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Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013 ALEXANDROUPOLIS 2013

Dear fellow incoming medical students,

the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, the Local Committee of Alexandroupolis of the Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee and the Democritus University of Thrace would like to welcome you in Alexandroupolis, the seat of the Medical Faculty. With this reception booklet we would like to provide you with some useful information about your stay in Alexandroupolis, so that your exchange will be an exciting and cheerful experience for you. On behalf of the Local Committee, Christos Zioumpiloudis, Editor-in-chief Tsaramanidis Savvas, Local Exchange Officer Afroditi – Lydia Panagiotopoulou, Local Officer on Research Exchange CONTENTS Greece – Thrace – Evros – Alexandroupolis Arrival The University – The Faculty – The Hospital Important general information Public Transport Culture – Sightseeing Shopping Sports Restaurants – Gastronomy Nightlife Other information References


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A FEW WORDS ABOUT HelMSIC… The Hellenic Medical Students' International Committee (HelMSIC) is an independent, non-governmental, non-political and non-profitable voluntary organization founded in 1958 by Greek medical students. It consists of seven Local Committees, one in every Greek city with a Medical Faculty, namely in Alexandroupolis, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Ioannina, Patras, Athens and Heraklion. Its main goal is the information and sensitization of medical students on issues concerning: • • • • •

Professional & Research Exchanges Public Health Medical Education Reproductive Health & AIDS Human Rights & Global Peace

HelMSIC is a proud member of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), the European Medical Students’ Association (EMSA), as well as the Hellenic National Youth Council (ESYN). For more information please visit our official website or check out our official pages on Facebook or Twitter.

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

I. GREECE – THRACE – EVROS – ALEXANDROUPOLIS GREECE Greece is a country in south-eastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. Strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, it has land borders with Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Both parts of the Eastern Mediterranean basin feature a vast number of islands, islets and rock islands. According to the 2011 census, Greece's population is around 11 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, its urban area also including Piraeus. Modern Greece traces its roots back to the civilization of Ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. As such, it is the birthplace of Democracy, Western Philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western Literature and Historiography, Political Science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western Drama, including both Tragedy and Comedy. This legacy is partly reflected in the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece, ranking it 7th in Europe and 13th in the world. Greek language, culture, and identity emerged early in human history, having endured centuries of significant political and social change, including foreign domination. The modern Greek state, which encompasses much of the historical core of Greek civilization, was established in 1830, following the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire. In Greece, you are standing at crossroads of cultures, colours and civilisations, you feel the grandeur of history and the warmth of being at the southernmost part of Europe, you discover the evolutionary process of thought, influence and experience. A country with a uniquely affluent historical past, inhabited by people gazing confidently and optimistically into the future. A country that although statistically small, is huge in its diversity. A landscape that has given us thousands of postcard images but remains incredibly vibrant and impossible to capture. Greece is a country of beautiful contradictions, a constant journey in time, from the present to the past and back again. Walk through the olive groves, through ancient sites. Move to clusters of sparsely inhabited islands. Roam from beaches to rocky mountains and explore © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

the breathtaking scenery. In Greece, the fusion of images becomes more than imagery and turns into reality. Explore your senses in Greece!

THRACE Thrace of the Aegean Sea, of Rhodopi Mountains, of Nestos and Evros Rivers. Thrace, a province of modern Greece, a small corner of the ancient land which once stretched from the Aegean Sea and the Hellespont to Danube and from the Black Sea to Ancient Macedonia. Its geographical position between Europe and Asia and the crossroads which traversed its mountains and valleys still from ancient times were decisive factors in the shaping of its long history. Thrace, more than any other region, is familiar with migrations, colonisations, hostile invasions, war and occupation, while being, at the same time, subject to the powerful formative influence of neighbouring people and cultures. A glance at the archaeological map of south-western Thrace shows numerous important ancient Greek and Roman cities along the coast as well as on the plains of the interior. Hellenism flourished here during the 7 th century BC, leaving behind important archaeological sites such as Avdira, Maronia, Mesimvria and Traianoupolis. South-western Thrace was united with Greece on May 14 th 1920, thus developing and following the rest of the country in every sector. Meanwhile, Thrace preserves its original characteristics due to its location and population structure, constituting a real mosaic of people and cultures. Today, with a population of 360.000 inhabitants, Thrace is developing rapidly in the fields of industry, commerce and tourism. The area is also rich in natural resources, such as extensive fertile plants and abundant water supplies, which have greatly contributed to the development of agriculture and stockbreeding. Moreover, the biodiversity of the Thracian land is very impressive. Coastal zones, wetlands, major rivers and plains, wooded hills and lofty mountains, all co-exist in a total area of 8.578 km 2. Numerous typical representatives of the European flora and fauna can be found in the mountains and plains of Thrace. The region is also proud to include four out of Greece's eleven internationally important wetlands protected under the Ramsar Convention. The famous National Park of Dadia is one of the most important breeding-grounds for bird of prey in Greece and Europe, while the Evros Delta is one of the most important wetlands on a national, European and international level. Cradled between Nestos and Evros Rivers and between the Mountains of Rhodopi and the Thraco-Aegean Sea, modern Thrace continues to grow and develop, divided

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Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

among the administrative regional units of Xanthi, Rhodopi and Evros. Thrace – living history, ever present tradition!

EVROS Set in a lush natural environment, with a rich inheritance and a long history, Evros charms the visitor with the authenticity of its landscape and the warmth of its hospitality. Unique biodiversity and cultural monuments combine to create the remarkable identity of this place where Orpheus and Dionysus once met, and which effortlessly gives birth to the desire to return to live the experience over and over again. The atmosphere reminds one of Ancient Greece and the visitor is charmed by its own rhythm. Go rambling. Taste the cuisine of Evros, which is said to be the Dionysian side of Greek gastronomy. In Alexandroupolis and Samothrace, you can try the famous fresh fish and roasted wild goat. Further north, the cuisine is dominated by cavourmas (spicy meat), delicious herb flavoured sausages, game and local cheese. The region is also well known for the quality of its wine and tsipouro. Hospitable and merry natured, the people of Evros will be good companions in your entertainment and reveal to you a rich nightlife. From the time of the Iron Age until the present days, human presence has left its indelible mark on the passage of time. Learn from the book of living history, in a place where legend and tradition meet and are woven tightly with historical facts. Listen to the echoes of the past times in the museums and the local bazaars. Traditional instruments mingle with modern sounds to accompany the celebrations of this region. Towns and villages are living monuments to history and their inhabitants work in occupations still useful to local society. Though less well known for its clean waters and lovely beaches, Evros is, nonetheless, one of the best summer destinations. The coastline begins at Alexandroupolis and stretches to the edge of the prefecture of Rhodopi; 25 km of beaches, some isolated and deserted, others organized and buzzing with life, awarded with the Blue Flag and offering the characteristic variety of the region. Evros – an imperishable place, an unforgettable experience!

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

ALEXANDROUPOLIS With a population of more than 60.000 people, Alexandroupolis is the capital of the Administrative Regional Unit of Evros. The city was named after King Alexander, who visited the area after its liberation on May 14 th 1920. During the first half of the 19 th century, the population was initially composed of fishermen, but after 1870 it began to grow, especially after the setting of the railroad which connected Thessaloniki with Istanbul. The commercial character of the city was determined by its location. Today, Alexandroupolis is a new city with modern infrastructure, based on a wellstructured urban plan, and has a leading role in the geographical area of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, being the connecting gate between the European countries, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia and the countries around the Black Sea. Having a harbour, an airport and a railroad station, the city has developed itself to one of the major junctions of the European Union. Alexandroupolis is also the seat of the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Primary Level Education, the Faculty of Molecular Biology and Genetics and the Faculty of Preschool-Level Education of the Democritus University of Thrace.

Aerial views of the city of Alexandroupolis

Many hotels and a large camping offer their services to all visitors. A great number of different events, exhibitions, feasts and conferences give to the city a vivid cultural colour, especially during the summer months. The Egnatia Park and the Lighthouse Square (the Lighthouse is the trademark of the city) are the places where most of the events take place. A small number of museums, such as the Ethnological © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

Museum of Thrace, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art, can also be found. The mountainous regions with the Greek and Byzantine ruins, the gorges and the caves, are a very impressive sight, while Cyclopes’ Cave and the ancient settlement of Zone (Mesimvria) are worth visiting.

The Lighthouse Square daytime and nighttime

The coastal settlements (Makri, Dikella) as well as the mountainous settlements (Avandas, Esimi, Kirki, Sikorachi) of the Municipality of Alexandroupolis offer numerous routes, where visitors can enjoy the rare natural beauty. The city is also very close to areas of ecological importance, such as the Evros Delta and the National Park of Dadia. Additionally, while being in the area, one should definitely visit the famous spa in the neighbouring village of Loutra.

The villages of Avantas (left) and Makri (right)

Presenting a rapidly growing economy, Alexandroupolis offers high-living standards, a colourful and lively cultural life and many options for the locals and the tourists to enjoy themselves. Alexandroupolis – city of hospitality! For more information please visit the following websites: • • •

Hellenic Ministry of Tourism – Greek Tourism Organisation – Municipal Tourism Enterprise of Alexandroupolis –

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

II. ARRIVAL We will try to collect you from the train station, the bus station or the airport when you arrive. This pick-up service usually has to be arranged a couple of days before your arrival. So, if you want to be picked-up, please inform us about your arrival details in advance (date, time, place, train/flight number) by making contact with your contact person. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee anything. Please understand that it is not always possible for us to pick you up.

BY CAR We recommend using one of the following online route planners: • • •

Google Maps – Bing Maps – ViaMichelin –

BY TRAIN/BUS You will arrive at Main Train Station/Main Bus Station of Alexandroupolis. From there, take a taxi or walk.

BY PLANE You will arrive at Democritus International Airport of Alexandroupolis, located 7 km east of the city. From there, take a taxi (costs about 15 €) or take the bus directly outside the airport (tickets cost about 1,10 €).

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

If you arrive at Makedonia International Airport of Thessaloniki, there are 2 different ways to get to Alexandroupolis: •

Go to Makedonia Main Bus Station ( by bus line 78 (route takes about 60 min, tickets cost about 0,80 €) directly outside the airport or take a taxi (costs about 15 €). Then, take the bus to Alexandroupolis. Tickets cost around 29 € and the trip takes about 3:45’ (bus schedule: 10:15 – 12:45 – 14:30 – 16:30 – 19:00 – 23:30). Go to Thessaloniki Main Train Station by bus 78 directly outside the airport (route takes about 45 min, bus tickets cost about 0,80 €) or take a taxi (costs about 6 – 10 €). From there, take the train to Alexandroupolis. For train schedule and ticket prices please visit

If you have any questions to your means of transport on arrival please contact your contact person.

III. THE UNIVERSITY – THE FACULTY – THE HOSPITAL DEMOCRITUS UNIVERSITY OF THRACE The Democritus University of Thrace (D.U.Th.) was established in July 1974. It was named after the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus who was born in the village Avdira of Thrace. Its administration is located in Komotini, which is the seat of the Administrative Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The university is organized in two Schools and twenty Faculties located in four cities of Thrace – nine in Komotini, five in Xanthi, four in Alexandroupolis and two in Orestiada. A total of 12.700 undergraduate students are currently enrolled. The Democritus University of Thrace plays an important and effective role in establishing the national and cultural significance of Thrace and is constantly contributing to the high level of education of the Higher Education in Greece. Through the quality of teaching and the level of research, Democritus University of Thrace has achieved an excellent place among the leading Greek universities, being the 3rd largest university in Greece. Until today, it remains a Public Institution with full administrative autonomy. It is subject to state supervision via the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Sports, which also provides its funding. For more information please check the official website of the Democritus University of Thrace © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

FACULTY OF MEDICINE The Faculty of Medicine of the Democritus University of Thrace was established in 1977 and accepted the first students in 1984 – 1985. Since 2003, the faculty is accommodated in the new University Campus in Dragana area, 6 km west of Alexandroupolis. It consists of 50 laboratories and 30 clinical departments and has its own library with more than 13.500 books, 200 journals and 5.000 bibliographic databases.

Exterior views of the Medical Faculty facilities

Interior views of the Medical Faculty facilities

Address: Faculty of Medicine Democritus University of Thrace University Campus, Dragana 681 00 Alexandroupolis, Greece

Chairman: Prof. Constantinos Simopoulos Vice Chairman: Prof. Thespis Demetriou General Secretary: Mrs. Alexandra Kirkoudi

UNIVERSITY GENERAL HOSPITAL OF ALEXANDROUPOLIS The University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis is one of the biggest decentralized and independent health units in Greece and by far the largest hospital in the Balkan region. It was founded in 1939 and has administrative and financial autonomy, while being supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity. In 2002, it was relocated in brand-new modern facilities in Dragana area of Nea Makri, 6 km west of Alexandroupolis. The hospital comprises 670 beds and

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

consists of 72 departments and 52 outpatient clinics. Only in 2005, a total of 170.000 patients were examined and 32.650 patients were hospitalized.

Facilities of the University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis


From Leoforos Dimokratias av. take the bus line 1 “Nosokomio” (Hospital). Get off at the end station and you will find yourself in front of the main entrance. If you need more information please consult you contact person.

Address: University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis 6th km Alexandroupolis – Makri Road 681 00 Alexandroupolis HOW DO I FIND MY WAY INSIDE THE HOSPITAL? On the first day of your clerkship, your contact person or the exchange officers will provide you with an introduction to the hospital and its departments, showing you every way you need to know and answering all your questions. Please do not hesitate to ask us anything at anytime! Please bear in mind that there are not sufficient direction signs throughout the hospital. Sometimes they are unclear or even false. However, after the first few days you will find your way through. And if still in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask. Students are always around corridors and always willing to help. WHERE CAN I MEET STUDENTS IN THE HOSPITAL? The lecture halls and the hospital library are located on level 1. You will always find students in that area. There are also separate student rooms in most clinical departments. International exchanges are all about sharing thoughts, creating new ideas and making new friends. You will be surprised how easy it is to start a © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

conversation with us. We Greek students are very friendly and always happy to meet new people. Saying hello and a smile is all it takes to receive a warm welcome and start a conversation. WHERE CAN I BUY SOMETHING TO EAT? The hospital restaurant is located on level -2. Meals are provided twice a day free of charge. If you feel like eating elsewhere, you can always visit the cafeteria. Located on level 0, it is the number one place to meet doctors and students at all times of day. There you will find sandwiches, pizzas, hot and cold beverages, sweets and anything else you can think of. WHERE CAN I USE A COMPUTER? There are some computers in the Hospital Library, but most of them are located outside of the hospital area. If you need to use one, visit the Central Medical Library located next to the laboratories in the University Campus. Your contact person will show you the way. WHAT DO I HAVE TO BRING ALONG WITH ME? It is advisable to bring your own white coat and stethoscope. White shoes are optional.

IV. IMPORTANT GENERAL INFORMATION During the four weeks of your stay, we will try to provide you with an interesting mixture of educational and social program.


Health insurance: We remind you that you need a valid health insurance. It is absolutely compulsory to have a health insurance that covers all costs of health care in Greece for the time of your stay. Liability insurance: A valid liability insurance is also compulsory and covers the costs of eventually destructive errors/accidents during your exchange in Alexandroupolis.

SOCIAL PROGRAM The social program varies, depending on the people planning the reception and of course your wishes. Details will be made available soon. You can ask your contact person for more information. Prepare yourself for a National Cooking and Drinking Party during your stay. Please bring some typical stuff from your home country or even prepare it here and get to know the different cultures. It will be great fun! In addition to the little trips in and around Alexandroupolis, we will also organize and help you arrange excursions to the beautiful neighbouring cities of Komotini (1 hour),

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

Ksanthi (1 ½ hours) and Kavala (2 hours), to the lush green island of Samothraki (2 hours) or even to the famous Turkish city Istanbul (about 5 hours).

ATTENDANCE If you are planning some trips on your own we will help you any way we can but please make sure they take place only on weekends! You have to attend your clerkship for a minimum of 3 weeks in order to get your certificate. Otherwise, you will loose your right to participate in the exchange program, which also means loosing the lodging. We know that you want to see Alexandroupolis and its surroundings, but we are not a cheap travel agency. The places you get in the University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis are not easy to organize. If you don’t attend regularly, we will loose the places for next year’s students. Please respect this and conform to the rules. For more information check the Exchange Conditions.

LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION If you cannot speak English (or Greek if you mentioned that in your AF) on a level that you can communicate with doctors and patients, we have the right to take you out of the exchange program (which also means the lodging). It makes no sense to participate in a clerkship when you can’t communicate decently. If you made a mistake with your language knowledge in your Application Form please inform us as soon as possible. We cannot risk losing places in the hospital. If you don’t attend or cannot communicate, the hospital will contact us and then you will have to leave the program.

MEALS Meals are provided at the hospital twice a day.

WORKING CONDITIONS Normally, the clerkship starts between 8.30 a.m. and 9.00 a.m. in the morning and lasts until 2.00 p.m. or 3.00 p.m., but working hours can vary depending on the department. Working days are Monday to Friday. Please ask your tutor about your timetable on your first day. We know that this exchange does not only mean hard work in the hospital but it should also be a lot of fun! If you need a day off, please make sure you inform your tutor in advance.

CERTIFICATES You will get an IFMSA certificate at the end of your exchange program. Please ask your tutor to sign and stamp it. Please do not forget to send us back your Card of Confirmation (CC), inform us about your arrival details and read the Exchange Conditions.

V. PUBLIC TRANSPORT ALEXANDROUPOLIS © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

The public transport system in Alexandroupolis, consisted mainly of buses, is really good. Services are frequent between 6:00 a.m. and 10: p.m. and ticket prices range between 0,80 € and 1,50 € (student prices) depending on the route. Tickets can be purchased at kiosks. There is also the possibility to purchase a monthly ticket. Please ask your contact person for more information. You have to stamp the tickets on the buses. If you are caught without a valid ticket you will have to pay a fine, no exceptions. Taxis are also a good alternative. All taxis have a taximeter that has to be turned on. Please have a close eye on the taximeter as well as on the final price so as not to get cheated. The day rate is 3 €, while the night rate is 4 €. The route from downtown to the hospital costs 7 – 10 €. Taxis are available 24 hours by calling +302551033500 or by getting one at designated gathering points

GREECE By train or bus, you can reach most Greek cities within a few hours. Prices depend on the distance you travel. You get a 25% reduction of the normal price on tickets with your student identity card. For more information please ask your contact person.

VI. CULTURE – SIGHTSEEING MONUMENTS LIGHTHOUSE (PHAROS) During the 1850's, the development of a small harbour in the same place where the modern harbour of Alexandroupolis is located created the need of a Lighthouse in order for the ships to safely sail through the Hellespont. Therefore, a rocky cylindrical tower with a wide base was built west of the harbour, on the top of which, a beacon was placed. The construction of the Lighthouse was undertaken by the French Company of Lighthouses and Lanterns in the Mediterranean Sea, after an agreement with the Turkish Government that ruled the area at the time. Little is known about the construction time of the building. What is certain is that the Lighthouse operated for the first time on June 1 st 1880. At the very beginning, it worked with acetylene and, later, with petroleum using the method of incandescence. Since 1974, it operates using electricity; however, spare bottles of acetylene are available in case of a power failure. Repairs and refits were made in

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

the building during 1946 and 1955. In 2002, the old electrical equipment was replaced with new-generation circuits. The height of the Lighthouse is 18 m from the ground level and 27 m from the sea level and its characteristic are the three white flashes appearing every 15 seconds. Its luminosity is 24 nautical miles and, with ideal weather conditions, the lighthouse is visible from a distance of about 44 km. The Lighthouse is the trademark of Alexandroupolis. ZARIFIOS PEDAGOGICAL ACADEMY The neoclassical building of the Zarifios Pedagogical Academy lies in the western part of the old Ethnikis Antistasis (National Resistance) Park, today Academy Park. It was built in 1912 in order to host the local Military School; however the building was left unfinished because of World War I. After the liberation of Alexandroupolis on May 14 th 1920, the local authorities of the time established and accommodated here the Zarifios Pedagogical Academy. For more than 50 years (1923 – 1947), the Academy was the only senior educational institute throughout Western Thrace, having a major cultural impact on the city of Alexandroupolis, taking into account the number of teachers that graduated and lectured in the area of Northern Greece. The development of the Academy largely benefited from the donations of the Zarifi Family and got named after the national benefactor Georgios Zarifis. His marble bust, a work of art by sculptor Perantinos, is located in the small garden of the Academy. Today, the building houses the Experimental Elementary School of Alexandroupolis. SQUARE OF ST. NICHOLAS CATHEDRAL (PLATIA MITROPOLIS) An architectural jewel for the city of Alexandroupolis is the square of St. Nicholas Cathedral, with the homonym church and the neoclassical buildings of the old High School and the old Elementary School forming a diptych of Greek Culture and Orthodox Christianity. In the middle of the square, lies the St. Nicholas Cathedral. The first inhabitants of the city, mainly seafarers and fishermen, wanted to honour their patron saint, St. Nicholas. For that reason, the construction of a brilliant church basilica with a dome started in 1897. The bricks, the tiles and all the raw materials used as well as the architects and the craftsmen were brought from the city of Istanbul, while the construction was supervised by contractor Nicholas Chatzelos from Enos of Thrace. The interior of the church was covered with beautiful frescos, Byzantine icons and marble carvings. The Cathedral was finally inaugurated by Bishop Germanos Theotokas on August 4 th 1901. © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

In 1906, some architectural changes and refits were made using concrete, thus giving the cathedral its current appearance. To the left of the Cathedral, lies the old Leontaridios Male High School, built in 1909. It was named after Antonios Leontaridis, a wealthy merchant from Maronia of Thrace, who donated the money for its construction. Today, the building houses the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art with a large collection of Byzantine icons, wooden carvings, Episcopal vestments and historical documents from the region of Thrace. There is also a separate exhibition including paintings by famous Thracian artists as well as an ecclesiastical library.

Parts of the collection of the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art

The old Elementary School, to the right of the Cathedral, has its own history. Great men graduated from here including Athanasios Spanos, the famous scholar and national activist, Aggelos Pimenas, a protagonist of the local intellectual life and a pioneer in archaeology and Theodoros Charalampidis, conductor of the city’s Children Choir for many years. Today it houses the 3rd Elementary School of Alexandroupolis.

The Museum of Ecclesiastical Art (left) and the 3rd Elementary School (right)

In the small garden on the lower side of the square, handcrafted using the famous Pentelikon marble, stand the busts of the old bishops.

MUSEUMS ETHNOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THRACE The stone neoclassical building No. 63, May 14 th str., built in 1899, is restored and its space is organized in a way to house a priceless folklore collection. It constitutes an exhibition area of the amazingly rich and varied traditional life of Thrace. A centre of research and intellectual creativity, the one that knows and reconciliates, gets in © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

spirit and visualizes from the primitive memory and radiance that is included in the tradition of Thrace.

Exterior and interior views of the Ethnological Museum of Thrace

MUSEUM OF ECCLESIASTICAL ART In Alexandroupolis, right in the heart of the city, next to the St. Nicholas Cathedral, lies the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art. The museum has been part of the Spiritual Centre of the Sacred Metropolis Building complex since its establishment in 1976. Visitors continue to be impressed by the Byzantine icons and treasures that are exhibited there. Among these, the icon of Madonna Trifotissa stands out. It was discovered in 1974 and is dated around the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century.

Parts of the collection of the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art

MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY In Platanotopos, at the Maistros gorge, the Municipality of Alexandroupolis established the Museum of Natural History, an information area on the ecosystems of the broader region. The exhibition areas consist of separate units for land, wetland and marine ecosystems, with introduction, audiovisual rooms and rooms with photographic documentation of the human activities in the prefecture. Administration areas, the library, areas for public service and storage areas constitute a second operational unit of the building. The building has the shape of a triangular wedge rising from the ground, while its ramp-roof offers a view to the entire area. Since its opening, the Museum constitutes the centre of an area for the recreation and ecological sensitization of the public.

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Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

Exterior and interior views of the Museum of Natural History

For more information please visit the following websites: • •

Ethnological Museum of Thrace – Museum of Natural History –

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ZONE (MESIMVRIA) Zone (Mesimvria) was one of the colonies of Samothrace, established in the northeastern coast of Thrace, between Maronia and Alexandroupolis, during the late 7 th century BC. When the area was first discovered, it was widely known as Mesimvria (meaning midday sun); however, recent excavations revealed that the settlement was rather Zone, also referred as the colony of Samothrace, according to historical data. The city reached a heyday in the 5 th and 4th century BC. During the Macedonian and Roman rule, with the creation of land roads, the city began to decline. There are, however, a few samples of occasional residence until the 6 th century BC. The archaeological excavations began in 1966 and continue until today. Walls, reinforced with towers and housing within them, have been discovered. Moreover, remains of urban structure, two governmental buildings, a shrine dedicated to Demeter and the temple of Apollo have also been found.

Views of the archaeological site of Zone (Mesimvria)

Interestingly, a small part of the city, located mainly south-west, was isolated during the Hellenistic times, presenting us today its own separate wall and internal © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

organization. A cemetery is also located in the western part of the city, outside the walls. Limited restoration work and maintenance of the relics discovered has been going on over the last years. The most important monuments and architectural ensembles of the site are: •

• • • •

The Shrine of Demeter, made of well-processed marble and with dimensions 1.50 x 7.50 m (4th century BC). Within it, the archaeologists found silver and golden slides with relief scenes concerning the worship of Demeter, goddess of grain and fertility. The Temple of Apollo, a rectangular building with dimensions 9 x 15 m. It has a vestibule, a nave and a three-step base. It belongs to a building complex (dimensions 35 x 45 m) with a central paved courtyard enclosed by a portico. Among others, many fragments of pottery (6 th – 5th century BC) and incised inscriptions were found inside. A building complex with a large number of amphorae found in three of its rooms. In the middle one, the amphorae with their orifices in the ground served most likely as a mean for soil drainage (6 th – 5th century BC). The only gateway, west of the city walls. A two-step base saved. Section of the west wall with Lesbian masonry. Section of the west wall and residues from two towers.

Amphorae used for the soil drainage (left) and part of the city walls (right)

CYCLOPES’ CAVE Cyclopes’ Cave was revealed during World War I, outside the village of Makri. The first archaeologist that visited the Cave was G. Mpalakis, identifying the site as the area of ancient Zone and Cape Serrios. The excavations began in 1988 and revealed one of the most important Neolithic settlements in the Balkan region. Soon, it became obvious that this ancient settlement was not the city of Zone but a trading post. Cape Serrios now coincides with the end of Ismaros.

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Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

Views of Cyclopes’ Cave

The area was inhabited during the Neolithic period (5000 BC) near the Cave. The numerous buildings, made of clay, formed a small hill. Around 1000 BC, Thracians established here a small settlement. The Greek colonists, during the 7 th century BC, created a small commercial station, from which waste sites full of amphorae are preserved. In Roman times, strong retaining walls were built, while, in Byzantine times, the area was used as a cemetery. Important monuments and architectural ensembles of the region are: • • • •

A neolithic settlement (houses with floors, wooden walls, ovens, fireplaces) Cyclopes’ Cave (small cave with two rooms, believed to be the house of Cyclopes Polyphimus) A classical Roman commercial station (two repositories, walls and houses) Carved constructions (distinguished steps, niches, tanks and an observatory)

HANNAH (TRAIANOUPOLIS) The ruins of an important roman city, Traianoupolis, are located 14 km east of Alexandroupolis and south of the village of Loutra. The city was established by Emperor Markus Ulpius Trajanus (98 – 117 AD), right on the axis of Egnatia Odos, and quickly became the new urban centre of the decadent Samothracian Perea. The location was probably chosen for its thermal springs that are available until today. Interestingly, the Romans maintained the Greek institutions and the political organization. Epigraphic and monetary evidence show the existence of a Sacred Senate, cities and tribes. During the 2 nd century AD, a Christian community appears in the area. It is even said that, in 161 AD, St. Glyceria martyred in Traianoupolis, having refused to worship Zeus. The city was deserted, after several disasters during the period 1343 – 1347 AD. The city wall, for which Procopius informs us that it was repaired during the time of Justinian (6th century AD), survived only fragmentary and in poor condition.

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Views of the archaeological site of Traianoupolis

The most remarkable building of the city is Hannah, a rectangular building with arches that dates back to the second half of the 4th century AD. It was used as a hostel. Behind Hannah, the archaeologists discovered traditional baths that date back to the Turkish occupation (16th century). There are also ruins of a church on the hill of St. George, a possible settlement of the Roman citadel, as well as ruins of the Muslim Tekkes of Isiklar, described by the Turkish browser Evliya Celebi in 1668.

Exterior and interior views of the building Hannah in Traianoupolis

Recent excavations revealed a burial tomb of the 1 st century AD, full of rich offerings, exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Komotini. Among others, the museum collection includes a sundial dedicated to the Nine Muses and two marble slides with relief scenes of the 11th – 12th century AD. AVANTAS – POTAMOS CASTLES Outside of Alexandroupolis, near the village of Avantas, lie the medieval castles of Potamos and Avantas, formed by walls dated back to the Mycenaean, the Classical and the Byzantine period. Strategically placed, beside streams and on hillsides with steep slopes that have little need for fortification, both of them watched over the Thracian plains and controlled the ancient routes to Komotini and the mountains of Rhodopi.

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Views of the Avantas – Potamos Castles

The Castle of Potamos includes 3 towers forming the inner wall surrounded by an outer one and might have been a shelter for the surrounding rural communities in times of war, while the Castle of Avantas is shaped by a simple transverse wall that cuts off the access to the side and the top of the hill and might have been the shelter for the feudal lord. Both citadels date back to the second half of the 13th century or the first half of the 14th century. NATURAL BEAUTY EVROS DELTA In the south-eastern part of Evros, next to the border with Turkey, Evros River creates an extensive delta of international ecological importance with a total surface area of 188 km2. Evros River is the second biggest river in Eastern Europe and is characterized by the large amount of sediment that transfers and deposits on its delta. Evros River springs from the mountains of Rila in Bulgaria, south of Sofia. Its river basin is between the mountain ranges of Rhodopi and Enos. The total length of the river is 528 km., 310 km of which belong to Bulgaria, while 218 km determine the borders of Greece with the countries of Bulgaria and Turkey. The total river basin has a surface area of 53.000 km2 of which: • • •

35.085 km2 (66,2%) are situated in Bulgaria 14.575 km2 (27,5%) are situated in Turkey 3.340 km2 (6,3%) are situated in Greece.

The climate of the Evros Delta area is Mediterranean, although it is affected by continental climate conditions. The winter is severe and early or late frosts are often observed. The quantity of rainfall is unequally distributed during the year and rain is rarely observed during the summer.

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Sunset over the Evros Delta

Evros Delta constitutes one of the most important wetlands, not only in Greece but also in Europe. A surface area of 9.500 ha (8.000 ha of land and 1.500 ha of water) has been included in the list of protected wetlands of the International Ramsar Convention (1971), because it hosts important bird species. Furthermore, the Evros Delta is characterized as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is proposed as a Site of Community Importance (pSCI) in the Natura 2000 network (according to Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC, respectively). The Evros Delta remained unchanged during the first half of the 20 thS century. Up until the middle of the 20th century, before the construction of major dykes and the operation of pumping stations, large areas of the delta were flooded. The cycle of erosion and deposition among the sea, river and land as well as the action of marine waves at the coast have contributed to the topology of Evros delta, which continues to be a dynamic and evolutionary ecosystem. This natural cycle has been recently modified because of human interventions at the river's basin. Dams, channels, ditches and flood-prevention as well as irrigation works were constructed in Evros Delta between 1950 and 1980 in order to expand the land area available for cultivation. These human interventions decreased the fresh water supply, limited its access into the delta area and also contributed to the invasion of salt water into the inner areas of the delta.

Wet meadows in the area of Evros Delta

After the completion of the abovementioned works, the largest parts of marshes and wetlands were drained and large quantities of fresh water were channelled directly into the sea. During subsequent years, extensive drainage works took place in the area and there was an effort to "control" the Evros River flow through the use of dykes and new channels. These works led to the shrinkage and disappearance of important habitats and species. The fall of the ground water level resulted in the © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


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invasion of the sea inside the southern delta either through channels or through sandy areas. The efforts to drain the delta did not manage to create new productive agricultural land, mainly because of the increased salinity levels of the ground in the south-western delta. In 1987, local people (mainly farmers) closed the entrance of Drana lagoon because they believed that the lagoon was responsible for the increased salinity of the cultivated soils. This action led to the degradation of the lagoon's habitat. Fish and colonies of bird species that were breeding by the lagoon's islets disappeared. The drainage of Drana lagoon did not have any significant benefit for local farmers and the delta lost an important habitat and an equally important wealth-producing fish source (vivarium). More than 10 years later, the local society and the Administrative Regional Unit of Evros decided to restore Drana lagoon by implementing a Life Nature project. FLORA In Evros Delta, 7 basic unities of biotopes can be distinguished. In each one of them a specific type of vegetation corresponds, depending on the interaction of various factors like the type of soil, the microclimate, the presence of fresh or salt water, etc. Starting from the north where the river is divided in two branches and ending to the sea, one can distinguish the following characteristic biotopes • • • • • • •

Riverine vegetation Tamarisks Wet meadows with Juncus Submerged vegetation of salt or brackish waters Lagoon and fresh water vegetation Halophytic vegetation Vegetation of sandy islets

Evros Delta is created between two geographical regions with different characteristics. The role of vegetation in the regulation of water resources and the improvement of ground and surface water quality are very important.

Flora of the Evros Delta: Irida (left) and Voutamos (right)

The vegetation in Evros Delta is not affected directly by the climate, but mainly by factors that concern the soil (composition, water content, salinity). The type of vegetation is the same as the one in the whole of North Aegean shores. The © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


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vegetation in Evros Delta, because of its position, is affected by the type of vegetation of more eastern areas, like the Caspian Sea. The flora of Evros Delta is known from Babalonas’ works (1979, 1981), where 300 species are reported. RARE BIRD SPECIES Evros Delta is one of the most important areas in Greece and Europe for the survival of many species, some of which are rare or threatened. It is vital to broaden our knowledge for those species, through scientific monitoring, in order to have a clear image for the protected species and for the management measures that are needed to be taken for the protection of their population. Evros Delta is the most important place in Greece for the three species of European Swans (Mute, Whooper and Bewick’s). In the wet meadows, thousands of Whitefronted Geese are observed in winter, together with hundreds of Red-breasted Geese, while almost all the natural European breeding population of the endangered Lesser White-fronted Goose uses the wetland for many weeks and as a last stop before the spring migration for the breeding grounds of the North. Significant numbers of rare species of raptors are seen especially in winter. Spotted Eagles, Imperial Eagles and White-tailed Eagles are observed daily. Other important species that are observed in Evros Delta are the Dalmatian Pelican, the Pygmy Cormorant, the Bittern, the Ferruginous Duck, the Red Kite, the Spoonbill, the Glossy Ibis and the Collared Pratincole.

Rare bird species: Dalmatian Pelicans (left), Spoonbills (middle), White-tailed Eagles (right)

For more information visit the official website of Evros Delta NATIONAL PARK OF DADIA The National Park of Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli Forest is situated on the south-eastern end of the mountain range of Rhodopi, in Evros, on the crossroads of two continents. It constitutes the geophysical space where many species of flora and fauna of the Balkan Peninsula, Asia and Europe thrive.

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Views of the National Park of Dadia

The location of the Forest, along one of the most important migration routes for birds of the Western Palaearctic ecozone, makes it one of the few regions in Europe cohabitated by so many and different species of birds of prey, where three of the four European species of vultures can be simultaneously found: the Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus), the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and the Eurasian Griffon Vulture. The age-old woods, the rocky elevations, the meadows and fields scattered in the forest and the many gorges with their rich riparian flora offer a multitude of suitable biotopes for the nesting and the finding of food for many different species.

Birds of Prey: Eurasian Black Vulture (left), Egyptian Vulture – Eurasian Griffon Vulture (right)

The National Park of Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli is an idyllic canvass of promiscuous landscapes which captivates the visitor with its unique, in Europe, biodiversity. Due to the particularity of climatic conditions in Thrace, in this area we observe, not only the typical species inhabiting forest and maquis plants, but also species which are connected with habitats in higher altitudes in the rest of Greece. In the area of the National Park, 36 out of 38 birds of prey living in Europe and hunting in daytime have been observed. At least 25 of these have bred or nested here at least once during the last two decades. 212 different species of birds can be found here in total, amongst them many rare ones, like 9 out of 10 European woodpeckers, European rollers, masked shrikes, isabelline wheatears, barred warblers and others. 70% of the Struthioniformes in Greece have been recorded in the biotopes around the area, while significant is also the presence of the Black Stork, with more than 40 couples, making the National Park the most important area for the reproduction of the species in Greece. For more information please visit the official website of the National Park of Dadia © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


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VII. SHOPPING Opening hours in Alexandroupolis are almost standard: Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am to 2.00 p.m. and only Tuesday – Thursday – Friday from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm. All shops are closed on Sundays except kiosks. Some prices: • • • •

Milk (1 lt) ~1 € – 1,50 € Bread (1 kg) ~ 1.50 € – 2 € Pint of beer in supermarkets ~ 1 – 2 € / in pubs 3 – 8 € Dinner at a restaurant ~ 12 € – 20 €

Supermarkets: AB Vasilopoulos, Masoutis, Carrefour Marinopoulos, Lidl etc.

VIII. SPORTS Alexandroupolis offers a great variety of sports and activities, such as swimming and water sports, especially during the summer season. Alternatively, you can go for a walk or jogging in Egnatia Park or in Apolloniados av. along the seashore admiring the view over the Thracian Sea. You can also try playing some tennis, basketball or beach volleyball.

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IX. RESTAURANTS – GASTRONOMY GREEK GASTRONOMY The unique tastes of Greece guarantee that you are in for many culinary surprises during your stay in the country. Contrary to common belief, you will discover that Greek cuisine is not only moussaka, souvlaki and choriatiki salata (Greek salad), but has a wide variety of dishes that can meet the culinary demands of both meat-eaters and vegetarians in an extremely satisfying way. Things could not be different, anyway, in the country that gave birth to symposiums and the Epicurean philosophers. It was, in fact, Archestratos who, in 330 BC, wrote the first cookbook in history, and reminded us that cuisine is a sign of civilization. Greece has a culinary tradition of approximately 4.000 years. Nevertheless, like most national cuisines, Greek cuisine has both influenced others and embraced ideas from its eastern and western neighbors.

GASTRONOMY OF EVROS Evros kitchen uses the products of local production, such as cereals, vegetables, legumes, meat, river fish (sorn fish and carps), as well as sea fish that are fished at the Thracian Sea. Famous dishes from the area are "Babo", a Christmas dish made of pork intestines stuffed with finely-chopped meat, rice, leaks, guts and spices and cavourmas, roasted boneless pork meat cooked in pots and covered with fat. Today, it is made by butchers that put it in thick pork intestines. It is considered to be an ideal side dish for ouzo and beer. Other local traditional products include petoura or gioufkades (pasta from coarsely cut phylla for pita, made of milk and eggs, cut in oblong pieces, sun-dried and kept in fabric bags), kous-kous (made of the same ingredients, grated in small balls), bligouri or boulgour (boiled wheat sun-dried and grated by the mill, cooked alone, together with rice or with various meats), kolburek (twisted pita), kioul (soup with chicken and wheat gruel, kous-kous, trachanas, cabbage and other pickled vegetables), laggites (crepes made of thin paste baked on satzi, a round thin stone plate, placed on a trivet, overheated and grated with an onion, eaten with sugar or molasses) and tarator (tzatziki).

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RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS & TAVERNS (in alphabetical order) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Alma Tapas Bar (Spanish cuisine), 6 Markou Botsari st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +306972267271 Amvrosia (traditional Greek cuisine), 108 Ioakim Kavyri st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551023903 Elysee (homemade food – Pizza), 3 Zarifi st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551038410 Gialos (fish tavern), 24 – 26 Leoforos Vasileos Alexandrou av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551083850 Gria Bathra (fish tavern), 3 Souliou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551038668 Hovoli (Armenian cuisine), 12 Miaouli st., Alexandroupolis, Tel.: +302551037777 I Lefkes (meat tavern), 2 Trapezountos st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551022418 I Lemonia tis Giagias (Greek cuisine), 14 Emporiou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551080342 Kiani Akti (fish tavern), Kiani Akti Beach Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071353 Klimataria (traditional Greek cuisine), 18 Platia Politehniou sq., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551026288 Loukoulos (meat tavern), 12 Apolloniados av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551024225 Masa Soura (fish tavern), 36 Apolloniados av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551036052 Mpakalogatos (meat tavern), 13 Kountouriotou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551050454 Porto Elia (fish restaurant), 2 Apolloniados & Kritis st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551028668 San Paramythi (local cuisine), 7 Kanari st., Nea Hili (Alexandroupolis), Tel. +302551039269 Sarikas (fish tavern), 7 Markou Botsari st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. 2551034111 Spaghetti Company (pasta restaurant), 5 Kanari st., Alexandroupolis Tel. +302551032424 Spitampelo (meat tavern), 2nd km Alexandroupolis – Nea Hili Road, Tel. +302551037930 Synousia (fish tavern), 30 Apolloniados av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551020020 Ta Barbounia (fish tavern), Makri sq., Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071015 Ta Filarakia (fish tavern), Makri sq., Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071673 Taverna tou Ai Giorgi (Greek cuisine restaurant), Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071777 To Dichti (fish tavern), Makri sq., Nea Makri, Tel. +30 2551071727 To Voliotiko (Greek cuisine), 28 Nikomidias st., Alexandroupolis, Tel.: +302551020930

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X. NIGHTLIFE Alexandroupolis has a good nightlife with plenty of cafes, pubs and bars as well as night clubs and the famous Greek bouzoukia. However, you will not find typical discos. Still, you will have the opportunity to go out with friends or party all night long!

BARS & CAFÉS In Alexandroupolis, bars and cafes stay open until late at night and offer all kinds of music, from Greek and international pop, to alternative rock, jazz, funk and much more. Every corner of every street has its own bar and café. Especially full on weekends, the bars offer great ambiance, from very trendy ones to more romantic. Everyone can find his own style and enjoy the music he likes while having the time of his life. Recommendations (in alphabetical order) o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

Alhimies Kafenion, 98 Karaoli & Dimitriou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551028025 Alter Ego Le Café, 9 Kanari st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551083944 Aqua Mare Beach Bar, Agia Paraskevi beach, Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071218 B2 Coffee & Cocktail Bar, 12 Ioakim Kavyri st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551032476 Beerasmos Pub, 4 Koletti st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551033607 Descent Coffees & Drinks, Ioakim Kavyri st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551080830 Dfriend Cocktails & Coffee, 12 Kanari st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551081111 Eccentrico Café Bar, 1–3 14th Maiou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551080028 El Gato Negro Café – Bar, 2 Kanari st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +306936983413 Elemento41 Café Bistro, 41 Venizelou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551087233 Enallax Café, Sokrati Ikonomou & Ellis st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551550415 Filion Café Bistrot, 1 Psaron st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551036528 NOA Café Patisserie, Alexandroupolis Port, Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551053226 On The Road Bar, 365 Leoforos Dimokratias av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551033607 Orizontas All Time Classics Café Bar, N. Hili beach, N. Hili, Tel. +302551040250 Ostria Café Bar, Agia Paraskevi beach, Nea Makri, Tel. +302551071211 Passado Café Bar, 1 Ellis st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551020816 Soho City Boutique Café, 300-302 Leoforos Dimokratias av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551088134

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o o o

Sparrow Vinoteca All day Bar – Café, Megalou Alexandrou 24 & Souliou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551029651 Spesso Café Bar, 337 Leoforos Dimokratias av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551081119 Thema Coffees & Drinks Culture, 10-12 Souliou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551025255

NIGHT CLUBS Night clubs in Alexandroupolis offer a wide range of music and remain open until 6 or 7 o’clock in the morning. The special decoration gives a unique atmosphere to each club. The alcohol is abundant and the thirst for fun and party wins over everyone, till the most reticent one. Recommendations (in alphabetical order)     

Cargo Bar, 5 Koletti st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551022047 Notos Rock Club, Egnatia Park, Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551080060 Prive Club, 8 Filippoupoleos st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551032087 Reina Summer Club, 3rd km Alexandroupolis – Nea Hili Road, Alexandroupolis Yacht Club Seaside Bar, Alexandroupolis port, Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551053226

GREEK BOUZOUKIA Some places playing live Greek music called bouzoukia can also be found in Alexandroupolis; it is where people go to enjoy their night, drink and mostly dance, accompanied by the sound of the famous “bouzouki”. Everybody laughs, dances, sings and throws flowers. It is a delirious and unique experience to live. Recommendations (in alphabetical order)  Fix Live, 3rd km Alexandroupolis – Komotini highway, Tel. +302551039729  Grammofono Rebetadiko, 23 Emporiou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551026410  Mousses Live Clubbing, Tyrolois & Emporiou st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +306972243666  Peritrano Rebetadiko, 14 Karaoli st., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551080880  Pico Plus, 328 Leoforos Dimokratias av., Alexandroupolis, Tel. +302551024700


European emergency number: 112 Fire department: 199 Police department: 100 © & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

• • • • • •

Ambulance: 166 University General Hospital: +302551074000 Bus station: +302551026479 Train station: +302551026395 Taxi: +302551033500 Dimokritos International Airport: +302551045198

PHONE CALLS There are public phone booths almost everywhere around Alexandroupolis. Most of them operate mainly with telephone cards. The national code for Greece is 0030; the local code for Alexandroupolis is 25510. Emergency calls (phone numbers 112, 100, 166, 199) are free. Moreover, if your mobile phone is not sim-locked, it is possible to buy a Greek sim card. You can choose between 3 network providers (Cosmote, Vodafone, Wind). HOW TO PHONE ABROAD FROM GREECE 1. Dial 00 (international call prefix). 2. Dial your country code. 3. Dial area code and phone number. HOW TO PHONE TO GREECE FROM ABROAD I. II. III. IV.

Dial Dial Dial Dial

00 (international call prefix). 30 (country code for Greece). area code in Greece (local code for Alexandroupolis is 25510). phone number.

INTERNET ACCESS There is free internet access in the Central Library as well as in the Hospital Library.

BANKS / ATMs Since 01/01/2002 the currency in Greece, like in almost every other country in the European Union, is the Euro, abbreviated € or EUR. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Credit cards are widely accepted, but please check in advance. You can get cash at ATMs (automatic telling machines) with your Maestro Card, Visa, EuroCard or MasterCard. The cash machines are marked with special signs and every bank has a cash machine.

DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND SMOKING In Greece, it is illegal to take any kind of drugs, including marihuana. The legal drinking age is 18 for any kind of alcohol. Smoking is allowed from the age of 18. Note that smoking is not allowed in public places, unless explicitly specified.

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Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

ELECTRICITY Plugs deliver a voltage of 230 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz.

CHURCH & RELIGION Most Greeks are Christian Orthodox, but there is a Catholic church as well. In every parish, there is a mass every Sunday morning. Everybody is welcome to join the mass.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IDENTITY CARD (ISIC) This card enables you to obtain reductions at museums, cinemas, theatres etc. You should always ask for possible reductions.

POST OFFICE Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 7.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES Month January February March April May June July August September October November December

Average temperature (°C) 4.8 5.8 8.5 13.2 18.3 23 25.6 25.2 21 15.5 11 7

LANGUAGE – WORDS AND PHRASES THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL ENGLISH Good morning Good day Good evening Good night Hi/Hello Goodbye Thank you / Thanks Your welcome / Please Sorry Cheers

GREEK Kalimera Herete/Kalispera Kalispera Kalinichta Yassou Yassou Efcharisto Parakalo Signomi Yamas

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If you still have doubts after reading our booklet or need any help, feel free to contact us at any time. We are looking forward to answering all your questions as soon as possible.

XII. REFERENCES (in alphabetical order)                         

Administrative Regional Unit of Evros – D.U.Th. Central Library – D.U.Th. Faculty of Medicine – D.U.Th. Faculty of Molecular Biology & Genetics – D.U.Th. Faculty of Primary Level Education – Democritus University of Thrace – DEPANOM S.A. – Ethnological Museum of Thrace – European Travel Commission – Evros Delta – Evros Online – Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee – Hellenic Ministry of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace – Hellenic Ministry of Education & Religious Affairs, Culture & Sports – Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Hellenic Ministry of Tourism – Hellenic National Tourism Organization – Municipal Tourism Enterprise of Alexandroupolis – Municipality of Alexandroupolis – Museum of Ecclesiastical Art Alexandroupolis – Museum of Natural History Alexandroupolis – National Park of Dadia – Regional Administration of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace – University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia –

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception Booklet IFMSA – HelMSIC Exchange Program 2013

© & ® 2009 – 2013 Hellenic Medical Students’ International Committee


Reception booklet ifmsa exchanges 2013  
Reception booklet ifmsa exchanges 2013