Saturday, 19 October 2019

Summer is officially over ...

Despite the weather ...

Last night the last charter flight arrived, to take home the last of the summer visitors ...

 

Then an hour later, the last jet of the summer season departed.

Condor DE1605 to Munich D-AICF wearing the sunny heart ...



#thatsallfolksforsummer2019

Previous Blog: Friday Dawns ...

Friday, 18 October 2019

Friday dawns ...

I don't know anyone called Dawn ...

Well here anyway, apart from a girl I knew from about 4 years old which is far too many years ago to remember.

This is my latest dawn, at 07:51 local time ...


Its airport Friday and it's not exactly a frantic one, but the last flight of the summer, departs tonight to Germany - Munich to be precise, and what great weather they have enjoyed here 'on the rock' ...

Three of us shared a sunset and an entire beach last night, the German couple were quietly singing together as they watched the sunset ...

Earlier two of the swans entered the bay and stayed around 100m offshore, and two Greek mermaids swam the bay as they do each evening at the same time. Before leaving us with the setting sun ...


Still a few people popping in with their summer toys ...


It's three airport days a week after today, (No TUI don't fly on Tuesdays from Manchester in winter - as someone said yesterday to the same comment)

Its just Sunday Wednesday and Friday from now on, when the two carriers from Athens operate on the same day. Presumably to keep the costs down at the airport, and to try and put each other out of business ...

The Jet2 news has resulted in some excellent flight bargains, and the happy clickers putting up the prices with the site algorithm. However those who acted quickly picked up the flight deals, and the package folks did the same yesterday, scoring with the free transfers to resort.

Am thinking one company will not get a booking next year at this rate, they are not even near competing with the opposition at all - No planes, No Reps, No transfers ...

The island folks with the accommodation must have been on 'no disclosure' deals as they appeared on FB yesterday by magic,  flagging that they were now with Jet2 once the 'official' news broke ...

Top tip: If you havent booked yet wait a week for the happy clickers to subside ...

No there will not be any flights from Doncaster, Leeds, Newquay (Would be happy to see the Norwich flight return) or any other obscure place down the road from where you live.

Nor Edinburgh Glasgow or anywhere else in Scotland, until Nicola Kranky declares independence - When you will all be forced to go to Orkney or Skye instead, by the first emperor of Scotland. Your flights will not be allowed over UK airspace anyway, by order of the Queen or King Charles, whoever is in charge at the time, as part of the 'exit deal' ...

So today instead of nipping off to Athens - Off to collect some more official stamps, press some calculator keys, perhaps some more painting, until the sun comes around,  then perhaps off to the beach with a beer ...

You know it makes sense TTFN ...

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Jet2 commences flights to Skiathos in 2020 ...

The rumors have finaly turned into reality ...

Coming soon ...
Jet2 have released flights to Skiathos, for 2020, and are now available ...

Flights will operate from the following airports, and frequency

  • Weekly from Birmingham on a Wednesday
  • Weekly from London Stansted in May on a Saturday, then twice weekly on a Wednesday and Saturday from June onwards
  • Twice weekly from Manchester on a Sunday or Wednesday from May
Flight times from Birmingham are a lot cheaper than TUI, Prices for the Sunday flight from Manchester are very reasonable for early May ...

All the folks who got the vapours the last few weeks, and booked at great cost with TUI. Will be kicking themselves for not waiting ...

Flights are on Jet2.com

Holidays probably to follow in due course ...

Additional flights 

Confirmed by the island agents Dolphin last night ...

-2 Flights/London (Stansted)/Jet2.com
-1 Flight/Birmingham/Jet2.com
-2 Flights/Manchester/Jet2.com
-1 Flight/Klagenfurt-Graz/Astra Airlines
-1 Flight/Bergen/Tour operator: Der Touristik Group, Apollo

Previous Blog: Congratulations ...

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Congratulations ...

To the former management of Thomas Cook ...

Their CEO was being questioned in the UK Parliament, yesterday, whilst the extinction folks were protesting outside. He announced that he was sorry, for the failure of the 187-year-old iconic company ...

It wasn't exactly the full Japanese CEO type apology, where you lie thrashing in tears on the ground, which would have been nice for the employees.

However thanks to their amazing leadership, It means they’ve now achieved zero carbon emissions for three weeks in a row. Which seems to have been overlooked by the folks outside ...

Yes Still warm here on the rock - the amazing weather continues.

Someone posted that it rains a lot in October. You have to be lucky with the weather, Clearly upset at the locals on the beach posting photos of toes burning in the autumn sunshine ...

Records for the last nine years are available online for all dates and months. You can check them here ...

It seems we had four wet days with rain in October 2014, and two showery days. That was the worst October recorded ...

Previous Blog: Keep an eye on the Euro, and the Olives ...

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Keep an eye on the Euro, and the Olives ...

In the last few hours the Pound Sterling (GBP) was at its strongest against the Euro (EUR) than it has been since May 2019.

The Pound to Euro exchange rate was quoted at 1.15500, having been as low as 1.1086 last week.

Simply put, this means that the Pound in your pocket, will let you get more Euros now than it has since May this year ...

Keep an eye on the Euro if you are planning another getaway ...

Still warm here on the rock, its officially 'Sweaty Betty' and the lettuces are enjoying the autumn heat down in the garden.

What I am hearing is the olives are badly affected by worm this year, and the drought. Not considered to be good for eating. It was expected to be a bumper harvest.

Still plenty of olives on the trees after the recent storm, but what they are saying is that the quality may not be good enough for Extra virgin oil.

A friend with trees said he is not going to bother picking them ...

Previous Blog: Lazy Days ...

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Lazy Days ...

Should be like this ...

The sun is out, it's warm, steamy warm with a heat haze, rising off the sea towards Evia. So what to do? I went to the beach. The beach of choice was Agia Paraskevi, and I pitched up with a book at the Bamboon bar ...

Sunbeds still out to the left of me, and a few locals,  a lifeguard in the tower, a large beer and steamy view in front of me.


To the right a local fishing, with four lines out. Some people spread along the beach on towels and occupants of the sunbeds distant at the Skiathos Princess, which is still open for business - the last week of the season for the guests from Germany ...

Two friends arrived from town, and we started chatting and enjoying the scenery, I have to say I was chasing the shade from the umbrella, it was scorchio ...

Entertainment provided by a guest from the hotel, strolling along the shoreline, in their lovely white dressing gown. Oblivious to the local with four fishing lines, and managed to start hopping along the waterline wrapped in the fishing lines, and being berated by a rather angry Greek local ...

Lunch - a club sandwich and some chips ...


Somehow the book remained unopened ...

Chatting and scorching in the sun, an updated weather forecast from Alex of the Big Bad Wolf - 'Warm all week enjoy'! OK we will ...

Quick check:


Not bad ...

I had enough sun and headed off to find some shade ...

Ding! Message from the famous Stig - 'Ready when you are' ...
Stig has popped down from Norway for the weekend - Great effort ...

Tsipouro meze night, a shower and off to the ouzeria. Where we were made very welcome, and Stig already in residence. The full moon rising over the Pounta, will we order one or two. Two I said, the waiter has been walking all summer - That got me a pat on the back from an exhausted friend ...


Not a bad offering, and we raised a glass to Mr Malcolm, and we certainly enjoyed it, this was the second course. A coffee at the Gerani and we wandered off into the night, I wonder what today will bring ...


Not a bad start to the day ...

Previous Blog: If you booked ...

Friday, 11 October 2019

If you booked ...

A cheap seat from London City Airport ...

You do get a seat, and can prebook it ...

Boomeranger ...
There is no need to turn up eight months early, just because you have read about the weather ...

Might go to the beach today - Any recommendations?

If you are coming with me, don't hang around, The bus timetable has changed ...

Previous Blog: A message from ...

Thursday, 10 October 2019

A message from ...

A friend in need ...

I get a few messages from time to time, people you have met etc

I had one the other day that really stopped me in my tracks. Regular readers will recall the awful experience we had where Kamila was seriously ill, so many times, with stage 4 cancer.

You know the story, so no need to go over it again, but it was truly awful ...

We were so very lucky, and a miracle happened thanks to the support of friends near and far. Its something that will always be with me, as long as I shall live. You see because when you are the carer, you see and experience things, that the patient thankfully never sees or remembers at all.

We had a surprise birthday party for K, and at that time a friend of hers, had just been diagnosed with Leukemia. She was another young woman, with a young child. One even younger than our daughter.

Her husband, a professional man, looked awful, in shock and we were the only two Brits in the garden, and he is a Scotsman, who only drinks real ale. So I had catered for him. We did not know each other well, just hello how are you etc at parties ...

So we ended up with a stunted conversation about beer, and rugby etc until he asked loosely about how K was doing. We were going through a similar process at different times in the experience.

So I offered him some advice, and he listened politely, like many others over the years. I have not seen him in about two years, just the occasional FB photo appears, of just him with his daughter, out having fun.

On Saturday a photo of him with a glass of champagne in the Emirates lounge at LHR. Off to Japan to support Scotland at the Rugby World Cup. So I clicked 'like' and thought good for him, and thought about the garden party for a brief second, and that was that.

A minute or so later 'Ding' message ...

'Hi Ian. I hope all is well with you. I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me 3 years ago when Edyta was first diagnosed. I kept on mind that you said I would need some time away to get myself back to normal. That time has come, helped by a rugby world cup and a formula 1 race. It was sage advice. I hope the girls are well too. Thanks again, Chris'

I was stunned, it was a jaw-dropping moment ...

We had an exchange of messages, and I could not have been happier for him. Both having been through a cycle of pain, one that takes place in the mind rather than the body.

He said 'Edyta is very well thanks. Just come off immune suppressant meds and managed a couple of weeks in Poland earlier in the summer' ...

All I have ever said is this 'Its advice you can only give a friend, hope it came in useful.
Enjoy your trip, you have earned it, being a great husband for Edyta. Don't forget one day to pass on your experience to another friend in need'...

He said 'I will remember to pass it on if and when the need arises, it will always stay with me'

It might help one of you too ...

New flight for 2020 ...

The FB groups are all clicking the sites searching for flights, that don't exist yet, and cant wait to find the news and announce it with a system crash larger than the CAA one on Monday.

So here it is, the news you have been waiting for ...

With our friends at Skiathos Landings, and hedge funding from the Amaretto. Down at Bournemouth, we are preparing Skiathos Airways BAC1-11 for the summer 2020 season ...


We will be refueling at Dubrovnik both ways, as the fuel is dirt cheap, and after Brexit we can pick up duty-free 'Jet 3 rakija' in the centre tank, as its as cheap as chips, and you can always run the lawnmower on it ...

The use of the 'stairs' will be at additional cost, and we expect the flight will be of interest to friends of Little Banana, as we are not encouraging luggage, as we are following the Ryanair/Yorkshire airways business model for a faster turnaround.

Animal lovers - There are a couple of chickens currently residing within the wheel bays, these will be relocated free of charge to the Amaretto, where they will live out the rest of their lives. Overseen by the Skiathos hen society, and from May onwards providing upgraded omelets to return ticket holders at reduced cost on presentation of your inbound boarding card tab ...

Previous Blog: Encouraging news ...


Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Encouraging news ...

Kalimera ...

Just after midnight here ...

The wind is certainly getting up out there, Looks like it's going to be an interesting 12 hours ahead, with a lot of rain inbound towards the rock ...

Flight news ...

Some encouraging news from Mayor Tzoumas regarding 2020 flights.

Two further UK flights from TUI have been confirmed, and between Three & Five Jet2 flights along with Two more by Easyjet are under negotiation.

One more flight from Norway and one from Paris are also being discussed.

Source: Steve @Skiathos Island News

TUI-UK flights in 2020 ...

TUI are moving the Gatwick flight (From Tue) to a Monday
The Luton flight (From Fri) to a Tuesday

The Bristol flight (From Mon) to a Friday

Encouraging news from the vegetable garden ...

Last-minute check of the vegetable garden, before the rain set in last night ...


Quite pleased that I did ...

Weather update at 7am ...




Breezy and the rain is lashing against the shutters, but it looks like the worst of the forecast bad weather is staying over Volos. Its a grey miserable start to the day, with the clouds hanging well down the mountain ...

Later update:

Spent some time in town, bumping into people, its what happens when 97% of the visitors have gone back home. The supermarkets fully stocked and next to no customers. Everyone says hello, how was your summer, have a good winter ...

Well it has been a dark gloomy day, low heavy clouds and this afternoon has become very breezy. If there are any olives left to pick after today, it should be easy, they will all be on the ground ...

Almost dark, and the clouds as threatening as they were this morning ...

Back into town tomorrow for some good old 'Greek Bureaucracy' ...


I think I have them all ...

Previous Blog: Last repatriation flight, and stormy weather warning ...

Monday, 7 October 2019

Last repatriation flight, and stormy weather warning ...

The last Thomas Cook rescue flight landed at Skiathos yesterday. Ryanair RYR1180 from London Stansted, returning to London Gatwick

Ryanair EI-GJO
It was a combined Gatwick and Manchester flight as MT1481 was now history, and the Manchester passengers were going north on the bus ...

Much to our surprise. instead of going to Thessaloniki for Jet1, it went down to Kos to pick up passengers for Birmingham, and the bus excursion from Gatwick ...

Mr Malcolm was last heard of setting off from Gatwick on a coach. CAA had provided water, sandwiches and cookies! Just like a Sunday school outing years ago ...

Bad Weather expected

Nikos Pascalis advises a gradual weather change from this morning, and is expected to last for the next 48 hours ...

"The bad weather will be quite intense and it takes great attention!!!
The most intense phenomena will be towards Tuesday morning (without the possibility of seeing heavy rainfall tomorrow), possible flash phenomena are quite possible so just in case a little more attention and prevention is not bad... The Overall mm precipitation may touch 80-90mm" !!!



Which if it gets here means, Rain (Lots of it) with a potential for flash flooding. Thunderstorms locally severe, with hail and strong winds.  The skies outside are murky grey and have that look of winter storms about them ...

Better get ready to batten down the shutters, nip down to the Spar, and get the bottle of red, a bar of chocolate, and borrow a book from somewhere ...

First, better take the hound out for his morning walk (and a sausage roll from Greggs - Ariston) ...


Oops - No hound, he went home, after his holiday last night ...............

The Gecko has gone, Hound has gone #homealoneskiathos apart from the wasps ...

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 19 - Wasps 0 ...

Wasp b*st*rd #19 flew into my face, 'swatted' it away, not realising what it was with the back of my hand, straight into my sunday morning coffee - It drowned, (Oh dear how sad, never mind) I am claiming it as a confirmed kill ...

Previous Blog: Ray Morris Round the Island Swim - Final update ...

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Ray Morris Round the Island Swim - Final update ...

Here are Ray and Jacqui handing over the proceeds from Ray's fundraising Around the Island Swim.

With over 6k euros raised, it meant 3001.49 euros EACH for the cat & dog charities. 

Photo: Skiathos dog shelter
Jacqui wrote ...

'We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved and cannot thank you all enough ...

To our incredible anonymous donor who, on the first day of the swim, gave 1,000 GB pounds which worked out at 1,100 euros, what a wonderful human being you are....and a great start to the first day's swim'

Ray 'Ironman' Morris ...




The funds raised being handed over to the two charities ...




We were overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved and cannot thank you all enough....but special thanks to the following, in no particular order:-
Sean McMonagle captain and first mate (and photographer) Marie Rosie McMonagle on the safety boat alongside Ray the entire time in all conditions.This would never have happened without your help and daily support.
Sharon Hewing Elliott-Winterburn and her great team of helpers at the Skiathos Cat Welfare Society, Nina Lobregt, Julie Adams, Chloe Gemma Motteram, Jilly Bluck, Anjie McChesney & Dave McChesney.
Bob George (from the Skiathos Dog Shelter) for his overwhelming support and help and shouty voice on the beaches.
To our incredible anonymous donor who, on the first day of the swim, gave 1,000 GB pounds which worked out at 1,100 euros, what a wonderful human being you are....and a great start to the first day's swim.
Lynne Feeney & Davey Feeney, who gallantly joined in collections on their holiday.
Marianne Tuck & her niece Carla Sparkes, Flo you were fab, as always.
Diane Schultze for helping on the beach collections, the Dream Team wasn’t complete without you.
Mel Stanley, my good friend who happened to be on holiday and helped with the collections.
Stuart Malloy & Marianne for their shouty voices and support.
Marjorie Worsnop thank you for being you.
Our new Mayor, Thodoris Tzoumas for his encouragement, support and donation.
Rosie Eyre Woolass & Kevin Woollass for rattling the buckets and helping to increase the total.
Valerie Brown and Kevin Brown for their enthusiastic support (and Kevin’s megaphone voice on the beaches cheering Ray on, “Mad as a bucket of frogs, but it’s all for the cats and dogs” became our catchphrase of the campaign!
Vasilis and all the staff at Spar Supermarket for providing water and fruit for the entire duration and for the generous donation. And also for changing the coins into notes with their Las Vegas style coin counting machine,and Ray got to press all the buttons too!!
Liz Bradly for Ray's chiropractor session the day before the start.
Skiathian for supporting, and for the photos.
Nikos from the flower shop on Bouboulinas St.
Andreas & Blerta at Porta Rossa for their support & the Mythos for the boat crew.
Kathy & Jacqui at Mylos Taverna.
Kimon for the RIB safety boat, without whom we couldn't have done this challenge.
Marios for bringing the boat over from Skopelos.
Lt. Commander Nick Katsabas from the Skiathos Coastguard and his team, particularly George Manthos and George Chavelas and the crew on the escort RIB boats.
Rockos at Nostos Water Sports for helping with the engine problem.
Panagiotis Diolettas & Kevin at Skiathos Diving, you have been invaluable.
Ruben Fortuna, this season’s dive instructor at Skiathos Diving for the great photos.

If there is anyone we have forgotten, please let us know, it's been difficult to keep up.....

Previous Blog: One man and ...

Friday, 4 October 2019

One man and ...

Someone elses dog ...

The hound is waiting, and wants to go out for a stroll ...

Its great fun, we have been places I have never been before, Even a few times the hound looked back at me as if to say 'You up for this'? Have dog will travel, just wait till his owners get back for walkies, they may be going somewhere different ...

Not a bad view from the summit over Xanemos ...


The weather is supposed to change, we had a thunderstorm pass by late afternoon yesterday. Its fine at the moment a few clouds around over Evia, but the forecast is not too promising over the next few days. The Ionian is coping it this morning, its thunderstorm alley ...


Bumped into Mr Malcolm yesterday, on his rounds. This time I found him in Kabourelia. 'Where have you been'? he said 'I have been here two weeks' Then bumped into Tracey and her mum, as I was dodging the raindrops, who had made their way here the hard way, enjoying lunch in Mouragio.

Mr Tsipouro is a 'Non runner' as his autumn trip  flight went down the Thomas Cook pan. Which is a shame, as it means I will now have to drink the box of Alfa Weiss beer. I had got for him, earlier this summer, for his October jolly ...

Its the final airport friday of the summer, the aircraft are winging their way in from the UK empty, to pick up the passengers. Luton and Manchester (TUI) and the Gatwick (EnterAir)
If you were on the Thomas Cooks, then you are being consolidated and despatched to East Midlands on a TC aircraft, minus the airfix stickers. For Manchester you are off home on another Titan ...

11:30 Update - Storm !!

Had to pop out, and the Mammatus clouds were forming.


Then within minutes, the skies darkened and the thunderbolts were in the sea towards Evia ...

As short lived violent storms go, this Skiathos one is up there with the best, The downburst at Sklavanetis was better than any I have seen here over the years. A whirlwind of water, lashing the doors.

Now back at base with a hound, that is shaking from its nose to tail ...

This is the reason why ...


12:36: The TUI to Luton has got away, taking off  down the slope, heading away from the weather to the north of the island ...

18:15 and the skies are talking to us again, rumbles of thunder, and angry skies again to the south towards Evia

Previous Blog: Titan Wednesday & (Flight news for Friday) ...

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Titan Wednesday & (Flight news for Friday) ...

So the Titans came to visit ...

To carry the people home, only some only went as far as Gatwick.

If you were off to Bristol, it involved getting on the bus. Then another three hours or so for friends to get to Cornwall from there ...

Quite a nice looking aircraft, and some friendly pilots keen to wave to new friends at the Amaretto, as a Skiathos landing and take off, went into the pilots log book.

Titan arriving from Gatwick, and departing to Manchester ...



Titan arriving from Gatwick, and departing to Gatwick ...



Now the Gatwick was interesting. Trick of the light, or is 'Paddington Bear' in command of this Titan to LGW?


Some interesting conversations down at the amaretto. Usually, as someone is broadcasting to the UK, on their mobile phone. Of course, everyone wants to hear about how you are stuck here. Only no one is -  You are here on holiday, and for some bizarre reason, you are not on the beach, enjoying it.

The latest folks went home on the aluminium birds over there, and on the right day too - let's see what happens tomorrow. Or if the weather keeps you 'stuck' here another day ...

Lady said to me, 'Do you take photos of the planes'? 
'Yes time to time' I replied
'Can't see the point in it' she said
'Why are you out here then, with a mobile phone taking photos'?

There was a very long pause, and a classic failure to compute look ...

Its been very warm here, unseasonably so, and last night even the ciccadas were back in full voice. Probably completing their last night shift of the summer. This morning its a golden sunrise, however the weather is expected to change, we have rain coming over from Italy, which was very lively yesterday on the thunderstorm app.

Late News - Flight news for Friday

Gatwick Stansted and East Midlands flights are expected, to be East Midlands arrival as a combined flight departing at 19:50.

***IMPORTANT - CHANGE OF UK ARRIVAL AIRPORT*** This is a change to the original UK arrival airport. This flight will be arriving into East Midlands (EMA) airport and transfers back to London Gatwick (LGW) airport & Stansted (STN) airport will be provided. Representatives will be there to meet you once you have passed through UK arrivals and they will provide instructions on your transfer.

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Manchester and Newcastle flights, are expected to be Manchester arrival as a combined flight departing at 15:45

***IMPORTANT - CHANGE OF UK ARRIVAL AIRPORT*** This is a change to the original UK arrival airport. This flight will be arriving into Manchester (MAN) airport and transfers back to Newcastle (NCL) airport will be provided. Representatives will be there to meet you once you have passed through UK arrivals and they will provide instructions on your transfer.

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Kalimera to the 'unknowns' who have been in touch via the comments the last few days.
Steve and Linda (from Minehead) and Alison, Andrew & Catherine (from Carlisle, Cumbria)

The day is starting good, and there is a breeze. Time to take the hound out for a walk ...

Have a great day, from those of us 'stuck here on the rock' ...

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Repatriation flights and new Bus timetable - 2nd October ...

It's the time of year, and everyone is rather unstable ...

Someone said to me just the other day its due to the planets, that had me wondering. Whats he got to do with it Gustav Holst? He has been dead for years ...

Yesterday was the day of days, in one office the girl was freaking out, shouting and strangely pointing at the computer screen (Not a video call), and purposely ignoring me. After throwing the expensive i-phone on the desk a few times, then made eye contact - very theatrical ...

Then she thought how can I get rid of the guy?  So dialled the number I needed, and gave me the office phone, how bizarre. How did she know - well I have asked the same question every two days since mid September? If only they paid me to do their job too ...

'What pay you - no this is a favour' ...

At least now I was connected, it seems the person on the other end was sane and understood exactly what I wanted, and who knows the man may come, Somehow I doubt it ...

New Bus timetable

Anyone still here waiting for a bus? The timetable changed this morning ...

Click here to see the updated page over there >>====>

Temperamental fridge

Top tip: Buy a cheap one as the expensive ones can't cope. The change in the weather caused the fridge to freak out. I have more knowledge about the operating system of this fridge than a certified engineer.  Even the engineer can't be bothered to come out anymore.

Honestly, the hardest thing to do here is to get someone to do what they are supposed to do, its the season of coffee and tsipouro, that's the place you will find someone, the cafe or the ouzeria ...

Today another challenge, off with a pile of papers, where shall I go first the coffee shop?

Repatriation flights - 2nd October

Last night, the talk on the cobbles in town, was that the Manchester flight was cancelled ...

However, it seems that it's on after all. I understand that two flights are coming, and that the Bristol/Gatwick flight is combined then a coach to Bristol ...

Flights will be operated by A321 aircraft, just like the Thomas Cooks ...

It's another airlift day down at the airport ...

New flight details - Manchester

Date 2 October
Flight code ZT1195
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 13:45
Arrival time (local) 17:00

New flight details - Gatwick & Bristol passengers
Date 2 October
Flight code ZT1107
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 14:55
Arrival time (local) 16:30

New flight details - Bristol

***IMPORTANT - CHANGE OF UK ARRIVAL AIRPORT*** This is a change to the original UK arrival airport. This flight will be arriving into London Gatwick (LGW) airport and transfers back to Bristol (BRS) airport will be provided. Representatives will be there to meet you once you have passed through UK arrivals and they will provide instructions on your transfer.

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 16 - Wasps 0 ...

Previous Blog: Καλό μήνα σε όλους - Οκτώβριος είναι εδώ ...

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Καλό μήνα σε όλους - Οκτώβριος είναι εδώ ...

Good month everyone - October is here on the rock ...

Is it October already? Which means it's, not a good month, to be a pumpkin. The greeting seems to be 'Καλή χειμώνα' (Good Winter) as everyone seems to be shutting up shop, and heading to the mainland as fast as they can.

This is strange as its very warm, the weather is lovely, when only a year ago it was the medicane and very different weather indeed.

However now most of the airplanes have gone, home for winter, Today would have been TUI Tuesday, only they finished last week. Or if they were belonging to Thomas Cook, then a few hours ago, they started sending them to Shannon for storage, instead of here tomorrow.

If you read yesterday's blog, then you know about the repatriation flights - There were three to Manchester yesterday, as the airlift continued. This is the last one last night, as I filmed it in the dark, trying not to fall off a cliff ...



There are a further ten repatriation flights scheduled still to operate, and that will be it. Lights out on Sunday night for UK tourism, and the last of the loyal Thomas Cook customers, that are here for the last week of the season, will be gone ...

I hope they are enjoying it, I listened yesterday as a couple sitting in a cafe rattled on about going home, how hot it was, how they would get home, to me, the waiter, another couple, people on the phone, god knows where twice. I thought, there are folks who desperately want to be here, who have lost their holidays.

They are here, by choice, and seemingly can't stop moaning, about it - Enjoy it, you paid good money for it, the weather is great until you leave, and you are still here until friday ...

I bet they will be saying on Saturday, I wish I was still in Skiathos to someone, who will listen, or who has no choice but to listen ...

Julia Bradbury on Skiathos

Julia has been on the island, filming with Costas and Yannis of the Nikolakis fishing boat. She also went over to Skopelos for the day too. Apparently, the programme will be broadcast in the new year a series on the Greek islands for ITV ...

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 15 - Wasps 0 ...

Previous Blog: Mad Dog Sunday and repatriation flights ...

Monday, 30 September 2019

Mad Dog Sunday and repatriation flights ...

After the fun and games last night ...

The departure to Manchester was canceled (See yesterdays 'live' blog)

Passengers were shipped off to the Alkyon Panorama and Myrtia, for an overnighter, as the Skiathos Palace could not take them all. Good to see the 'Room rate action' being spread around affected businesses after the TC collapse ...

MAD DOG 83

Flew in yesterday and upset the local restaurant owner's with expensive wine glasses.
When it took off - Sorry 'Blasted off' over the harbour, the crystal glass in town, went ping, along with a few ornaments, and trinkets ending up on the floor in pieces.

Claims can be made via the CAA website from today ...

Video of MAD DOG climbing out, like a rocket towards Athens.



Quote of the day: 'Ok.... just listened to that take off sound through my home cinema sound system...
I strongly believe that this is the best take off sound (on a video) I have ever heard in my entire life so far'!

Todays flights ...

Its another Ryanair RYR85 to pick up the Mancunians from last night. Its due in at 10:30am from Palma de Mallorca - That will be another first for the airport as well ...

Date 29 September
Flight code RYR/FR956
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 10:45
Arrival time (local) 13:55

Update - EI-GXI diverted en route from Skiathos>Thessaloniki>Manchester due to medical emergency, currently at Frankfurt Hahn ... (15:30UK/17:30GR)

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Another flight coming to pick up the Mancunians left here from Fridays flight
Date 30 September
Flight code ELB3112
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 15:50
Arrival time (local) 18:45
-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

Date 30 September
Flight code RYR/FR527
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI) via Thessaloniki
Arrival airport London Stansted (STN)
Departure time (local) 19:00
Arrival time (local) 22:30

This flight was switched to Manchester, carrying a number of people who thought they were going to Gatwick ...

We believe 1000 TC customers are still to depart after today ...

We read some great posts on the forums, last night starting with 'I have it on good authority' about what's happening next. Top tip - Stay off the wine before flying a keyboard ...

Previous Blog: Super Saturday and the repatriation flights ...

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Super Saturday and the repatriation flights ...

Super Saturday, when the Ryanair fleet came to visit ...

The airport has had one Ryanair aircraft land, in its lifetime, then we get four in seven hours for Operation Matterhorn.


Clearly, the Ryanair crews were excited about their visit. I watched them taking photos of the aircraft. Then with the crew, photos with the groundcrew, quite an event.


The Ryanair is smaller than the TC's so not enough room for everybody. Its not just a problem for them, all the aircraft sent so far - except the two ex TC's on Friday cannot take everyone.

This being the 'new last week' of the season, the flights are full going back. So yesterday the East Midlands took the overspill, from the Gatwick and Newcastle flights.

Later the Manchester flight left some folks at the Skiathos Palace for another night. For some reason the thought of a night in the Palace, rather than Manchester was not appealing ...

The Manchester flight today, it's details are still to be posted, (Will update when details are confirmed) If you were not on the one yesterday, you probably will be put on the one today. I would take another night in the Palace, even a garden no view room, but that is me ...

The aircraft for the Gatwick trip, for sure will not be big enough, to return all the customers. Its an MD83 from the museum, a piece of aviation history. Its been here before so around 20 will stay from that one. The airlift is working, It's just the short runway stops them sending a bigger aircraft.

Repatriation flights - 29th September

New flight details - Gatwick
Date 29 September
Flight code ZT1181
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 18:40
Arrival time (local) 21:10

New flight details - Manchester
Date 29 September
Flight code FR527
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 19:00
Arrival time (local) 22:10

By tonight over 2000 passengers will have returned to the UK, on the minus side the island is missing 2000 paying customers enjoying their holidays. Many of whom have gone elsewhere.

A lot of people are in shock here, with what happened. People are panicking about next year's holidays, on the groups and forums, and TC only went under six days ago.

Owners have no idea, who they will be dealing with, let alone what aircraft will come.

It's early days, someone will step in, there will be planes and holidays. Just nothing will be sorted for a while yet ... 

Don't panic 😳 ...

Late News

Yes do panic,  if you are waiting for the Ryanair to Manchester - Grab your toothbrush, you are off to the Palace ...

Your aircraft has returned to base, Its gone tech ...

Previous Blog: Repatriation flights - 28th September ...

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Repatriation flights - 28th September ...


From day one, teams from the UK Embassy in Athens have been assisting Thomas Cook customers return home on repatriation flights for affected passengers from 13 airports across Greece.

Officials representing the Civil Aviation Authority, and staff from the British Embassy Athens and British Consular Network Greece have joined forces to offer their assistance on the ground.

HM Ambassador Kate Smith CMG along with team members in Skiathos ...



Repatriation flights - 28th September ...

Today its the turn of the delayed flights to Gatwick, Manchester and Newcastle, which were rescheduled from yesterday ...

As an added bonus they will all be operated by 'Ryanair' ...

RYR4 which will return to Newcastle ...
RYR6 which will return to Gatwick ...
The aircraft are smaller though, so apparently, 20 people from the Newcastle flight and 20 from the Gatwick flight, will go on the East Midlands flight ...

RYR10 which will return to EMA
RYR8 Which will return to Manchester
Don't forget to buy a lottery ticket on board, one lucky person will win a Million, others a flight to a destination of their choice, but will it include Skiathos ...

New flight details - Newcastle
Date 28 September
Flight code FR215
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Newcastle (NCL)
Departure time (local) 12:20
Arrival time (local) 14:50

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

New flight details - Gatwick
Date 28 September
Flight code FR215
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 13:20
Arrival time (local) 16:15

-----//----- -----//----- -----//-----

New flight details - Manchester
Date 28 September
Flight code FR213
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Manchester (MAN)
Departure time (local) 18:35
Arrival time (local) 21:40

Woof! - Update ...

The hound has settled in quite well, he is very much like his real owner.

White fur, coughs a bit, wanders around with me, eats at set times, and has the occasional touch of wind. I also have to make sure I don't tread on him as he is a lot shorter and slower than me ...

Likewise rather partial to a take away from Mr Koziakis ...

Friday, 27 September 2019

Repatriation flights - 27th September ...

Gatwick - Manchester - Newcastle
Now delayed until Saturday 28th September ...

Unless otherwise notified, passengers should get to Skiathos (JSI) airport by 17:00 on Friday 27 September where hotel accommodation will be provided.

Stansted - New flight details
Date 27 September
Flight code ZT1079
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport Stansted (STN)
Departure time (local) 13:20
Arrival time (local) 15:10
-----//-----
East Midlands - New flight details
Date 27 September
Flight code ZT1005
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport East Midlands (EMA)
Departure time (local) 19:50
Arrival time (local) 22:55

Woof ! ...

I am now on official dog sitting duty ...

The hound is settling in and behaving himself. Even allowed me to nip out, and attend our 'end of season team meeting' at Amfiliki last night.

We had a meze, and some fantastic fish, but they were devoured before, I could get a photo.Here is the Barbounia, which 'landed' at my end of the table ...


Afterwards, it was 'let's go to Totem' however, as I have 'new responsibilities' two of us went to Freggio, for ice cream, I bought my colleague, the 'chocolate with cherries' as she was almost hyperventilating just looking at the display.

She said afterwards 'I had made her dreams come true' hows that for a compliment! 'cough cough' 😳 ...

If only I had known, that ice cream was the way to go, years ago. Out on the town, two nights running, I can't keep up with it 🍸 ...

Late News

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 11 - Wasps 0 ...
At the same moment, boom goes the dynamite, in honour of this achievement 
(1st Wasp despatched since 27th August)

Later News - A recount ...

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 12 - Wasps 0 ...

(1st Wasp despatched since around 10am, Left handed square cut, wafted outside the off stump)

Previous Blog: Meeting with our Ambassador in Greece ...

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Meeting with our Ambassador in Greece ...

Well that was interesting ...

Last night in the hall of the island council. We were in the presence of the UK ambassador to Greece Katherine Lucy Smith CMG ...


Introduced to us by the Mayor of Skiathos Thodoris Tzoumas ... 


It was a very well attended meeting, with around a quarter of the islands UK residents attending in person.  The Mayor welcomed the residents to the meeting and was quite clear how important the island UK community are to the island. This also addressed by the ambassador in her opening address to us, as UK residents in Greece.

We were advised that everything to be discussed was already in the public domain, however, quite clear its a lot more involved with negotiations, at the local level within the EU countries, than we are led to believe.

The embassy team here on Skiathos had been at the airport, dealing with the first day of the Thomas Cook repatriation flights. So were late arriving for the meeting. Must have been quite a day as that did not exactly go to plan.

Just as this was being explained, the much-delayed repatriation flight to London Gatwick passed by. The aviation museum piece, that was thundering out over the harbour, drowned out the detail from the top table.

There was clarification on UK government policy, in the event of a 'Brexit deal, or no deal' ...

There followed a question and answer session, open to the residents to address matters arising or any personal concerns.

Discussions on Animal charities, Biometric documentation, Driving licences. Employment, Public and Private Healthcare, Pensions, Pet and Human passports, Reciprocity for nationals, Residency permits, Visa requirements, and the 90 day stay in every six months for visitors.

A number of the issues are ongoing and require further clarification, and communication.

After the meeting, the Mayor Mr Tzoumas posted on his FB page the following ...

The Municipality of Skíathos would like to thank the UK Embassy in Athens for holding a meeting in order to update Skiathos UK residents on issues concerning Brexit. 
We would also like to inform all UK residents that we will be standing by throughout, to assist, answer questions and offer any help, if needed. UK in Greece

It will become clearer for sure, in the next five weeks ...

Previous Blog: Repatriation flights and Embassy meeting ...

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Repatriation flights and Embassy meeting ...

Cracking electrical thunderstorm last night and a downpour ...


Currently, it looks like this, wild skies this morning ...



Hopefully its passed, and we will not get another to affect todays rescue flights, as the first 600 Thomas Cook passengers return to the UK

All of the following details are confirmed and can be viewed here

Bristol
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 12:45
Flight NO3051
Aircraft 73H
Check-in 03-07
Gate 1A
Operated by Meridiana/Neos Italian airline

London LGW
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 14:55
Flight ZT1107
Aircraft M83
Check-in 01-04
Gate 1A
Operated by Danish Air Transport MD-83 OY-RUE

Manchester
Scheduled 25-09-2019 - 15:25
Flight ELB2112
Aircraft 319
Check-in 05-08v
Gate 2A
Operated by Ellinair a Greek airline and will return via Thessaloniki

These were the only details available, posted on the doors at the airport last night ...

               

There will be representatives from the embassy in Athens, based at the airport to assist with enquiries, from 9am to 5pm ...

Also on the doors to the airport, were the details of tonights, Brexit meeting for island residents.


Friend of the blog Basil writes that he has been advised by Athens, to bring his passport, to the meeting.

If he disappears in plastic handcuffs, and towards the airport, you will hear about it here ...

Previous Blog: Here we go again ...

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Here we go again ... (NEW FLIGHT DETAILS ADDED)

Yesterday was quite a day ...

This morning though, it looked like this ...


Yes its probably going to rain, the signs are there ...

Met friends to discuss dog sitting arrangements. Yes, am going to be looking after a hound for a week or so. It should be fun, as I have become rather attached to another one, here on the island - So divided loyalties next few weeks ...

The Thomas Cook fiasco continues, with the experts on Radio TV and mainly facebook.

It takes me back to past experiences, to me whenever companies merge the poor management, it seems end up with the top jobs. They adopt the business model that they know best and often bring the good name of the company down. Certainly seems to be the case to me, have been there, and witnessed at first hand, so ticked those boxes ...

Thoughts of course, are with all those who have lost their jobs and income, Here there were some very sad locals yesterday because they live on tourism. People will be laid off, some places will just shut, and staff will go back to the mainland earlier than planned. As for the Christmas bonus ...

The island is waking up to an expected €2m hit, with two hotels reporting a 600,000 loss and another a 400,000 loss. With around 3000 TC guests still on the island, and no incoming arrivals for the last week of the season from TC.

Those missing folks will not be redistributing their hard-earned cash on the island, in the bars, tavernas and shops.

They will not be taking boat trips, to explore the other islands or the mainland. They won't be on the bus or taking a taxi. They won't be hiring a car, or buying petrol, or picking up a bargain in the sales. They won't be leaving a tip for the hard-working maid ...

Some people i know went through this with XL/Kosmar ten years ago, then went with Monarch holidays, who packed up and ended up saved with a Thomas Cook deal.

The men in suits from the rival companies, will soon be here to pick over the carcass of the TC offer. You can't blame the locals looking at the bank balance and thinking. Perhaps we will go with a company, and a country nearer to home.

I am amazed so many did not see it coming, its been in the news for months, as they struggled on,  hoping for a bailout from China and Russia. Folks blaming the UK government for not propping them up. Ask yourself this, they had £1.6b of debt, they cannot service, just how far would £200m last - a couple of weeks? ...

Yes the UK government saved the banks, rather than bankrupt the financial services industry, but it still stuffed the UK economy overnight, but they did not save Carillion, or British Steel either. They could not run a railway so privatised everything they could. Even Gordon Brown flogged the gold reserves. Why would they nationalise a travel company - It's against EU rules ...

Last night Adria went bust, who are they? Well they operate the flights from Slovenia. Someone else on the island, is taking a hit this morning, whose going to be next? ...

I hear on the radio, the marxist John McDonnell is going to build 1m new homes in the UK over 10 years, when elected. That's 100,000 homes a year, 1923 homes each week. With a 4 day working week that equals a required run rate of 60 homes every hour. Thank goodness Diane Abbot is the shadow chancellors accountant ...

Skiathos Life are reporting that TC repatriation flights are scheduled for the 25th, 27th and 29th September, by the UK Civil Aviation Authority ...

Tomorrow night we have the British embassy here, to chat about Brexit. I do hope they are flying in, as the Ferries are all on strike today ...

Late News:

Repatriation Flight details

Original Flight
Date 25 September
Flight code MT1107
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 14:55
Arrival time (local) 16:30

New flight details
Date 25 September
Flight code ZT1107
Departure airport Skiathos (JSI)
Arrival airport London Gatwick (LGW)
Departure time (local) 14:55
Arrival time (local) 16:30


Previous Blog: Dont just book it ...