Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Flying Dolphin Erato - No service ...

Following the failure of the engine on 17th February ...

I read last night it will be off until at least the end of March

The replacement engines are in Piraeus and will be brought up to Volos for the repairs. The plan is that the dolphin will be back in service within 4 weeks. 

But which four weeks ?

According to Openseas, Flying Dolphin Erato will be back in service on Tuesday 17th April ...

Previous Blog: Fancy a trip to ...

Monday, 26 February 2018

Fancy a trip to ...

Skyros ...

 I certainly do ...
Source: Skyros - Greece from TreeZone on Vimeo.

Skyros (Greek: Σκύρος) is the southernmost Greek island of Sporades' island complex in the Aegean Sea. At 209 square kilometres, it is the largest one of Sporades, and has a population of about 3,000. 

The largest part of Skyros is mountainous, with two distinct mountain ranges in the northern and southern parts. Among them there is semi lowland and semi hilly area, which is north-to- south direction, between the northern eastern and southern coasts of the island. The northern part is covered with dense pine forest. 

According to Greek mythology, Theseus died on Skyros when he was thrown from a cliff. Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, was from Skyros. In 475 BC,according to Thucydides, Cimon defeated the Dolopians (the original inhabitants) and conquered the entire island. From that date, it was colonized by Athenian settlers and became a part of the Athenian Empire. Around the 2nd millennium BC the island was known as The Island of the Magnetes where the Magnetes used to live and later Pelasgia and Dolopia and later Skyros.

Rupert Brooke, the famous English poet, is buried on Skyros, having died on board a French hospital ship moored off the island in 1915, during World War I. The island has its own breed of Skyrian ponies. 

Credits:  Filmed and Produced by Dimitris Papageorgiou Music: Lights & Motion - The Spectacular Quiet

Previous Blog: Very Wet ...

Latest update: Still wet and trench foot level three ...

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Very Wet ...

... and getting even more wet later ...

Greece’s National Meteorological Service has issued a weather warning for Sunday-Tuesday, Feb 25-27 2018.

Analytically the Weather forecast: Strong rainfall and thunderstorms: Ionian islands, Epirus, West and Centrla Mecedonia, West Sterea and West Peloponnese.



Sunday 21:00hrs
Monday 03:00hrs

Monday 09:00hrs

Now where are those wellies ...

Previous Blog: Further bad weather ...

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Further bad weather ...

"From the Independent Civil Protection Directorate of the Region of Thessaly, according to the Emergency Weather Evolution of the National Meteorological Service of NMH, which is valid for Saturday, a temporary deterioration of the weather with the main features of the local heavy rains and storms which can not be rushed by snow and very strong winds"

More detailed will be affected:

- Saturday 24-02-2018 and Sunday 25/02/2018 strong rainfall and thunderstorms all over Thessaly are expected and temporary snowfall in mountainous and gradually and in semi-mountainous areas mainly of the central country (over 800 meters.) On Sunday in the evening and on Monday 26/02/2018 a worsening of the snowfall phenomena (with an indicative altitude of 400-600 meters) is expected, rains and strong winds.

On the basis of the weather report issued by the NMS, the Civil Protection Directorate of the Thessaly Region recommends:

- The control and cleaning of the manholes of municipal roads 
- Care of the citizens on the manholes and the gutters of the properties
- The avoidance of a parking camp near and within watercourses
- The avoidance of pedestrians and vehicles passing in areas with heavy slopes slopes
- Avoiding unnecessary movements in case of occurrence and exacerbation of phenomena

Citizens are invited:

• Avoid crossing torrents and streams, walking or driving, during storms and rains, and for several hours after the end of their event

• Avoid outdoor activities and activities in marine and coastal areas during the manifestation of intense weather phenomena.

• Protect immediately during hail. Take refuge in a building or in a car and not leave the safe place unless they are sure that the storm has passed. Hail may also be very dangerous for animals.

• Avoid crossing under large trees, under hanging signs and generally from areas where light objects (eg pots, broken glass, etc.) may peel off and fall into the ground (eg under balconies ).

• Follow faithfully the instructions of local authorities such as Traffic Police,

Previous Blog: Start planning ...

Friday, 23 February 2018

Start planning ...

As the rain falls on Skiathos ...

The island continues to rock from beneath the rock, with seismic activity. If its not thunder above, its a rumble from down below.


Earthquake 3.8 Richter was recorded today at 8 am in the sea area off of Skiathos. The epicenter of the earthquake is 38 kilometers north-northeast of the island, and the focal depth at five kilometers.

Elsewhere as we await the 'Beast from the East' the holiday countdowns and future plans for warmer summer days continue apace. Flights booked are in some cases becoming flights re-arranged so keep an eye on the email inbox. One thing not to forget from all the plans is your passport.

Soon to be Blue ...
From the 27th March the cost of a 'British passport' is set to increase by up to 17%. An adult passport will go from £72.50 to £85.

You can actually renew your passport when you have 9 months left and that 9 months is then carried over to your new passport. So if your passport is due to expire before the 27th December 2018 it might be worth you renewing it before the 27th March 2018.

The biggest increase will be when you apply by post so it'll be best to renew online wherever possible. So if you're thinking of booking a holiday in the near future, (and there are always bargains for travel in May) it could be a good idea to check when your passport runs out, and consider renewing early ...

If this tip saves you a few quid drop me a line, and I will arrange somewhere convenient, for you to donate a bottle of FIX ...

Previous Blog: ANES Proteus timetable (Revised) ...

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

ANES Proteus timetable (Revised) ...

Revised timetable for the ANES Proteus ferry ...


Previous Blog: Early morning alarm call ...

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Early morning alarm call ...

Σεισμός - From 10km deep off Alonnisos ...


The pictures will need straightening again.

Initial reports say Magnitude 4.1 located 13 km N of Patitírion, Greece / pop: 1,700 / local time: 05:52:53.1 2018-02-20

Earlier at 03.22am there was a little wobble, a mag 2.3 located 10.7 km south west of Skiathos, and again 10 km deep

Previous Blog: Καθαρά Δευτέρα ...

Monday, 19 February 2018

Καθαρά Δευτέρα ...

Clean Monday marks the end of Apokries and the first day of Lent (Sarakosti).

Fasting starts today and traditionally no meat, fish, eggs, dairy products or oil are allowed to be eaten for the 40 days leading up to Easter.

Clean Monday “Kathari Deftera,” is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. Greek for Clean Monday, is considered to be one of the most important feasts all over Greece, each year commencing the 40-day period of the Great Lent for the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church, which is called “Sarakosti.”

The feast begins on the first day of the 7th week before the Orthodox Easter Sunday. It is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named "lagana" (Greek: λαγάνα) and the widespread custom of flying kites.

Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted in European denominations. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe etc.). Traditionally, it is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season.

           

Clean Monday is a Bank Holiday in Greece and also seen as the start of springtime; it is celebrated by an excursion to the mountains or the beach, to enjoy a Lenten picnic or taverna meal, and fly that kite.

That's weather permitting of course ...


Perhaps best to give the kite a miss, and try something Greek for lunch instead ...


Bread, Butter beans, Olives and Halva ...

The greeting today is Καλή Σαρακοστή (Good Lent) ...

Late News: 

Word on the cobbles suggests its going to be a very wet lent - Rain for the next forty days and nights. Odds on a dry room n May - 20/1

Previous Blog: Σκιάθος Καρναβάλι ...

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Σκιάθος Καρναβάλι ...

Καλό Καρναβάλι ...

Today its the last day of carnival ...



Tomorrow its the start of Orthodox lent. Clean Monday when you nip down to Koukounaries and fly a kite. (Weather permitting) and have some food whilst you clean out the cupboards of all the naughty stuff ...

Today you have fun, sit in the sun, perhaps a glass (or two) of something,  throw a few firecrackers, and enjoy the parade ...

Next big party day is March 25th (Independence day) ...

Καλή Σαρακοστή (Good Lent) ...

Previous Blog: Erato - Cancelled and ANES Proteus timetable ...

Erato - Cancelled and ANES Proteus timetable ...

Flying Dolphin Erato - Cancelled on Sunday due to technical fault ...

Announcement by ANES-PROTEAS for the three-day itineraries to 9 March 2017

'Once again, we inform our renowned passenger audience with the ANES route schedule for the three days of the carnival and Clean Monday until 09 March 2018 for the Sporades islands from Volos and Mantoudi, Evia'


 'The masters, the officers and the crews wish you good Lent' ...

Previous Blog: Flying Dolphin Erato ...

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Flying Dolphin Erato - Cancelled due to technical fault ...

Has broken down this morning ...

It's a shame, because many planned to visit the islands in the last three days of Carnival.

Erato had departed and was south of Skiathos heading towards Volos when it suffered damage to the left hand side engine. The boat continued to Volos on slow speed, where the passengers were disembarked.


The boat was impounded and will not sail again until repairs are completed. Passengers will continue their trip to the islands via Proteus in due course.

Not a great start to the big carnival weekend ...

There is some discontent with the service recently, as Erato is the only link with the mainland in the mornings. Patients requiring to get to the mainland for appointments and hospital visits, have been seriously inconvenienced - Due to bad weather and technical issues this winter.

Update: Sundays sailings in both directions are cancelled

Previous Blog: Greek Week ...

Friday, 16 February 2018

Greek Week ...

At the local Lidl ...

A lot of folks get really excited about it. So yesterday I went to take a look. It has a lot of Greek Style - Where there used to be Greek substance.

Regular converts will know they have changed the packaging, Gone are the Santorini churches with the photoshopped and removed crucifixes. Which is handy so you can tell if they are using old stock.

Do read the labels as some of it is manufactured in Germany, which thinks Greece is one of its remote states anyway. 'Greek Style yoghurt' means its not Greek at all, and comes from the land of the autobahn, as there clearly has been some 'Kraftwerk' going on somewhere ...

If you stick to the pies then the Tyropita its very good, as is the Olive oil (Bargain), and a pretty decent Moschofilero, if you like a nice dry white wine.

We had a go at both - its a work in progress ...


We had the spinach and cheese yesterday, Junior said OXI! so I was despatched to bring home the bicycle wheel sized Tyropita for lunch.

Looks like its made in the same factory as the ones in the freezer compartment in the former Carrefour now known as Sklavenitis supermarket on the ring road ...

However the Carlsberg Mythos does not appear to be exactly flying off the shelves. Someone has panic bought four, since this time yesterday ...


Perhaps it does not travel well, rather like the Retsina ...

Lots of goods left over and reduced from French week, cant think why at all ...

Previous Blog: Weather warning ...

Late news: 

Mrs May has been meeting Mrs Merkel in Germany, good to see the PM turn down Merkel - who wanted the meeting to be held in a train carriage in the Ardennes ...

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Weather warning ...

From the Central Port Authority of Volos ...

'It is announced that, according to the extraordinary weather report of the NMS, weather conditions are expected to deteriorate on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th February in Thessaly, with the main features of heavy rains and storms, heavy snowfall in mountainous and semi-mountainous (with indicative altitude about 400 meters) and strong winds.



Nikos Paschalis who manages the Skiathos weather station said earlier ...

'Today: Dense overcast. Patchy light fog in the afternoon. A chance of rain in the morning, then rain likely in the afternoon. High 12, but temperatures falling in the afternoon. Wind north-northeast around 7 kts, gusting to 19 kts,in the morning, becoming west-northwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 80 percent. Precipitation mostly between 30 and 50 mm.


Tonight: Dense overcast. Patchy light fog in the evening. Rain likely. Low 9. Wind north-northeast around 16 kts, gusting to 29 kts, in the evening, becoming 20 kts, gusting to 29 kts, after midnight. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.Precipitation mostly between 40 and 60 mm' ...

In other words, chuck a log on the fire, Its a bottle of red, a bar of chocolate, and good book kind of day. Its only 76 days until summer arrives ...

Previous Blog: Happy Valentines Day ...

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Happy Valentines Day ...

Its also a name day ...

Χρόνια Πολλά to those feeling the love today, who are Valentina, Valentine, Valentini, Valentinos, Dina, & Dinos


St. Valentine, a man that was was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded.

Anyway - We are feeling the love today, Hope you all are too ...

Previous Blog: Hot Chocolate ...

Late News just in from the joke department:

The wife just phoned me from her office. She says to me all annoyed "Three of the girls here just got flowers delivered and they're absolutely gorgeous".

I said, " That's probably why they got flowers and you didn't" 😂😂😂

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Hot Chocolate ...

Happy Birthday - That was the plan ...

So SWMBO sent her friend in Volos, a birthday present and a card. That was on 20th January 2016, yes we are talking two years ago.

It arrived back return to sender, yesterday morning. After a two year voyage to Volos and back.


The Greek postman, apparently cannot read the Greek letter G (Γ) so has sent it back. It looks like it made it to the apartment block, but not into the letterbox for the apartment.

Quite where its been for the last two years, remains a mystery. A miracle that it found its way back to us after the time that the packet has been on its epic journey.

Sadly even the chocolate is now one year out of date. Someone had opened, and taken a look inside the packet, during the last two years to see what was within. Probably forwarding it on, once they had checked the date on the box.

Seems the chocolate, was not to everyone's taste 🤔 ...

At least its made its way home, so there must be some benefit, following the privatisation of the Greek Post Office. German efficiency ...

Skiathos friends - Don't loose hope for those missing Christmas cards and presents. Who knows perhaps even my long lost bathroom mirror, remains in the back of a van somewhere on the continent.

It was tracked to Skiathos however the courier probably did not have any credit on their mobile to call me, so sent it back ...

Best news of the day:  'A suspected poacher has been mauled to death and eaten by a pack of lions near a national park in South Africa'
Result! - A long overdue home win for the lions ...

Later Update:

Pancakes, Strawberries, Nutella, Whipped cream.
That just about sums it up ...

Previous Blog: Hotel Xenia = Hotel Elivi Skiathos ...

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Hotel Xenia = Hotel Elivi Skiathos ...

It seems there may be a new name ...

'Steve in Skiathos' advises that the whole development behind big banana, the seven houses above little banana, and part of the Xenia hotel are due to open on June 1st ...


Want a sneak 5* preview? Then Watch this space!

Previous Blog: Nefeli - Aegean Speed Lines ...

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Nefeli - Aegean Speed Lines ...

'An interest in the launching of a ship on the line of Agios Konstantinos - Northern Sporades was expressed by the company "Aegean Speed Lines", which submitted a request to the Ministry of Merchant Shipping.

The proposal and intent of the company is to launch the "Nefeli Express" passenger ferry for the first time on this route to accommodate the needs of the islands, once the request has been approved.

According to the planning of the ship's company, Nefeli Express will operate from May 25 to September 30, one from Monday to Thursday and two from Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The ship's specifications are modern, its length is 100 meters, it reaches 2.5 hours in Skiathos and it has a passenger protocol of 1.270 and 150. It also has spacious interiors, electric stairs and all the modern specifications that ensure comfortable travel and raise the standard of service for the traveling public.

The shipowning company expects the approval of the ship's routing request to cover a vital line that remains vacant following the change of the ship 'Myrtydiotissa' to another direction'

Source: http://www.thessaliaeconomy.gr

Previous Blog: Tsiknopempti - (Vegan free Thursday) ...

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Tsiknopempti - (Vegan free Thursday) ...

καλό τσίκνισμα!

This post is not suitable for Vegans, Vegetarians or any tree huggers ...

Today its Tsiknopempti - Thursday of meat week in Apokreas (Greek carnival)

(In Poland its Fat Thursday and they eat Doughnuts - These are ours)


Any way, back on topic ...

Tsikna is the smell of burning meat. It was the custom on Tsikonpempti for everyone (including the poor) to charcoal grill meat, and to melt fat over it so the smell of  'burning' meat permeated whole village.

It is still the tradition to eat meat on Tsiknopempti, although nowadays it is usual, to go to a taverna for the meat feast (Perhaps a few glasses of wine). You'll find that taverna's everywhere, are packed and many have live music too

(Some of it impromptu and more raucous as the afternoon progresses) ...

Καλές αποκριες ...
Tsiknopempti is the beginning of the last weekend that observant Greek Orthodox Church followers can eat meat prior to Lent. Because of this, Tsiknopempti is often known as ‘Grilled or Charred Thursday’ The‘Feast of the Carnivores’ as everyone heads out to the taverna's to feast on their favourite grilled meat dishes, eating as many different varieties as possible!

You are also quite likely to find a BBQ set up in the street ...

Apokreas means literally saying goodbye to meat – 'Apoxh apo kreas' …
In Latin the roots of the word Carnival has the same meaning – ‘carne’ is meat and ‘vale’ goodbye.

Now where did I put those pork chops ...

Previous Blog: Nefeli ...

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Nefeli ...

Nefeli is a female name which has not been very popular in the past. 

Today, though, as Greeks turn again to ancient Greek names, Nefeli is becoming increasingly popular. Nefeli means cloudy in the Greek language. Its origin is mythological and quite interesting. Nefeli has an alternative spelling, which is Nephele.

Origin of name Nefeli – The Assumption of Christ
Nefeli is a mythological figure in the Greek Mythology. Nefeli was the mother of the Centaurs and the mother of Frixos and Elli, associated with the story of the golden fleece.

Nefeli was the Goddess of the Clouds, as Zeus created her from a cloud. According to the myth, Zeus shaped the cloud to look like Hera, because he wanted to trick a man who desired Nefeli, Ixion.

For the Greek Orthodox Church name Nefeli celebrates its nameday 39 days after Easter day, the day of Christ’s assumption to the sky, which is described with the phrase “Christ went to the sky amidst clouds”. Therefore it’s the ideal day to celebrate the name Nefeli.



Our Nefeli is a ferry, rumoured to being recalled from Venuzuela (Dodgy place in South America) to operate the Agios Konstantinos to Sporades islands route - Now that the Aqua line has left a hole in the network for summer 2018.

Someone quickly must have dusted down the 'where have we leased a ferry file' ...

Nefeli celebrates its nameday 39 days after Easter day, which hopefully will be time enough to give it a coat of paint in time for summer.

Lets hope its not a cloudy one as the name suggests ...

Previous Blog: Carnival Party time ...

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Carnival Party time ...

I know you think the fun only takes place in summer ...

But its Party time in Skiathos - Right now !


There will be a Carnival Party for the children and young people, from 12 Noon until 4pm on Sunday 4th February, at the Lyceum school in Papadiamantis street ...

Friday, 2 February 2018

Name the cafe ...

Here is another cafe, popular in times gone past ...


Very popular with the locals, even back in 1952 ...

Did you recognise the location of yesterdays photo ?

Previous Blog: Kalo Mina - Fevruários ...

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Kalo Mina - Fevruários ...

Kαλό μήνα σε ολους - Good Month to all ...

Time for a FIX ...

If you fancied a FIX back in 1923, you would find a good welcome at the the Nafthos Bar. Especially if you were on shore leave as a member of the crews, of the English fleet that had sailed to the port of Skiathos ...


Note the English welcome, none of the Greeklish that we are used to now. Someone even then knew how to attract the best punters in the door ...

The Royal Navy were frequent visitors to Skiathos, between the wars.

Previous blog: Tries Hieraches or The Three Patriachs ...