July 25, 2011

Tour day in Thessaloniki ~ Linor

Today we had a full day. Some of the boys woke up early to go daven in a Shul with the Rabbi from Thessaloniki who was with us yesterday. The girls got to sleep in a little and woke up later.  We all met for a nice breakfast in the hotel. At 9 o’clock we had to get on the bus for a tour of some important Jewish landmarks. A nice man from the Jewish community was showing us around. First we went to the train station where they deported the Jews from Thessaloniki to Auschwitz. The train station is still in use and is used for cargo shipping.  After that we went to the new Jewish cemetery, because the old one was destroyed and now has a college campus built on it. At the cemetery they had some gravestones from the old Jewish cemetery. For survivors of the Holocaust they had their numbers that appeared on their arm on the gravestone. In the cemetery there are two little monuments one was for the remembrance of the holocaust survivors and the other one was dedicated to Jewish soldiers. For me the cemetery was very moving and I could not hold back my tears thinking about what has happened to these people and their families. When we finished at the cemetery we had some time to go shopping but before the guide showed us an important statue that is a remembrance of the holocaust.  Everyone broke up in to groups and we had some time to go shopping. When we got back on the bus we went to the Alexander the Great museum or the Royal tombs exhibit. We had an amazing guide he was like a story teller; everyone got into it and really listened to what he had to say. Inside they have the actual tombs of Philip II, Alexanders father, and Alexander the fourth, son of Alexander the Great.  We then went to a city called Veroia, a city where many Jews lived before the Nazis rounded them up and took them to Auschwitz.  This town was so charming and you could just imagine what it all looked like. Before the Holocaust.  After that we went back to the hotel and had some down time to relax. At 7:30 pm we had a surprise, everyone had to dress up as their favorite Greek god or goddess, or you can make up your own. Everyone then met up in the lobby to get back on the bus. No one knew where we were going except for Aviva, and the counselors. When we were driving up to a mall we all realized that we were either going to the movies or bowling. Aviva told us nothing. Everyone was walking in and until we walked to the place we didn’t know where we were going. In the end we got to go bowling! Some people did not have socks because they didn’t let us know, so we got socks and shoes. We spent some time there and split up into three teams and everyone played one game. After that we went to the restaurant that we went to last night and there was a live band and everyone was dancing, we had such a fun night! Around midnight we were back at the hotel, everyone went to their rooms.  We were so loud we wondered how no one complained, after all of the drama everyone went to their rooms and went to bed for another fun filled day tomorrow!

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