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Friday, 20 January 2023

Thessaloniki Waterfront

Aristotelous Square

Location:
Thessaloniki, Greece
Address: Aristotelous Square
Date: August 2015
Website: thessaloniki.gr

    Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece.  It has a beautiful waterfront filled with interesting buildings and sculptures. When we visited we took a walk through the center of town towards Aristotelous Square and along the water.

Pigeons Balloons And People In Aristotelous Square

   As you head towards the water you walk along a huge pedestrian plaza flanked by buildings on either side. As we neared the actual square we encountered a large group of pigeons and people selling balloons. The idea of the square was designed in 1918, but the majority was not built until the 1950s. In terms of Greek structures this square is just a baby. 

Aristotle Statue Thessaloniki

      The area is named after the Greek philosopher Aristotle. There is a statue of him seated at the edge of the square. Aristotle was born in 382 BC. That is over 2000 years before even the idea of the square.

Thessaloniki Greece Waterfront.

  After walking through the square, you can walk along the waterfront where an assortment of restaurants await.

Lanterns And Deli Meats Hang In Agioli Restaurant.

    One restaurant we visited was Agioli. It had planes, lanterns and deli meats all hanging from its ceiling. 

The White Tower Of Thessaloniki.

     After enjoying a meal or a drink you can continue along the waterfront towards the most recognizable structure in Thessaloniki.

The Greek Flag Flys At The White Tower In Thessaloniki.

     The White Tower stands over Thessaloniki's waterfront as it has since approximately 1535.  Greece regained control of the city and the tower from Ottoman rule and the tower still stands today.

Nikolaos Votsis Statue Thessaloniki.

    In front of the White Tower stands a statue dedicated to Nikolaos Votsis who was a famous Greek naval officer.

Pirate Ship Thessaloniki

   If you wish to have your own adventures out on the sea there are tourist ships that will take you.  You can enjoy the view as well as a few drinks on a pirate ship.

Argo Boat Thessaloniki.

     If you prefer you can also travel out on the sea in a replica of the Argo.  The Argo was a ship used in the story of Jason and the Argonauts on their quest to find the Golden Fleece.

The White Tower Thessaloniki.

   As we headed further along the waterfront we took one more look up at the White Tower.  You can see little openings where the soldiers would look out or launch their weapons from.  Today the tower is used as a museum to explain some of the history of the area.

Alexander The Great Statue Thessaloniki.

   The next statue we encountered was of Alexander the Great.  Alexander was a king in Ancient Greece.  He was actually tutored by Aristotle when he was a young boy.

Alexander The Great Statue Thessaloninki.

   Alexander The Great was great at battle and created a huge empire that stretched from Greece all the way to India.  He is depicted rearing up on his horse with sword in hand.

National Resistance Memorial Thessaloniki.

   A different work of art located next to Alexander is the National Resistance Memorial.  This memorial is dedicated to the Greek heroes who fought in World War II.

Hooded Crows Walk Through Thessaloniki.

  An army of birds caught our eye as they marched over a grassy patch.  We moved closer to see who these vistors were.

Hooded Crow Thessaloniki.

  The birds in question were hooded crows.  They get their name from their black head.  They are found all across Europe and unlike their raven cousins they have grey and brownish feathers as well as black.

Konstantinos Karamanlis Statue Thessaloniki.

      A nearby statue represents another great Greek leader.  This is Konstantinos Karamanlis.  From 1955 to 1995 he was Prime Minister four times and President of Greece twice.

The Umbrellas of Thessaloniki.

  Further along the waterfront was a piece of art not representing any great person but just for art's sake.

The Umbrellas Of Thessaloniki.

   The Umbrellas was created by sculptor Giorgios Zongolopoulos in 1997 and has become a popular photo spot along the water.

OTE Tower Thessaloniki.

   As we looked up the street we noticed another strange tower in the distance.  This is OTE Tower and it opened in 1966. Unlike the White Tower, it was never involved in battle.  It does work as a communications tower and has a revolving restaurant inside. 

Sunset Behind The White Tower Thessaloniki.

   The sun started to set as we headed back towards Aristotelous Square for dinner.  We found a nice spot on one of the balconies and enjoyed our meal as we waited for the show.

Sunset Over The Port Of Thessaloniki.

    Soon the sun started to set behind the industrial port section of the waterfront. The sky turned a bright orange as the sun slipped away.

The White Tower At Night In Thessaloniki.

   Soon the darkness had taken over and groups of people headed out to enjoy the nightlife. We realized we had spent the whole day exploring and admiring the sights around Thessaloniki's waterfront.  Not a bad way to spend a day.


Map of Our World
White Tower Of Thessaloniki
Post # 319

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

The Santa Claus Parade

Santa Claus Parade Sign Outside Old City Hall In Toronto.
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address:  111 Queen's Park
Date:  November 2022
Website:  thesantaclausparade.com

  In 1904 Santa Claus walked from Union Station to the Eaton's store on Queen Street West. In 1905 there was a single float that carried Santa Claus to the Eaton's store.  The Santa Claus Parade was born.  Each year it marks the arrival of Santa Claus to Toronto.  Santa is here to find out what good children would like for Christmas.  We had not seen the parade in person for many years.  This year we headed downtown to join in the fun.

Holly Jolly Fun Run Toronto.

    Before the parade even starts, you can watch the Holly Jolly Fun Run.  Runners race along the same 5 km route as the parade, in order to raise money.  The majority of runners usually do the run dressed in holiday costumes.

Celebrity Clowns Santa Claus Parade.

     Finally, we caught sight of the parade coming down University Avenue.  The first to arrive were the Celebrity Clowns.  These clowns have all made a donation to help support the parade.  You never know who might be under all that makeup and wigs.

Mother Goose Float Santa Claus Parade
 
    The parade is made up of many floats towed behind vehicles.  One of the oldest floats is Mother Goose.  A Mother Goose float first appeared in the parade in 1917 and this year was no exception.
 
Classic Metropolitan Toronto Police Car Santa Claus Parade.

   The Toronto Police are always a big part of the parade.  Toronto Police do crowd control to keep the parade goers safe.  Sometimes the attendance at the parade can reach almost a half million people.  The Toronto Police also show off some of their classic vehicles like this 1957 Chevy in bright yellow.

Metro Toronto Police Car Blinky.

    Our favourite Toronto Police car will always be Blinky.  Blinky used to be bright yellow, but when the car colours were changed to white with a red and blue stripe, so did Blinky.  Blinky also used to talk and of course blink those big eyes.

Metro Toronto Police Mounted Unit.
 
     The Toronto Police Mounted Unit also took part in the parade.

Toronto Mayor John Tory Cleans Up After The Horses.

    With horses always comes the need for a clean-up crew.  Toronto's Mayor John Tory volunteered for the job.  There are lots of marching bands yet to come that don't need to be dodging road apples.

Ridley College Cadets Marching Band Santa Claus Parade.

    Here comes one of the bands now.  The Ridley College Cadets are just one of the bands keeping the crowd moving to Christmas classics.  Bands come from all over Ontario for the honour of being part of the parade.

Creation Story Float Santa Claus Parade.

    Another parade float tells the creation story.  In the story, a flood takes over the land and a muskrat dives to the bottom of the water and grabs some earth.  The earth is then placed on the back of a turtle forming North America or what is also called Turtle Island.

RBC Lion Tobogganing Santa Claus Parade.

    Other floats didn't have as quite a meaningful story behind them.  This one is simply a lion enjoying a toboggan ride.  Most floats have corporate sponsors who help keep the parade going each year.  This float was sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada.

Polar Bears On Desjardins Float Santa Claus Parade

    The majority of the floats have a holiday or winter theme.  The float above features two polar bears and a reindeer.

Reindeer Horn Section Santa Claus Parade.

    This float features a few of Santa's reindeer in the horn section.

McDonald's Float Santa Claus Parade.

    The McDonald's float also featured some musical woodland creatures out in the snow.

123 Dentist Tooth Fairy Float Santa Claus Parade

    A few floats required a little more thought to see how they connect to Christmas.  How about this 123Dentist float?  All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.  And of course the Tooth Fairy is a close personal friend of Santa Claus.

Pizza Pizza Float Santa Claus Parade Toronto.
 
   How about this float full of creamy garlic and pizza?  Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day.  Especially for that grass skirt wearing pineapple pizza.  At St. Lawrence Market, where the parade ends, Pizza Pizza was giving out slices to all of the volunteers who braved the cold and helped make the parade a success.

Octopus Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

    The volunteers walk the parade in all sorts of costumes like the pink octopus costumes above.
 
Snowmen Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
 
    There was a group of snowmen.  Don't worry the weather was below freezing on parade day.
 
Toronto Santa Claus Parade Blue Jays.

     There was a flock of blue jays.  Some parade goers might have been disappointed that none of these blue jays were part Toronto's baseball team.

Upside Down Monkeys Santa Claus Parade.

    A favourite costume is the upside down clowns, or this year upside down monkeys.  You try walking nearly five kilometres on your hands!

Mrs. Claus Santa Claus Parade.

    Mrs. Claus is also a big part of the parade.  After seeing Mrs. Claus, we know it won't be very long until Santa arrives.  
 
Snoopy & Charlie Brown Santa Claus Parade Toronto
 
    A Peanuts float featuring Charlie Brown and Snoopy was sponsored by Canada's Wonderland and their Winterfest event.  In 2020 and 2021 the parade took place at Wonderland.  This year the parade finally returned to the Toronto streets to perform live.

Santa Claus Arrives Santa Claus Parade Toronto.

    The parade takes about an hour to an hour and a half in order to pass any particular spot.  We saw a float turn the corner and realized it was being led by a group of reindeer.   Santa had finally arrived!   We recommend the Toronto Santa Claus parade as one of the biggest and longest running parades in the world.  Just remember to dress warmly and keep moving.  Most importantly, no matter what age you actually are, we can all be kids at the parade. Merry Christmas everyone!


Map of Our World
The Santa Claus Parade

Post # 318

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Tobermory Ferries

Tobermory Ferries Over The Years.
 
Location: Tobermory, Ontario, Canada
Address:  8 Eliza St
Date:  September 2022
Website:  www.ontarioferries.com

  There have been ferries travelling between Tobermory and South Baymouth, Ontario for over 100 years.  Tobermory is at the top of the Bruce Penninsula and sits between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  If you wish to travel further from here you will have to either take a boat or else head back and go the long way around.  On a trip from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario we travelled south by ferry to Tobermory.

Burns Wharf Manitowaning Ontario

   The ferry service started in the 1920s with the SS Hibou.  Later came the MS Normac which could hold up to 16 cars.  There were a couple of other ships before the SS Norisle came along in 1946.  You can still find the Norisle docked at Burns Wharf in Manitowaning on Manitoulin Island.

Norisle Docked In Manitowaning.

     The Norisle was capable of holding up to 46 cars as it made its journey from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory and back again.  In 1958 the Normac returned to help share the work load. When the Normac retired, the MS Norgoma joined the Norisle in making the 46 km voyage.

Chi-Cheemaun Tobermory Ferry

     In 1974 the Chi-Cheemaun arrived and replaced both the Norisle and the Norgoma.  The Chi-Cheemaun can hold 143 vehicles and over 600 passengers and it is still running to this day. 
 
Chi-Cheemaun Arrives in South Baymouth

   The Chi-Cheemaun can also hold large transport trucks like the truck full of livestock in the photo above.  You can get an idea of the size of the Chi-Cheemaun as it prepares to dock.

Collingwood Ship Builders.

  Like the Norisle and Norgoma that came before it, the Chi-Cheemaun was built in Collingwood, Ontario.

Indigenous Turtle Artwork Chi Cheemaun, Tobermory.

     The beautiful indigenous art, like the turtle pictured above, gives the Chi-Cheemaun a bright colourful look. 

Chi Cheemaun Ferry Indigenous Artwork.

    The sides of the ship also feature birds and fish. 

Cars Enter Stern Of The Chi-Cheemaun South Baymouth.

    In South Baymouth we entered the ship through the stern.  We first had to wait for the vehicles that had arrived from Tobermory to leave from the same opening at the back of the ship.

The Bow Of The Chi-Cheemaun Flips Up In Tobermory Ontario

    Upon arrival in Tobermory, the bow of the ship flips up to allow the vehicles to exit and a new group to enter.  If you see the Chi-Cheemaun in the harbour with its front flipped up you have not yet missed your ferry, but you better hurry.

South Baymouth Ferry Terminal.

    It was a beautiful, clear day when our ferry left South Baymouth to head south to Tobermory.

 View From The Front Of The Chi-Cheemaun Tobermory.

    The Ontario flag at the front of the ship blew in the breeze as we started our one hour and 45 minute journey.

Flowerpot Island Mural.

    The Chi-Cheemaun passses by the famous Flowerpot Island.  The flowerpot formations made from the rocks are shown in the mural above. Unfortunately as the Chi-Cheemaun passes, these rocks are on the other side of the island.

Cove Island Lighthouse.

    The ferry does pass Cove Island and you can get a good view of its lighthouse.

Chi-Cheemaun Ferry View.

    At some points during the journey you can see nothing but water as you look from the deck of the Chi-Cheemaun.

Chi-Cheemaun Approaches Tobermory.
 
   Before we knew it, the time came for us to head back down to our vehicles and get ready to drive through the Chi-Cheemaun and out into the town of Tobermory.  Just like the artwork that graces the sides of the ship, a voyage on the Chi-Cheemaun will brighten your day.


Map of Our World
Chi-Cheemaun Ferry
SS Norisle

Post # 317