I stayed at Sofia’s place for a full two-month-period in spring/summer 2015. This was a very pleasant experience indeed, an experience which began even before I met Sofia for the first time. She was one of the hosts who responded to my enquiries in detail and in a personal tone, removing all my worries concerning the flat.
The day I arrived, Sofia treated me to a coffee on her balcony and showed me around the flat. There were some flowers on the table, a bowl of fruit and a bottle of wine! I immediately felt that I was welcome.
The flat has everything that the description claims it has, a fully-furnished kitchen with pots and pans and plates, a microwave oven, a coffee-machine, a stove with an oven. There is also a washing-machine, and Sofia encouraged me to hang up my clothes for drying on her balcony.
What sounded a bit fishy to me in the description turned out to be true as well: there is actually a private space to park your car right in front of the house, in the very centre of Thessaloniki! The location of the flat in Ano Poli, i.e. Uptown (this can be understood quite literally) is ideal. You can explore Ano Poli, and it is a short walk downtown and to the seafront. I hardly used my car for the first few weeks of my stay. The flat is a little below road surface, which keeps it nice and cool during the summer period.
During the next few weeks, whenever I had a problem, I would turn to Sofia: dead mobile phone, aching teeth, flat car battery, she was always there ready to help.
Sofia is a well-read, educated woman with a mind of her own, and it is a pleasure to speak to her and hear her talking about her multiple experiences living abroad and being allowed to get a glimpse into her biography. She speaks excellent English – and, I understand, excellent Turkish, too - and still occasionally allowed me to inflict my Greek on her.
What is more, Sofia cooked lunch for me on a number of occasions, showed me around the city and introduced me to her friends. I found myself going to the cinema, attending talks at the local library, going on excursions and having dinner with people I would not have met if it hadn’t been for Sofia.
I can warmly recommend Sofia as a host and wish for many other travellers to be able to enjoy the amenities of the flat and to be able to explore Thessaloniki and its surroundings. I came looking for a host. I found a friend.