November 14, 2005 GMT

Northern Greece does not remind much about the islands we fly to and get sunburned the first day so that we have to spend half the vacation inside a tile carpeted hotel room watching Greek TV programs without subtitles. No, the northern part might be the better option. It hides touristy jewels such as two lane highways, factories and power plants. Here you can spend hours drinking coffee at petrol station cafés and you can do it in peace since nobody care that you’re there.

The sun sets in the west. I’m going east.

The ride across Northern Greece was merely a transport stage. Though, I did have one destination on my agenda. The city of Alexandropoulos. It is the home town of a dear friend, where his mother once ran an underwear shop, and many times had I pictured myself spending a night in a pile of brassieres and laces. But the mother had retired and my friend had moved to England. Still I was eager to do the best of it. I got a room at Hotel Plaza which name might bring some ideas about luxury and comfort. But it was one of those places lacking a knob on the wall where to hang the shower head, something that complicates soaping and shampooing. This is of course a devilish idea by the hotel management who think that the guest will be tired of holding the shower head in the hand, and therefore use less hot water. In such cases I turn on the shower, put the hose in the toilet, and leave the room for a five hour tour around the city.

Here is George. He likes snowboarding. That is about everything I understood.

In my younger days I thought that underwear was as much of a niche that a market could support. That is, until I discovered an airport shop selling only socks. Well, in the main street of Alexandropoulos there is a shop selling nothing but engine oil. They offer everything from 10/40 to 20/50, whatever you prefer. Now, that is a niche.

The streets of Alexandropoulos: The bugs are getting bigger

On my way back to the hotel I bought a slice of pizza in a bag, and next door was a bookstore that had black felt pens. I had unsuccessfully been looking for black felt pens since Croatia. The prudish woman behind the counter said the price was 3,80 Euro. In my pocket was only 3,20. Then I remembered that I had some reserve Euros in my money belt. So I started to unbuckle it. The woman’s eyes became filled with fear, but I really wanted that pen. And when I finally found a fifty note, she handed back the change including an 80 cents discount, meaning that the fiddling with my pants had been for nothing. Not to upset the woman any further I left the store without putting the belt back on. I did not want to do it in the street either, so I had to manually hold my pants up all the way back to the hotel while the pizza got cold because both my hands were occupied.

Geronimo! The border to Turkey is close

Posted by Erik Saue at November 14, 2005 06:31 PM GMT

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