Continuing my posts with the latest photos i took in Thessaloniki, today we have the famous Arch of Galerius. Build in 298 to 299 AD, it’s probably one of the most prominent monuments in the city. It also serves as a famous meeting point, maybe even more than the Aristotelous clock i posted yesterday, it really depends on who you ask.
Located just next to the very busy road of Egnatia, the arch breaths and exists in the heart of the city’s center. People like to have their photos taken right under it and in this case you don’t wonder why. It might not be in the best condition but the arch is a tangible example of how the city used to be. You can make the imaginary line of where the city walls used to stand and how they ran down from the Eptapyrgio fortress up in the hills, to the Arch, to end at the White Tower right next to the sea.
The following sentence was found in a travel guide for Thessaloniki: “The flower clock. Everybody takes pictures in front of this clock. Don’t really know why.” Hahaha 😀
Truth be told, in my 7 years living in Thessaloniki i never took a photo there. I have a hard-wired resistance when it comes to not do what everybody else is doing. I only realized that i’m lacking photos of it, during my last visit where i tried to play the tourist and view the city in another way.
Located right in the center of Aristotelous square, the most busy and crowded place in the whole city, it’s a challenge to get a photo without people standing in the way or even on the clock. I was lucky as it was a very hot Sunday and the city was practically empty, with people probably enjoying their day in a beach near by. I still had to use a very tight framing to eliminate any annoying elements in my image.
The clock’s floral design has changed many times throughout the years but the clock itself remains the most famous meeting point in the city.
“Yeah ok, see you at 8, i’ll be at the clock, bye”, hangs up the phone.
Then 8 o’clock comes and you stand there wondering from which side your date is gonna come. The choices are endless….right, left, up or down…and the time passes and you still stand there and you wonder if maybe they came and didn’t see you with all the people around so you pick up the phone and call them.
“Where are you?”
“I’m at the clock, where are you?”
“I’m at the clock too! Are you kidding me?”
And then you walk around the clock with a puzzled face and see your date standing right there on the other side. That fat lady with the leopard print dress that was standing right next to you was covering your date all this time…
I’ve been busy editing the photos i took during my last visit in Thessaloniki. Most of them were under clear blue sky, which makes it harder for me, as i’m used to process my photos a certain way for dark and cloudy skies. I’ll be posting some individual photos until i finish with the editing and then i’ll make a big post 🙂
So this is the renovated waterfront. I really like this part, it used to be concrete slabs, mostly crooked and broken in many places. This definitely looks modern and more sophisticated. The little water pools are illuminated at night, which creates a beautiful effect. The marble elements create a nice contrast and give out a bit of the classic Greek character. At the edge of the water, there’s an installation of a big steel moon. The moon is also illuminated at night and it’s visible from quite a distance.
Today we have 36C and the temperature keeps rising, so if those marble pools were actual pools, i’d just sit in there with my lemon iced tea and not move a finger 😛
I’ve been away for a few days to visit my favorite city, Thessaloniki of course 😀 This time, i finally had the chance to shoot my own stuff and not just work, so i’m super excited to start posting more photos again 🙂
Nik Software recently released version 2 of Analog Efex Pro. I have mentioned this Photoshop plugin quite a few times, saying that i wasn’t very impressed by it. Version 2 came to change that. There are many new features and filters available. You can now achieve a variety of looks ranging from a realistic analog feel to a whole new artistic and painting like result. I like it and i especially liked the multilens effect, which you can see on the top two photos. It basically takes your photo and divides it into strips and changes their order. In every filter category there is the i’m feeling lucky button that can produce some really interesting results. I certainly recommend that you give it a try 🙂
On other news, i will be away for a few days but i will come back with some new material to post finally 😀 So please stay tuned…
I had the pleasure to work with the very talented Elizabeth Petrou once again, this time with a very different concept. The body-painting show took place at the Myro Antiques house before the planned auction. Many people enjoyed the show as they waited for the auction to begin.
The lighting conditions in this place were really bad but i think i managed to get some good shots, all using the available light.
Please enjoy a full screen slideshow (click on an image to start it):
Setting sail from his base at Litochoro, on the night of 31 October [O.S. 18 October] 1912, Votsis led his vessel into the harbour of Thessaloniki, at the time still held by the Ottomans. Inside the harbour, which was protected by minefields and coastal batteries, lay a handful of Ottoman vessels: aside from four tugboats, the only warship was the old ironcladFeth-i Bülend. It was not a combat-worthy vessel, as its weaponry had been dismantled to reinforce the coastal batteries.
According to Votsis’ own description, he evaded the searchlights of Karaburnu fortress which stood at the entrance of the harbour, and sighted the Feth-i Bülend at 23:20. Sailing closer and directly towards the unsuspecting vessel, he launched his starboard torpedo at 23:35 from a distance of 150 m, followed by the portside torpedo. As he turned his ship around, he also launched the deck-mounted torpedo, but it exploded on the quay. While the torpedoes struck the Feth-i Bülend, Votsis sailed out of the harbour at full speed, relying on his craft’s shallow draught to pass over the minefield and sailed towards Greek-held territory.
The Feth-i Bülend sank rapidly. Casualties however amounted to only seven men from its crew, as most were ashore manning the guns. The sinking of the Feth-i Bülend may not have had much military significance, but it provided a great morale boost to the Greeks: it was the first of a series of naval successes in the war, and the Hydriot Votsis was propelled to the status of a national hero, readily associated with the legendary fireship captains of the Greek Revolution.
Promoted to Lt Commander, he was placed in command of the captured Ottoman torpedo boat Antalya, which was renamed to Nicopolis. Votsis remained in the Navy, and in 1920, he was captain of the battleship Kilkis. In January 1921, he was appointed as Greece’s High Commissioner to the Allied mission at Constantinople, a post he held until February 1922, when he was appointed captain of the battleship Lemnos, which he commanded until September 1922. Disagreeing with the revolt of the Army, led by Venizelist officers, against the royalist government, he resigned and went into retirement with the rank of Rear Admiral. From 1927 to his death in 1931 he was the president of the Greco-Albanian Association with Philippos Dragoumis, brother of Ion Dragoumis as secretary.
I counted at least 6 dead rats floating in this disgusting mix of seaweed and garbage…People stopped and stared and looked at me weird for taking photos of this. Some thought i was a tourist and that i wanted to shame Greece with publishing such a photo. Having lived in Thessaloniki for 7 years, this is not a rare sight…
After receiving some very helpful advice by Kongo aka the Travel Monkey, i felt very motivated to start taking part in the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. It’s a good opportunity to take photos in a different style and share with you new things! So here we go! 😀
This week’s theme is Street Life. I chose to upload this photo because i think it represents street life in Thessaloniki and Greece in general, very well! Parked cars on busy streets that hinder the smooth flow of traffic, pedestrians that cross the streets without using crossings at the traffic lights even if there is one like 5 meters away and not to mention they don’t even check if there is a car coming right at them and if a car dares to honk, you hear them utter the characteristic “malaka” word! If you haven’t heard this word before, then i can safely presume that you don’t know anyone Greek. ‘Malaka’ is the Greek way of saying wanker, asshole or jerk but for some unexplained reason people call their friends like that too, so it’s the most common word you’ll hear coming from a Greek! To be honest with you, i can’t stand it and i never use it! It’s my half Austrian side that is very polite and doesn’t appreciate bad language especially towards the people i consider to be my friends! Oh well, i guess i’ll never get the Greek way of living…
Another abandoned beauty in Thessaloniki, another house that we don’t know anything about…I tried researching online but i couldn’t find anything about it. So i decided to share what i learned from the house itself! It’s an old story but it still resonates within me. Let’s begin…
Located in Logothetou street number 1, this beauty stands not too far from the seafront. I can imagine that back in the day it was one of the privileged mansions with a view to the sea, now the view is obscured by tall modern buildings. The last owner of the mansion was probably the architect/engineer, Menelaos Papadimas? I’m not sure for the last name as most of it is missing from the door bell tag.
The mansion was build in 1922 as we can tell from the side entrance. There are so many beautiful details no matter what side of the building you are looking at…
And by now you might be wondering what’s the secret i’m talking about…One night back in 2010, i was out with my friends and we dared each other that no one would dare to go inside. It was known that there was an open window behind the wooden shutters. All we had to do was climb up to the balcony on the first floor without getting noticed. We all managed to get inside. It was completely dark and as we didn’t come prepared for an urbex adventure, no one had a flashlight. We used the little light we could get from the illuminated screens of our cellphones. Of course i had a camera with me and i managed to take some photos. They are not anything great as i couldn’t even see what i was aiming at…All of them were taken with the on-camera flash and the composition was mostly random…
Most rooms were empty…But two things caught my attention right as we entered. One was the sofa, that seemed to be in a very decent shape and second was a very creepy looking Christmas tree. It really made you wonder for how many years it was left there…Was it Christmas when the house was abandoned or was it placed later perhaps by a homeless person that found a temporary refuge in the mansion?
As we continued to explore, a few of my friends mentioned that they felt weird, as if we were not alone in the mansion. I’m not one to get scared easily, so i ignored their remarks about spirits and angry ghosts. We continued our way upstairs. Most rooms were empty again, until we reached the office room. Inside there was a desk, a big pile of books on the floor and some cylinders for carrying architectural designs. The books were a study on architecture written by the supposed owner of the mansion and they were either waiting to be sold or they were leftovers. I was really tempted to grab one of the books as a souvenir but then one of my friends started to act hysterically and they all left running downstairs leaving me with no time to take a proper photo of the office. I took a quick one as i left the room…
As i found my friends ready to leave, i tried to convince them that we still had to go to the basement. I had a feeling that this house had a lot more to be found and i was not afraid. I thought i might never get the chance to get inside again, so i wanted to fully explore it. Two of my friends said they didn’t want to see anything more and that it was too much for them, so they left and waited for us outside. We followed the stairs to the basement…
The door you see was locked tight but on the right hand side there was an open door that lead to something that looked more like a storage-room. There was no paint on the walls, you could see bare stone and the room seemed to extent further than the base of the mansion, it gave me the impression as it was continued under the area of the front garden. I noticed two big chests, one of them was open and empty and the other locked and probably contained something because it was too heavy to lift…On the faded paper etiquette the only thing i could make out was the last name Schmidt and Griechenland (Greece in German). Schmidt is also a German name, so this chest was probably send from Germany to Greece…Who knows what there was inside…Your mind can only make assumptions…
There was an old flashlight in front of the chest, too bad it was not in working condition because the storage-room seemed to go on a lot further and i could see there were some big objects ahead. At that point i started to feel overwhelmed and that i shouldn’t be down there. I don’t believe in ghosts so i was not afraid like my friends who just begged me to leave but i was starting to get the chills when realizing that this basement was larger than the house itself. I suddenly had the gut feeling that something was wrong about this place…I wanted to stay and find out what that was but i decided that it was time to leave. We left almost running and it took a while to shake off the negative energy i had accumulated all of sudden. Other people might call it fear but for me it was the feeling of being somewhere i didn’t belong and maybe uncovering something that should be left a secret…