Sunday, 29 July 2012

Woke from a strange dream ...

The boys from Stamatis taverna were trying to kill me by meze and tsipouro ... 






It seems it was not a dream after all - Yammas !

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Well done London ...

You did us proud ...


But Mr Bean stole the show ...


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Green Fox - Aluminium cans ...

The first shipment of cans leaving Green Fox for recycling ...


Now all we need to do is teach our tourist friends, that the collection points are not general waste bins. The council bins are overflowing each evening, and the corn on the cob husks, ice cream papers and assorted waste heads into the Green Fox bins instead.

If they put the plastic and aluminium in the right place, the bins would still have room. 

Likewise the yachties and 'staff' from the motor cruisers, who cannot be bothered to go to the general bin just along the harbour - put there just for them ...

Come on people - wake up and use the bins correctly, just like you do at home ...

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Larisa railway station ...

This sign at Larisa railway station probably indicates the state of some of the country rail system ...


Modern rail stock liberaly applied with additional artwork. ...





All aboard the Volos express ... 






The strange thing here is that whilst Germany is not the most popular nation, most things good - are. So the railway network trains, both old and new are German built. Most of the infrastructure operating it is made by AdTranz another German company ...


The trains are modern, clean but all are liberally applied with Graffitti. Probably something to do with the amount of American films, and the high level of youth unemployment ...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Thessaloniki ...

My journey round the Greek mainland continues ...

Aristotelous Square
Time waits for no-one ...





Greeks love cakes and all things sweet, however the camera caught some smurfs in the act ...




Sunday, 22 July 2012

Well done ...

... Bradley Wiggins


An unlikely name for a champion, Wiggins is Britain's first Tour de France champion in the race's 109-year history ...

I bet that puts a few gallic noses out of joint this morning as they read about it in Le Monde

Arise Sir Bradley Wiggins - a true champion ...


The view from (8) ...

... Goldfish bar



Sunday morning, a nice time to take the family out for a drink on the Paralia. We like to share 'our love' around. Today we visited Goldfish - One of my favourite places to watch the world go by ...

Nice refit but €3 for a small Lemonatha, €3 for a small coke and  €3.50 for a cappuchino missing the 50cent glass/bottle of water on a very warm morning.

I guess i am lucky, perhaps the ice was free ...

I know John Travolta and Robert DeNiro were here the other day - But they have gone now, Its not Holywood on sea ...

John Travolta doing a John McEnroe at Ta Kymata in Skopelos ...

Sorry guys you have just lost another customer - and some precious income for this winter too ...

Friday, 20 July 2012

Cruising down the Pagasitic Gulf ...


... on the Express Skiathos


The Gulf of Volos or Pagasitic Gulf is where the Greek Argonaut, Jason set out with his argonaut crew to recover the Golden Fleece and his crown.






A modern day band of Greek Argonaught's were packed onto the Express Skiathos as we departed from Volos this afternoon. We ventured up to the top deck to find seats - luckily we were protected from the fierce late afternoon sun as we set sail after our latest adventure on the mainland ...



Luckily for us no sign of centaurs, the mytrhical half man half beasts as we passed their home under Pelion mountain ...


Centaur - AKA: Kentaur, Κένταυρος, Centaurus   
The fierce late afternoon sun ...
As usual Express Pegasus - The slowest boat in the Aegean, was late departing from the harbour, and we 'Hove to' still a great view though ...




A busy friday evening as always in the port ...













Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Whats that up there ...

... not seen them for a while

Clouds ...

White fluffy ones and building quickly, and cooler air

Could it mean - Rain ?

Bring it on ...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Anemos ...

... the winds came at 3am as forecast

Strange place to be is the balcony at this time, fighting to reclaim almost horizontal washing. Just as it tried to remove itself from the line, and deposit itself into the street.

Later the day was warm, but only 33C and still like standing in front of a hairdryer.

I earned my afternoon siesta before heading out into the last burning rays of the evening sunshine.

It's quiet in the evenings until around 9pm, when the holidaying Greeks surface from their afternoon slumber to eat and take their evening volta. Whilst the clubbers start to appear and head off to the thumping beat of the disco music across the harbour ...


Monday, 16 July 2012

Who is this guy ...


... I said after a procession of Greek girls threw themselves at him.

Looks of astonishment from Greek Friends, as the hero worship continued.

'Its Sakis' they said ...

'Really' i said - 'Sakis who?' {Thinking - if its the one i know he has lost weight and gained hair}

At this point he looked at me in semi astonishment, and then seemed to indicate did i want a photo too ...

Clearly non starstruck, I declined the offer and he returned to his boat

If he wants my photo, he will have to try harder - next time ...

... Oh yes it was Sakis Rouvas and he looked rather unlike this ... 





Sunday, 15 July 2012

The view from (7) ...

... Tsougria Island


Tough job, but it had to be done, and for the first time in many years - Sunburn ...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A great holiday review ...



... by Lucie Kerley who has given permission for the following to be shared here  ...

“ Read my personal 2 weeks in Skiathos Holiday - Food Review ”


For where to eat, sunbathe, stay or even what to wear...


Check out my Skiathos Holiday Blog Post. xx

http://luciekerley.tumblr.com/

That is without doubt one of the best holiday reviews i have read - Fantastic photography too - Enjoy ...



Friday, 13 July 2012

Temperatures rising ...

The roar of turbofan engines, and fully deployed Boeing speed brakes, screaming over the harbour - Must be Friday here on the rock ...

Temperatures are rising ...

 ... and so are frayed nerves, here on the rock amongst some of my expat friends. Its not always fun in the sun - especially if you are working in the heat.

Some of you know I have had a few bad days lately, nothing to do with temperature, but have had to get on with it as best as you can - I find this link always helps put things in perspective, and what is important  ...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

If its hot - and it is ...


Then lets go swimming ...

Fancy a swim ?

Someone else had the same idea ...

10.30am at llaria and it was lovely

But it could not be better than this ...


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Can't sleep ...

... too much on my mind

So after having been up since 3am, I decided to head up into the hills, on the now famous water run.

The view at first light was not very inspiring ...


However it got better as the minutes passed by ...


The sun shone and the ciccadas started to sing ...


 After coffee, with a friend, Then I headed down to sea level, and more familiar territory ...


However this morning, I was not the only busy bee ...


The Aegean odyssey sailed into view ...


 I headed over to the old harbour jetty as the first South African, and Australian tourists sailed into town. "So this is SKEEEYATHOS they said, all wearing name tags and sporting buswhacker hats ...

My friend Teo had been out since 5am, as had the dolphins, as he indicates here with the damage to his net ...

He was soon sorting his catch, destined for Skiathos tavernas this evening ...


But being a good friend, he donated to me a nice healthy lunch ...


Which I gratefully accepted and enjoyed fried and served with salad.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Hot Hot Hot ...


I understand the British Grand Prix was a bit of a damp squib ...

Next sporting venue for the saturation test is the Olympics - Dear Lord Coe - why no roof on that lovely stadium - Oops ...

Meanwhile here on the rock, its still 35 degrees at 17:20 pm - I swear i just saw some ants walking only on  two legs down the street. Its so warm you feel like you are standing next to a very large hair dryer.

Skiathos is hotter than a line call at Wimbledon - Which has a nice roof ...

Tries Hieraches and the miraculous Icon ...

Today is the first Sunday of the first full week in July ...

Its the celebration day of the discovery of the miraculous Icon of the Panayia at Kounistra ...

The icon is taken around the town in a procession after the morning church service, and as it returns along the paralia, It is serenaded by the boats hooters as it passes.

The icon returns to Tries Hieraches - held aloft by the Arch  Bishop from Volos  ...
This evening the icon will be taken up to Panagia Limnia for the evening church service

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Help load a truck with recyclables ...


An appeal from the Green Fox ...


Sunday 8 July at 10.00 in the morning can you help load a truck with recyclables, those who have even a little free time and can please help banish other 6 tonnes of plastic from our island. 

Sunday at 10.00 in the warehouse of Green Street alepoudonperifreiaki ( garages next to Costas and Bouras).

Friday, 6 July 2012

Richard Buchanan Dunlop - Exhibition ...


A voyage into cubism ...


An exhibition…… 


The gallery next to the boat shop. 
Papadiamantis Street 


Till 14 July ….. 19.00---21.00 h



Thursday, 5 July 2012

Back to the rock ...

On the 16:45 from Volos ...

Yes again this was a long two and a half hours, this time the ferry was full of holidaymakers. Suitcases rucksacks and assorted travel paraphernalia everywhere you stepped. This time the smokers were in much more evidence on deck, Enjoying their 'devine right' to flick cigarette ends into the Aegean sea below, along with the packets wrappings and cling film.

This happens on the beaches too, where i note a favoured way to hide the box is to fill it with sand and bury it, even though there are plenty of waste bins nearby. Cigarette butts are of course stubbed out and left in the ash tray called 'sand' for children to enjoy later. I firmly believe the first offence for smoking related litter - should result in the removal of the index and second finger from each hand ...

The highlight of the trip was the chocolate ice cream oops sorry slight mistake - I mean returning to the island as the sun lowered in the sky ...





Then stopping for a glass, of something colourful at the escobar cafe ...

                                     

Yannis the taxi man ~ A great friend in Volos ...



... and if you study the picture carefully

Night Ferry ...


Well I gave it a go ...

Now summer is officially here, we have a heatwave and temperatures are mid 30's every day. In addition we now have the ferry doing double runs to the mainland each day.

The Express Skiathos returns to Volos in the evening quite late - departing from Skiathos at 23.40pm and arrives at Volos at 02.10am

Needing to get back to Volos, its a cheap way to do the trip in some kind of comfort. Strolling up the ferry ramp to board an almost empty boat, with a very tired looking crew.

Its quite romantic watching the lights and sounds of Skiathos disapearing from the boat across a moonlit sea.

Back inside it was a case of most people getting their heads down, as the boat resembled a sleeping lounge, many in for a long nights travel ahead.

I must admit get rather bored on the Express, its the longest two and a half hours in my life listening to the engines and the throbbing of the propelors. Still it is officially dead calm for the next week. No need for the little white bags to be passed out as they were on Flying Cat 5 just a few days ago ...

Entertainment is the TV showing another documentary about the Olympic games, this one about the start of the modern games in 1900 and how within a few years the ideals were corrupted, The games soon being combined with world fairs. Obscure sports being decided as being an Olympic event, by the host nations. The St Louis games being as far from Olympic ideals as they were from Olympia itself ...

Looking away from the TV, when the documentary finished. Sorry I do not understand what the night games on TV are all about - They are the same everywhere - A pretty girl calls out numbers, pointing to the upper right on the screen encouraging you to call in to win a prize. How come this girl works nights and her eyes are fine ?

I noticed the boat windows look like TV screens, There was the new entertainment. The smokers, as they walk from window to window with their stress sticks, looking in at the sleeping masses. Some of the expressions are quite interesting to say the least. Still it was 23 degrees and at least they were not cold out there.

Arriving at Volos and the masses woke to the 'Hellenic Seaways arrival tune' - blasted at a decibel level to wake the dead.

Walking down the ramp at 02:06am and 23 degrees showing on the industrial site clock, over the harbour to the left.  I short cut across passed the fleet of waiting taxis, to the gap between the cafe and the Port police building. Heading for the direct route across the port car park to the harbour gates.

From the dark I hear my name called, and its Bill from Troulos ...

I only ever meet him, in strange places, airport terminals, UK and all over Greece - being the most common - once even arranging the transport of mail to the UK. We shared a fun meal one Pasca, at the Oasis with Mike. However Bill has led a very eventful life, and his stories are always great fun.

Tonight the story was no different - he had arrived after hurtling across Europe by car (Still doing 30 to the Gallon). A night in Switzerland, an evening in Venice. Shared a cabin with a Belgian who offered a spare berth. Then hurtled over the top from Igoumenitsa to arrive four hours later in the car park to watch the ferry come in ...

... and bump into me

So after half an hours chat catching up, and me noticing no new girlfriend this trip, he laughed and again invited me, to the house. Which i admit, I do not have a clue where it is. To call him on a phone number, that I am sure i do not have, but I am sure I will bump into him somewhere again soon ...

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Weather ...


I have been catching up with friends ...

Last night over dinner, we watched as the huge full moon rose over the Pounta, amazing moonlight shadows reflecting on the water. There is a huge yacht moored on Palio Limani, it was silhouette perfectly, just as things always are when you do not have a camera to hand

Checking the electronic media this morning. and its all about the weather. Seems its a bit rough north of the alps and a bit grim north of Watford ...

Some of the posts are really sad - so after a little research, here is a suggestion ...



Now you know what to do ...

PS Just checked again, and there is not a cloud in the sky to be seen anywhere ...

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Morning Glory ...

Early morning in Volos ...

Its quite a noisy town, stays busy late and starts early again first thing. The street cleaning department work all night and are not the quietest bunch - but seem happy in their work, as they manhandle the bins, and wash the streets.

This morning there was the usual crash bang wallop, someone repeatedly sneezing somewhere below, and the sound of someone warming up for opera ...

Its quite warm and humid here, and so decided i needed some fresh air, and opened the roller shutters.

I am not sure who was the most surprised, either me or the opera singer in room 407 of the hotel opposite, enthusiastically engaged in the act of love ...

Sadly by the time I had located the trusty Canon, to record the spectacle for eternity here on the blog, rehersals were over, and curtains had been hastily drawn.

Better go, I have a ferry to catch, and i guess that they probably have too ...


Monday, 2 July 2012

Hello Strangers ...


Someone out there has been reading the blog. Here is a snapshot of where from in the last 24 hours ...

Our friends in Ghana are probably interested in the street vending business here in Volos - Happy to report business is good.
You have offered me trainers, in all shapes sizes and colours - but they are really not my thing 
Some rogue Timberlands in tan - size 43 would be good, Preferably with a radial or cross ply tread. The winter tread one 's make a lot of noise on the corridor and are rather slippery on marble. 
However - I am  still not sure that the running horses fine art prints are going to sell that well again this year ...

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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bus etiquette ...


Sunday morning in Volos ...

Less buses in operation and the streets are deserted of traffic. However there are plenty of customers waiting at the bus stop. The first obstacle to overcome is the electronic ticket machine.

Jostling for position are the little old ladies, all immaculate and dressed in their sunday best at 9am. The machine is quite easy to operate, but probably the slowest printing device known to man.

Once i get my turn, i buy two tickets, slowing the queue, but saving myself from doing this again later for the return leg. The bus comes into view, and the lady bus driver allows everyone to board - That would not happen in London, there would be a roar of engines, and waft of diesel as the bus disappeared into the distance.

We departed very slowly along, Iasonias - the street named after Jason (of the argonaughts) I thought it was either to keep the bus to time, or to allow the ladies to (eventually) find their seats.

Trouble is they sit down, then change seats because of the sun through the windows, the view or that they do not want to sit next to whoever is sitting next to them.

Some of the looks of disgust or shock they give their neighbours, I wonder if it was a feud or some boyfriend issue from many years before.

Its quite interesting to wonder why someone sitting near the window, will climb out past their aisle companion, to sit somewhere else - next to someone else - without a word being said.

Eventually seated, the waft of perfume as intoxicating as the chatter, and seven stops further on. I had to squeeze by to exit as another game of 'Old lady roulette' began.

I would love to know where they were going, to church ? But you can guess how many we had already passed ...