The Greeks use a ship as their symbol for Christmas; this one is on Aristotelou, Thessaloniki's main drag
(Belated) Merry Christmas and a happy new year! I'm just back from a trip to Xanthi in the far north of Greece. My belovèd, the polyglot Dr.F, taught English there in the 1990's, so we went up to spend Christmas with friends and to visit some of her old pupils. I have to say, I've rarely experienced such wonderful hospitality, and thanks are due to everyone who looked after us during our stay, particularly Sirmo and Niko, who put us up, ferried us around, and were incredibly patient with my minimal, stumbling Greek.
The picturesque old town of Xanthi
Situated up near the Bulgarian border, Xanthi normally suffers freezing winters, but this year it was unseasonably warm; this gave us the opportunity to alternate visiting friends and eating way too many kourambiedes with sitting outside cafés and eating way too many kourambiedes.
The shrine at Porto Lagos, just outside Xanthi
It's been so mild that we could comfortably sit out after dark; here I'm marking up the script for Stickleback part 11 at a café in the town square
The day before we left, it was so clear that you could see down to the Aegean from the mountains