Sunday, 8 December 2019

Back soon ...

Apologies for the quiet period ...

A very busy week and learned today a dear friend has passed away. Quite a shock for those on Skiathos who knew this lovely lady.

Heck of a shock for SWMBO, as this lady rescued us, when we were in dire straights with Junior, and SWMBO was in intensive care.

This Angel, is with the Angels. Our thoughts are with their lovely, decent hard working Skiathos family ...

Truly gutted by the news ...

Later update from Skiathoslife  ...

Skiathos suddenly lost a young woman who was generously sharing her smile. Anna Panderas, 48, did not wake up this morning while in Volos with her husband Stefanos Panderas (City Clerk) for cardiac examinations. 

Anna has been receiving treatment for arrhythmias in her heart lately while going to Volos for examinations.


Anna with her husband Stefanos Panderas Municipal employee
Unfortunately this morning, however, her husband found that she was not waking up. She called EKAB Volos where doctors found her dead.

Anna, 48, together with Stefanos, had 4 children: Dimitris, Sebastian, Jacob and Sonia.

The funeral of Agneska Koulanga (Anna) Panderas will take place on Tuesday after 11 (the hour will be announced shortly) from the Metropolitan Church of the Three Hierarchs of Skiathos where it will be transported directly after the ship arrives from Volos

Previous Blog: Lovely weather ...

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Lovely weather ...

At least for now ...


Skiathos weather are advising, 'Expecting a gradual strengthening of the winds this evening, with intensities of up to 7 beaufort from a north-west direction for the island.

Big drop in temperature to about 10 degrees (maybe even the first winter single digits) for tomorrow morning.

Slight deterioration with rain from Tuesday night' ...

Happy St Andrew's Day, to the Scots readers ...

Previous Blog: Ryanair update from the Mayor ...

Friday, 29 November 2019

Ryanair update from the Mayor ...

'Connecting with low-cost airlines is a priority for the Municipal Authority, as it will make it easier to open up to new markets, so that the burden of initiatives will be shifted in this direction.

After many months of communication, the Mayor of Skiathos, Theodoris Tzoumas, was in Dublin today (28.11.2019) for a meeting on the part of the Municipality to include Skiathos in our country's destinations where Ryanair has a flight schedule. . The Mayor met with Aisling Fitzpatrick, Ryanair's Route Manager Developer, according to whom now is the right time to work together on the 2021. Flight schedule. 



The proposal of the Municipal Authority is to link Dublin and Brussels, but also destinations from traditional markets of Skiathos, from cities with no flights.

To achieve this, there is a need to work with the Hoteliers Association and the Fraport administration. In this regard, the Municipal Authority will trigger this synergy in order to speed up the procedures leading to the launch of the new air link.Ryanair is Europe's largest airline, serving over 153 million visitors a year on more than 2,400 daily flights from 86 routes, with Greece having 2 bases and 13 destinations, up 6% by 2020.

At the same time, the Municipality is cooperating with the company Easy Jet, following the meeting held at the London WTM 2019 exhibition, with the Mayor, Paul Bixby Strategic Planning Director of easyJet and the President of the Alexander Eustachian Hoteliers Association. 

The announcement of Skiathos' direct connection to Paris for the summer of 2020 by transavia is expected by the end of December, as emerged from a meeting with representatives of Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis, the Mayor, and the Deputy Mayor and Tourism Relations, at the IFTM Top Resa 2019 Paris Exhibition, in which the Municipality participated in cooperation with EOT'

Dublin flight to return, I called that one on the previous blog. If anyone wants to share EuroMillions tonight - Get in touch ...

Previous Blog: Wet Wet Wet ...

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Wet Wet Wet ...

It tipped down last night ...

The streets awash and thousands of ants, with hobnail boots hammering on the roof. Very wet indeed and this morning, the streets are very damp and its very slippery on the cobbles...

At least if they dry out today, they will be clean ...

Ryanair update ...

The mayor of Skiathos, Thodoris Tzoumas, will travel to Dublin, today to meet with Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary. The two men will discuss the company operating flights to Skiathos. (We live in hope) ...

Could this see the return of the long lost Dublin flight? ...

Hustings ...

I always thought Andrew Neil was a Scotsman, clearly not. He is Greek, he has well and truly skewered, Nicola Kranky, and Jeremy Catweazle last couple of days.

Prince Andrew are you free for a chat about souvelaki? ...

Very sad news, just hearing that Gary Rhodes has passed away at just 59 RIP ...

Previous Blog: Flight Prices ...

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Flight Prices ...

I stumbled across a bargain last night ...

Look at these prices ...


These prices include a 'No surcharge guarantee' a hot meal on board, and your luggage of 20kg, is included. Along with a basic accommodation voucher, just in case you have nowhere to stay ...

Last departure 'back from the rock' was on Wednesday 23rd October ...

Yes that's right, I said the 23rd October ...

That's when we still had hot weather this year, and were frying in the sun at the Bamboon bar. Only the planes had gone home and Skiathos had gone to bed - Oops the mainland ...

When you think the last inbound to London Gatwick next year, is on the 24th of September in 2020. The season is now one month shorter unless, you fly from the other side of the M25 ...

Previous Blog: Bad Weather ...

Monday, 25 November 2019

Bad weather. ...

Seems to be on its it's way ...


It's been forecast but like anything else, it's best to look out of the window, to check ...

It's Cyclone Geryon that would have been, another medicine, if it had been warmer

Storms and strong southern winds are its characteristics initially with rain and north winds thereafter.

We have had rain showers, overnight. This is how its expected to be after 06:00am ...


Expecting a rough day, but it could always go somewhere else ...

06:30am: Thunderstorm to the south of the island, rumbling away ...


07:00am: Rain and a window rattler ...

Due to the bad weather, the "Express Skiathos" route scheduled for 8am from Volos has been cancelled. No Dolphin until tomorrow as it's broken ...

Weather seems to have passed by ...

Later Update

Popped out after the storm, wearing long trousers for a spot of bureacracy. Yes of course, it brought the sun out, and I was sweating like a so and so, in an office where they had the heating cranked up, to 'mid july' in direct sunlight ...

I went into a shop for some spare parts, and some good old fashioned customer service ...

I see you have these can I buy some? No, they are just for show ...
Can I order some? No
Do you know where I can get some? No
Is the boss in? No
Why are you here ??? No answer ...

In the end, she dragged herself away from Facebook, and called the boss in Athens ...

Yes I have the parts the set will cost €30 x 3 = €90
I need two small items from each set and 95% of the kit they can keep
Or I can buy a whole new door with the parts I need attached, and throw the rest away ...

Look out B&Q I have a challenge for you ...

Previous Blog: Panagia Kounistria (2) ...

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Panagia Kounistra - (2)

Following on from yesterdays post (Link at foot of the page) ...

14:00 Church bells were ringing out over town, as the procession started, and I was ready and waiting, with the camera and trusty Merrils for a stroll across the hills ...

14:15 The icon arrived at Acropolis with the Mayor and the Pappas


Danos was all ready to go - Barefoot ...


14:30 At Ftelia you climb up the cement road by Villa Ella

14:45 Summit of the 1st climb from bus stop 5 above Ftelia through the Olive groves ...


14:50 On to the 2nd climb up the goat path towards Katsarou, near Kivos suites ...


15:05 After Katsarou head down the valley, and on to the red road ...


15:20 The beehives at the junction above Platanias valley. Bees still busy ...


1555 Summit of the 3rd climb up and after the zig zags above Aghia Pareskevi What a sunset good to watch as the ears are thumping with the sound of your own heartbeat ...


16:00 Arrival at Kounistria monastery after being serenaded again by shotguns ...


You chat and exchange Xronia Polla's with friends and neighbours as they arrive ...


Never has a Greek coffee tasted so good as it does here, after the 12km hike across the hills from town. The cookie they give you is also very welcome along with the pat on the back from friendly locals ...

17:00  I took the bus to town - Packed as normal and non stop to Acropolis ...


18:00 Well after the hike, I certainly think I deserved this, and the calf muscles were a little tight ...


Thursday 21st November ...

This morning from 5am the Icon returned across the hills with the villagers, with those who stayed overnight at the monastery. Some went back on the bus at 04:45am.

All the cafes stop what they are doing and stand as the icon returns, from Kounistria, and is paraded around town back to Tries Hieraches ...


Vagelis Katsouras (L) ...

Panagia Kounistra

Congratulations to Angela who crossed the hills, for the first time, about an hour behind me with Alex and Nina ...
Previous Blog: Panagia Kounistra ...

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Panagia Kounistra ...

Today is the festival day of the Island - Panagia Kounistra ...

(Otherwise known as the Skiathos 12km)

The Skiathos Calendar by Betsy Barnard mentions ...

'21st Panayia Kounistra (The presentation of the mother of god in the temple, 
i.e. when she was taken to serve in the temple as a child aged about 12) 
On the morning of the 20th the miraculous icon is brought up to the top 
church and taken out of the town about 2.30. The bells ring in town at about 
1.00. People follow on foot on the old road to Kounistra. At the monastery 
of Kounistra an evening service, all night vigil, bonfires food, much 
feasting. Buses run to the monastery all evening. 
Early next morning, about 5am the icon is taken back along the old road to 
town, people following on foot. To Ayia Triada about 8am, down the old paved 
road to the Kalo Pigadi and along the main road to the Tries Hieraches. 
Service 9 - 10.30' ... 


It's been a grey breezy morning here and the church bells at Panagia Liminaria are ringing ...

Today its Panagia Kounistra, the days when the townsfolk return the icon, to the monastery at Kounistra in a pilgrimage across the hills on the old paths.

Most of the village will be walking this afternoon, starting from the top church - Panagia Limania, heading up to Acropolis. Young and old alike, many of the old ladies will be barefoot. They will be met at Acropolis by men with guns who serenade you with a volley of gunfire as the icon passes. Then climbing up on the old paths from Ftelia up to Katsarou, then over the hills on the red road, visiting shrines along the way, and finally up to the Monastery at Kounistra.

Once at Kounistra there will be a service and the villagers will rest and take coffee, tsipouro or make the return to town on special buses. Many will stay overnight with the Icon, then return in the morning over the hills to Tries Hieraches at first light.

Once again, I will be one of them ...

13:00hrs: Church bells and a volley of gunfire, from Acropolis. Shotgun pellets raining down as you pass Little balcony


The men with guns, raining shotgun washing down on us ...

13:20 Its trying to rain on the parade...

Previous Blog: Rising from the ashes

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Rising from the ashes ...

Its the day before the Panagia to Kounistria ...

The churches are being scrubbed within a millimeter of their life, in preparation for tomorrow's big event. Plenty of asvesti being applied to walls and steps around the town.

So after a coffee this morning went for a wander, and whilst up in Plakes, thought of Alison and Duncan. Friends of the blog, and a couple of conversations we had during the summer.

So it was high time to take a look at the renovations at the old αρχοντικο ruin. The home of the Ragia family, which sadly burned down in 2005 ...


Renovations have been taking place since April and are still ongoing today, Its been quite a while since I passed by, so popped up to take a look, at the men at work ...

How it was ...
Returning to former glory ...
I wrote about The most beautiful ruin of Skiathos back in 2014. What a change, and it's soon going to be stunning once again. Thanks in part to the actions of the mayor, Thodoris Tzoumas ...






No wooden floors this time, it's braced with steel ready for the concrete, which will strengthen the structure. Which despite the fire must have been in quite a good condition, having to be open to the elements for nearly 15 years ...

Last time I was inside - It was a touch dodgy, and with a Greek friend, I wish I had the photos.

Drinks on the balcony next year Duncan, Perhaps if we donate and reinstate the rose ...

Later Update 17:00hrs

On the evening before the Panagia, the church bells ring out over the town. As the Holy Icon of Kounistria is moved from Tries Hieraches up to Panagia Limania ...



Previous Blog: Grey day ...

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Grey day ...

That's the way it is today ...

Cool, grey and a day for sitting in a coffee shop looking out to sea.


Waiting for the trawlers to come back to port, around 5pm ...


Then go to see what they have dragged up from the depths ...

A few large spots of rain falling ...

For the record:

I am a fan of Pizza Express.  They give me a bottle of Prosecco for my birthday.

I can remember what I had that day in 1988. It was a quatro formagi pizza. A personal favourite at the time ...

When I got home, after one of the great nights of my life. I turned on the TV, only to find out that something awful had happened. Whilst I was having fun, hundreds of people had died ...

I will never forget that day ...


Should something ever really terrible happen in my life:

1) I do not want Prince Andrew's PR advice
2) I'm busy when Emily Maitlis asks for an interview

Woking are now serving a special pizza today. The “Prince Andrew”: It has a very thick crust, with extra sausage ...

Previous Blog: Its another stunning day ...