So I spent another night in Trikala before hitching a ride with another guest to get back to Thessaloniki.
We took her rental car to the airport and then took the bus into the centre. I walked with her until I found my hostel and then checked in. Having already been to Thessaloniki, I knew of a few sights I wanted to see and so I set out in search of the first one. It was the open market but as I arrived on a Sunday it was closed. I visited it the next day but actually preferred it when it was closed as it looked more abandoned.
That evening I met up with someone I’d met last time I was here, and they taught me how to play Backgammon. It’s a fun game but I’m absolutely awful at it and so I have a tendency to keep losing.
The other sights I saw during my time there were the Byzantine Walls, the old fortifications around the northern section of the city and a monastery around there. Unfortunately on my way back down from the hill it started to rain so I had to quickly make my way through the city sheltering myself from the downpour.
According to my hostel, the most visited site in Thessaloniki is the Rotunda, but I was very hesitant about going in as I couldn’t bring myself to pay the €2 entrance fee. Luckily, I was walking past one day and I saw that they had dropped the charge that day so I took a wander through the the building. It’s a large circular Roman Temple that houses some large mosaics but most of them have faded over time. Up until 1912 the building was used as a mosque, and from then it was claimed by the Orthodox church. Nowadays, the building is a historical monument,although the Greek Orthodox Church has access to it for various festivities.
Over my time in Thessaloniki I got the chance to try a whole host of new foods. Gyros, Greek Pizza and Spanakopita were the 3 dishes I had most often and I really enjoyed them. I did also try such foods as fried cheese, pumpkin balls and a spicy, cheesy dish called Bugiurdi. This was quite a surprise for me as I was told it would be really spicy but as it contains feta cheese, it was nowhere near as hot as I was expecting. I have to say, the foods of Greece are probably the best I’ve tried with other Balkan foods close behind.
After spending a few days in Thessaloniki I decided it was time to move on again so I booked a bus to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria.