Sam Bowker: The Grand Tour Diary (2005 - 2006)

This is the archived journal of a 2005-2006 'Grand Tour' around the Eastern Mediterranean and along East Africa, written by Sam Bowker, whilst in search of his PhD topic.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Greece - Thessaloniki (2)

Dedicated to Nothing In Particular

Today has been dedicated to dull administrative stuff, the necessities of travel rather than the exotica I really set out to do. Subsequently I won't attempt to summarise most of it here.

On the more interesting front, I explored the city extensively. Many intriguing Byzantine Churches were discovered to be locked for private functions, and the museums were very flashy and new but almost empty of visitors. This wasn't a bad thing, technically, but it felt like I was in a huge house alone, with staff staring at me like they had nothing better to do. Excellent collections focussing on Byzantine everyday life, and a mind-blowing exhibition of Macedonian Gold from local tombs.

It has been particularly interesting to observe the changes in museological attitudes to the Ottomans, coming out of (victorious) Turkey now to the (conquered) Greek perspectives. Small but pertinent selections of words and emphasis are most telling.

Walking along the Agean's edge at sunset was superb, lined with lots of near-identical tub-thumping Euro Cafes pulsating with shiny-haired young people. Greeks love to show off, it seems, and they do with the same way here as they do in Australia. With a serious subwoofas bro. Yeah mate, fully sick mate.

Off to Meteroa tomorrow, or as far as I can get at least. It is likely to be another dull travel day, but hopefully the views will improve as the area gets mountainous.


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