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This comes a bit belated because I was travelling (sorry!).
I took a few days to travel in northern Greece and southern Bulgaria.
First I went to the Christmas Market in the city of Drama, Greece. It's called "Oneiroupoli", or "City of Dreams", and it's the biggest Christmas Market in Greece... with rides for kids, hand-made arts and crafts, food, hot wine, rakomelo (hot tsipouro with honey), ice skating, concerts, and more...
(The website's info is quite limited and is only in Greek)
Then I went to Serres and enjoyed a tour of the city with friends that are from there. They took me to a nice family-owned restaurant in the mountains outside of Serres where they have a fish hatchery and produce fresh water trout. I'm used to eating a lot of seafood living in Greece but fresh water fish is something I've never tried here... it was amazing and I highly recommend!
(The website is only in Greek)
Then I took a day trip to Bulgaria on my birthday and for my first time visited a popular ski resort called Bansko. It's only a 1 hour drive from the Greek border and it was very easy to get to from Drama. Bansko is a winter wonderland, very beautiful to explore and a fun trip even for those who don't ski (like me!). I ate at a placed called Smokey Mountain and it was great. Smoked meat, local IPAs, live music, cozy atmosphere... pure bliss.
Those were the main highlights of my trip, Leanne!
I really would like to travel more, it’s getting easier as the teenagers need me around less.
The Christmas markets sound so lovely, I’m especially interested in the hot tsipouro and honey 🤔
Skiing has never appealed to me (i really dislike snow) but it sounds like a beautiful place.
I totally agree with you on skiing. It ain't my cup of tea, either! I only went to Bansko for a day trip and even though I wasn't there to ski, I found myself wanting to stay for a night or two just to enjoy the unique atmosphere and good vibes!
The hot tsipouro with honey (called Rakomelo) is my favorite. Some Thassians produce it so maybe you can pick some up when you're here next. It's a winter drink, best served warm, so you'll want to take a bottle with you and enjoy during the cold months. If you like tsipouro, honey, and warm drinks, you'll love rakomelo! Warning: It's strong stuff.