Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greece Day 1

We left the parking lot of First Baptist Church on Sunday around 11:00 a.m. and drove to Atlanta via bus, waited two hours for our 8 hour KLM flight to Amsterdam to leave. After a 2 hour layover there, we flew KLM to Athens , for we had another 2 hour layover before we flew Agean Air to Thessaloniki, arriving at on time at 6:00 p.m. Monday evening. Our tour guide, Nando—a petite Greek lady—met us in Athens and flew with us. Our bags were placed on the tour bus and we started out for a driving tour of the city. Thessaloniki, currently the second largest city in Greece (behind Athens), has a wonderful history that dates back to about 315 BC. It was named for the wife of a Macedonian king, Thessalonica (a step sister to Alexander the Great). At various times, the city came under the rule of a number of dynasties, the fore mentioned Macedonians, the Romans, the Turks, the Greeks, and the Nazi’s to name a few. It was an early colony for Jews, and a center of early Christianity. Most important for this trip, it was one of the locations where Paul established Churches. Although he found resistance from the Jews and was eventually run out of the city. Paul mentions in his visit to Thessalonica that he found a walled city of about 65,000. Portions of the wall are still standing and we visited it at the spot that is thought to be where Paul would have preached. From trhe base of the wall we had a wonderful view of the city and the waterfront We drove through the wining, narrow streets back down to the waterfront before we came to our hotel that will be home for 2 nights. Our buffet supper consisted of salad fixings---really only lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives---sliced pork, spinach pie, mashed potatoes, rice, mousaka, some beef chunks, and rolls. Dessert was a square of cake that was good ---like a pound cake with apricot jam on it.
Every one was tired and ready for bed. We have been up for more than 30 hours. Some people were able to get some sleep on one of the plane rides. We slept some of the last 2 legs of our flight. It’s now the middle of the afternoon in TN while it’s 10:15 p.m. here…7 hour difference.

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