Pedaling from the Black Forest to the Yellow Sea
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Day 39 (Greece): Partheni - Thessaloniki

today’s distance: 44km
total distance: 3112km
riding time: 2h

Woke up the sounds of barking dogs and chattering geese, dozed off and eventually heard the church bells ringing. Needed to get up I thought. Then I heard the Pater’s voice over some speakers, singing. My hunch was that it wouldn’t last all that long, but an hour later I was still waiting to bid my farewell. Eventually a lady told him that I was outside and I would have been happy to wait, but the person he was singing with did a solo part and Pater Seraphim and I said our goodbyes.

The ride into Thessaloniki was … ugly sums it up. Traffic, noise, fumes and partially nasty roads. But then I was there and eventually was to meet up with Plato, my couchsurfing host for the next couple of days (rest day tomorrow). Before that I met Nopi however, a student who was working in a photo gallery and we got into a conversation which ended up with the two of us sitting outside the little gallery, overlooking the water and talking about “we Greek people do things differently” (I had heard that before in Macedonia) and “we Greek people are crazy” (the driving that morning certainly was testament to that). She filled me in on the local foods and places I needed to eat and see and what to avoid. Her background is also interesting … her family comes from what is now Turkey and was part of the so-called population exchange that took place between Greece and Turkey in 1923.


I eventually met up with Plato, who had a friend from Canada visit (Curtis) and the three of us were out for the night, letting me head into bed much later than I anticipated.


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