Trip Start Apr 23, 2009
17Trip End Jun 23, 2009
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Where I stayed
Our trek from Istanbul to Xanthi was a twelve-hour grind. We decided to take the train (we love trains) so we could sit and enjoy the scenery passing by, but also, get up and walk if we felt like it, The train to the Turkey/Greek border was a real “milk run” that stopped at EVERY town along the way! Sometimes, we only went five minutes down the track and stopped again. At the border, we had a two-hour wait for the Greek train, so it didn't matter how long they took to process our passports.
The Greek train was a bit quicker, but not much. When we got to Xanthi and asked about a taxi, the train ticket seller explained there was a free bus into the old town centre every 45 minutes. Of course, we must have just missed it! By the time we got there, found our hotel, and got
to the restaurant, it was 9:30 PM! We thought we were late for supper, but many people were heading into the restaurant to eat with kids at 10!
Xanthi was a famous tobacco-producing area, and now, several old tobacco-magnates' mansions still line the narrow, cobbled streets. Some have been restored, and some sit empty. One beautiful building is now home to the town's folk museum and is being renovated and refurbished as it
looked in the mid-nineteenth century. We walked through the old areas, admiring the architecture and enjoying the view of the town from the hillside.