City of Thessaloniki - Part 2 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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If you follow the port road of Leoforos Nikis heading east along the bay you will come to the Lefkos Pyrgos, or White Tower is the symbol of the city and is close to the University area with its clubs and bars. The International Trade fairgrounds are located nearby, as is the excellent archaeology museum. The White Tower itself is also a museum of art and history. It was built in the 15th Century and was at one time a prison for insubordinate Janisaries, the soldiers of the sultan who had been taken from their Christian parents as children and moulded into his elite stormtroopers. The neighbourhood of Kalamaria is a modern area on the eastern edge of the city, overlooking a large marina and the Thermaikos Gulf. There is a green park above the sea and a number of ouzeries, restaurants, bars and cafes and is a hangout for the young as well as families.
Above the lively city is the world of the Epimenidou or Kastra, an area of old neighbourhoods with narrow streets and lovely small gardens with children playing in front of wide open doors. Popular songs from old gramophones fill the air along with the sweet smell of flowers that emit their incredibly beautiful aromas at night. This is the old Turkish quarter of the city and is the remains of 19th century Thessaloniki and the walls that surrounded the city are still standing.
A must visit place is Moudiano, the meat market, in a restored old building full of energy, smells, and some of the most famous old ouzeries in Thessaloniki, some of them with live rembetika music and spontaneous parties.
Thessaloniki is in the process of building their metro system which should do for them what the Athens Metro did for the capital, get more cars off the street and more people using public transport. The train station is also undergoing intensive remodelling which started in 2008.
Every year in September the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is held in Thessaloniki, exhibiting Greek and foreign products of every description. After the International Trade is over the Greek Song Festival takes place as well as the very popular Thessaloniki Film Festival. Saint Demetrios, the patron of Thessaloniki has his name day celebrated throughout the city on October 26th. During the year, trade fairs for special interest groups are organized by the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair administration. Almost all of the major hotels have convention facilities.
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