the kids witnessed an Albanian child being killed right in the middle of the street -- his throat was cut and he was hung up in public. Lord have mercy.

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