Saturday, 30 September 2017

Autumn has arrived ...

Bringing with it grey skies and breezy conditions ...

Perfect conditions, for the Nautical club of Skiathos, who are having a regatta outside the old harbour.


Not very nice for those hardy souls, who have headed out for the last week of the season. So find yourself a nice cosy bar, and a good book if need be.

It seems quite a few places have said, thats it for summer 2017. Its not just the beaches that are lifting the sunbeds and parasols. Its the last night for those with Music licences. So tonight there will be a few closing parties around town.

Admiral Benbows: Closes this evening (30th) great opportunity to help Debs and Paul, drain the pumps dry for Summer 2017 ...

Phedrock: Will also be closing tonight (30th) with Nasos Kavathas live, starting time: 22:00 ...

Best wishes to Nikos and the team at Swell bar, as they close up the hotel, after a very busy summer season.

If you are on the island, Pop out and wish them all a 'Καλή χειμώνα' (Good Winter) because tomorrow the forecast is not brilliant. A perfect day for a hangover, and a slow scan of the back of the eyelids.

Enjoy your evening, on Monday it should be better ...

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Mamma Mia ...

Here we wont be going again ...

The Summer Swansong for 2017. 
As sure a sign that you will need, for Brollies next week.


Well - last chance under the stars before May 2018 ...

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Ferries ...

The Port Authority of Volos was informed on Friday evening of an accident injuring  three men during the loading of engine oil drums on board the Express Skiathos, which had arrived at the port of Volos after completing its route from the Northern Sporades.

Specifically, during the loading, part of the ramp mechanism broke. Its sudden movement, resulting in a fall of about 1.5m - four barrels of engine oil fell on the ramp and injured two crew members aged 30 and 49, and the 50-year-old driver of the vehicle which was in the port.

Immediately the above were taken to the General Hospital of Volos, where the 49 year old and the 50 year old were released, while the 30 year old was hospitalised for preventive reasons.

The Captain and the Engineer were detained by the Harbour Authority for investigation. The boat was forbidden to leave port until damage has been rectified and investigations completed

The ship sailed as normal, for the islands on Sunday morning as there was no service planned on Saturday

This morningr the Myrtidiotissa undertook its last trip from Agios Konstantinos to the islands of Northern Sporades, completing its presence for this season.

This came as some surprise to owners of tickets, for trips booked on the route into October. I am advised these will be open tickets you can exchange and use next year - Or you can try to obtain a refund from Aqua or your booking agent ...

Myrtidiotissa after unloading in Agios Konstantinos will depart for Neo Molos Drapetsonas where it will be laid up for winter.

Later: Can anyone tell me where these places are? scopolas and ilonasis

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Flylolo ...

... are back ...

They are going to start offering flights, from Southampton airport to Skiathos in 2018.


As they say, watch this space ...

On the subject of flights, next Fridays departure to London Stansted -  MT1079 (29th September) is being rescheduled, due to a pilots strike.

Departing Skiathos at 08:45am to STN with a planned arrival of 10:30am ...

Friday, 22 September 2017

At least the pint is not cancelled ...

Spare a thought for poor ole Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair.

After arriving in a hotel in Manchester, he went to the bar and asked for a pint of Guinness.
The barman nodded and said, "That will be £1 please, Mr. O’Leary."
Somewhat taken aback, O'Leary replied, "That's very cheap," and handed over his money.
"Well, we do try to stay ahead of the competition", said the barman. "And we are serving free pints every Wednesday from 6 pm until 8 pm. We have the cheapest beer in England".
"That is remarkable value", Michael comments.
"I see you don't seem to have a glass, so you'll probably need one of ours. That will be £3 please."
O'Leary scowled, but paid up.
He took his drink and walked towards a seat. "Ah, you want to sit down?" said the barman. "That'll be an extra £2. You could have pre-booked the seat, and it would have only cost you £1."
"I think you may be too big for the seat sir, can I ask you to sit in this frame please".
Michael attempts to sit down but the frame is too small and when he can't squeeze in, he complains "Nobody would fit in that little frame".
"I'm afraid if you can't fit in the frame you'll have to pay an extra surcharge of £4 for your seat sir".
O'Leary swore to himself, but paid up. "I see that you have brought your laptop with you" added the barman. "And since that wasn't pre-booked either, that will be another £3."
O'Leary was so incensed that he walked back to the bar, slammed his drink on the counter, and yelled, "This is ridiculous, I want to speak to the manager".
"I see you want to use the counter," says the barman, "that will be £2 please."
O'Leary's face was red with rage. "Do you know who I am?"
"Of course I do Mr. O'Leary."
"I've had enough! What sort of a Hotel is this? I come in for a quiet drink and you treat me like this. I insist on speaking to a manager!"
"Here is his e-mail address, or if you wish, you can contact him between 9.00 am and 9.01am every morning, Monday to Tuesday at this free phone number. Calls are free, until they are answered, then there is a talking charge of only £1 per second, or part thereof".
"I will never use this bar again".
"OK sir, but do remember, we are the only hotel in England selling pints for £1" ...

Astronomical autumn 

It begins today 22 September 2017 and ends on 21 December 2017.

The astronomical calendar determines the seasons due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth's rotational axis in relation to its orbit around the sun. Both equinoxes and solstices are related to the Earth's orbit around the sun.

Happy Solstice ...

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Hot off the press ...

Regarding the Olive press ...

Geof Baldry advises: It seems that an olive press owner in Glossa will organise trucks to come to Skiathos to pick up the olives, take them to Glossa, press them, and return the oil. 

The charge appears to be (waiting for confirmation on this) 9 Lepta (Euro cents) per kilo of olives which will cover everything. The previous Skiathos press used to charge 10 Lepta (!) per kilo. 

I am told that there is a telephone number, on the front door of Georgos Kantarakias' shop (strimmers, etc).

If true this is great news for island friends with trees, groaning under the weight of huge olives ...

Monday, 18 September 2017

MT1106/TCX67MF from LGW (Sunday 17th September) ...

Has been on an excursion ...

The flight from Gatwick was delayed best part of four hours, after a technical issue.

On arrival at Skiathos, the aircraft was unable to land, due to a technical issue at the airport, and has diverted to Thessaloniki overnight.


Passengers were put up overnight at Skiathos and Thessaloniki, and the flight is expected to arrive at Skiathos at 11:45 after the short hop, back from Thessaloniki.

ETA back at Gatwick, is 15:00hrs on Monday afternoon ...

Good luck to the crew with that trip, this morning. Disgruntled passengers, in need of light relief, may want to read the previous blog entry after filing the claim forms ...

Previous Blog: Animal Lovers ...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Animal lovers ...

We have numerous posts, about the islands Cats & Dogs ...

Now it appears the islands ducks, are becoming a centre point of attention.


A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles,
has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed,"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet..

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he
returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most
definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman..

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "£150!" she cried, "£150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been £20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now £150." ...

Thats cheered you up, now hasn't it ...

Tomorrow we can discuss the flight delays - καλή βράδυ ...

Friday, 15 September 2017

On the road to Banana ...

The new development is looking good, and seems to be progressing well ...

In May the builders had opened up a narrow path 30 metres just before the old villas where the steep slope is to the Banana beaches.

This September it is as wide as a normal road and has been reinforced on one side with concrete and steel rods this leads down and comes out besides the old disused Village restaurant which is next to the Cookoonari plus restaurant formally George's.



Apartments/suites ...








The pool area is taking shape ...

You are routed around the building site now past a swimming pool (many wonder why have pool when the sea is only metres away)




Budget accomodation ...



 Then down a new access route to the beach ...





Which should allay the fears of those who believe, access to the beaches was being removed ...

Previous Blog: Katsonis anniversary ...

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Katsonis anniversary ...

Today is the 74th anniversary, of the sinking of the submarine Katsonis ...


This Sunday 17th September at 10:30am, there will be a memorial sevice, at the memorial on the old harbour.

Read more on this subject, from my previous blog entry on the link here ...

Previous (and very popular) blog entry: Airport - Go around ...

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Airport - Go around ...

Excellent video by Demetris Gregoriou earlier today ...

MT1184/TCX25EQ from Manchester, landing attempt in gusty conditions ...

'Watch this Thomas Cook A321-211 on approach at Skiathos Airport, Greece, when it encounters a 13kt tailwind. The pilot was forced to apply full thrust, and go around for a second attempt, which turned out to be a picture perfect landing' ...



Graphics: Dave Potter
Skiathos Airport - JSI - Aviation Group
Excellent camera work, once again by Demetris, and text book execution of their skills by the Thomas Cook Captain and crew ...

Earlier blog post: Fancy a walk in the woods? ...

Fancy a walk in the woods? ...

Thomas Cook Children's Charity Organization   ( TCCC ) aims to improve the lives of children and communities in which they live. 

During September, there is a global charity challenge to all of Thomas Cook 's destinations called "From Las Vegas to Bali"...

Las Vegas and Bali are the western and eastern destinations of Thomas Cook, and the distance between them is 14098 kilometers. Among all of Thomas Cook 's destinations worldwide we aim to cover 14098 kilometers through physical activities and increase the equivalent amount in euros during the month of September. Distances can be monitored in activities such as walking, running, hiking, swimming, etc., as well as in funding and donation events.

As part of this challenge, There will be a walk, which will take place on Sunday 17th September starting at 10:30 from stop No 23 and ending at the same spot around 12:00 noon. The walk will take you through the Mandraki pine forest to the beautiful bay of Mandraki Elias.

 Anyone interested in participating should be at the starting point at 10:00 in the morning to bring their own water and a donation of 3 euro per person.

If you prefer someone to donate separately and support this remarkable purpose, you will have to go through the offices of Thomas Cook & Hellenic Island Services, which are at the end of Evangelistria Street (next to the pet shop).

Weather:

Best September for years, all those 'chilly willies' who said you need to bring a cardigan, need to get some serious feedback for wasted suitcase space ...

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Good news ...

Missing Bag update (7th Sept): 

Good news, 'Chris who's Greek. his father-in-law found the bag, with everything in it. They will be forwarding it to the owner at home in Scandanavia' ...

Whoever Chris and his family are on Skiathos - well done to them ...

Monday, 11 September 2017

Trouble at mill ...

Skiathos is an island with Olive trees ...

Thousands of them, which produce olives every two years. Once the olives are picked, the trees are pruned. The wood is used to keep the islanders warm in winter. The following year the new shoots, are encouraged to grow, with minimal pruning, which the following year bear fruit once again.

Two years ago the olive harvest basically did not happen, the conditions were not right, the trees shed their fruit and the Olive press did not open.

No olives, no olive oil, no green gold to last two years, no pickled fruits to enjoy ...

The trees were pruned, last winter was harsh, there was plenty of rain to refresh the new shoots. This year the trees are bearing copious harvests of fruit. A great olive year, perhaps one of the best.


Only this year the Olive press may not open at all. It seems only in Skiathos could that happen, an island without its own Olive press, to produce its own oil ...

Olives will have to be transported either to the presses on Skopelos town, or in Glossa. Or taken across to the mainland on Pilion. This for a pastime that many say is not worth doing any more. Its not worth the effort, for what return you get.

No one starved on Skiathos in wartime, because they had olives. Now if no-one can harvest the olives, then how long before the trees are allowed to go wild and back to nature ...

Lets hope the issues at the press are sorted soon, or the Skiathos fruits will probably be left to rot where they fall ...

Back to School:

Καλή σχολική χρονιά σε όλα τα παιδιά! (Good school year to all the children) ...

Ferries:

Starting to wind down now. The route to Thessaloniki has closed, the ANES fast ferry Symi ll has gone home, to Piraeus. The Express Skiathos stops visiting on Saturdays. Autumn is well and truly in the air ...

Καλημέρα και καλή εβδομάδα ...


Previous blog: On his way ...

Sunday, 10 September 2017

On his way ...

As I said the other day ...

Its going to get a little more crazy 'on the rock'

Currently en route to Athina, and then later on to the rock, is the head of the #Septembergang.


Our Armani clad champion, will be leading the gang astray in just a few hours. If you thought the last few weeks would be quiet, then you may have made a terrible mistake ...

Quote of the day: From Townboy, in Achladies 'Keeping a British stiff upper lip and pretending there aren't any wasps' ...

As one hurricane arrives on Skiathos, for a blow out. Another is wreaking havoc across the pond as it makes landfall in Florida. 

John & Rainy ...
Here two parrots seek shelter at the edge of a 22nd-floor window, at Dadeland Marriott in Kendall #HurricaneIrma

Friday, 8 September 2017

After the full moon ...

People are a little crazy ...

Yesterday this was once again the case. When one of the nicest reputable, island businesses was trashed online, by some of its customers over the reservation of a sunbed, and the size of a table.

Some of the island folk. are victims of their own success. They work hard, long hours, and many go the extra mile, for their guests to earn a living, and give great service.

Skiathos is still very busy, its no point thinking its going to be quiet, in September. (Peak season was three weeks ago) The same amount of flights are coming as before, they start to drop off the radar in two weeks time.

Its really sad, when a team of the good guys, who go the extra mile - Get taken to task, when they are playing by the rules, and trying to earn a living with a smile.

But if you want a decent restaurant for lunch, you plan ahead, and reserve a table. Just like you do anywhere else. If that's not what you want, and if you like spontaneity. Then grab a Gyros and a towel and lay on the beach ...

Its all a bit sad really, but today is another day.
At least they now know, who their real friends are ...

On a sadder note: Καλό παράδεισο Edmond ...

Η κηδεία γίνει Παρασκευή 8 Σεπτεμβρίου στις 11.00 το πρωί από τον Ιερό Μητροπολιτικό Ναό των Τριών Ιεραρχών. The funeral will take place on Friday 8 September at 11.00 am at the Holy Metropolitan Church of the Three Patriarchs - Tries Hierarchies.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The last summer moon ...

The moon has risen ...

It's the last full moon of the Skiathos summer for 2017...

Photo: Anastasia Ghigis
Anastasia's Weddings
In the UK it's called the harvest moon, from when farmers gathered their crops by moonlight.

Here it's rather quiet, the last few nights a heavy dew has descended in the evening. An autumnal nip in the air. One that has seen the cardigans being worn by locals, and tourists alike.

The last few crazy days of summer, and probably about to get a little more crazy ...

The last summer offer ...

Sky Express, would like to thank you for flying with Sky Express and would like to welcome again on board our flights, with more special offers: from 29,45€ to and from Skiathos and Athens.

Offer is available for ticket issue from the 5th of September up to 11th of September, for trips from 1 October to 31 March. All of our fares include 1 checked in bag and 1 hand bag. Check different options.

All our passengers departing from Athens and Thessaloniki, are entitled  with access to our Lounge.
You may use our "Low Fare Finder" and find the lower fare on the day you want. The mentioned fares do not include airport taxes and are available in limited number of seats.

Busy ferries during August:

During August, according to the data announced by the Central Port Authority of Volos, they were transported to Northern Sporades with the scheduled E-C-C and C / C / C ships operating in the port of Volos, 82,402 passengers, 12,773 vehicles, 2,322 bikes and 574 trucks.

As shown by the figures, this year's passenger traffic increased by 25%, moving vehicles increased by 15%, driven bicycles increased by 20%, while the proportion of lorries moved slightly increased, compared with with the same month of 2016 respectively.

Sad News:

Reported that a tourist drowned at Ligares on Wednesday, whilst snorkeling. Sadly it turns out its a good friend of mine, and a resident of the island. RIP Edmond ...

Lost bag:

If anyone on Skiathos has found a bag on Banana Beach car park. Please can they please message or contact Anja Lynge Madsen at Villa Alexis ...

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Stormy night ...

Well it is September ...

Last nights lively activity around 22:40pm



If you thought that was loud, around 22:50pm, and it made you spill the vino ...


Well it was just up the road ...


So just as you settled back into your seat ...


Boom ...

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Thomas Cook pilot strike ...

Thomas Cook pilots threaten 12-hour strike over pay row ...

Frustrated Thomas Cook pilots are planning to stage a 12-hour strike over a pay dispute.
The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) announced it had authorised a strike by Thomas Cook Airlines pilots following a ballot in which 91% voted to take action in a dispute over their 2017 pay talks.

The industrial action will take place on Friday September 8th between 3am and 3pm.

The dispute follows nearly eight months of negotiations over a pay rise that was due in April.
Thomas Cook has offered a 1.5% rise and Balpa has asked for at least the inflation rate, plus catching up with other comparable airlines and better travel facilities for pilots.

Two days of talks have taken place at Acas but with no progress so far.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton, said: "Disrupting people's travel plans is the last thing pilots want to do and we very much regret taking this step.

"However, our members are frustrated that after many months of negotiations we still do not have a decent pay offer on the table and they have said loud and clear, 'Enough is enough'.

"That is why Balpa has authorised a strike to take place on 8th September.

"In the meantime I will continue trying to negotiate with Thomas Cook to achieve an outcome that will be acceptable to pilots."

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: "Our priority is to minimise disruption to our customers' holidays.
"We have contingency plans in place which mean we are confident we will be able to operate all of our flights during the planned strike.

"We are working hard with Balpa's representatives to find a way forward."

Earlier post: Who needs a Skiathos fix ? ...

Proteus ferry: Timetable changes from 11th September - 24th September: Click here

Who needs a Skiathos fix ? ...

and some Tsougria, and Skopelos too ...

Sunday, 3 September 2017

One for the boys ...

Late news just in ...

Have been watching the 2018 holiday count downs, and quite a few for 'Just booked June' being posted by the all excited women.

Sadly they are not all as clever, as they like to think they are ...

June is the FIFA football world cup finals in Russia - same time zone as Greece.

If you cant get to Skiathos (Which is hell when the football is on) Then there is another option. So if you are lucky enough your missus, falls pregnant in the next week or so. Then you'll get 2 weeks off for paternity leave when the World Cup is on next June.

Think ahead chaps ...

Friday, 1 September 2017

Καλό μήνα σε όλους Σεπτεμβρίου είναι εδώ ...

Kalo Minha - Good Month to one and all, September is here ...

Its the first day of Autumn, the season of falling leaves, and cooler air.

The earth has wobbled a little further north. The sun has traveled a little further south. Dew returns to the early mornings and late evenings. The duvets will become friends again in northern climates, and will be aired up in the hills on the island.

Its a sign - {No need for anyone to run after me, with one sandal in their hand} (Life of Brian) that autumn days are upon us, once again ...

Rainless summer days on Skiathos beckon the thunderstorm season. It also seems to have hastened the mention of cardigans, and questions about nightime temperatures ...

The sea will be warm retaining the summer heat. Waiters will now become more relaxed, as today on 'airport friday' they know there are just five weeks left, of the summer 2017 season. Or as someone messaged yesterday 40 days Thank God !

Even less for many others, as thoughts for many are of home, the mainland, and winter work, if such things still exist.

The tourists will still be coming, from North of the alps, but over the next few weeks people will be leaving in even greater numbers. The island swiftly changes its face during September, back to the friendly homely one I know so well ...

The news agencies are reporting that airport numbers are starting to fall.

A decrease in airline seats in August continues to show Karpathos airports by -7.9% / - 2 thousand seats and in Skiathos -3.9% / -2 thousand seats. A slight decrease is expected in Mykonos and Santorini with -0,2% / -220 seats and -0,3% / -370 seats.
In September, a reduction in airline seats is expected at two airports: Karpathos by -2.2% / (just -467 seats) and Skiathos -2.0% / (just 868 seats).

Only another week or so, and the ferries start coming off the Sporades routes. Better start stacking the sunbeds ...

Previous Blog: Last day of August ...