Safe and sound in Thessaloniki
After a flight that took a bit longer than planned due to strong head winds, I landed in Thessaloniki and deplaned and collected luggage without problem. Only my ride wasn’t waiting for me. So I lingered around the airport for a bit and finally bit the bullet and took a cab to the hotel that I will be staying in. I talked to the people at the hotel and I am good to go in my room until the end of the month. It is going to be weird living in a hotel room for that long, but it is just as big as my room in Reading and I have my own bathroom. And while I don’t have the Internet in my room, I found this huge 24hr internet/gaming mecca about a block and a half from the hotel.
I’m sitting on one of the 250 computers that they have in here and let me tell you, there are some people that I can imagine wetting themselves stepping into this place. It is set up to be able to host huge LAN parties, it has tabletop gaming areas, various machines to vend coffee, soda, etc. all the machines are 3GHz machines (assuming they are similar to mine) and have dozens of games installed. You can check out their website at bnb.gr. The only problem is that it is obvious you can smoke at the computers (there are ashtrays at every station) and the room has a stale tobacco smell. However, one can pretty much smoke anywhere in Greece.
As a city (at least what I’ve seen of it) Thessaloniki is very beautiful. I guess that comes from being thousands of years old. I’ve taken a few photos today and when I get back to my room I’ll download them onto my USB stick to upload at a future visit to this place. I walked to the university just to gage how far it was. Not a bad walk, although in the directions I was given, I am to take the bus, which would certainly shave some time off the commute. And with a half price student discount, I might end up doing that especially in the morning. Most interactions I’ve made so far, language hasn’t been an issue, except for my cab driver last night. I was talking to Ion this morning and he agreed to show me around a bit tomorrow. It can’t hurt to have a guide who speaks the language.
I’m not sure if any of the other Erasmus students are in the city yet, but if any of you read this, please let me know. You can email me at my Reading address (c.f.bate)