Who let the dogs out? Thessaloniki

This past week I went to Thessaloniki with my abroad program.  All that I knew beforehand was that it is the second largest city in Greece, formerly of Macedonia, and that it was gonna be cold.  Well it certainly proved to be cold, I seriously considered buying a down jacket.  The only thing holding me back was my lacking economic flexibility, and maybe the fact that they all came equipped with fur-lined hoods-too baby gap for me.

 While I was cold, the city was certainly hot.  Hot with young people and activity.  Everyone in Thessaloniki was young, dressed well, and beautiful.  Even the babies had better outfits than me-one child was decked out in a GQ worthy toggled coat that conveniently matched the color of the stripe on his puma sneakers. 

 And the food was equally hot.  For my first night I had mussels saganaki…or essentially deliciousness in a hot bowl.  Another night, my professors took us out to a taverna where I sampled more hot food-and I mean spicy hot, not just temperature hot.  Finally! Spicy food in Greece- not watering of the eyes spicy, but I’ll take what I can get. 

 I found more hot food during “Oxi Day.”  It is a national holiday in Greece, it means “No Day.”  No I will not go to work!  But more importantly, it is a celebration of the day Greece said no to the Italians during WWII when they invaded Thessaloniki and tried to take over the territory.  There was a huge parade of military forces, every type imaginable.  Ski police?  They marched, with their skies.  I even saw scuba men, I’m not kidding.  They were decked out in wet suits marching around the city; oxygen tanks included.  Scuba Steve was followed by sailors, guards, and the coastguard.  There were even jets that flew overhead.  I had been wondering the previous night why there were so many sailors out and about.  I had thought that it was Fleet Week or something. 

 Anyway, after the parade we walked around and I saw lots of street food.  There were tons stands and they were all serving the same thing, hot dogs.  That’s right, hot dogs in Greece.  Well of course I had to get one.  I asked for one with everything…more so because it’s easier to say.  And it certainly came with everything, and then some.  The hot dog consisted of a large bun filled with two, count um two, hot dogs pilled with French fries, mustard, ketchup, tzakiki sauce, seasoning, and onions.  It tasted like a hot dog gyro-delicious.

 The next morning at breakfast I took what I thought was a mini sokolata croissant.  But, it turned out to be a pig-in-a-blanket.  Well Hot dawg!  This isn’t chocolate! 

 Essentially I decided that my trip to Thessaloniki was worthy of Gary Roberts approval.  It is colder than the rest of Greece because it is far north-no blazing sun! Check.  There were lots of officers and displays of weaponry-military paraphernalia! Check.  And there were so many hot dogs that one even showed up in my breakfast croissant-endless amounts of meat! Check. 

 But I have to say; Thessaloniki is definitely worthy of my approval as well.  It is beautiful, historical, and spicy.   It is a city on the edge of the water and also on the cutting edge; young, vibrant, and culturally unique.  And most importantly it is a city where you can get a hot dog complete with the works-or not, if you know the words to order it that way.  Then again, there is an upside to my limited Greek vocabulary-it forced me to taste it all, and that, in my opinion is limitless.




One Response to “Who let the dogs out? Thessaloniki”

  1. Mary Says:

    “Who let the dogs out?” was priceless. Yes, worthy of GDR’s approval. Sounds like a great city! Where are the pictures?

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