Athens: In Search of Hellinikon

In my first Athens blog I mention travelling via the then new airport in 2001 narrowly missing out on landing at its predecessor Hellinikon. In the third instalment of the ‘In Search of…’ blogs I went to visit the old and now ghostly aerodrome and was surprised at what I found (other than tumbleweed). Navigational […]

Sofia: Autumn in Winter World

Bulgaria was my 46th country and that’s how much it cost me to get there, only one euro more than the train from Thessaloniki to Athens. It is also unique in that for the first time since July I am heading north. It must be said that my research has seen a few eye openers. Most […]

Athens: Neither Empire nor Dance

PRELUDE: NOSTALGIA A long time ago in a land far away my world changed by witnessing a film which can only be described as heart wrenching. I refer to For the Love of Benji, a pooch so cute he (or in this case she as its played by one of his relations) is guaranteed to […]

Thessaloniki: Journey to Athens

Again I’m in seat 66 (it must be something to do with timing and reservation systems) but I switch to 65 to face forward. Coincidentally 66 has a stain on it but the cabin is in better condition overall than the Belgrade to Skopje run. Christ could anything be worse!? And the toilet has no […]

Thessaloniki: French Shutters and Shiny Seas

What can you say about second cities? Kind of just there, always overshadowed by those that come in first – the capital usually. In Wales case Swansea, for the Greeks Thessaloniki. At first it’s a city of industry, for me a city of uncertainty, a bridge between Macedonia and of course Athena to the south. […]

Skopje: Mountains of Dawn

The light of dawn breaks over a neon cross on the hill as my train pulls into Skopje’s now ageing station elevated by design. It has seen better days but is still light years ahead of Belgrade’s decaying effort. From there stray dogs greet and follow me on my walk to my hostel. Elsewhere, Ferrell […]