I met Tania a founder of In the Loop application at one event organized in Thessaloniki. She was participating there as a tour guide, organizing startup tech tour. It was the moment when I heard about her application and my curiosity made me to send her a message.
As I already mentioned when we have done the Art Loop before, the app introduced me to some places that are not easy to be found. Being In the Loop is like having someone else who did all homework for you, collected all information and maps, but also gave you some coupons for free drinks, souvenirs, and freedom to discover it by yourself. So it will be a pity if we don’t use this app one more time in order to meet Thessaloniki better. I need to say that it works offline – which is more than important if you are visitor without internet package in Greece. You will only need a smartphone and a bit of positive energy!
Welcome to Thessaloniki
The Welcome Loop is for free to everyone. It is described as a tour which will introduce you to must-see spots located in the heart of the city. I guess that it is a perfect route to feel the first glimpse of the city and feel its vibe. It doesn’t matter if you have a couple of hours or a few days. You will make it.
The first time I heard about Rotunda from my uncle when I was a lot younger. It is a monument with 17 centuries of history. It is one of those monuments that helps to understand the city’s past. Again during the centuries, it has changed its purposes many times from being made for Galerius’ mausoleum which never happened, the church, the mosque, and the museum. Today it is claimed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
The most fabulous part is definitely its dome. I wanted to try to see some of the lavish 35 million mosaic tiles! Angels’ heads, floral motifs, feet of the male praying figures are just some of them. It was hard to recognize them as the dome is really high.
Need to say that IN the Loop gives us a tip to stand in the middle of the building and try to play with the acoustics! I tried and it was marvelous! If you are there, do not miss to stand in the center and say “HI”!
More about Rotonda, you can find in the upcoming article.
Our next stop is placed just below the Rotonda. I guess that everyone saw it and questioned about it. For the locals, it is like a basic meeting point. In Belgrade we used to meet at the horse – so if you are from Belgrade – it is pretty the same. Let’s meet there!
◊ Arch of Galerius ( Kamara)
The Triumphal Arch of Galerius is a part of the monumental Galerian building complex. It consisted of the Rotonda, the Arch, the Palace, and the Hippodrome. Unfortunately, the Arch is all that is left. Thanks to the app, I learned that the pillars have its own story.
I decided to observe it closer. And indeed, a few scenes are able to be seen. It is a scene of the course of Galerius and his army and the battles that were fought on the Persian land. It is developed in zones but if you want to learn more about it check In the Loop ( there is even narrative video).
Probably what I loved the most is a little hint I learned. Like many monuments, in every neighborhood, there is a ghost story – an urban legend. Here it was a ghost of Kamara that snatched the brides that were passing by the monument on their wedding day. I don’t know if its true story but certainly I have never seen a bride around Kamara.
◊ Navarinou Square
Another area which definitely can be a separate post soon. * link to be here
This area is Boheme area. It has a thousand faces. I heard all kind of stories during my time here. However, this square is named after the naval battle that happened in 1827. On Navarinou Square you will find “the whistling child” sculpture and the archeological site of the Galerian place. But I am sure that it is not by what is this area the most famous for. Many people, mostly students prefer to have a beer sitting on the side terraces of the ancient ruins of Navarino. So do not be surprised if you see a group of friends sitting, playing music and singing around.
I cannot skip and to not tell you about its dark side. You will see it by yourself really quickly so my advice is to enjoy the area during the day and to be careful with your belongings.
“Tabya” in Turkish means fort or bastion.
I used to call it the Pink building. It dates back to 1912 when doctor Konstantinos built is as his residence using the materials from the byzantine walls that were demolished in 1911. Until recently, Doctor used to live there with his family. In 2012 it was renovated to Tabya, a space for creativity.
It has three floors. The floors with cafe bar, the record store, the library and the exhibition space. Ah and do not forget the courtyard!
It is easy to notice the “homey cozy” elements and to not misinterpret its previous purpose. The furniture presents the warmth of home. Probably that is the reason why I keep returning here to work from.
If you are visiting Tabya, take few steps up and check what is going on on the second floor.
The Welcome tour has a few more stops included but I decided to rest and enjoy the time at Tabya. That’s the charm of this application. You can always create your program and manage your time how it suits you. However, you don’t have to skip them just download the app and search for the first tour. Let me know how do you like them!
Till our next loop, cheers!
You can download In the Loop application from Apple or Google store on your cell phone. For now, it includes Welcome, Art & Night Loop of Thessaloniki.
Every Loop has tips, information, all necessary details, but also some coupons and hints in order to make your experience more awesome! I decided to make a little competition and take one of you for a Night Loop to remember in a city that never sleeps! As described it is insiders’ night out to some of the hottest nightlife spots for everyone’s taste!
In order to participate in the competition, you need to
- download In the Loop application
- find your favorite spot listed in the app of Thessaloniki
- send me the screenshot of the place from the app
Let’s get In the loop together! I promise you a special treat!