Friday, 31 May 2013

English Friday ...

There is nothing like a Friday in summer ...

The first aircraft arrive at lunchtime, from Birmingham. Swooping over the harbour with the speedbrakes fully deployed and plenty of flaps extended to prepare for landing.

The first one a Thomson B757-200 on the day that the parent company took delivery of its first B787 Dreamliner - A day that could see the end of flights to this airport from the UK as the B757-200's start to head off to the aircraft graveyards ...

Just after lunch the wind changed direction once again, this time we saw the aircraft soaring into the sky over the harbour. Later landing across the harbour again, and then again in the evening the last flight took off for Gatwick over the harbour - cutting the corner over the Pounta, as it swept round towards Skopelos, then headed north ...

Tonight the winds increased once again, its very windy, breaking small branches off the trees. Scattering the flyers and rubbish from the bins. The adverts from the clubs detaching from the lamposts, and heading airborne, towards the Alkyon hotel.

May is going out with a bang ...

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Its been rather warm today ...

The kind of day that sees your skin, turn brown before your eyes. 

Officially it seems its almost touched 32 degrees here in town this afternoon, recorded at the Skiathos weather station.

http://penteli.meteo.gr/stations/skiathos/
There was a fresh warm breeze, from the north for landings at the airport. A change from recent days where the hairdryer from the south has been blowing hard ...


For some just the simple pleasures of life on a warm day, and what might be caught for lunch, or dinner or nothing at all ...


The table is set, now we wait the catch of the day ...


A good spot to watch house martins here, whilst the 'principles of flight' are explained to you. However as the jets battled into a headwind, the house martins performed their acrobatics overhead with greater ease.

If you want to know what Lalaria looked like years ago, here are some of the stones, that no longer reside there for your enjoyment ...


If anyone owns a house, then they need not think it belongs to them. If you are not here, then your door is fair game. Here are two examples from this evening ...



However some people rely on simple style, to show off their homes to the best example ...


As the house martins, and swallows are screeching again overhead, this evening. There is a fishing boat departing the old harbour to lays its nets, I can hear its engine labouring as it heads out to sea.

Pappa Giorgos is ringing the church bells, at Tries Hieraches so it must be Thursday - who needs a calendar or a watch ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Evening time ...

For my neighbours - Jules and John - Thank you for the nice comments on the blog ...

A few views around town earlier this evening ...

The 12 Apostles arrives from the fishing grounds ...
Barbounia for Mr Malcolm ...
Codfish (Hake) ...
So Fresh ...
The death throes and tongues visible ...
Vibrant colours ...
Simple style ...
Maria's Pizza ...
Primavera Pizza ...
All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Chill wind ...

Well it was a lovely day ...

Around 6pm the winds finally shifted from the south, which have been warming the island for nearly a week. The warm winds that we call the hairdryer, switched to the west, off the sea and it was chilly.

By 8pm people were arriving in town in long trousers, I had switched to my long sleeve jumper, and shortly after added a fleece. Others were not so lucky and were tramping into town in T-Shirts and shorts.

Very soon we were feeling the cold, the tourists must have been too, as the exodus that normally starts around 9pm for the bus, was a stampede. Both sides of the street streams of lightly clothed people, heading for the bus to take them home. The taxi rank emptied fast, like an airport day.

The harbour front was empty of customers, those who had sheltered in back street tavernas, were in better shape. Monday night is the last night for those travelling on a Tuesday. Those performing the 'Last lager waltz' were as vociferous as usual, but the fresh chill wind took their antics across the road.

In the space of twelve hours, the winds have changed 180 degrees, however they are set to do the same again by midnight. Tonight we expect high winds to return again, following a pattern of shutters banging after dark ...

Two aircraft arrive today from the UK, 500 in and 500 out. Pale faces around tonight, lets hope they are happy ones ...


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Start of another day ...


I was up at Taxiacharis early this morning ...

The sun rose as a red ball, from the sea well north of Alonissos, just after 6am. The air was crystal clear and still. Halkidiki and Mount Athos, some 60 miles distant were very clearly visible over the sea.

Its probably the best early view that I have seen, since I have been here. Just me and a passing shepherd, collecting some water from the spring, to savour it ...

The Full Moon, was like a big shinning candle flame, It still up in the western sky over the hills.

Plenty of evidence that the goats have been out and about. They must be the most efficient farm animal to have. They eat everything you do not want, and fertilise everything as they go.

I picked some cornflowers for the breakfast table, on the way home. Vibrant blue and with dry silver stems, and then saw the sunrise for a second time over the Pounta. This time from the bench where, I was sitting by the day yachts ...

I watched Swallows, and House Martins swooping along the harbour, as the first insects took to the air on the warm breeze. Pappa Giorgos, the priest at Tries Hieraches was starting to sing as I passed by.

Its going to be another warm one today, here on a small rock in the Aegean - enjoy yours wherever you are ...


Friday, 24 May 2013

Strange days & Little Miss Sunshine ...

Its been like that these last few days ...

High temperatures and high winds from the south. A scattering of more sahara dust, threatening skies and rumours of storms that failed to materialise.

Yesterday visitors straw hats and panamas, were being removed, and scattered along the paralia. Postcards flying by on the breeze. The heat and breeze dried you out like an ancient Egyptian Papyrus scroll.

Its been a while since I had taken on so much water in one day and still, I had a croaky voice.

However better off than some friends who have been running temperatures and have had upset stomachs. A virulent bug is doing the rounds at the moment.

Last night, I visited Taverna Alexandros, on an impulse visit with SWMBO. That croaky voice needed lubricating with a chilled glass of rose. Soon bumping into old friends, and generally having a great time under the mulberry tree. I was delighted to see Yvonne with her guests.

One a hero of my youth, and many others too, who kindly allowed a photo. As charming in real life as she was some years ago to all us devoted followers.

We had a chat about 'little miss sunshine' and the portrait was brought to the table, for the guests to view. However 'little miss sunshine' needs a coat of varnish, and a slight artists touch to be seen, in all her glory.

I look forward to the portrait of the 'light of my life', being back on the wall at Skiathian's house soon. Once it has been signed by our famous island artist, who captured 'junior' so well, at Kolios three years ago.

Where have those years gone ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Gentleman Boomeranger ...

I met a lovely couple the other day ...

Here after 26 years visiting the island is Ted, who advises me he is eighty four years young. Here with his lovely young wife Margaret.


I told him he was a Boomeranger, and about the club, that I had started some years ago. So he is now an honorary member, of the 'Boomeranger club' - Proudly wearing his new club shirt, just this afternoon ...

Later update:
Quite a nice warm evening, lots of loud music on the harbour, some kind of party taking place, near Papadamatis street. There are rumours of a storm for Thursday, so we shall see.
Quite a few 'rather drunk' Brits, doing the 'last lager waltz' towards the bus terminus. They must be flying out tomorrow as carrying lots of cigarettes, and goody bags.
Thanks to 'Dave and Sue' for their delivery this evening, collected from 'you know where' - I owe you one, and hope to see you back here soon, hopefully with the man from Middlesborough.
Met some lovely Romanians who complemented me on my English, and a couple of Russians who were impressed that I knew they were from St Petersberg. Many of the bars and tavernas in town, are pretty quiet at the moment - Hope things improve soon ...

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hello Stranger ...

Look who I caught landing at Skiathos this lunchtime ...


Now if Aegean were to offer a route calling at Skiathos, that would be good ...

Update: 21/5/2013

This was the inaugural flight from St Petersberg Russia ...

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday lunch ...

On a warm Sunday afternoon ...







 What better is there to do, than have lunch with friends ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Skopelos town ...

I don't think a lot of Skopelos town - the lady said ...

'That's unusual, most people like the place' I replied

'Only a few tavernas, no shops - Its a scrappy little place with a little beach' she continued

'Hang on a minute' said Skiathian ...

Turns out they did their own thing and went over by ferry, and got off at Glossa, the first point of call. That is  instead of the second stop, the lovely Skopelos town.

Clearly confused they did not ask for help, or advice, and spent their time wandering round the port. On a rather warm afternoon, waiting for the Express Skiathos to come back ...

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sleepy ...

Thats how its been all day ...

So quiet, and so very warm, after the last few days. Everyone is either at the beach, or snoozing behind sunglasses pretending to read a good book.

Nice cloud formations, which give us a humid feel as they pass slowly overhead ...


Wandering through deserted lanes and alleys, some still have wysteria in bloom. 


There are bougainvillea flowers everywhere, and occasionally the wafted scent, of flowering honeysuckle and jasmin on the warm airs ...


The amazing colours, of 'a small island in the aegean' ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Friday, 17 May 2013

Pseudonyms ...

It was a very busy morning yesterday ...

However, I noticed two people, were watching me, from over the street ...

A little while later, they were sitting on the bench. Whispering it seemed to each other, and looking in my general direction. I had a check of the blog, read my e-mails and looked up and there they were.

'It's you isn't it' she said ...

'I hope so', I replied

'Yes we thought it was you, and now we know' ...

'Really' wondering which of my personalities they have tuned into

I noticed they were very intently, looking at my bag of fresh lemons. Occasionally a waft of coriander, freshly harvested an hour or so previously, came over the senses.

The lemons and coriander, a gift from great friends up in the hills a little while earlier. We had enjoyed coffee, and delicious freshly baked warm scones with jam, on their lovely terrace, overlooking the islands - whilst spots of convection rain fell around us.

'We thought it was, last night. We talked about you over dinner, and asked a few people to check. We read about you every day, we know who you are' ... 

'Bugger - Ok its a fair cop' ...

'I thought so' she said with a smile

'I admit it, yes its me' ...

'I told you so David' she said to the quiet gentleman by her side

'Yes, I am Lord Lucan' I replied ...

Well I thought it was funny, but then I have eaten a lot of cheese lately ...

Later, two other friends, who have been great company here these last few weeks, were chatting with me. We passed the time of day, with another great mate here, and shared experiences.

They then asked me and a friend, a little later - 'Who is ? You must tell me - Just love their sense of humour' ...

Not knowing who they had just been chatting to - with me, a little while earlier ...


Later: Nice to see Mr & Mrs Suncamp girl, here for a lovely sabbatical.






Thursday, 16 May 2013

Some words of advice from 'Uncle Skiathian' ...

I went out last night ...


Do not fry your backside all day, then go to have fun in the evening with SWMBO on her birthday. That rose wine evaporates through your skin like a boiling kettle.

You sleep like a troll, and snore like a bear - 'apparently' ...

You wake up in the morning thinking the world is going to be a rosy place, rather than one that still tastes of 'rose' ...

Tonight joined 'Mr Malcolm' for a farewell tsipouro at Taverna o'Batis. Great company once again - Kalo Taxidi filemous ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Sunny Wednesday morning ...

Good Morning from Skiathos ...


Not a bad start to the day, seeing this earlier this morning on the school run.

Xronia Polla to SWMBO on her special day ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Storm ...

Sometimes we get a storm, and sometimes we get a Skiathos storm ...

Last night we had a Skiathos storm. It came from the North West, a boiling black cloud that appeared over town, with trailing wind devils from its base. It looked like an airborn octopus.

Behind the low level mutant was a wall of light grey. It announced itself with a flash of pink lightning, and a deep roaring thunderclap. I said to my colleague, lets get indoors quick, and we did. I managed to get a call in, to home, 'get the shutters closed quick' just in time ...

Too much rain to get a decent photo ...
Thunderbolts were exploding overhead within minutes, a mixture of pink and the normal lightning. Then torrential rain, came thrashing in, leaving waves on the surface of the harbour in white foam. 

Seagulls immediately landed in the harbour, and stayed there. It was like the air traffic controller, at the airport had grounded them all. 

They stayed there, bobbing around, and being lashed with rain, on waves made of white foam, made by the rain.


I watched as a couple of tourists wandered by in the height of the intensity of the storm, clutching umbrellas. They were being lashed with rain, and drenched to the skin. Clearly not realising how much danger they were in. It was violent, and they were in a very cool open space, the human body a nice warm target holding a piece of very wet metal over their heads.

One of the taxi drivers shouted, at them get under cover, pointing at the cafes over the street. She said 'no thanks we will get the bus' and plodded on face clenched against the torrent ...

There was a time when the lightning was in the harbour, over the Pounta, the town and over Maragos all in a few seconds. Pink lightning is quite a spectacle, especially when its all around you with rolling thunder.

After the storm passed to the south east, the rain began to ease, the skies started to lighten, aided by the background effect of the lightning.

Faces began to appear but everywhere was totally saturated. The harbour went from a white foam to a dirty brown muddy stain as the storm drains washed the mud down from the hills above Acropolis.

It had been an interesting few hours, watching the deluge.


One of the most violent displays of nature here, I have seen here in a few years ...

Tiptoeing through the puddles, some like lakes on the way home, meeting friends sheltering in cafes on the way home. One said 'that really was a good one' and it certainly was if you were watching it with a nice meze and a nice glass of wine.

Back home evidence of the deluge in the street, rocks sitting on the storm drain grilles that have come down the street. I have never seen that before, nor have any idea where they have been relocated from, somewhere up the hill ...

The winds increased overnight and its very gusty out there. The street sounds more like a winters night, rather than a mid May morning. Yet it should be sunny again by lunchtime, after the winds have abated ...

The start of another day on a green island in the aegean ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Monday, 13 May 2013

Proteus (Customer service) ...

So the Proteus was lifting the car ramp, to depart Volos this afternoon at 14:32pm.

A passenger raced along the quayside, having been released from the hospital - Just 14 minutes earlier, and having made a frantic dash across Volos, only to see the ferry departing.

The crew did not know this ...

However someone saw the dash across the quayside, from a car to catch the boat, and they lowered the ramp.

Reaching into their bag to pay the officer for the ticket, only to find that the purse, was still in a friends car, back on the port. What now for the ticket less passenger.

The rest as  they say is history, but a big thank you to the Captain and crew of the Proteus ...


Interesting start ...

Good Morning from Skiathos - 06:33am and the first thunderclaps of the day, are just making their presence felt overhead ...

Our new ferry also is making quite an interesting spectacle ...

On 8th May (Day one) the Proteus had a bit of trouble with reversing, into port at Skiathos. After two attempts, and a circle of the harbour, It made it - departing rather late - details: here

On Saturday 11th again, a few problems again, and despite warning shouts from the crew, of an adjacent vessel to the crew on the rear of the Proteus. It reversed into the harbour structure. With a loud clunk.

Some new lorry tyres required as fenders if anyone has some spare ...

On Sunday 12th, three attempts at reversing to the harbour, again without success, and another circuit of the harbour. Nice idea of the officers and crew, to provide a cruise round the harbour, for the benefit of all the passengers from Skopelos and Alonissos on board.

'On the left is the clock tower, the Windmill restaurant - Tables are available, for dinner this evening, and can be booked via the Purser if we make it in tonight' ... 

The pantomime went on long enough for the Express Skiathos to be held outside the port, blasting the ships horn, to let everyone know what was going on ...

Eventually departing for Volos, over an hour late - All for just €19 one way, €35 return to Volos

We await this afternoon's arrival with eager anticipation, of the best entertainment on the island. That is until Mamma Mia re-opens at the cinema ...

Airport news ...


Reported by Panthessaliki Journal

On May 20, starting the direct flights from St Petersburg Airport to Skiathos

Of particular interest due to start direct flights from Russia to the Sporades islands which, according to the official program charter arrivals at the international airport of Skiathos, the starting point is the 20th May. 

Charter flights from Russia will last throughout the course of the season and is expected to contribute greatly to the further growth of inbound tourism as the island of Papadiamandis and the Sporades islands by extension.

Three days later, namely on 23 May begin the first charter arrivals from Munich, which is very important when the connoisseurs on tourist issues because expected to increase traffic of German tourists, which was limited to sporadic individual arrivals during the corresponding Last season, when direct air link. 


Last year there was a clear increase in total foreign tourist arrivals in the islands, according to official statistics from the state airport of Skiathos. 

According while the hitherto existing data, expected even greater increase in visitation rates in the field of incoming tourism, and no prediction can be done, even at least in relation to the disposal of domestic tourists. 

In July the program starts for charter arrivals from Cyprus, to the airport of Skiathos. The island of Papadiamanti is very popular tourist destination for thousands of Cypriots who choose it for their summer vacation. 


Meanwhile, air arrivals thicken gradually as in Skiathos are already several thousand Englishmen and Dutch visitors to the island, and especially yesterday, arrived seven charter from Britain. 

The first thoughts of practitioners are positive, and as stated by Mr. Koukoulakis, president of the Association of Hoteliers and Group Entrepreneurs Skiathos "the season will go well, because existing bookings are satisfactory, while Skiathos a dynamic that preserves every year. " 

Key point forward, however, is the same on line marketing, highlighting features that "those who have internet access, better promote their business, while ensuring high booking rates." 

England has steadily primacy in Skiathos, like the Scandinavian countries, which are the two main pillars of inbound tourism, while an estimated opening is attempted into new markets, will bring long term benefits to the island. 

Recalled here are that in this year's program tourism activities of the Municipality of Skiathos recorded appearances in major international exhibitions such as Utrecht, Vienna, Milan, Belgrade, Berlin, Moscow and Bucharest. 


Clearly, efforts to achieve de facto showcase of Skiathos both at home and abroad, while strengthen links with the traditional markets for obvious reasons. 


Author:GLYKERIA hydra



Sunday, 12 May 2013

Storms brewing ...

The weather is warm and humid ...

I have spent the morning watching thundercaps brewing and dissipating, before my eyes. To the north is a layer of stratus over the mainland, it looks dark and around 60 miles distant.

To the west cumulonimbus rises, and dissipates, over the mainland.  To the east huge cumulonimbus, form and are rising over Skopelos.


To the south is where the thunderclouds keep forming over Evia. This is now an interesting wall of Grey clouds of many shapes, rising and brewing. Its being held at bay by a very fresh breeze from the north.

Towards Evia
18:00hrs -The thunderstorms have been held at bay over Evia, here is the weather projection from Posiedon for a few moments from now ...


22:30hrs - Here are some cloud formations from around 19:00hrs this evening. A wall of thunderstorm activity that had formed over Evia, and occupied the eastern skies as it drifted northwards ...



 We were on the edge of the storm front, being attacked from two directions ...



Around 8pm there was some electrical activity, and light rain has been falling on and off since then - Its quite refreshing on a warm night ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Friday, 10 May 2013

Boomeranger day ...

I count them out and I count them back in again ...

Farewell to Philiposs and Sheila, departing shortly to Gatwick for a bargain price one way trip.

Hello to Wendy and Dave, who have sneaked in from Manchester, and to the most famous Boomeranger of them all, Mr Malcolm ...

Christos prepares the table for Mr Malcolm ...
Here is Mr Malcolm on a whistle stop tour of the Paralia, catching up with Christos at 'Taverna Ο Μπάτης - O Batis' before departing for a well earned rest, but first perhaps a Tsipouro or two, to aid the sleep deprivation ...

Welcome ...
Later update:

Malcolm was holding court at 'Taverna Ο Μπάτης - O Batis' with fellow friends of the blog, Wendy and Dave. They had met on the Germania flight this morning, arriving from Manchester. Here he is tucking in to some fried Barbounia, at the table reserved for him earlier this afternoon, by the 'editor' ...

Mr Malcolm Dave and Wendy ...
Then a little later he handed over some special supplies, for our good friend and Pasca visitor Leslie. Just before she departed for the next step of her holiday. Leaving tonight on the 'Puddle Jumper' via Athens for pastures new ...

I was delighted to meet two further blog readers this evening, Jane (Janeybos) and Steve (steve_p53) who stopped for a chat. Great Dr Livingston'ish line from Steve. Yes I do exist in real life. Good to meet you both, here on the island ...

Mr Malcolm, thank you for the thoughtful supplies, and to Janeybos for the lovely surprise for Junior. We are so very lucky to have met such thoughtful friends from afar - Enjoy your holiday here on Skiathos, and hope to see you soon over a glass of something ...



Thursday, 9 May 2013

Ticking away the hours ...

Christos awaiting the arrival of his No 1 customer ...

Photo Courtesy Ο Μπάτης - O Batis 
The 'educator' has just sent me a message, to say he has departed for Manchester. He will arrive on the Germania flight, and will be at base camp in Skiathos very shortly aftrerwards.

I spoke to Christos earlier, this afternoon. He has ordered ample supplies of tsipouro, in readiness of his favourite customer's arrival ...

Look out Skiathos - he is on his way ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Papadamatis Street ...

It changes every year, some shops go some stay ...

The fish spa's are back in business, new fish it seems as the old ones vanished around December. Just about the time we all get hungry on the island.

Portabello transformed within a week, from a wasteland, to an Oasis of colour ...


The new Ergon Restaurant, part of a chain, who are represented by Dimitris Skarmoutsos, Greece’s most prominent celebrity chef. Think Carluccio's but with Meze, instead of Pasta. Then instead of a truffle eating Italian, a tattooed Greek ...



The old Albatross, has hatched as a rather nice gift shop. It should shake the opposition down as far as the faded 1970's postcards ...


There is a new yoghurt shop, at the bottom of Papadamatis street. It looks great, and has astroturf outside, and the now customary, brightly coloured whoppee cushions to laze on.  This as you devour your choice of cholesterol enhancing delight, laden down with fancy dips and fruit.

If you cannot find a wasp in high summer, be sure to stick around. I guess I just happen to know where they will be ...

It has some shocking colours, and a few more at the till when you weigh in (Dessert not Human) However they do offer 15% discount if you come back - remember to pick up your 'disloyalty' card T's & C's apply.

Sorry no photo, it was raining and it would not do it justice. Yes rain this afternoon, and not 'gorgeous' as someone has posted on FB a couple of hours ago. Its been a grey miserable day, like many of the visitors, when they trotted into town. I have retreated to base camp for my heavy sweat shirt and hood, in the breeze it feels decidedly nippy ...

Earlier the first Thomas Cook flight landed from London Gatwick. The Manchester flight was cancelled, the pilot probably saw the weather forecast ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved

Yassas Proteus ...

Here is the latest addition to the Sporades fleet, steaming into Skiathos ...


Like all new drivers, there were a few problems reversing ...



 While they were going round for another go, the opposition sneaked in ...


The flying red and green thingy 5 ...





... but after a while they got the hang of it.




There you go we did it, and the passenger got off the boat ...


Watched over by the Mayor ...


Then the truck, and one rather un-photogenic cardboard box ...


Then they were off, turning round in 10 minutes but rather late after their excursions up the harbour ...


Three blasts of the horn - 'See you later' ...



Overall. a nice looking boat, like the old cross channel ferries. Its a little chuggy, makes a throaty thump of the engines ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2013. All rights reserved