expat blogger

living in Serbia

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The American, Breaking down barriers and gates. oops

The hubby and I took a bus trip to Greece. Crossing the border on a bus seems less harrowing. No international paper work for the car needs to be taken car of a month in advance with all the fees involved, not to mention getting international insurance, etc, etc. Not having to drive, and pay an arm and a leg for gas and a hotel made this trip priceless.

We were the last to get on the bus, and we got the entire back row of seats to ourselves. That was cool. I could look out both windows when we got into the city, but that was not until the next day. 

  At each border, the patrol officers came onto the bus and collect the passports and took them back to stamp them. This was a Serbian bus tour, my American passport was a bit of a shock to the border patrol guards, after gathering the burgundy Serbian passports, at the last seat collecting my navy blue American one. I can tell you, I got a few surprised looks.

Thesaloniki was the main city we visited as well as touring the mountainous region covered in oranges, lemons, and olive trees. What an awesome getaway!

On the internet Halo tours of Belgrade advertised the tour as a trip to Salon. Salon is what Serbians call Thesaloniki. And when they do say Thesaloniki, they pronounce it Tesaloneekee. The "I" always sounds like an "E", and Serbians don't use the soft "T" or "th". I love it when my honey says "thank you". It is always cute with his accent and difficulty with the "th".

Our tour bus was mostly women on holiday for International Women's day or March 8th. It took a while to get to know them , but I made some new friends. 
Aristotle Square, center city

We arrived in Salon just around 9AM. As we approached the outskirts of the city, we were sorely disappointed with the look of the place. The condo buildings were so ugly, the sky was gray, and trash was all over the place. Not the kind of welcome I had envisioned. When we stopped at a big mall for breakfast and potty break things started looking up. I got to have Starbucks for breakfast!  The taste of home is good, even in Greece.

Driving around the city, ancient ruins were every where. The government there has been trying to build a subway system, but every time they start digging, they find more buildings, and remnants. It sounds cool, but that must get annoying and extremely expensive.

The gas stations there were really different. All the petrol stops in town were in a building on the street like this.  Just pull up to the curb, fill up, and go. I have to say, I don't believe I have seen this any where else in my travels. There is always a first time.
This day was good, but exhausting. We walked around the city and took in tons of ruins, and then hit a mall. Not so interesting.
The view from the food court in the Mall.

Birth place of Aristotle
 After a long bus ride up a mountain with serpentine curves and the look of the pacific Northwest we arrived at our next destination. At the birthplace of Aristotle, there was a big gate to the "museum". It  was suppose to be closed. But they weren't trying hard to keep people out, and it was next to impossible to steel anything. The objects were much to large and made of cement.

 Everyone began to make their way in. They climbed, scaled, and hopped the fence. But, when I saw how small the fence was, I decided to get a running start and vault over it just placing my hands on top and throwing my legs over. An easy enough task for a person who had been a gymnast in her previous life.

What I didn't know was the gate was broken and it just fell over bruising the inside of my right thigh. I should say the entire inside of my right leg. It was a monstrous bruise. The sweet darling of a husband wanted to take a picture it was so magnificent. How romantic. What a great memorial of our trip to Greece that could have been if I had let him. ;)

I don't know how my fellow bus mates kept a straight face. I wouldn't have been able to keep from laughing. I am sure it was like watching a comedy. Even funnier because it was a middle aged foreign lady. But they only seemed concerned. I would say it was well hidden mirth! The Tom-boy in me lives, and so does the accident prone nerd!
Aristotle and I
As I was falling and just after, I felt like I was in a bad travel comedy movie about the ridiculous American... National Lampoons vacation to Greece.


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