Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Flying Cat 5 ...

Start planning ...

The schedules for Flyingcat 5 have now been published on their website by Hellenic Seaways.

It will operate to and from Volos 4 times/week (Monday to Thursday) and to and from Agios Konstantinos 3 times/week (Friday to Sunday)


Previous Blog; Flying Cat 4 ...

Late news just in - Someone has asked, 'What will the weather be like on May 18th' Answers on a crystal ball to ...

Flying Cat 4 ...

The three mayors have returned from Athens ...

On Monday the three mayors of the Sporades and the Hotel associations of Skopelos and Alonissos were in Athens. They were making representations after learning, that Flying Cat 4 this year will not be travelling between the Sporades and Thessaloniki.

'The vice/president of Hellenic Seaways Mr. Agapitos has made it clear in the meeting that Hellenic Seaways did not make money with this route, and therefore the service is cancelled'

A wasted and expensive journey, perhaps a conference call would have been a better option ...

Quite ironic really as Hellenic are not operating anything on the Sporades route at the moment either. The flying Cats are tucked up in Piraeus for the winter, and so is the Express Skiathos for winter maintenance.

However Hellenic are still prepared to offer free travel to the mainland for those in financial difficulty. This again being negotiated by the 'Skiathos cultural association' and well done to Teo Tzoumas for that ...

Seacats may yet step in, with a service from the Sporades to Thessaloniki, but at this stage probably unlikely in time for a service to operate in 2018

Previous Blog: Update on the Hotel Xenia (Update - 11/01/2018) ...

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Update on the Hotel Xenia (Update - 11/01/2018) ...

Steve in Skiathos has posted a very informative update on the development ...

'After a lot of help from a Greek journalist, I have obtained a copy of the development plan for the Xenia hotel. I have overlaid it on a couple of images from Google Earth to give some idea as to where everything will be.



As you can see, the existing path to the top of the hill behind banana beach will disappear (shown by the red crosses) and new roads will be in place (shown in red). The paths for these new roads have already been cut. I have included the latest artist’s impression from the developers in case anyone missed it last time and it helps to show the sports facilities, green areas etc.



The area marked OT 4 is to be a restaurant/dining area but, as of summer 2017, the developments at OT2 (57 room complex) and OT3 (10 houses) are subject to a delay. The Central Council of Modern Monuments and the Minister of Culture are insisting on changes to the plans being made before the building licence can be issued. I am not sure if this has been resolved but there is no sign of the actual construction starting yet. The dotted areas around the buildings are footpaths rather than roads and there appears to be very little parking (the plan specifies a minimum of 80 spaces for staff, guests 7 visitors). Anyone who has been to this end of Koukounaries beach in July & August will not find it difficult to imagine the chaos that is likely due to lack of parking!


As you can see, the development behind the two banana beaches is not part of the Xenia plans and I am still trying to get similar details for that'....

Thanks to 'Steve in Skiathos' and 'Skiathos Island News' for very kindly, allowing us to share the following update, and photos of the ongoing works ...

Previous Blog: Fix - Beer Bread ...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Fix - Beer Bread ...

I FIXed it ...

What to do with those two bottles of FIX dark, that you tucked into the suitcase for a rainy day. Only to forget about them?

You make bread with them ...

You use the beer in place of water in the mix, with flour, yeast and salt to make a 500g loaf, and here is the end result ...



Must say the bread is delicious, like the best Hovis you have ever tasted. Whats more you get to drink what beer is left over too ...

Now what to do with that bottle of Christmas Ale - Bah Humbug ...

Previous Blog: Ferry News/Ferry Strike

Monday, 8 January 2018

Ferry News ...

The Proteus ferryboat back again ...


The itinerary started on Sunday the 7th of January. The boat departs from Volos daily at 8am to Skiathos Glossa, Alonissos, (and Mantoudi over on Evia on Friday and Sunday)

Express Skiathos is off to Piraeus for its winter refit ...

Flying Cat 4 ...

After two years, Thessaloniki will not be linked to the Sporades, in the summer of 2018. a negative development that is a major blow to the tourist movement of both the city and the islands.

Hellenic Seaways, has decided to relocate FlyingCat 4, which was operating from Thessaloniki's port to Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos, last summer to be used in another line, from the port of Rafina.

Ferry Strike ...

A ferry strike has been announced by the usual suspects Greek seamen federation (PNO) for 24 hours on Friday January 12 from 00:01 until 24:00.

Previous Blog: Χρόνια πολλά apo Ioannis ...

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Χρόνια πολλά apo Ioannis ...

Happy 'Greek Name day' to Yannis, Giannis, Yannos, Giannos, Yangos, Jeannette, Jean, Zannetos, Cedd, Ioanna, Ioannis, Ivana, Vana, Vanna, Prodromos, Yanna, Gianna


(and as i count as an Ioannis ) me too !

Χρόνια πολλά και καλό νέο έτος φίλοι μου 🍾🥂🎂 ...

Previous Blog: Skiathos Jigsaw ...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Skiathos Jigsaw ...

Steve in Skiathos has a challenge for you ...

For anyone who is missing their favourite island, and who likes jigsaws try this link ...

https://skiathosjigsaw.weebly.com/

When the window opens read the instructions on screen

Then click on menu to start the puzzle

If it proves fairly popular Steve will put a new one up each week ...

Previous Blog: Ευτυχισμένος ο καινούριος χρόνος ...

Monday, 1 January 2018

Ευτυχισμένος ο καινούριος χρόνος ...

Kalo Mina - Good Month - Ianouários - January ...

Happy New Year !


You celebrate the start of the new year with Kalo Podariko - Getting the year off on the right foot ...

In Greece the youngest member of the house, is the first to enter the house in the new year. The youngest, who is 'the purest' must enter the house, 'Right foot first' - As must everyone else who follows, thus 'Getting the year off on the right foot' on the first day of the year ...

That done, Once indoors we cut the Vasilopita cake ...

Here it Is - My very own creation ...



Vasilopita is the cake with which Greeks welcome the New Year.

Cutting Vasilopitta has a specific ritual that is followed with devotion. The Cake is cut either a couple of minutes right after midnight of the New Year’s Eve and in the first minutes of the New Year or next morning after the breakfast.

According to the tradition, the head of the house, usually the father, first makes the sign of cross on the cake and starts cutting piece by piece the Vasilopita, devoting each piece to each family member. However, the very first piece is always devoted to Jesus Christ, the second one to the family home, the third to him and so on ...

The one who finds the Golden coin in his or her piece, will have luck all through the year.

Therefore, before each piece is cut, one has to name first to whom the piece belongs. If guests are present, they will be called after the family members and according to age, from eldest to the youngest.

The coin is hidden in the cake dough before baking.

In older times, the coin was a golden coin, later it mutated into a normal currency coin wrapped in aluminium foil for hygienic reasons.

Later update: Still no sign of the magic coin. Junior has not located ours yet. It's just a matter of time, to find it for the third year running ...

Previous Blog: Changes from tomorrow ...

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Changes from tomorrow ...

Nothing stays the same ...

From the 1st January, there will be some changes taking place, before your next trip,

Fancy a little bit of extra olive oil in your Greek salad?  Well you will have to pay a little extra for it. As of the 1st January 2018, refillable oil containers available to consumers at food offering facilities will be banned, and replaced by non-refillable containers or small bottles.
Read about it here.

Yes at last the Greek carrier bag becomes a pay as you go option. On the first of January you will now pay 3 euro cents or more for each bag. Below is the article in Greek.

Click this link ...

Previous Blog: Vasilopita ...

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Vasilopita ...

Time to make the Vasilopita - New years cake ...

Have you ever made Vasilopita -New Years Eve Greek cake? Its also known as Saint Basil's cake.

Hopefully my mate Basil is going to make one. Well unless you are on the island, or have visited over the new year then its highly unlikely. There is still time for him to bake one and you too! You can find all the ingredients in your local supermarket this weekend.

INGREDIENTS

125g butter
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
375g flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Zest and juice (185ml) of 2 oranges
Icing sugar, for dusting
Toasted flaked almonds, to decorate

Equipment:
1 x 23cm round cake tin

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180C (170C fan-forced). Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In two bowls, separate the egg yolks and whites. Slowly incorporate the yolks into the butter and sugar mixture, beating after each one. Beat until very fluffy and creamy (at least 10 minutes).

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the baking soda into the orange juice so it fizzes. Fold a little into the creamed butter mixture. Then add a little of the sifted flour and baking powder and gently fold into the mixture. Repeat until you have incorporated everything into the mixture. Gently fold in the orange zest.

In a clean and dry mixing bowl (no traces of oil or water) whisk the egg whites into firm peaks. Finally, very gently fold the egg whites into the mixture. Pour into a greased 23cm round cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Don’t open the oven before 30 minutes, as it may cause the cake to deflate.

Leave the cake to cool a bit in the tin before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and use the flaked almonds to write the new year (i.e. 2018).

You can find some more variations on this link ...

PS: Its the done thing to hide a coin in the mix for good luck for the recipient. Or their trip to the dentist next week if they bite on it ...