Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Last Day of April ...

Which means tomorrow is May Day ...

Its Labour Day, the workers holiday, and the start of the summer strike season.
The PNO (Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation) has announced a strike from 00.01 to 24:00.
All ships will remain in port, so not expecting any ferries to operate ...

May Day means its the first flight from Manchester, as the UK tourist season starts. No strikes affecting flights. So it should be fine for the Mancunian Expeditionary force, arriving with Thomas Cook.

However the airport, now has one operating conveyor belt, and the concrete has dried in time, for the taxis and coaches to operate. Expect chaos on Friday when the rest of Britain fly in ...

Yesterday was St Georges Day - Take 2

When St Georges day falls in Lent, its delayed until the Monday after Pasca.  So yesterday everyone called Yorgo, trooped off down to to the church and the lake named after the church to celebrate, their name day, with a blessing, from the most famous Yorgos of them all Pappa Yorgos.


Pappa Yorgos certainly knows how to celebrate, with the famous Skiathos dancers. Even the horsemen turned up to be blessed, with the horses.

Sadly no Horse race around the lake any more, as 'someone' tarmaced over the road, around the lake, to remove a piece of island history, from the island calendar. Potentially now five years or so later, loosing all the future votes from the island Yorgos clans, in the forthcoming election ...

It seems unforgiving electorates are not just a UK issue this May ...

Election meeting: Sunday May 5th at 2pm

Stuart advises: On Sunday May 5th at 2pm please join us at the Milos Taverna, Skiathos town to meet and chat with Thodoros Tzoumas who is running for Mayor on the 26th of May. All welcome and we look forward to seeing you. Thank you.

Previous Blog: Holy light ...

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Holy light ...

Arrives from Jerusalem, via Athens earlier this evening ...


On Holy Saturday evening, the Resurrection mass takes place. Everybody goes to church, each carrying an unlit white candle. At midnight, the priest announces the resurrection of Christ (Christos Anesti).

The Holy Light (Agio Fos) is then distributed by the priest to everyone.

Once the Priest has called out "Christos Anesti," everyone exchanges the same, saying "Christos Anesti" and, in response, "Alithos Anesti" (truly, He is risen) or "Alithos o Kyrios" (true is the Lord).

The Skiathos tradition continues ...


Skiathos, Resurrection in the Temple of Three Hierarchs, April 1950 ...
Photo by Dimitris Harisiadis.
Benaki Museum Archives.

Exactly the same service is taking place right now ...

Then there will be fireworks, gunshots, thunderflashes exploding. All this whilst the church bells are rung like crazy by a man in the bell tower, who showers us with bay leaves. Many will head straight for the tavernas, as the Orthodox fasting comes to an end, for Margaritsa soup, and roasted lamb or goat.

Then we return home to mark the houses with a cross, to give all those that pass through the door - Good luck for the year ...

Previous Blog: Μεγάλη Παρασκευή - Holy Friday – Megali Pareskevi ...

Friday, 26 April 2019

Μεγάλη Παρασκευή - Holy Friday – Megali Pareskevi ...

Καλημέρα σας  Καλή Ανάσταση ...

Good Morning all, Good Resurrection ...


This morning, the mourning bell will ring out from the church. It reminds us of the special meaning of the day, shops and businesses normaly close from midday.

All work must have stopped by midday,  all cleaning and preparations completed, and certainly no hammering of nails ...

Tries Hieraches church will be very busy as smartly dressed locals, visit to view the decorated Epitaphos, which has been prepared for tonights candle lit procession. The same at Panagia Limania
 Panagia H Limnia Epitaphos
Evagelistrias Epitaphos
The coffee shops and bars will be full, and the ouzerias, and tavernas serving just fish and shellfish dishes today, If you have never tried a Skiathos oyster, or sea anemones, they will be freely available today.

In Skiathos they follow the old traditions, and its magic to be here with your neighbours, walking the town tonight, in a candlelit procession shortly after 4am ....

Weather ...

The grey skies and blanket of sahara dust clearly visible on the satelite image ...


Hopefully conditions to improve for Sunday ...

Kαλό Πάσχα!

Summer is coming



The First charter flight for summer 2019 is en route to Skiathos 
Arkefly 287 from Amsterdam is inbound to the rock! ...

Its arrived ...



Summer has started 'On the Rock' - But first the traditional welcome ...



A quick wash and brush up ...

British Embassy Releases New Information Leaflet for Visitors to Greece

Visitors from the UK can find helpful advice and emergency words and numbers in the new leaflet, which is available if you: Click Here.

Previous Blog: Megali Pempti - Airport work update, and Southampton flight cancellation ...

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Megali Pempti - Airport work update, and Southampton flight cancellation ...

Μεγάλη Πέμπτη  - Holy Thursday – Megali Pempti ...

Today it will be children touring the town, with their hand made cross, decorated with flowers, after the communion service this morning. Some are quite simple affairs, made from bamboo tied together with wire. Others are apparent family heirlooms decorated with beautiful displays that any interflora florist would be proud of ...

The children will be touring the streets, this morning, knocking on neighbours doors, and hopefully gaining rewards for their efforts decorating their cross, with flowers representing the crucifixion.

Airport work update ...

Further update from our friend Steve in Skiathos ...

With the season opening tomorrow, with the first charter flight from Amsterdam due at 09:20am. The first UK flight arriving in just six days ...

Will the concrete be dry in time? ...






Dont forget the PPE and boots ...

Southampton - flylolo cancellation ...

So flylolo confirmed yesterday, that all their Southampton departures are cancelled for 2019.

Availability of the aircraft could not be guaranteed, due to the shortage of aircraft, following the grounding of the Boeing 737max fleet ...

Previous Blog: Holy Week (Megali Evdomada) ...

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Holy Week (Megali Evdomada) ...

Holy week has started ...

The last week of lent has begun, in earnest.

This week the church bells will be ringing out early, and every day for communion, and very well attended evening services. The churches will be full, standing room only, the singing from within, can be heard out in the streets and squares. The heady waft of incense as you pass by, many candles in the entrances for parishioners remembering absent friends and family.

This week those who are not fasting, tend to avoid eating meat anyway. But its not compulsory and its up to you what you do as you plan for next Sundays feast day.

This is the best week of the year, to be with Skiathos friends, and hopefully after the sprinkling of Sahara dust, the weather will improve for the festivities too ...

Previous Blog: Mayor Election - Thodoris Tzoumas ...

Monday, 22 April 2019

Mayor Election - Thodoris Tzoumas ...

With just a month to go, until the Mayor Election ...

Here is the website for the campaign by Thodoris Tzoumas.


See: https://www.skiathosmporoume.gr/

No sign of any others, at this stage unless you are on FB. If they appear will share them here ...

Previous Blog: Happy Easter ...

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Happy Easter ...

Or Palm Sunday in Greece ...

Whichever you prefer, have a great one ...


Now one is for basting the lamb, the other is for basting me. I think I have got that right ...

Previous Blog: Pink Moon tonight  ...

Friday, 19 April 2019

Pink Moon tonight ...

Probably best viewed through a Pink Gin ...

Skygazers should get an Easter treat this Good Friday as spring's annual pink moon graces the night sky.

Despite its name, the April full moon, called the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon in other cultures, actually has no apparent colour change.

However, the term pink moon is a Northern Native American reference to an early-blooming wildflower, which starts to pop up in the US and Canada at the start of spring.

Like any full moon, this one should be visible in all its glory, fully illuminated by the sun.

The full moon will reach its peak little after noon, at 12.12pm, though it will be more visible after dusk. The pink moon is particularly significant because it is used to set the date for Easter, which is the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.

Anecdotal evidence suggests labour can be induced by the lunar cycle and the start of a full moon, meaning the new full moon could have an impact on the impending royal birth. (Do we care ...)

Have a great Good Friday, wherever you are ...

Previous Blog: Tsougria: Is it or isnt it ? ...

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Tsougria: Is it or isnt it ? ...

According to thessaliaeconomy.gr/- It is up for sale ...

"At the hammer, (Up for auction?) The Greek State is preparing to pull out fifteen rocky islands scattered across the Greek seas, including the green island of Tsougria in the Sporades complex.


The Finance Ministry is expected to auction electronically and make it available to prospective investors, and some of these are expected to show great interest. The relevant bill is being discussed in the House.

Tsougria is situated opposite the port of Skiathos. It is covered with dense vegetation, pine trees and has many beautiful beaches, making it a popular destination during the summer months. 

The approach of the island is made by tourist boats from the port of Skiathos or from the port of Achladies. Its area is 1.14 sq. Km. It is administratively owned by the municipality of Skiathos.

According to the bill, the starting price for the auction will be determined by a new process that will include three main axes:

(a) the base price, to be set for each geographical area by decision of the Minister for Economic Affairs. 

b) The kind of activity, which will be represented by "weighting factors" that will change the base price.

c) The area of ​​the concession"

A 5* Hotel complex anyone? We shall see ...

Previous Blog: Airport works - Further update ...

Monday, 15 April 2019

Airport works - Further update ...

Further update from our friend Steve in Skiathos ...

"Met a friend at the airport this afternoon, and spoke to one of the security staff who we have known for some years.

She says the terminal will not be ready for the next 4-6 weeks, and that, until then, passengers on international flights will be using the domestic flights terminal. Which at the moment still does not have a working luggage carousel. (Time to sort that out of course..)

On the plus side, there is a lot of concrete going down, in what we assume to be the new parking area so some progress is being made" ...

Expect chaos on the first Friday of the season - May 3rd, or imagine you have wound the Skiathos clock back until the summer of 1994 ...

Previous Blog: Airport works, and a Flying Dolphin update ...

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Airport works, and a Flying Dolphin update ...

From our friend Steve in Skiathos ...

Who took these photos yesterday - 12th April. He advises ...

First Amsterdam flight arrives in 13 days, the first UK flight in 18 days.



Work has moved on since the last update but if you were a betting man. You might say the chances of it being ready are similar to being struck by lightning ...


Some familiar risks                                               The chance they will happen ...

Getting three balls in the UK national lottery        1 in 11
Dying on the road over 50 years of driving             1 in 85
Transmission of measles                                        1 in 100
Dying of any cause in the next year                       1 in 100
Annual risk of death from smoking 10 cigarettes per day 1 in 200
Getting four balls in the UK national lottery           1 in 206
Needing treatment in the next year after injury by a can/bottle/jar          1 in 1000
Needing treatment in the next year after injury by a bed/mattress/pillow 1 in 2000
Death by an accident at home                                1 in 7100
Getting five balls in the UK national lottery            1 in 11098
Death by an accident at work                                 1 in 40000
Death playing soccer                                              1 in 50000
Death by murder                                                    1 in 100000
Being hit in your home by a crashing aeroplane       1 in 250000
Death by rail accident                                            1 in 500000
Drowning in the bath in the next year                     1 in 685000
Getting six balls in the UK national lottery              1 in 2796763
Being struck by lightning                                        1 in 10000000

Insert airport work finishing on time, where you feel most appropriate ...

TUI have increased the carry on bag allowance, from 5kg to 10kg, which has got everyone excited.

This means very soon their aircraft will be rather like Ryanair. However in the small print the extra 5kg allownce, is not for hairdryers, kettles and toasters. Its for a hard hat, safety goggles and toetectors so you can transit the airport safely on arrival and departure ...

Flying Dolphin Erato

The flying dolphin, has again been struck down with mechanical failure. The boat may have to return to Piraeus for repairs. Future itinaries have been removed from the booking sites, which will be of some concern to Pasca travellers ...

Insert return of the dolphin, where you feel most appropriate ...

Previous Blog: Brexit: Greek Foreign Ministry Q&A website for UK nationals (Update) ...

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Brexit: Greek Foreign Ministry Q&A website for UK nationals (Update) ...

Of interest for the island residents ...

The British Embassy in Athens advise ...

The Greek parliament has further approved legislation that protects the rights of UK nationals and their family members living in Greece, in the event of no deal.

An explaination of the Law 4604/2019 has just been published, read more (in English) on the Greek Government’s EU Exit online platform ⬇️

See: #UKnationalsinEU

#Brexit

Matts view ...


Previous Blog: Beach Cleaning and Webcam ...

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Beach Cleaning and Webcam ...

Skiathos beaches getting ready for the new tourist season ...

The island, although it is the smallest of Sporades in size, receives more than 1.5 million tourists per year and the goal is to keep the numbers in the current tourist season.

A few days ago, a volunteer program for the environment was organized to clean the beaches as a whole, where more than 550 students and 75 volunteer citizens participated at the initiative of the Skiathos Cultural Association.

For 14 consecutive years the beaches are systematically cleaned by the bodies and the effort is based on volunteering, but also with the support of the Municipality of Skiathos and the Association of Hoteliers of the island.



The cleaning at the beaches of Lechouni, Kastro, Agios Panteleimonas, Lygariies, Agistros, Elias, Mandraki, Krifi Ammos, Siferi, Tarsanas as well as around the lake of Agios Georgios, Plakes and Pounta and underwater cleaning at the harbour of Skiathos. 

The initiative of the Skiathos Cultural Association, for the past seven years, large barrels washed up on the shore are collected and placed in the Mandraki forest area, as a water store in the event of a fire.

Weather permitting (The forecast this week has not been promising) Five areas are left pending, the cleaning, due to poor weather conditions, and planned for next weekend. These are the beaches of Aselinos, Megas Gialos, Agia Eleni and the islands of Arkos and Tsoukrias.

Cleaning of the most remote and inaccessible beaches has been undertaken by Skiathos Hoteliers Association, where access is only possible by boat, and so professional cleaners are required.

Webcam:

Rumors are rife, that friend of the blog and tireless campaigner Dennis N. Has won a commitment from the DIMOS, for the replacement of the Skiathos town webcam. Well done Dennis - Perhaps he would like to share his campaign victory here - Get in touch Dennis with all the details via email ...

One Mayor promised me a road to be named after someone - Still waiting and probably wants my vote this year cough cough ...

Previous Blog: Underwater clean - Skiathos Diving Centre ...

Monday, 8 April 2019

Underwater clean - Skiathos Diving Centre ...

Panagiotis Diolettas writes ...

Our diving center Skiathos Diving Centre today, (7/4/19) participated as it does every year in the volunteer effort of Greece. Let's do it Greece !! 



We took out hundreds of unusable and harmful objects that polluted the seabed of the New Port of Skiathos, such as batteries, tires, plastic items and plastic bags, bottles and even motorbikes. 


Of course, cleanup actions on our island do not stop there, they continue throughout the year as part of Project Aware of PADI's global effort for clean and lively seas. 

                   

Next appointment on 5/6/19 on the World Environment Day !!

Previous Blog: Airport Ferry and a weather update ...

New page - Property to rent 2019 ...

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Airport Ferry and a weather update ...

From our friend Steve in Skiathos ...

Who took these photos yesterday - 5th April. He advises ...

Still absolute chaos at the airport. Nowhere to park today, no sign of any areas where coaches will stop. Main terminal still a shambles. 3 weeks until the first Dutch flight and 26 days until the first UK arrivals. 

Some Greeks saying they have been told the work will not be finished until at least June. 

Rumours of temporary check-in desks being put outside the domestic flights terminal (presumably passport control also if this is the case). 

Time will tell.....






Dont worry 🤔 - Theresa May has written to the EU, asking for an extension to complete the work by 30th June 2019 😂 ...

Thessaloniki Ferry ...

It seems from news reports, once again the ferry Aqua Blue will connect the port of Thessaloniki with the Cyclades, Crete and the Sporades Islands this summer.

The Aqua Blue will run every Tuesday and Friday on the route Thessaloniki-Skiathos-Andros-Syros-Tinos-Paros-Naxos-Santorini-Crete (with return), and every Monday to the islands of Sporades (Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonisos).

Weather to detiriorate ...

Greece’s National Meteorological Service warns of a weather deterioration with heavy rainfalls and storms, locally with hail-falls and stormy South-East winds of up to 9 Beaufort in Central and South Greece.
The stormy south winds will also transfer Sahara Dust to the country.

Beach Cleaning - Sunday 7th April ...

The cleaning of Tsougrias today and Arkos, scheduled for tomorrow Sunday 7 April, are both postponed due to weather conditions. Rearranged for the following Sunday, April 14 at 10:00am

Good evening facebookers, thanks for visiting ...

Previous Blog: Bean Soup ...

New page - Property to rent 2019 ...

Friday, 5 April 2019

Bean Soup ....

Fancied something Greek tonight ...

Having been inspired by one of Marias recipes, from the Calma restaurant in Aghia Pareskevi.

Maria makes the most amazing Greek dishes, for her legion of fans up in the Platanias valley. She also has a very good cookbook, so if you pay her a visit, eat well and buy the book.

Maria posted a photo on the Skiathos Calma instagram account, and I thought - I will have a go at that ...

Calma Restaurant, Skiathos ( @skiathoscalma )
Beans = Fasoula / Φασόλια
Bean Soup = Fasoulada / Φασολάδα which was tonights meal ...

Recipe - See: My Greek Dish

I added a good shot of tomato puree, and a splash of worcester sauce, to the recipe and it goes very well with Garlic bread ...


Perfect for a day, when the hail is rattling off the windows ...

Later News:

The UK government has started issuing British passports without the words “European Union” even though the UK remains a full member of the bloc. It removed the two words from passport covers issued this week on the working assumption that Brexit day would have been 29 March.

Spot the difference ...
But the move has angered those applying for new passports who were hoping to hold on to an emblem of EU membership.

Previous Blog: Increased security measures at Passport control ...

New page - Property to rent 2019 ...

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Increased security measures at Passport control ...

Holidaymakers looking for a break in the Greek sunshine, have been warned of new security measures.

From Sunday 7th April, additional passport checks will be in place for Brits entering and leaving Greece - regardless of whether we stay in or leave the EU in the coming weeks.

The UK Government has now issued new travel advice for anyone travelling to Greece over the summer so travellers are aware of the changes.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned there will be additional passport checks for British tourists coming into Greece. These checks are not because of Brexit. The change actually applies to all EU citizens coming from outside the "Schengen area", who will now face delays at passport control.

Despite being in the EU, the UK is not in the Schengen zone, along with other member states Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania (Romania and Bulgaria are in the process of joining).

Non-EU states Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also in the area.

In statement the FCO said: "As of April 7, 2019, the Hellenic Police will begin implementing systematic passport control checks for all European citizens travelling to and from destinations outside the Schengen area (including the UK) in line with a 2017 Schengen Borders Code regulation.

"Increased waiting times at passport control are possible on departure from and arrival into Greece. You should ensure you arrive at the Greek airport in good time."

This means that, whatever happens to the UK's EU membership, you will be facing longer delays at passport controls if you are heading to or from Greece from the UK.

The changes could affect a lot of tourists, with British nationals making over three million visits to Greece every year.

Not good news for the dash from Desires - even if they finish the airport works in time ...

Potential bad news for island ex pats ...

'Apparently an EU official has confirmed' that it will be illegal for travellers to bring animal-based products from the UK to the EU, in luggage if there’s a NO DEAL Brexit.

This includes bacon, black pudding, ham, sausages, & pasties.

Previous Blog: Beach Cleaning team - Krifi Amos ...

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Beach Cleaning team - Krifi Amos ...

Well done to the team of ex-pats, who turned out to clean the beach at Krifi Amos this morning ...




Photos - The Cultural Association of Skiathos


Monday, 1 April 2019

Kαλό μήνα - Summer is coming ...

Καλό μήνα - Απρίλιος ...

Kalo Mina - Good Month - Aprílios - April is here ...

Just another 33 days to go, the summer are coming ...


Come on own up, Who has not booked yet, or who has started packing yet ?
TUI have been flogging holidays for 2020, for a month or so, what are you waiting for?

Between now and May 3rd there is the small matter of Pasca - Greek Easter, so about thirty days left to get the paint pots out, and prepare the menus. So time to book, or pack, what are you waiting for ...

Talking of wet paint, the Express Skiathos returns today

The weather? - Check out my new weather wotsit over there  >>===>

Just a thought ...

Ukraine has elected a comedian to run the country, in the first election. Not enough votes for a clear victory, so they will run the second round next weekend. Meanwhile the UK simply persists with clowns - I think Julian Clary might be up for PM if you ask him nicely ...

Late Mayor Election news - Panagiotis Dioletta is Candidate for Mayor of Skiathos

Panagiotis Dioletta's candidacy for the Municipality of Skiathos was closed after a meeting between his associates yesterday. Panagiotis Dioletas is a Municipal Councilor of Skiathos with Dimitris Prevezano, President of the Tourism Promotion of the Municipality of Skiathos and Vice-President of Skiathos. 
Experienced in tourism and engaging in a diving school in the summer months 
The combination will consist of a team from the combination of Dimitris Prevezanos and many new candidates who will go for the first time in the municipal elections. Panagitis Dioletta has a great experience in the administration as well President of Tourism Promotion in the last years and under the guidance of Dimitris Prevezanos Skiathos has managed to have a serious presence at the international tourism fairs that he participated in but also to open new markets s flight and in collaboration with Fraport ...

Previous Blog: Dont forget to ...

New page - Property to rent 2019 ...