The Tour I Can’t Tell You About

I’ve gone on many city tours. Some by car, some on bike, many walking, one even via elephant. But this is the first time I took a tour where I had no idea where I was going.

The tour company offered conventional tours of Thessaloniki’s historic sites, of which there are many. The city is over 2300 years old and has been occupied by, well, pretty much everyone: Romans, Ottomans, Greek Orthodox, and Nazi Germany, to name a few.

But it was the Mystery Tour that caught my eye. The reviews were unanimously positive: “Take this tour; you won’t be sorry!” and “Highlight of my trip to Greece” were typical. They were also completely devoid of any information about where you went or what you saw. When I made an inquiry all I was told was the tour went from 9:30pm to a little before midnight and after I registered, I would receive directions to the starting point. That was it as far as information from the tour company.

How could I resist?

I signed up Husband and me. We received an email with a link to a spot on the city map. We took a taxi there at the appointed hour. (Actually we took two taxis, as the first one refused to believe we wanted to go where we said and instead took us to a place with a similar name where he thought it more likely we wanted to go.) There we were met by several people and the tour began. All I can say is our tour guides appeared and disappeared as the tour progressed, we encountered many “interesting” characters, and learned much about the city’s dark and violent past.

I received permission to share one aspect of our experience. As we were walking through a park an old woman gestured us over. She pointed at me and told me (translation provided by our guide of the moment) to sit beside her. She took my hand and began to read my palm. Now I’m not one to believe in fortunetelling, but she got my attention when the first question out of her mouth was whether I’d been in PERU recently. Um, yes, I said; about a month ago.

I leave it to you to figure it out. She didn’t look like the type who followed me on Facebook or subscribed to my website. 😉

At the tour’s end, Husband and I walked back to our hotel through a city still lively at well past midnight. I won’t say we were jumpy after all we’d learned and seen, but I will admit we were nearly running when we hit the last block to the hotel. And yes, I’ve joined the ranks of people who highly recommend this tour. Even though I can’t tell you anything about it.