March 23 of this year was my husband’s Name Day. Here in Greece and according to Greek Orthodox, almost everyday, they are celebrating a Christian saint or Martyr names. It happened that this March, husband’s name was on the calendar list.
He insisted on going out and we called a few friends to celebrate with, but unfortunately no one was available. So he was stuck with me the whole afternoon! I can’t complain, because we took a surprising drive to Peraia (Περαία), a town southeast of Thessaloniki and a part of the Thermaikos Municipality. During WWI, Greeks from Asia Manor were sent to Greece by the Ottoman Empire. This event was known as the “Pontic Genocide”. Arriving to Greece, the Greek refugees were sent to camps, and one of them was in Peraia. My husband’s grandfather for example, was a victim of this historical event. He was a stout man who was from Constantinople (Istanbul) and was visiting his relatives in Thessaloniki when the genocide started in his hometown. He couldn’t go back to Constantinople and his relatives converted to Muslim or fled to other countries to survive the tragedy. The circumstance made him stay in Greece, and he had never returned to Turkey , nor saw his family again, not even until his death.
What’s in Peraia? It is a town with busy lifestyle, but not quite as busy as the people in Thessaloniki center. They have similar features though – they are facing Thermaikos Gulf along with the array of cafes & restaurants. The sea breeze, the boats, the sunny day, it was a simple life to enjoy while it lasts. Every now and then we walk here.
But we didn’t stop in Peraia. We actually went farther to Michaniona (Μηχανιώνα). A former municipality of Thessaloniki but now simply a town, as part of Thermaikos Municipality. Over here, we stopped and walked. The seaside of this area is rugged. There were fishermen’s boats which I suppose the fish taverns needed them for the everyday fresh catch supply. Though rugged, the seaside brought peace to our minds. We saw that this place wasn’t as bad as we thought because there were well-maintained sports courts. Like tennis court, basketball court, a picnic ground, and a yacht club. The people were busy doing their own thing on a sunny spring afternoon. While lovers like us were busy taking photos of each other’s silliness, as well as enjoy the moment of peace and calm brought by the sight of the sea and its breeze.
Our stop at Michaniona’s Small Port
An old fisherman’s boat with plants growing inside it.
I instructed my husband to take this photo of mine. I was also limping at the same time due to a ‘dog-human’ accident the day before. This old boat, unused and rusted by time, was a comfortable companion to rest my aching foot.
Then we saw this boat that looked like a restaurant and we asked if we could get in. The people told us that it was being fixed and will be used in Summer at Thessaloniki Port. Exciting news because at last there will be a boat-restaurant beside the boat-bars. ^^
A fisherman and his dog.
And this is my postcard of Michaniona’s old port. Again, I asked my dear husband to take my photo, but even without asking him, he already did. These little boats were used for fishing, sea tour, and most were privately owned.
When we got tired of walking, we bought our favorite sunny snack! Oreo ice cream stick for me, and a Magnum for hubby! ^___^
We also took with us one of our “babies”, the friendliest of them all – NEMO. He had a short pictorial session with me. Just enough to give him a seaside nostalgia. Probably he’s missing his family, especially his dad. Definitely though, he missed the sea breeze. He’s usually out during Summer only, but we thought a sunny Spring day will make him happier. ^_^
Then on our way back to Peraia, I asked hubby if we could check the winery which sign I saw on our way to the old port. With no idea what’s ahead of us, we went up a slope road and found private residences with vineyards and olive trees in their backyard. Not far ahead, we saw horses. What lovely creatures they are! The lady, whom we got acquainted with, Dhimitra, invited us to go inside her place in which we obliged. We marveled at the beautiful scenery infront of us. Lucky horses for they have it all – healthy Mediterranean soil and a view of the sea everyday! The horse here is Nikos. He’s a 5 year old friesian. The owner told us stories about her horses. There were 5 of them. And that Nikos is the most lovable of all breeds.
Then these sweet twos are different breeds. We didn’t get an upclose contact with them but Dhimitra told us that the brown one is a Greek breed “Pindos”. They have dominating character. And the white one? I forgot hers.
After a long talk with Dhimitra, she invited us to visit the September wine making festival of this area. It is something to look forward to.