Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Summer is loading: Beach Cleaning ...

Its now in its twelfth year ...

Teo Tzoumas reports, that 96 volunteers, and 592 school pupils took part in the beach cleaning programme this year, along with Captain Lambros Choumas and the crew of the Kalypso boat.


Many visitors are amazed to hear  that the island needs a beach cleaning programme. Some even think its an island problem, with the locals. This could not be further from the truth ...

 

If you drop a cup in Thessaloniki, or loose a flip flop in Halkidiki. The wind blows into the sea, it arrives on the North shores of Skiathos, the Sporades or Evia eventually. Along with huge amounts of driftwood, seaweed, and anything the sea wants to give up.

 

The blue drums are from drift fishing nets, that were set by trawlers. Its been a stormy winter so much more of an effort required to clear the beaches.




Well done to all of them, an excellent effort ...

Just 9 days away from #summer_2017

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Summer is loading: The new Marias ...

Maria has moved home once again ...

It is right next door to No Name in the former Skunk Works clothing store. Looks great, and assured of a great welcome from Maria, who has decorated the building beautifully, as you would expect ...

  
Plenty of room for outside seating, and you can always order a Gyros from no name when you are waiting for a seat ...

     

        


As one ex resident said 'If Maria's keeps moving, it will soon end up where it started' which in some way would not be a bad thing ...

Just 10 days away from #summer_2017


Monday, 24 April 2017

Summer is loading: Island News ...

Strange people walking around, with red noses
Its the dutch tourists ...

Airport fun ...

Brinks have been brought in to operate the security features at the 'newly' Fraport operated airport. This means the Greek police, have been released to perform their normal duties. Expect more parking tickets as the boys in blue, find things to do ...

Skiathos trail run - Half Marathon & 10K races ...
Skiathos Mountain Bikes in cooperation with the Municipality of Skiathos organizes with the support of Sponsors the 6th Trail Run Half Marathon (21km) titled «Follow Alexandros Papadiamantis» on Sunday June 4th 2017
At the same time with the Half Marathon there another race of 10km will be held as well with a route that goes through Skiathos Town Monuments and Culture.

Website and registration click here

The Meltemi ...

The hotel has been sold, and is being renovated by its new owners. The cafe of the same name has relocated further down the port, and is already open for business.

Olympic Air - Island Hopper ...

Book quick if you want to take advantage of their latest offer.

200,000 domestic seats from €19
To Athens from 19€ | From Athens from 41€

Βοοkings until 26/04/2017 for Travel period from 22/05/2017 until 24/03/18 however the Skiathos route only allows bookings up until 27th October

On the subject of flights, I know some of you are down to counting fingers, as you count down the days, so enjoy ...

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Update from Simon & Donna Monks ...

Come on Boomerangers and friends of Skiathos ...

Over 580 reads of this post - Lets help get them over the line ... If everyone who read it, spared a £1 they would have reached their target for Bowel Cancer UK

Update from Simon & Donna Monks ...

We're nearly there. Just 5 more weeks until the Great Manchester Run and the training is going well. 

Did the Bolton 10K this morning. Absolutely delighted with a new PB for 10K of 1.03.50, down from 1.08.09. Great run from Donna too who, I reckon, will be close to her PB when we get to Manchester.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far - we are about £110 short of our sponsorship target at the moment so if you are thinking of supporting us any additional ££s would be gratefully received.

Here's a pic from after the race with our finishing t-shirts.



Thanks.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Simon-Monks4

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The night the lights went out ...

Not an unusual event on Skiathos ...

From time to time, the power goes off, the water gets cut to 'make improvements for the tourists' this happens in winter, and never seems to benefit anyone, as far as I can tell.

So sitting in Kabourelias, having a banter across the tables with Panagiotis the bus conductor, and his Greek friends. One of the fluorescent light tubes dimmed, flashed a few times and died. Kostis looked at it, then the TV and went to get the remote to turn on the aircon, as its still a bit nippy.

The aircon starts and the fluorescent lamp comes on. 'Το έφτιαξα - 'Fixed it' from Panagiotis and his mates, with a cheer. Only to see it dim and start to flash again as if on cue.

Kostis returns with a fluorescent light tube, and as only a Greek can do. He measures it up, for suitability from about ten feet below, and without any steps. Holding it rather like a snooker cue, from one end ...

At about that moment both tubes expired, as if on cue.

We still had the four side lights, so carried on the cross table banter. The guy to my right adjusting his seat to get better light to read his newspaper.

Now the tubes came back on just as Kostas changed the TV channel. What is it with Kostis and remote controls? We all laughed, but our friend reading the newspaper, was cold. So Kostas adjusted the aircon, and the tubes started to flash on and off. One to another again.

Alkis came in looked at the TV, the lamps shrugged, and went back outside ...

The tubes both expired again, apart from a glow at each end, then the four side lamps started to flash on and off in tandem, two by two. Newspaper man carries on as if nothing has happened. Panagiotis and his mates look at me and at the flashing light, raise their glasses, and one said to me.

'My friend in your country this means Time gentlemen please' and we all laughed.

As the last time this happened to me was when, I was a few feet away and four floors up. My one and only time in the Rooftop bar, with 'Townboy'  Roy was closing up, and uttered the immortal words, along with flashing the lights on and off, and 'haven't you got homes to go to'...

After a few disco moments, all the lights went out ...

We sat in the dark, lit by the light from the kitchen, where Alkis, and the team all looked out at us sitting in the dark. It was a surreal moment. Strangely the aircon still worked, as did the TV for a few minutes or so.

Alkis and Kostis, came in looking up at a darkened ceiling - not sure quite why. Panagiotis table said get us more wine, holding up their cans and were illuminating their table with mobile phone lights. Newspaper man with his back to the kitchen, was holding up his paper to read it.

Everyone was in the dark, Alkis was barking orders not sure if they were drinks orders, food orders, but one was to get Costas, the electrologos (Electrician) from the ouzeria round the corner.

Costas is laid back, but he seems to be the only one on 24 hour call who attends every emergency day or night - If you can find him. He reminds me of Windy, one of the characters from Camberwick Green, he has the same walk, and often looks like he has just emerged from the music box in his normal clothes.

Costas aka Windy ...
What I like about him, is he likes a challenge, even getting through an 18 inch thick wall. He was the man for the job. Where windy has his scarf. Costa has a lamp on a cable, its like a medallion, but is part of his testing kit.

He walks in and takes a look, followed by Alkis Yorgo and Kostis wherever he went. Us customers resorted to ordering via mobile - Me waving the light and clinking the tsipouro bottles. Which my Greek friends thought was a great idea, and joined in, as we still sat in the dark.

Costas was opening boxes, flicking switches and testing circuits, with the lamp flashing beneath his neck, as he went from box to box, and circuit to circuit. Then there was a team meeting held outside, by the fridge. All looking up, Even the chef leaned out of the window, and looked up ...

Get the long ladder from Angelos at Syrainno's, oops Yorgo has borrowed it to paint the hotel, how about the steps? Angelos also came to take a look ...

Costas climbs the steps but is too short to reach the box. Get a taller electrician shouts our Greek friends as we all roar with laughter. Alkis who knows nothing about electrics, but has had a glass or two of wine, ascends the steps to take a look.


Returns to terra firma, safely in one piece, and without being electrocuted, as he cannot reach either.

Alkis is the boss so he comes up with a plan ....

Then they fetch a table. They place the steps on top and Yorgo and Kostis hold the steps. Thought was given to Hellenic Health and safety, a chair was used for ease of access. Additional lighting was provided by mobile phone, both at low level and high level.


Costa ascends the steps, and reaches the box illuminated by mobiles ...


What a team ...


 Keep the ladder steady boys ...


That's how you do it - Teamwork, even if it could not be fixed until the following day ...

My contribution, illuminating my table with the phone, so Kostis can get my bill.


I saw Costa the following day, on his motorbike, He said you have pictures and laughed. He also had enough cable looped round his back, to run an extension, half way along the port. I think he needed it too ...

Later that night it was business as usual, the TV was working, My Greek friends were saluting me from another table. The aircon was working, for our friend with the newspaper, and it was time for some more tsipouro, with Skiathos friends ...

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter/ Καλό Πάσχα ! ...

Καλημέρα! Καλό Πάσχα!

Its Easter Sunday ...


The greeting is ...

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη χρόνια πολλά” Vhristos Anesti Chronia Polla! “Christ is Risen!”
You respond with Αληθώς Ανέστη! “Alithos Anesti" Truly he has risen ...

The goat or lamb should be on the spit, the fire burning nicely and a hefty supply of charcoal on standby to feed it. Tsipouro tucked away ready and a couple of litres of red wine on standby for the guests, or the one turning the spit handle.

OK then Oven on and the lamb ready to go in on a slow roast for later. A nice bottle of red, and of course a Tsipouro or Ouzo saved from your last holiday.

I have been up early preparing a few things, for later too ...


Have a cheese pie with your coffee, just out of the oven - need to cool a bit. Easy to make and really tasty. Plain to the left, and with mint to the right. Leg of lamb ready for later ...

Later update:

About to create something from this ...


Wish me luck, and a glass of that red ...

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Pasca - Whats happening ...

Easter on Skiathos ...

Besides being a popular tourist destination, Skiathos is one of the few and fine places in Greece where all the Holy Week and Resurrection sequence is respected.

The island of Skiathos means "shadow of Mount Athos", that of Athos where the monasteries are situated 60 miles to the north, on the mainland.

Those who make the effort to visit Skiathos to celebrate Pasca (Easter) will experience something special, away from secularism and fireworks. Where the epitaph is performed at 04:00am - dawn on Saturday.


The atmosphere on the island creates a sense of piety, as the Epitaph goes down the streets of the island, the faithful recite their plaintive psalms, and residents follow or watch the candle lit procession, as it illuminates their darkened homes.

The sequence ends at dawn in the church of the Three Hierarchs with the representation of the Descent into Hell of the priests. They beat the doors of the church and are forcibly held back until they win and forcibly gain entry to the church.

Pappa Yorgos celebrated this event this morning, his 47th observation of the service.

For now the Easter greeting is Καλη Ανασταση until after church tonight, then Χριστὸς ἀνέστη χρόνια πολλά” “Christ is Risen!” You respond with Αληθώς Ανέστη! “Alithos Anesti" truly he has risen ...

Get it wrong, and an old lady will beat you with a stick, as suspicion is cast of the Evil eye ...

The Holy Light arrives in Skiathos ...


Later on Saturday night, the Resurrection take place, you take the flame home and mark your door porch with the sign of the cross. To bring good luck to all those who pass in the coming year.

The tavernas will be open and packed tonight, after church, and all preparations made for the festive rites, as the fasting period ends with a feast on Sunday ...

Potatoes for Pasca,

Potatoes for Pasca ...

Something to have with that Goat or Lamb ...

Lemon & Olive Oil Potatoes

INGREDIENTS
5 potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
Salt
Juice of 2 lemons
About 1/4 cup  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flaky sea salt to taste and to serve

PREPARATION
Place potatoes in cold water in a big saucepan/pot and bring to a rolling boil. Salt water liberally and cook potatoes to just tender, about 12 minutes; drain and return to hot pot.  Add lemon juice and stir in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 turns of the pot in slow stream. Season with sea salt to taste.

or if you prefer ...

Patatas Fournou - Greek Roasted Potatoes
1 hour to prepare serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds Potatoes, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil with garlic, lemon juice, mustard, oregano and basil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Place in bowl, then toss together until all potatoes are evenly coated in lemon garlic sauce.
Once everything is mixed together, transfer potatoes to baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven. (Optional: top with aluminum foil.)
Bake for 50 minutes, then remove foil, if using, and bake for another 10, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

OK still not sure what to have with those potatoes ? Then here is an excellent recipe from My Little Expat Kitchen - Greek slow-roasted lamb shoulder with potatoes and herbs ...

Friday, 14 April 2017

Μεγάλη Παρασκευή - Holy Friday ...

Καλη Ανασταση Σκιαθο ...

The mourning bell should start ringing shortly ...


Many of the ladies will wrap rosemary sprigs in handkerchiefs, held close to their nose today, to mask the smell of death.  It reminds us of the special meaning of the day. Shops and businesses should close from midday. Anyone working afterwards may well be frowned upon - or fall upon the spell of the evil eye ...

Both churches were open early, and ladies were cleaning, and preparing and decorating the epitaphios for their journey around the town. In Skiathos they follow the old tradition, and its magic to be here with your neighbours, walking the town tonight, in a candlelit procession at 4am.

Tries Hieraches - The epitaphios is all prepared for its journey


Simon and Donna - Lets help get them over the line ...

Later update:

On a day where you are supposed to enjoy seafood and tsipouro, here is tonight's offering ...


Yes that is my favourite, Idoniko tsipouro, and believe me, the prawns, were even better for being flambeed in it ...

Tomorrow - Greek potatoes for your Sunday lunch ...

All content, including Photographs, graphics, text, © The Skiathian 2010-2017. All rights reserved

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Lets help get them over the line ...

Our 'Skiathos loving friends' Simon and Donna are running the Great Manchester 10K for Bowel Cancer UK ...

Something very dear to our heart, and that of many others


Many of you have followed Kamila's (SWMBO) 'Fight for Life' as she has fought, and continues to fight this awful disease.

Now this Easter it will have been a long, and at times very traumatic five years ago (today) that she embarked on a life changing journey. One that has cost us so much, and pains us to this day ...


Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancers. Over 41,000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year in the UK. Whilst more than nine out of ten new cases (94%) are diagnosed in people over the age of 50 bowel cancer can affect any age. More than 2,400 new cases are diagnosed each year in people under the age of 50, and 1 in 14 men (7%) and 1 in 19 women (5%) will be diagnosed with bowel cancer during their lifetime. 

You can find out more at https://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/ 

Like us Simon and Donna know many people, who have been impacted by this awful condition. Please visit their just Giving page and please support them at

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Simon-Monks4

as they raise funds to help others, perhaps someone you know and care for ...

Thank you

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

All Change at the airport (2) ...

State finally hands over control of 14 regional airports to Fraport
ILIAS BELLOS (http://www.ekathimerini.com/)

The management and operation of 14 regional Greek airports will be handed over to Fraport Greece on Tuesday, when the German-Greek consortium will also make a one-off payment of 1.2 billion euros to state sell-off fund TAIPED.

It has taken four years since the proclamation of an international tender in April 2013, and the inclusion of the concession among Greece’s “prior actions” – measures demanded by Greece’s creditors in exchange for bailout funding – for the project to be completed.

Delivery of the airports to the German-Greek consortium began early on Monday and continued until late at night, coordinated by Fraport Greece’s “command center” at its headquarters in Kalogreza, northern Athens. According to the contractor’s planning, the aim is for Fraport to oversee the first flights on Tuesday morning.

Monday saw the signing of protocols concerning the concession of the airports by the state to Fraport Greece, which include a record of what has come under the consortium’s control (infrastructure and equipment). The company has undertaken the operation, maintenance and development of three mainland airports (Thessaloniki, Aktio and Kavala) and 11 island airports (Cephalonia, Corfu, Hania, Kos, Myconos, Mytilene, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos and Zakynthos) for the next 40 years.

Within this month, Fraport will conduct extensive cleaning and renovation work at all the airports, including the painting of installations and bathroom facility improvements. Infrastructure works will begin right after the summer, to be executed by Intrakat.

Fraport’s investment program amounts to 400 million euros for the first four years, of which 95 million concerns Thessaloniki’s Makedonia Airport, including construction of a new terminal. New terminals will also be built at Argostoli (Cephalonia), Corfu, Kos and Mytilene.

Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/

Note: The New website for the airport is up and running, following the takeover from Fraport. You can find it on the link here.
I have no control over the website, so if all you can think of is to complain about the typos or the loos, perhaps Skiathos is not for you ...

Monday, 10 April 2017

All change at the airport (1) ...

All change today today for Skiathos Airport, which will now be operated by the German company Fraport Greece, after the concession made by the State for the next 40 years. 

As reported Skiathos airport is among the fourteen Greek airports franchised to the German company Fraport with a fairly satisfactory price for the Greek government to raise income funds. 

This afternoon it was expected to perform the handover ceremony of the airport with the procedure to be formal, as the Aerolimenarchis K. Petrakis will sign the relevant protocols.

The airport has eight people as staff and, as Mr. Petrakis is highly profitable and last year recorded an increase in passenger arrivals and departures. Especially close to 400,000 passengers came and went last summer via Skiathos airport. 

"On Monday, the airport passed to the new regime, as granted for 40 years in the German company. And already all the relevant checks on the materials have been made, the equipment and other airport structures," said the airport manager. 

The German company is scheduled to go into specific tasks to upgrade the airport giving the new development impetus for attracting more tourists. 

Skiathos Mayor  Mr. Prevezanos said "we hope that after the concession of the airport by the State to the German company there will be a a development, as the Germans are known to have a program, project, and will want to exploit the international nature of the airport . 

In the summer we have three weekly flights from the London City airport. While at a German and two Italian tourism exhibitions that I participated this year, I saw the desire of foreigners to gain connection to the airport of the island is well known abroad. "

It is noted that the Fraport intends to proceed to the following operations to Skiathos airport setting and objectives: 

1) Expansion and remodeling of the terminal,
2) Reorganization of the apron,
3) 39% increase of the total area of ​​the terminal at 9.511m with the extension of existing buildings,
4) 11% increase in Check-in stations (9 to 10),
5) 33% increase in the total number of gates (3 to 4);
6) Double baggage zones (1 to 2). 

Fotis Spanos newspaper Thessaly

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Its Big week on Skiathos ...

Καλησπέρα asnd Καλό Πάσχα ...

We are now on the final days before  Πάσχα which is the Greek orthodox Easter celebration ...

Here is the programme  for the events at the Monastery at Evagelistrias. Ιερά Κοινοβιακή Μονή Ευαγγελισμού της Θεοτόκου Σκιάθου ...



Κυριακή των Βαΐων or  Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week that culminates on Easter Sunday, commemorates the day Christians believe Jesus entered Jerusalem and was welcomed as the messiah, only to be crucified five days later.

During the first centuries of Christianity, the feast of remembrance that took place along with the resurrection of Lazarus. Later the second postponed by one day before, called Lazarus Saturday.