Thessaloniki Diaries,  Greece  Dec.2013

Thessaloniki, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of the geographic region of Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. It is also known in Greek as, literally "the co-capital" The city is renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general, and is considered to be Greece's cultural capital. It is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures. The city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. (

In December 2013, we traveled with my wife to receive the grand prize of a photography contest jointly organized by the Thessaloniki Photography Museum and Cedefop, a sub-working group of the European Union. During the remaining time, we visited small traditional home-cooked restaurants, taverns, home-made ouzo and liquor shops on the side streets of the city, and visited the bazaars. We visited the famous White Tower of the city, Aristotle Square, Ataturk House and made a city tour with a tour bus. The best surprise was that the ticket seller who gave the ticket on the tour bus knew me. He has read that I received an award in the city news, and he was happy to meet him personally. The important thing was this person's interest in art and cultural news.