To end summer on a positive note, two friends and I decided to go to Greece for a few days. We had looked at other places to visit, but when we found a flight from “Allgäu Airport Memmingen” to Thessaloniki for only 60€ per person, we didn´t really hesitate. As we were mostly interested in spending some time by the beach, I booked an apartment (Noni Rooms, 96€ for three nights) in Agia Triada. It´s a small village around 30kms from Thessaloniki and 10kms from the airport. The perfect location to enjoy beach and city life.
We landed at 09:30 on a Friday and headed out of the airport to find a bus to take us to Agia Triada. Bus tickets are sold right outside the airport and take you either to Thessaloniki center or to IKEA. Luckily, the guy selling us the ticket was able to help us figure out how to get to where we wanted. First, we had to take the bus 79 to IKEA and from there bus 72 to Agia Triada. If I remember correctly, Agia Triada is the second stop after “Sun Beach Hotel”. The tickets, which have to be validated in the bus, cost 1,2€ per person, and taking the bus took about an hour.
After checking into our apartment, we explored the village and went grocery shopping. It was supposed to be the last warm day for a while, so we ended up going to the beach. There were nearly no people and the water was very clear. However, probably as it was already off-season and many restaurants/hotels were closed, there was some trash and lots of algae on the beach. To us it seemed like there´s noone really responsible for cleaning the beach, so when there are no tourists, it just isn´t cleaned.
We soaked up some sun and relished the silence. Later that day, we went to a café right by the beach and then walked South towards a cliff. Wondering if there was a way up, we went on quite an adventurous hike! A path led us to the top, from where we could overlook the coast. As it was beginning to get dark, we wanted to make our way home. Unfortunately, we were a bit too adventurous and didn´t want to take the same path we had come. In the end, we took ages to get back to our apartment, were followed by frightening dogs and had to walk along streets without any lights. Once we had safely gotten back, we ate dinner at a restaurant close by. The girls and I shared some greek dishes like stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce and tzatziki.
(Deserted houses at the beach)
(Beautifully clear water at the Agia Triada beach)
(Restaurants in Agia Triada)
Over night, it cooled down and started to rain. Either way, we drove to Thessaloniki by taking the bus 72 to IKEA and then bus 2 into the center. This took about an hour, and, once again, we paid 1,2€per person. Tickets can be bought in the bakery right across the bus station in Agia Triada. We were told that there´s a bus approx. every 10 minutes. Thessaloniki was really crowded! People parked on every spot they could find, so we were glad to be travelling by bus. Even though the city hasn´t got much cultural stuff to offer, we spent the whole day walking around and trying loads of delicious pastries! As it was raining most of the time, we were always on the lookout for a nice place to stay dry. We especially loved the market hall and the very affordable bakeries!
(Some kind of boat ceremony)
(Flower market behind the Byzantine bath)
(excavation in the city)
(Stormy evening in Agia Triada)
On Sunday, we had a really late start. We spent the morning playing games and eating, then walked to the neighbouring town Perea. It still was windy, but the sun was out, and that made it warmer. Along the coast, we looked at restaurants, observed people and the sea, and let the wind tousle our hair. We had a late lunch in a restaurant with a beautiful view of the blue water, and we even got wine and ice cream for free. Can´t complain! Back in Agia Triada, I went for a quick swim. This time alone, because my friends found it “slightly” too chilly. But hey, I wanted to take advantage of having the beach to myself! Our last stop for the day was the bakery, where we stocked up on greek candy and cookies. It was amazing just going around and selecting whatever we wanted, knowing that it wouldn´t exceed our budget.
(On our way to Perea)
And just like that our short-trip had come to an end. Monday morning, we packed our stuff and took our time with eating our left-over breakfast. As we walked along the beach a last time, we could feel it getting warmer and warmer again. We sat down on a small jetty to watch the fish and had lunch. This time, we tried a feta cheese paste, smoked fish, salad and other great dishes. Plus free ice cream.
Then, it was time to say goodbye to Greece! The weather might not have been as spectacular as we had hoped, but we sure did have a good time! We relaxed, ate wonderful food, met hospitable people, got some sun and salt water, saw the second largest city of the country and most importantly, spent quality time with each other. Honestly, this trip would have been fun just sitting in our room playing cards all day.