trail cachers trips travel blog

One of many shops in Thessaloniki

Skyline of Square at night much like Vegas

Many bakeries with good stuff

An ice cream cone to finish off the night

Meat on a skewer in the Square at Thessaloniki

We watched as the skewers were BBQ'd

Hopefully this is the balloon man that was in focus

Graceful Palm Trees, busy square and blue sea

McDonald's is everywhere

The way they park is mind boggling

Tuesday, May 17,2011

Sofia, Bulgaria to Thessolaniki, Greece

The sun is shining already today and we just had a wonderful breakfast buffet. The guys got the car out of the basement garage and we will be packing up and heading out soon

We are having a warm, sunny morning caching in Sofia. So far, no caches but there is a lot of traffic and city driving. We’ve been to the Chamber, which is now closed and empty, and then to a college where we had no luck finding a cache either. So, we are navigating to another possible.

Finally found our morning Bulgarian cache. It was 40+feet off but the team got it. Thank goodness we aren’t out here by ourselves. We have pretty good luck when we branch out from GZ. Now we are on to Greece. We just drove by one of the super McDonalds.

Well, we did stop for a couple more caches before we left the city and now we are in the countryside. They are selling pie cherries along the road. Too bad they aren’t Bing Cherries or Queen Anne’s.

We drove along the river today and the area was reminiscent of Clearwater country in Idaho where we lived when Brian and Greg were born and when Bob and Susan lived with us. Peaked, snow-dusted mountains towered over us at many points along the way. We just saw a bunch of rafters coming off the river. We also just passed through a town where all the vegetable gardens were together like community gardens and there were scarecrows every few yards. There are a lot of community gardens everywhere we have driven.

Our phone rings twice as we cross each border indicating what roaming systems we can use. It is amazing that within just a few feet of crossing a border that the phone will ring and say Welcome to such and such country etc. We are still in Bulgaria on our way to Greece, but we are very near the border of Macedonia and the phone rang welcoming us to Macedonia so they are really eager beavers .

We have seen a lot of radar traps today. Other motorists that we are meeting always signal us to slow down if there is a radar trap coming up….. so some things translate into all languages.

We just passed through two towns where the restaurants had outside BBQ’s. There was a brickyard with grave monuments and little roadside memorials or religious shrines.

The Greek Border was an easy crossing and the busiest crossing we have seen lately. There was a tourist center there so we stopped since we don’t have a hotel for the next couple days but it was closed and looked very empty. Bummer. Our estimated arrival time is about 5:20pm so it won’t be really late.

We’ve seen a lot of beautiful countryside today, and, in Greece, lots of flooded fields that looked like rice fields, but there were not plants in them.

Everywhere we have been in Europe, there are lots of new buildings going up. Many times we have seen signs for Allianz which is part of our retirement annuity so that has been interesting to see how many countries in which it is involved. There is also a lot of road construction going on and it is major with additional cloverleafs for freeways and bridges and overpasses.

We arrived in Thessolaniki, Greece, in the early evening and got checked into our hotel for two nights. We are staying at a Holiday Inn and it is located just downtown near the seaside. After getting settled in and all of our luggage from the basement garage to our rooms on the 6th floor via a very small elevator, we walked to the water’s edge and had dinner at an outside café. The food was really good. Of course, we had Greek Salad and various meat dishes including a huge BBQ entrée of several meats that we could not finish so are planning on making sandwiches tomorrow for a picnic on our caching drive in the country.

Signing off for now.

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