Notes from Thessaloniki

The Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki is a fine place for shopping, sitting in cafés, strolling around, and taking photos.

The statue of Aristotle at Aristotelous Square – the bottom part of the sculpture was littered with some trash on Sunday morning, which shifted my photography focus a bit towards the heavens.

This was a good choice, don’t you think?

This Bedestens bazaar in Thessaloniki only caught my attention, when a tour guide stopped there with a group. This bazaar was right around the corner from our hotel, Superior One Boutique Hotel, and we ended up having a quick lunch right across from it, while the tour guide explained all the interesting features.

This open door takes you into a big fabric shop, in which I nosed around a bit. In former days, this was quite an important place (an Ottoman monument). More about its history on The Caravan.

Off topic, but worth mentioning, since I care about waste-reduction and recycling. Bottled water is very cheap in Thessaloniki at 50 cents a bottle. At one bakery, we even got a free bottle with our order.

In the summer, with temps ranging in the high 30°/low 40°, I imagine an awful high number of water bottles turning up as trash.

What happens to all these bottles..? I read up on it: FODSA, a public company, manages the waste of two million inhabitants living in the prefecture of Thessaloniki.

The roads and sidewalks in Thessaloniki were rather clean. But we still produce too much plastic.

Shanghai and Air Pollution

17 of the 20 most polluted cities are supposedly in China (source: documentary), which reminded me of the trip taken there in 2005.

Most times, we were chauffeured by our host’s driver, and unpleasant places were avoided. But on a separate trip to Shanghai, I got a clearer view of its environmental problems.

Granted, since that time, some issues might have improved, but on the big scale, Shanghai probably still has the same problems as other industrial cities do.

Cars pollute the air. In subtropical heat, I walked around in sandals during the day. I really had to scrub my feet, blackened by carbon, in the shower each evening.

Many pedestrians just dropped their trash on the spot with a city employee (mostly senior citizens) sweeping up the trash right behind. I remember seeing a young woman dropping a banana peel on the ground. The garbage bin had been in arm’s length.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Shanghai. It was taken around 3 p.m. During the three days we spent there, the polluted mist never seemed to lift its carbon veil.

Shanghai in the afternoon

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