GREECE: A SERIES | Embracing Thessaloniki

Hello! A few more days in Greece have allowed me to explore even more wonderful places, try new foods, and excessively people-watch. It's such a treat being in a new country, and experiencing all of the differences it has to offer as well as tastes of home.

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Recently, my study abroad group and I traveled via bus to Philippi, Kvala, and north Thessaloniki to explore the historical monuments and embrace the slow, intimate culture of the smaller cities of Greece. It was a treasure to visit the Unesco World Heritage site of Philippi, and step foot on the mecca of biblical history. Seeing the actual site where St. Paul was imprisoned during his time there was fascinating and so surreal, as well as seeing the river where Lydia was baptized! Visiting these landmarks one learns about growing up, in person, truly brings the stories to life.

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After leaving Philippi, we ventured to Kvala, another large city in Greece. It was one of the most beautiful and quaint places I've ever been, bringing up fond memories of cities such as Montmartre in France. Observing the people through visiting stores, eating, and walking around allowed me to embrace the culture even more, and I was incredibly captured by the stillness of the flow of everything. The lifestyle here is incredibly beautiful and I can't stop thinking about how much I'd love to move here one day.

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All of the architecture in this area is unique and lovely, and it was fun finding a few places to take some portraits! I've been thriving in linen on this trip as it is such a flowy and comfortable fabric. This pretty dress is from a handmade company that I love very much, Pyne and Smith Clothiers! My sweet friend Alivia (a fellow linen enthusiast) told me about them recently, and I’m so glad to have discovered their beautiful brand.

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One of the most unique things about exploring around new places is that you find the prettiest of locations in the most odd situations, sometimes - these pictures were taken in a bathroom of all places! Another good friend of mine, Jessica, is always reminding me and others that there are no limits to creativity and the most beautiful shots can be captured in the most unlikely of places.

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Finally, after exploring Kvala, we ventured lastly to the northern part of Thessaloniki, where we visited the Church of St. Demetrios. Churches are one of my most favorite things to observe and visit when I travel, as there is so much cultural history involved. Watching the people venture in and out of the building, moving through the place, lighting candles, and saying prayers, is such a surreal experience. I’m always inspired by the work of Joe Greer and it was enjoyable to capture images inspired by his work here. The architecture of this particular church was unique to observe, the structure of it being very simple and elegant - less “ornate” than other churches I've visited in Italy or France (more simple walls and muted colors), but no less spectacular. The golden windows inside the building took my breath away with the sun shining through.

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This day provided so many opportunities to observe the lifestyle of Greek peoples of different locations, explore the historical monuments of the area, and deepen my love for this wonderful place. I cannot wait for more days like this, and to continue to embrace this lovely, welcoming lifestyle.