National Geographic : 1916 Sep
Photograph b: KING CONSTANTINE AND EX-PREMIER SALONIKI (Axios), the chief river of Macedonia, leaving Greek territory near Gevgeli, some 40 miles to the northwest. At Uskiib, about 150 miles from Saloniki, it divides, one branch going to Mitrovitsa, on the confines of the old Sanjak of Novi Bazar, the other joining at Nish the main line of the Orient Railway. This is the highroad between Greece and Europe proper, and was the route followed by the Austro-German armies on their advance into southern Servia. The streams flowing through these val leys, with their tributaries and the lakes which they feed, make the campania the granary of Saloniki. But Sas they converge toward the city and the gulf they form a region of swamps which is harm ful or useful, according as one regards it from a hygienic or a strategic point of view. A fourth and less practicable valley, that of the Giliko, opens be hind Saloniki to the north. Last, but not least, especially in the light of current events, is the long valley of LangAtha (th hard), which separates the Chalcidice from the scarps of the Rhodope range. Starting a little to the north of the city, this depression runs due east to the Gulf of Or fana, or Rendina, lying between Kavala, the island of Thasos, and the outer shore of Athos. THE SHORTEST ROUTE BETWEEN MACEDO NIA AND THRACE Two lakes make up 28 of the 40 miles from Sa loniki to the sea, through the valley of Langatha. It forms the shortest byF. Caloutas, Syra and easiest route be VENIZELOS AT tween Macedonia a n d Thrace. Through it of old ran the Roman road that went from Durazzo to Constantino ple, by way of Elbasan, Ohrida, Monas tir, and the valley of the Mavroneri. And long before the time of the Ro mans, Xerxes and his invading Persians streamed through the Langatha Valley on their way to Greece. The modern railroad, however, takes a more roundabout route, winding among the foothills of the Rhodope, never very far from the Bulgarian border, through Seres and Drama to the Bulgarian port of Dedeagatch, I6o miles from Saloniki, and meets the main line of the Orient Rail way near Dem6tika, in eastern Thrace.