Saturday, 31 August 2019

Last ferry changes ...

All change ...

From the Central Port of Volos announced that the ferry "Express Skiathos" changes the timetable wef Monday 2nd to 10th September 2019. (After which the Blue Star ferry Naxos is to transfer to the Sporades, and will cover the "Express Skiathos" from 11 September until the end of the month)

Express Skiathos will depart Monday to Sunday, from the port of Volos at 8am to Skiathos, Glossa, Skopelos and Alonissos return and sails into the port of Volos at  17.45.

So the last double run from Volos is tomorrow, Sunday 1st September...

That's the last chance to make the trip to Skopelos town, take the bus back to Glossa for the return with Hellenic.

ANES Proteus timetable here if you want to plan it with them ...


Power cuts ...

Regular readers will know there have been a few power supply problems, over the last few weeks. Due to an issue from the supply, which originates over on Pilion.

Engineers have not been able to resolve the issue, so an appeal has been circulated for further technical support, from the regional authority over in Volos ...


Bumped into Eilleen and Hugh last night, who were the first friends to help out SWMBO back in 2015. Put the world to rights and a celebratory Apostolakis on the way.

They reminded me of the night we put Kabourelia to bed at 3am, with the famous Stig. Alkis and Yorgo put another load of tsipouro bottles on the table and said to us, you get on with it. We are off home to bed ...

Apparently, Stig has left the island, Townboy is on his way tomorrow. It must be getting near Mr Malcom time. It looks like September is shaping up nicely once again ...

Busy day tomorrow so will be off to bed, and the blog tomorrow will probably be Xronia Polla - or something like that ...

Previous Blog: Fit people ...

Late News: Can't help but notice the irony of these anti-brexit lunatics screaming about democracy. When they are hell bent on overturning the biggest democratic vote in British history ...

Friday, 30 August 2019

Fit people ...

Who is up for ...

Round the Island - Swim ...

Ray Morris one of the island residents, is planning on a five day swim around Skiathos.


It's an ambitious project, and he is doing it as a fundraiser, for the dog and cat programs here on the island.

Here are the details:

https://gogetfunding.com/skiathos-around-the-island-swim/


"Skiathos Trail Run 2019" ...

For the 8th consecutive year ...

This year's 21km Mountain Run Semi-marathon "Skiathos Trail Run 2019" (18 years and over) will be held, as well as the 10km Urban Trail on the cobbled streets of Skiathos Town. (Aged 16 and over), on Sunday, September 22, 2019, with the cost of participating at € 10.

While providing low-cost accommodation options and discounts on athlete ferry tickets, as well as additional activities such as a free pasta party the night before too. Our little friends will also be running, as each year, selected 0.5 km and 1.5 km distances.

For more information and registration, you can visit the official race website www.skiathosrun.gr


In the photo, Plakes, part of the route that athletes will follow on the cobbled streets of the city ...

Not feeling fit? ...

How about a meze instead, and a lazy lunch ...




Yes indeed, with a few tsipouro's you know it makes sense ...

Previous Blog: Long hot morning ...


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Long hot morning ...

... in the vegetable garden, feeding and watering, weeding and tidying.

Removing the dead and dying unhealthy leaves. Pulling the weeds, and adding them to the growing heap that will become the autumn bonfire.

TBH it has been a good while since I had a proper morning in the garden, and I do love it, despite the fact that I often come in battered and bruised and scratched. Looking back at it now I’m not sure I can see exactly what I’ve accomplished today, but it looks fine for now, but in a few days the weeds will strike back.

This little vegetable garden has been good to me and delivered the goods despite at times issues with water, and almost constant high temperatures, and with little shade.

No need for irrigation as the sweat was dripping like a running tap, in a sauna.

The fruits of my Skiathos summer ...


Aubergines: Slow to produce, but cropped well and have overdosed on them baked with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Beetroot: Lost most of these due to a sheep visiting, some remain but have planted more for autumn.

Celery: Suffered from the lack of water,  and being in the process of going to seed. Will need to see how it comes back in autumn, but looks promising.

Cucumbers: Prolific growth, heavy croper. They grow quickly and can grow too big between visits. Too big they become bitter and seeds need to be removed, and dried for another summer.

Coriander: Hard to establish in the heat but we had some and perhaps an autumn supply to come.

Parsley: Had gone to seed - stored for another crop. Had to cut it back hard to save the bed. We shall see if it comes back after the lack of water. For now there are green shoots springing up everywhere.

Peppers: Bell peppers were slow to produce, they do not like the soil, to produce again will need a lot of preparation work. Romano peppers were good, but took forever to ripen, probably the same issues as above.

Radishes: These grow well, fiery and can grow too big very quickly. A great favourite of SWMBO in a salad and grated in olive oil to reduce the heat

Red Onions: Not as many as I would have liked but we have a crop.

Rocket: The sheep found them very much to their liking too, but some came back and were enjoyed.

Salads: Too hot so lost in the weeds which grow faster. Try again in autumn

Spinach: Like the salads it suffered with the heat, but in a shaded position it grew well. We had a meal or two out of it where the salad failed.

Spring Onions: They did very well, some will be nice sized onions for a cheese roll and a beer.

Tomatoes: Beef type: Were excellent as long as they had good water supplies, fell victim of the wind on the plot. Standard type bolted in the heat, but have delivered the goods.

Light lunch Cucumber,  Radish Tomato and Olive oil ...
Have to say the tomatoes have been excellent, so sweet and tasty and I do not get tired of eating them every day, Even enough to make great sauces, and a few litres of soup for winter - if it lasts that long in the freezer ...

Zucchini:  I had the wrong type, which grew to five a side footballs, we sliced them, fried them, baked them, but best when small and sweet, no larger than a golf ball. I have dried them as garden ornaments, like small pumpkins, might come in handy at halloween ...

What to plant next ...

Previous Blog: Kalispera ...

Monday, 26 August 2019

Kalispera ...

All change -  Καλή Επιτυχία ...


Thodoris Tzoumas - Mayor of Skiathos
A new era for the island of Skiathos promised Thodoris Tzoumas, the newly elected mayor of Skiathos, as he gave his Oath of Allegiance yesterday evening in the Bourtzi theatre in front of the people and the authorities of the island.


Good to see some of the island ex-pats there last night at the Bourtzi theatre, along with the famous Stig (Flight price co-ordinator for Scandanavia UFN) ...


A lot of issues holding affecting the island and people have really put their hopes in Mr Tzoumas and his team's vision, in order to follow a path of growth and cooperation. '

We have a lot of hard work ahead- our commitment is to be proved worthy of your trust'  said the new mayor, after thanking the locals for entrusting him with their vote, in his address to the packed audience where it was standing room only ...

Let's be honest things can only get better, and it will be a job of compromise and negotiation. He can only succeed if the opposition parties support him in his plans for the future.

Last night's affair was quite a dignified affair. Over in Skopelos, they did the deed in a conference room, when the new mayor Stamatis Perisis gave his Oath of Allegiance yesterday afternoon.

After the ceremony, the mayor and his company went to a local taverna to celebrate and Mr Perisis showcased his dance talents, by performing the traditional male dance of Greece, the Zebekiko!

'Strictly Come Dancing' may have a new opportunity here on the islands ...

Tax inspectors ...

Whilst the celebrations were taking place last night, the inspectors were getting busy on the harbours, checking employment documentation. This swiftly resulted in a couple of closures ...

The inspectors are tasked on the islands to enforce the rules up until the 31st October. From what we saw last night, they are doing their job very well indeed ...

Stig witnessed another rare event - A non cloudy Ouzo, must be the effect of the local controllers on the contents of the bottle!

They were not the only ones feeling the heat last night (Skiathians laptop is too) ...

Ashes to Ashes ...

The Aussies were feeling the heat yesterday too ...


Cop hold of that Australia - Game on ...

Even the Gatwick flight was feeling the heat last night. It nipped off to Kavala for fuel. This unusual for the LGW service, (Probably overweight with goodies to avoid Greek week at Lidl) no doubt the passengers are feeling the heat up in London where its the hottest Bank Holiday weekend ever recorded.

London 33.2C v Skiathos 30.6C - Should have stayed another week, and chilled ...

When the tide turns ...

Last night the Express Skiathos was completely full 1200 passengers, only it was heading for Volos. The earlier trip had been busy from the mainland, the live entertainment onboard being the dancers for the Skopelos dance festival ...

Down at the airport, there have been a busy couple of days with private jets arriving with customers to be whisked off to the yachts in Megali Amos and Koukounaries bay.

Where today the Emir of Qatar is said to be enjoying his extended holiday in the Greek islands. Aboard his yacht Al Mirqab which is offshore - too far away for me to see all the toys this year, or to get a clear photo from the Skiathos Palace this morning ...

Al Mirqab update 27th August.

Photo below Skiathos Palace ...

Troulos #towelgate rumbles on, and the comments on the recent thread are brilliant - Thank you Dennis and Phil ...

Latest score from the fly swat Skiathian 10 - Wasps 0 ...

Previous Blog: 75 Years on yesterday ...

Saturday, 24 August 2019

75 Years on yesterday ...

The dark days of 1944 were remembered yesterday ...


                                                          





The new Mayor-elect Thodoris Tzoumas with Dimitris Prevanzanos the current mayor of Skiathos ...


Late News ...

Rumors the Blue Star ferry Naxos is to transfer to the Sporades, and will cover the annual immobility of the "Express Skiathos" from 11 September until the end of the month.

Previous Blog: 75 years ago today ...

Friday, 23 August 2019

75 years ago today ...

Memorial Day for Skiathos ...

75 years since the burning of Skiathos


The Mayor of Skiathos, Mr. Dimitrios Prevezanos, invites you to the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the burning of Skiathos by the German occupation troops on August 23, 1944

09:00 - Divine Liturgy at the Temple of the Three Hierarchs.

10:00 - Doctrine of the Nazi Threat

10:30 - Wreath laying at the memorial by El Greco

This morning, locals and strangers alike will be walking the streets of the town, enjoying the colour and fun of Skiathos. Hopping on boats in the old harbour, waiting for the ferry. Probably totally unaware of what happened here, on a glorious summer day, just like this one. 

When the boats arrived from Volos - 75 Years ago today ...

Previous Blog: Troulos troubles ...

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Troulos troubles ...

I am reliably informed ...

There is some upset at the number of sunbeds reserved by 07:30am on Troulos beach. Apparently, at crack of sparrows, the beds are being reserved by a procession, of towel reservationists. Who slide off back to bed. Returning around lunchtime to take up residence ...

Troulos has a high population of Brits, cant be them can it ???

Talk of dumping them in the sea, etc, which is not eco-friendly at all, and will get you in trouble with our new mayor. Common sense must prevail. Just pop them in the back of the 4x4, and whip them up to the pet friendly society's, where they will be well received, as a donation for winter use.

I could do with a few new beach towels, so if you could leave the 'John Lewis' ones to the side, Much appreciated will collect around 07:45 - see you in the morning ...

Last nights view from the rock ...



More aviation fuel in time for Friday ...


Old moon over the Pounta ...


Not sure which one to take ...

Round the Island (1) ...
Mamma Mia (2) ...

Previous Blog: Mamma Mia ...

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Mamma Mia ...

The sun has moved again ...

Almost rising behind the Mamma Mia island of Skopelos, Now rising one hour later than midsummers day.


Natures version of a lie in ...

If you are on the island or coming to the island only one more month to see Mamma Mia at the open air cinema, before it closes for the final time ...

Star Flyer returned this morning ...

8am ...

Star Flyer will be moored offshore, in Megali Amos bay, from around 08:00am. Its third and final visit to Skiathos this season, on its scheduled Mamma Mia cruise itinerary ...


It will look good after dark when its all lit up, and it's scheduled to be departing at midnight for Skopelos ...

One hour less light, but the vegetable garden is still producing the goods ...


At least when they say did you grow these yourself, I can say yes to the locals.

Taste very good too ...

Later update: 12 Noon


After tsipouro going for a swim ...

Sorry, not sorry ...

Even later update: 20:00

Tonight, a Greek lady sniffed my tomatoes,  rotated them, held them up to the setting sun, a gentle swueeze. Looked at me and said "endaxi" OK.
Then cut one up, tasted them  and again the long hard stare ... Kala!

It was like winning the lotto ...

Previous Blog: Here comes the ...

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Here comes the ...

New Mayor of Skiathos ...

Thodoris Tzoumas


On Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 20:00 the inauguration of the new mayor of Skiathos Mr. Thodoris P. Tzouma and the new council, will take place at the Bourtzi theatre ...

Previous blog: Barbeque night ...

Late news: 22:00hrs

Spotted a famous troll lurking in the Gerani ...

Monday, 19 August 2019

Barbeque night ...

Friday night was alright ...

We have had more than our share of Greek hospitality this year, and have been more than happy to take our share, but you are often outnumbered and they know every trick in the book to spring a surprise on you.

If you beat them to the bill one friend has an eye roll that would not be out of place in a 70's horror movie ...

Skiathians barbeque day had arrived. Winds had finally abated, beer and wine was in the fridge, friends from Cyprus and Skiathos expected around 5pm onwards.

How do you cater for meat-eating people - Well you nip down to the butcher, you say you are having a BBQ souvlakia, for Greeks and Cypriots, he says how many, I say about 12 maybe 14. He says leave it to me come back on Pempti, So on Thursday you get a couple of carrier bags of meat to marinade overnight,

What's the best way to manage the fire, you nip down to Koziakis for a quick lesson on the fire pit. Its different if you are cooking a whole animal, which was plan A from the locals. but you need 10 days notice to get one in summer. So for souvlakia, you make one big fire, rake it out and sprinkle charcoal at regular intervals on the white coals to keep the heat up.

I took some time for a quick slow scan of the eyelids, before performing miracles on the BBQ ...

After spending the day preparing SWMBO dusting polishing preparing salads and raiding the vegetable patch at regular intervals. The time had come ...

Greeks and Cypriots all come laden with food, and three types of dessert. Just in case you cock up the BBQ - No pressure ...

Pre ignition sequence start ...
Ignition sequence...
Potatoes into the furnace ...
Souvelaki ready ...
Souvelaki and Potatoes are on the way ...
Souvelakia on charcoal mk3 ...
The 12 of us just sat down for BBQ and out went the lights, in fact so did the island. It went very dark. I have never been so happy to have the light of the post full silvery moon. fumbling for torches, with mobile torches and the glow from the citronella candles.

Who overloaded the power? Someone left the aircon on, with the credit card in the wall device and gone out with the room keys? Oh well it was very romantic by candlelight ...

Islandbpower cut, yammas ...
So the lights went out, and stayed out until around 3am. The sky lit up with lightning and thunder. Brilliant night with great friends ...

Late News just in ...


Greece is to scrap free health treatment for tourists from the EU, and third-countries ...

Click the link to Keep Talking Greece


Previous Blog: Lets have a holiday ...

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Lets have a holiday ...

Today August 15th, is a public holiday in Greece ...

The sun is up with a orange sunrise, a smoky hazy look to the south, and some dark clouds hugging the hills. Its a bit breezy again this morning.

Greeks all over the country will celebrate one of Christianity’s most significant days, the Dormition of Virgin Mary. Some call this day “the summer easter” to show the importance of the celebration, and many thousands of people attend religious services throughout the country ...

Here on Skiathos, there was a procession around the Monastery at Evagelistrias last night, and the church bells rang out this morning across the island.




Not only is today the 'Ascension of the Virgin Mary' Its also the name day of all the Maria's - See Xρόνια πολλά!

Waiters will be at optimum stress levels, coffee shops and tavernas packed to the rafters today. Its the peak of the summer season. The last few days will have either made or will break the summer.

To the local this is it, 'summer is nearly over' the ferries should be full, as the mainlanders arrive to make a long weekend of it, before departing on Sunday. However to you, and me there are still seven weeks left, and some sense of normality still to return ...

However, even though its a bank holiday, the police will be out and about, issuing parking fines on the port, where apparently walking is still permitted.

Try not to get in trouble with your car, make sure you wear the crash helmet, on the scooter bike or lawnmower. They can confiscate your driving licence, You will get it back in person, at the Greek Embassy in your home country in 60 days time ...

Χρόνια πολλά:

To Greek friends and acquaintances who are celebrating their name day today ...

Despoina, Deppy, Pipina, Despo, Pepi, Zepo, Elona, Theotokia, Theotokea, Kristalo, Kristalia, Crystal, Krysta, Krista, Maria (for married women), Mary, Maro, Marios, Mario, Mariori, Marika, Maroula, Maritsa, Margiori, Marigoula, Manio, Marietta, Marousa, Marsia, Marcy, Marietta, Margeta, Margetina, Mireille, Mirella, Myrella, Panayotis, Panagiotis, Panos, Panousos, Panagis, Panagos, Giotis, Yiotis, Panikos, Takis, Panagiota, Panayota, Yiota, Giota, Panagioula, Panagoula, Pani, Tota, Toula, Pegie, Pegy, Presvia, Simela, Symela, Soymela, Soumela, Gesthimani, Iesthimani, Gethsimani, Mariniki, Katholiki

Previous Blog: Fires on Evia ...

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Fires on Evia ...

There are forest fires over on Evia ...

Evia is the island in the distance, opposite the popular beaches on the bus route

From Skiathos what appears to be a long cloud over the island, is the smoke cloud from the fires. The strong northerly breezes are sending the smoke as far away as Athens ...



Greek authorities have ordered the evacuation of three villages in central Evia for precautionary reasons due to the wildfire that is raging on the island, which has burned forestland since early on Tuesday.

As well as trying to extinguish the flames, the 227 firefighters along with 75 fire engines, six aircraft, six helicopters, two units of the army, volunteers and ten water-dispensing vehicles, are also battling strong winds.

Later update:

The wind changed direction and the fires have reignited and are visible from Koukounaries ...

Photo: Ghetto

Tonight is the start of the celebrations, for the public holiday tomorrow. The name day of Maria, the second most popular celebration after Easter.
Procession at the Evagelistria monastery, tonight followed by a big party tomorrow as the Maria's let their hair down ...

Previous Blog: Important message ...

Monday, 12 August 2019

Important message ...

For info ...

Many people with Greek phone numbers received this SMS yesterday from the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection ...



In order to avoid actions that may cause a fire in the open air. Because of the extreme danger of fire. As these days are hot and windy. Take care everyone.

There is a strong breeze this morning, Meltemi time of year, probably not a Lalaria day if you fancy a boat trip.

We went up to the Platanias valley last night. We had a lovely meal at Skiathos Calma. Never been there before, so well worth the trip. A warm welcome from the famous Maria, and lovely staff. Turns out Niko knows me from town, had a great time putting the jigsaw together.

Afterward, we went for a paddle and some stargazing at Asselinos. Where the warm water was very enticing, for an after-dark swim.

A great children's party ongoing in the taverna, so a bit too much light, and high cloud above, to see the stars as clearly as usual. However great background music from the Greek dancing ...

No shooting stars tonight either, but laying on the sand, watching the stars, as we whizz round on our globe, gets you thinking ...

We could see Saturn, to the Southwest, and the moon slap bang in the middle of Sagittarius. Which probably means I need to go to the bakery ...

Previous blog: Hot Hot Hot ...



Sunday, 11 August 2019

Hot Hot Hot ...

That's not just the weather forecast either ...

Its peak week of the season, the Greek August public holiday week, the week when every bike, car, Jimny, and lawnmower/quad should be out on the road. So far the traffic jams seem to follow the bus as it winds its way along the island, in each direction.

It's getting hot under the collar, as waiters struggle both with the heat and the covers at the tables. Yesterday even Syraino struggled with getting the coffee out. A 30-minute delay for my Gallico, but he tried hard to make up time.

I promised to bombard Dimitri with aircraft photos, as punishment ...

The forecast is hot - No very hot, with temperatures in Greece up to 40 degrees, as the heatwave takes effect. This morning its a pink sunrise with a gentle medium-strength hairdryer, effect from the breeze.

Yesterday was hot, to say the least, for me, it was a three shirt day. That's three soaking wet shirts into the washing machine, and around three litres of water into the body, and steaming out of the pores, shortly afterwards ...


32.8 degrees yesterday in town, at 5pm so no wonder you may have needed a beer, It has been warmer than that, but the record may well be broken this week.

So a very warm day to have a wedding, congratulations to friends of the blog, Jacquline and Jeff. Who celebrated their wedding yesterday in town. I hope Yannis and the horse, took on as much water as I did, on what was a very warm Saturday afternoon. Enjoy a happy life together ...

Last night SWMBO served up the Ioannis 'line caught' Kalimari, and have to say it was delicious. So was the bottle of wine it went down with - well I was needing rehydration ...

Last night Hazel asked - What the best way to get rid of a Praying Mantis from your room?  I suggested telling it you are not Orthodox, and it will politely leave immediately ...

Meet Gordon the Gecko, resident and neighbour, doing his rounds last night. Junior politely requesting that we respect his/her space ...


So time for my second coffee of the day, thank you for reading - From a scorching green island in the aegean - Καλημέρα από το βράχο ...

Later update for subu57 ...


SWMBO has just scoffed the first fresh (Purple) figs of 2019 ...

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High Fire Risk Alert

👨 🚒🚨 Great attention for today Sunday 11 and tomorrow Monday 12 August in our area (North Sporades) because the risk indicator is very high Category 4 so we want the maximum attention of all!!!

👉 Reminder there is a ban on any activity that could cause sparks near a forest area... still due to the very high risk of entering forest areas in the evening visitors. (outside the inhabitants of these areas) 🌳🚒🚨🚧 the measures to stop the movement of vehicles and residence in forest areas of the island (Forest of koukounariōn, mandraki, ankistros, hidden, small aselinos, lygaries and kechria) as well as "Eupatheí" Points. Mostly from 22:00-06:00 🚧🚨🚒

👉 Volunteers who want to cover points for Sunday and Monday night to join 6982593516 mainly in the evening hours from 21:00 to 2:00 and 5:00 to 7:00 in the morning.

👉 If you notice smoke the fire notify the fire department 📞 on 199 or at 📞 2427021199 (Skiathou Fire)

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Previous Blog: Let's go fishing ...