Shadows or Lack Thereof

When the poets talk of Greece, το φως (“the light”) is a common leitmotif. A simple corollary to το φως is, of course, shadow. Therefore, one would expect quite a bit of Hellenic shadow to accompany this Hellenic light. For most of the year this is true. But, I’m not sure the poets reckoned with a northern Greek winter.

When The Daily Post announced shadow as the theme for its weekly photo challenge, we were heading north from Athens to Thessaloniki. For most of our stay in this wonderful city, it either rained or was overcast. Luckily, on our last day, the weak winter sun appeared in fits and spurts as we wandered around town. Finally, I was able to capture shadows at the cryptoporticus in the Roman agora – an underground arched portico, a kind of ancient subterranean shopping mall.

Rather anaemic shadows could be seen cast on the ground from ruined arches.


Beyond, a section of the cryptoporticus was intact. It was cloaked in shadows – only portions revealed in the weak sunlight seeping through the open archways.


By the time we emerged from the sunken ruins of the forum and headed further into town, clouds had obscured the sky. Shadows were distinctly absent in the modern equivalent of the ancient shopping portico.


Never fear, το φως will be back soon enough and so will the shadows.

Shadow: The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge


  1. We loved Thessaloniki, really found it diverse and amazing to find so many ruins in the middle of all the new. We read yesterday that they closed a 2klm area in the city to detonate an unexploded WWII bomb. We enjoyed quite a few bottles of wine sitting at an undercover bar just near where your portico pic appears to be. You’ve really triggered fond memories, the day we got the local bus to the Pella museum it was absolutely p—ing rain but oh so worth it. Wonderful, thanks.


    • Thessaloniki is one of my favourite places. We have many friends and colleagues who live there, so always a pleasure to visit. Too much eating, of course, but the food is so good in this city. Yes, they did evacuate a large area when we were there, but away from the centre. Everyone went out to the cafés! The bomb was finally disposed of on Sunday at a military base outside of the city. Pella is wonderful – love all those pebble mosaics. Did you also visit Vergina? If not, a must for next time.

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  2. we went to thessaloniki many moons ago but i don’t remember anything about it except having to get up at dawn to catch a train out! love these photos especially the last one. reminds me of the colonnade at my alma mater:)


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