Sat March 10 2018  —  e-mail Manfred

First time in my life in Greece!

Flag Greece White orthodox chapel, Chalkidiki, Greece.

Thursday, August 27 2009

5 years, 1 month, 5 days

Thessaloniki, Greece

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

current MB307 6,053km

Trekking 442km

Ferry 1,654km

Train 3,738km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 75,823km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm. > journey > europe > greece > 20090827-thessaloniki

Kavala, Καβάλα.

Map, northern Greece.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Kavaka, Greece, old house, Ottoman?
Is it Ottoman?

21st August: We hit the blue coast with its immaculate skies and waters. Greece is as prophesised by Egon Friedell (wiki), just reading his Greek cultural history: It’s the breeze; it always ensures a crystal clear view between skies and beach, sea and land, islands and mainland. Not one island is further than 40 kms away from the next or the mainland. The breeze allows a clear sight and this tempted the Ancient Greeks to dare their ventures.

Pipona turned.
Christina, in red.

We descend on Kavala. Christina likes the name, word is similar to the Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah.

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When in Greece ... Say No to Heineken.

When in Greece ...

Drink retsina, play back-gammon, drink retsina, eat Kalamata olives, take on any amounts of tzatziki and feta, I still long for the Bulgarian obviously, and drink more retsina. I try some Mythos, but Mythos is a mythos, first national beer introduced only 1997 or so, not even to avail everywhere, not so great either. Otherwise there's Amstel, once disgusted by all the Amstel I even turn to Heineken, it’s the only choice left. All the same anyway, only illusions that drive choices. Just Amstel has this name in my brain, recalling my summer in Syria, all summer 1987, 3 months, when Amstel was the only beer in the country. Sure I have some good memory associations with drinking Heineken too, in small bottles, but these days one simply has to avoid drinking, buying, ordering Heineken, it's the biggest animal on the block and has to be fought as by sheer size and power the company crowds out local beer producers. I have walked out of bars in Italy when no Italian beer was on offer. You cannot do that in Greece unless you avoid them altogether. Every cafe, every bar, down through the balkans, more so in Greece gets the same uniform plastic rattan stools and tables ... there is a choice between whites and browns. Greece what it was once known for is about to disappear under a Heineken veil, like paying a price for becoming a good European. The best think about Turkey will be that there is NO Heineken to be had. To me, must be obvious by now, it ain't alright to drink Heineken.

Cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and mint leaves mix it with creamy, fatty 10% yogurt, is named tzatziki and is a delight, some Kalamata olives along, some retsina ... Still -, but -, given the disastrous beer situation in the country shall we/I mean, let's switch completely to retsina? The locals have it with Coke and whatever else? I quit like the taste, got hooked when I was 17? Let’s play back-gammon and have some retsina, later switch to Greek red wine and later to Ouzo? Greece is booze all over. I am an drunkard.

We eat more than formidable in Thessaloniki. For many days as the local restaurant, old style, going for 60 years or so has a wifi connection going; all that cooked beef and vegetables, peppers, okras, potatoes.

Also fresh morning börek (a patty, is actually Turkish?) with spinach is a delight, or feta is not too bad; with a morning espresso, or cold! cafe latte? I prefer the espresso.

Just pork Gyros is a slammer, they keep telling me is pork, always would have chosen lamb, reality in northern Greece it is mostly pork, with, tzatziki and fries requires an extra dose of ouzos or retsina, better both. Junkfood is terrible. My stomach would just rebel so heavy is the stuff.

The coast is a coast, life is the beach, the sea, retsina is not Amstel, I read Ishmael, from Daniel Quinn (wiki) and think it is written for school boys and school boys and girls should read it. If he is a writer I can be.

A wooden shed in Twilight. Blue sky and sea, Greece.
Skelleton of a house.
Blue sea, rocks and a shed, Greece. Kavala
On rocks in sunset.
Blue sea, blue sky, evening light, Greece.
Blue waters of Greece.
Nets, Greece.
Kavala, Fishing nets on pier, Greece.
On pier. Kavala.
Boats, blue water, Greece.
Boats and blue water.
Detail of fishing vessels, lighting. Two birds, blue sky.
This is Greece, blue.

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Chalkidiki, unreachable monastries.

A friend, Michael, in 2005 1 week Morocco with him, tipped me off, when you pass Chalkidiki you have to go and see the monasteries, a peninsula, no women allowed. But that turned out more complicated. It is not just a peninsula Mount Athos (wiki) it is the Holy Mountain, the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain.

Not accessible by car, you need authorization, a visa from the Pilgrims' Bureau in Thessaloniki to see any of the Eastern Orthodox monasteries. A pity.

So we tour Chalkidiki (wiki), the tourist route, after a day get bored and escape to Thessaloniki.

Mount Artos, Chalkidikim seen from Sarti beach on Sithonia, with Football player on Sarti beach.
Holy Mount Artos.
Pine woods and sea, peninsula on  Sithonia, Chalkidiki, Greece. Overcast.
Sithonia, Chalkidiki.
Chalkidiki, shed in ruins. Greece.
Shed Stable, raising sheep.
Little, white Chapel, against blue sky and water, Greece.
Little white chapel.
Small, orthodox greek white chapel, blue sea and sky.
Where are the monastries?

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Thessaloniki, Relief on arch of Galerius.
Arch of Galerius.

Thessaloniki (wiki) was a melting pot for centuries. Turks, Greek, Bulgarian, Sephardic Jews all lived side by side. Jews, expelled from Spain in the 15th century formed a majority all through the Ottoman Empire time till the Nazi Holocaust exterminations 1943. Thessaloniki became Greek after the 1st Balkan war 1913, Turkish/Greek population exchange of 2 million took place in 1923 after Turkey had won its war of independence. In Greece we refer to this as the Asia Minor disaster, the end of the dream of a Greater Hellas comprising coastal and some central areas in Turkish Anatolia. So Thessaloniki must have been a cool multi-cultural place to live in 100 years ago. Maybe this is what formed Atatürk’s mind who was born here 1891. Thessaloniki is like Vienna or L’viv, melting pots and cities to empires. So was it the melting pots that brought the empires down? In a way, perhaps?

Town is still cool today, but then it was ... what I would like to look at today.

In Thessaloniki we eat formidable. Parked very central on top of the Roman odeum. For many days we stay guests in a local restaurant, old style, going for 60 years or so, there is an open wifi connection from somewhere; all that cooked beef and vegetables, peppers, okras, potatoes, cannot name the dishes unfortunately.

Modern Thessaloniki. Concrete and cars.
Telegraph mast Thessaloniki.
House in ruins, blue door, Thessaloniki
Alian Poster, Thessaloniki.
Naok poster, Thessaloniki, Christina and iphone.
old ruined hous, Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki Impressions.
Thessaloniki Impressions.

Greek Graffiti, Thessaloniki.
Thessaloniki graffiti.
Graffiti, against police repressions of autonomous lefts.
Collection of Greek Graffiti.

Seen enough here, Turkey the real destination of the trip is calling. Along the blue coast, Kavala again, play back gammon an afternoon in Xanthi, sleep near Porto Lagos, fill up in Alexandroupolis, enter Turkey.

Good Mb307 of Greek coast. Haze.
Good van, Greek coast line.
Greece, pebbles beach, blue sea till horizon.
Blue sea till horizon. > journey > europe > greece > 20090827-thessaloniki

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