Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween ...

To be precise, the Greeks do not actually celebrate “Halloween” ...

Despite the Americanization of the global sales spectacular, that they have passed to the free world. It is becoming more popular as years pass by. The Greeks celebrate their version though at carnival time.

Apokries is all about dressing up in costumes and having fun like Halloween, only it is celebrated in February before Lent as part of the Greek Orthodox tradition.

Just to keep the free world, and whichever president they feel they have to inflict on us next happy.

Have a cake ...


You know it makes sense ...

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 30/10) ...

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 ...

Steve has been out and about, with the camera, once again, He advises ...

'Xenia Hotel progressing quite well - plenty of windows & doors now and the steps down to the beach have been restored. Mind you, plenty of stuff lying about that has been ripped out and no sign of any work on the bungalows' ...









Saturday, 29 October 2016

RIP John Jackman ...

Sad news this morning ...

To learn from Yvonne, of the passing of her beloved father John Jackman

R.I.P. John Jackman 1928 - 2016
Famous for helping to invent the island drink 'Frouzo' - Ouzo with Orange Juice, with the customs officer - Kostas Tsagaris many years ago ...

Sincere condolences, such a lovely gentleman, and island friend. Who will be so sorely missed by all of us, who were lucky enough to know him ...


Friday, 28 October 2016

Καλό Όχι Μέρα - Χρονια πολλά! ...

A very happy Oxi Day to all our readers ...

Is a national holiday today in Greece, a day to celebrate a moment of national pride. Lets hope the weather is kind. The celebratory bunting was installed earlier this week in readiness for the parade this morning (Not for the name day of Dimitris and Dimitra as someone said earlier this week) ...

A day for a parade, to fly the flag, and feel good, whatever the weather. I know the junior and the school children taking part, will all very eager to wave their flags today, as they proudly march along the Paralia, passing by the mayor, and assembled island dignatories ...

The church bells will be very busy, as the commemorative service, progresses at Tries Hieraches, before the parade this morning, at 11am. Following which, the ouzerias will be packed to the rafters, for one of the best days of the winter to meet up with friends, and wish each other Καλό χειμώνα  - 'Good Winter' one more time ...

Not sure what its all about, well I wrote this last year, It may not be up to a GCSE History level of competency (or whatever they call it this year) but I think it may help - and anyway, I think its quite good :) ...

The history:

At 3 a.m. on the morning of October 28th, 1940, Emanuele Grazzi, the Italian ambassador to Greece, delivered an ultimatum from Benito Mussolini to Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas.  Il Duce demanded that Metaxas allow the Italian army free passage to enter and occupy strategic sites in Greece unopposed.

Faced with this demand, Metaxas delivered an unequivocal response in French, the diplomatic language of the day, “Alors, c’est la guerre.”  This brief phrase, “Then, it is war,” was quickly transmuted into the laconic “Oxi,” the Greek for no, by the citizens of Athens. 

The Ultimate history project website gives an excellent explanation here



I have read over the years, that the actions of the Greek forces, pushing the Italians back into Albania, and continuing the battle in the mountains, disrupted the war to such an effect that German troops were sent to the Balklans. This ensuring that the Eastern front campaign slowed, then stopped and froze.

Hitler’s Chief of Staff, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel admitted during the Nuremberg Trials:

“…the unbelievably strong resistance of the Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia;  if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different in the Eastern Front and the war in general.”

Churchill paid homage to the Greek resistance by claiming,  “…until now we would say that the Greeks fight like heroes. From now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks.”

However the German troops invaded Greece through the border with Yugoslavia, Greece endured three years of occupation - We cannot imagine what it would have been like to hear a broadcast like this ...

 

Enjoy the day, wherever you are ...

Later update: Rain and strong winds, meant it was not a good start to Oxi day. The weather continued through the parade, so a quieter turn out than usual, many choosing to keep warm and dry indoors ...

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Morning light ...

Its special, well at least, I think so ...

.
There is something about the morning light, the way the colours change as the sun rises. The light from above, and the 'United colours of Skiathos' really are special. Favoured by artists and voyeurs alike, and really worth watching - As long as you are up at the right time to see them ...


The clouds reflecting and changing hue and colour, as they are saturated by the first rays of the morning sunlight.

Down below the water reflects the changes taking place, in the skies above ...

The pinks, the blue hints of lavender, lighten as a fisherman goes about his business, cleaning and sorting out his nets.

All around a steely almost silent calm, with the distant chug of a boat engine ...

From the cafes, friends greet each other with a hearty Καλημέρα! as they take their constitutional first coffee and gaze out to sea, as the first backgammon dice of the day rattles the board ...


Its hard to say if they are hypnotised, or just mesmerized by the morning light show, provided from above.

Not a bad way to start the day ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Monday, 24 October 2016

Paradise ...

Many visitors  refer to the island as just that ...

It's usually followed by a comment about a large Mythos. But how many really get to see it in all it beauty ?

Porto Paradiso, is where many look out to sea, over a few rows of sunbeds, and a large Mythos to take in the stunning view. Whilst listening to some soft back ground music. I have to say its almost the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon ...

Is this the real paradise ?

Golden beaches free of sunbeds, turquoise water, sunlight glinting off the sea, a scent of pine on a warm gentle breeze ...






and in my case a cold can of FIX ...



I know which one I find most alluring - How about you ? ...

PS: Happy Birthday & Χρόνια πολλα! to friends Electra, Mr Malcolm, and Sue who all share birthdays on this day, and to SWMBO undergoing further treatment, at hospital today ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Not a lot of bottle ...

Its the Sunday conundrum ...

An islander writes for help, an appeal to Skiathos fans across the world ...

Message in a bottle? 


It's not HP ....

Down on the land, being eaten by the tree ...

Perhaps your bloggers can give us a way to remove the bottle, without damaging the tree or smashing the bottle?

The prize a stick of Brighton Rock maybe?


Strange place to leave the bottle to warm up, but at least we know what happened to that sauce bottle aftter the BBQ ...

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Down on the quay ...

One of my favourite places to wander ...

I came across the 'Evagelistria Skopelou' ...


The crew were having a coffee on the deck. They shared a friendly banter with the Englishman down on the quayside below. I was interested to see what the Skopelos boat was unloading, after all it was on rival territory.


Well I did not have long to wait, as the crane was started, and the freshly coffee fueled crew set about their work. The visible cargo, was steel reinforcing, timber, a rickety gang plank, and a forklift truck ...


And a quick route off the deck for the driver, to the quayside ...


Even the Captain found it funny, But he was very proud to be from Skopelos and allowed his photo to be taken by the stranger down on the quay ...


All that coffee on the deck, sent my senses wandering ...


A coffee in the sun, looking out at the view, whilst surrounded by the morning dew, an interesting start to the day ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Friday, 21 October 2016

Numpties ...

My favourite phrase ...

Especially so for the mainly grey brigade, usually intelligent people, that like to stand behind aircraft, that are about to take off ...


Whilst aboard the Bakaliko express, I was shown the latest addition to the island for those, who say there are not any - It's some more signage, for those who choose not to read ...

The guys at Skiathos Landings have installed more signs down at the Amaretto, for those who think an aircraft engine will not hurt them, Yet still propel an aircraft, its fuel load and  150 - 225 passengers, along with their luggage skywards.

Now I was not brilliant at Physics, but even for me, that equation does not sum up ...

Do you think, they will get the message ?





I wonder if there has been a question raised about liability, after the seasons latest session of accidents, many of which resulting in trips to the mainland for repairs to injured bodies ...

I must say the new traffic lights, also widely ignored, by intelligent people, also look very good ...

PS: To my French readers - Happy Battle of Trafalgar day ... #TrafalgarDay

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Fruit for thought ...

Living with two self confessed fruitarians, Its never far from my mind ...

However on my travels around the island there were two things, that strike you on the way.

The olives have been stripped from the trees, by the drought like summer period, and the winds that have affected the islands. This year is an olive year, so no liquid gold on the island this year. The word on the cobbles, is that the olive press will not be opening.

Not enough rain to save the olives this year, and to make it viable to pick them. Likewise the press will not have the funds to operate the engines, to press the remnants of the crop. So its not going to happen. It will be a good year for firewood, as the trees were being pruned earlier than usual.

The buzz of the chainsaw was all around ...

I read the Pelion press was open in late September, but if the situation is repeated across Greece - Then watch the price of your supermarket 'Italian olive oil' shoot up in price next year 'cough cough' 
Buy now or repent not doing so later - You have been warned ...

Elsewhere it was good to see the lemons and oranges were swifly ripening on the trees. However I was not quick enough spotting them, whilst aboard the 'Bakaliko express' to get my driver to stand on the brakes to liberate some fresh supplies ...

Lunch must come first, and it did, the local tsipouro served in what appears to be Camp coffee bottles, is really good stuff - not that we noticed ...

Quince were ripe, and the trees were laden down with them everywhere, they seem to get used, and the island is full of the trees. I like them cooked slowly in a pork stew in winter. Skiathian quince jelly must be a winner.

I also tried a fruit, rather like a small yellow citrus pear, it originates from Cyprus, will do some research and let you know what it is asap ...

Must say the new Chinese whenever it opens, looks like its going to be a great place, and as Kirtsy and Phil used to say, it has 'Location Location, Location' ...

Only 66 days until Christmas ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Back on line ...

After a short break ...

Drinking coffee, watching dolphins, and catching up with friends, and a glass or two of something, that has been missing from my life. Its been a tough few months, and as I have told many friends over the years, 'sometimes you just have to do something for yourself' ...

This time the prescription, was for me ...

As the last golden rays of summer drifted into autumn, The weather stayed sunny and warm, there were a few brief wet weather interludes, and a few passing rumbles of thunder, but that was to be expected. Vromolimnos passed the big toe test, as did Megali Amos ...

Island friends stopped me everywhere, to ask about SWMBO, and Junior. A story I have repeated many many times. Neighbours shedding tears, when we met, and again when I left. Positive vibes, and the Greek way of passing you energy.

After just three days, I was feeling completely revitalised, both in mind body and spirit. Not to mention the other kind of spirit (Tsipouro) and feeling very healthy with my return to the 'Aegean diet' in addition, catching up in the hills, with a great BBQ with friends and a glass of red ...

Come here, come there, meet me, try this take this, and of course, my ongoing fun and games with the bureacracy. Giving presents, receiving gifts, Catching up with the news, gossip, hearing shocking news, and who has come and gone in the last few months. Absent friends ...

Getting great advice, and I swiftly found I could sleep again ...

I caught a few people out, was rumbled by JH's sixth sense, met Rainy, Debby, and the lovely Anastasia, the famous Wedding Co-ordinator, 'the lady that makes people happy'

Then the guys from Kalypso, season over preparing for the famous fishing trip. Amanda recovering from five months of Mamma Mia. I guess some were a bit put out, when i did not recognise them, but apologise if that were the case ...

I camped out at Syraino, Gerani and a few other places in between for some much needed quality time. Great lunches, mezes, fish dishes, prawns, and a great 'impromptu' time at Gravisi. Shared a few tips about their lovely house, and wobbly legs on the way home - it was the Serbian schnapps, not the bucket of wine ...

As you all know and tell everyone, 'Skiathos is closed, nothing is open' ...

Nothing could be further from the truth, the real Skiathos is there, alive and well and as far removed from the tourist one, the one you all know and love so well ...

I of course had a terrible time with the locals, and autumn visitors, until after more farewells, I was dragged kicking, and screaming over the tarmac, and boarded a Sky Express plane off the rock ...

It was good to be back ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2016. All rights reserved

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Air traffic controllers strike ...

It's that time of year ...


Thanks to SteveinSkiathos, and Skiathos Island News, for sharing the news ...

Later update: 18:00hrs

The Greek strike has been cancelled  (all 4 days). However, some flights may already have been cancelled so check with your airline.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Kalo Taxidi ...

To our friend of the blog, Mr Malcolm ...

After his late summer, early autumn, break on the rock, 'teach' is making his weary way back home. Our friend has once again been supporting the island economy, in the sunbaked days, and  twilight evenings, of the summer 2016 season.

I have seen photos, of his seafood escapades, restaurant dishes and the famous shrimp balls. Many will have been entertained by the search for Malcolm online, as he made his way around town. Others by his company on the way ...

His friends, both islanders, and tourists alike, will be sad to see him depart. His efforts to support the island economy, deserving of a red carpet at the airport this morning.

So as OA81 climbs out over the harbour, and turns slightly left as it passes Bourtzi, on its way to Athens. Just try to imagine, its not just a navigational turn. But a dip of the wings, he has arranged for Christos and Eleni, at Taverna O'Batis for last nights farewell dinner ...

I firmly believe, he should have stayed another week, after all the famous 'Green bottle' has still to be emptied.

He will return ...

Live update:

Wind from the North, so OA81 departed on Runway 02 instead of Runway 20.
Mr Malcolm has departed ...


... and arrived at Athens for a well earned breakfast ...



Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Happy Birthday ...

To my Brother who reached his half century today ...

Not a bad innings so far but a few chancy singles taken over the last twelve months. Keep on going!

Back on the rock, summer just keeps on going. Likewise anyone who doubted September, and found out the hard way. Will be stunned by the start the island has had in October. Fortune favours the brave, those who booked the last week, have had an excellent week.

Mr Malcolm, has been led astray. almost every day. Mr H is having a ball.Neil from Swansea has enjoyed every minute, even though he missed the last bus ...

Enjoy the island and finish off your last nights in style ...

Fancy some autumn fun? There are some great prices on the hopper to/from Athens - OlympicAir €41 from Athens €19 from Skiathos.

Late News just in:

On Wednesday there will be a trial activation of all Civil Defence alert sirens throughout the country.

At 11:00 will be air attack alarm signal, 'Raiders approaching' for a period of 60 seconds, and then at 11:05 the 'all clear'  will sound, also for a duration of 60 seconds.

All tourists are requested to man the cannons at the Bourtzi, and await further instructions.
Remember - Don't panic, The Thomas Cook aircraft will land, once the all clear has been sounded, by the authorities ...

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Καλό μήνα σε όλους - Οκτώβριος είναι εδώ...

Good month everyone - October is here ...

Which means its not a good month, to be a pumpkin.

Its the month of breezy winds and crispy leaves. It also means there are around another, eight more days of jet engines, and the whistle of aircraft vorticies over the harbour. Then it will be just the hopper to break the silence ...

Shutters are going up across the island, the plastic wrapping, is being brought back into life, the island is preparing for its mass tourism hibernation. The real Skiathos is dusting itself down, and beginning to re-appear ...

The businessmen may be heading for home, but the islanders are thinking about the olive harvest, and the return of leisurely mornings, spent chatting over coffee.Watery autumn sunlight on an old harbour, empty of boats ...

Followed by lunch, perhaps something like this, sourced by our travelling gourmet friend 'Mr Malcolm' just a few days ago ...

Photo: By kind permission, of  Mr Malcolm ...
There should be some good nights on the island, over the next few weeks ...

Some of the island stalwarts are back on the island. Some of whom are seeing the tourists off, and staying behind, raising glasses from 'You know where' - but not standing directly behind them, as they depart ...

What a great time, to get some autumn sun, and a swim, or for others to be in blighty doing some seasonal shopping, before returning to the rock ...

Happy Birthday to 'Adnamsman' may your tsipouro glass, be forever half full ...