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Train and Rail Travel in Thrace Page 3 (see Greece train map)

To the north of this city is the large Nympaia forest, with trails, cafes, and up high, a Byzantine fortress, from which you can see the islands on a clear day.

Komotini - Alexandhroupoli

This line covers a distance of 67km, which heads east and then south from Komotini, passing small villages with a strong Muslim presence, even more so in that city. The closest rail access to the Maronia site is 8km distant. Modern Maronia has a nice square with cafes. The Evros nomos, which is the Turkish border region begins at Mesti; the rail line crosses the east-west highway here. The hills through which the line then passes on the way to Sikorachi is a local boar hunting area; Kirki station the point where tin and silver miners get on the train to go to their mines; the valley of the Iren stream passes through the village of Potamos (which means river/stream) and into the plain down to the outskirts of Alexandhroupoli, first stopping at a station in the midst of rail marshalling yards, the city center station five minutes further on. Passengers must be forewarned not to get off here, but to wait till the train reaches the center station. Through trains heading to northeast destinations to to the two-track 'stub-end' terminal where they change engines.

Alexandhroupoli

This city of around 45,000, which takes its name from the Greek king Alexandros who visited the town after it gained independence from Turkey in 1920 (and not from Megasalexandhros-Alexander the Great). It is known to Turks and Bulgars as Dedeagac, which means 'tree of the holy man', a name which derives from the Dervish colony established here during the 15th century.

It is both port and resort, which began to flourish after the railway from Edirne arrived in 1872, having been a simple fishing village before. Most travellers who come here use it as a gateway to the protected Evros River Delta for bird-watching, expeditions to the 5km deep Cave of Polyphemus near the village of Makris, or to take ferries to the islands of Samothraki and Thassos or to the port of Kavala. This city is also a rail junction, with IC trains to and from Thessaloniki and Athens as well as north-south trains to Greek cities along the Evros River border with Turkey. There are also direct express lines to Istanbul from Thessaloniki with departures from Alexandhroupoli.

There's a colossal lighthouse at the ferry quay. One of the city's interesting features is its Ecclesiastic Art Museum which houses icons and ecclesiastical ornaments saved from Asia Minor. The downtown area has plenty of cafes, restaurants, and rooms.

The Evros River Delta is 11km wide and is located near Loutra Trianoupolis, 20km southeast of the city. It is considered one of Europe's most important wetlands , with close to 250 species of birds, include royal eagles. About a quarter of a million migratory birds overwinter here. It is also a sensitive military area. At the mouth of the delta is a large saltwater lake, Limni Drakonda. The Evros River has its source 500km/310miles to the northwest, near Sofia, Bulgaria.

More Train Travel in Thrace Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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