Friday, 17 February 2017

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (17/02) ...

Thanks to 'Steve in Skiathos' and 'Skiathos Island News' for very kindly, allowing us to share the following update, and photos of the ongoing works ...

Steve has been out and about, with the camera, once again, and yesterday had a peek behind closed doors ...

"Had a look at the Xenia hotel work again today. The guys working there asked if we would like to have a look inside, which we did. Lots of glass interior walls & the place has a nice bright & airy feel to it. 

Some of the trees appear to have been cleared and the views should be excellent.The rooms are coming along well and from what we have seen they are going to be a bit on the small side but very comfortably appointed with some smart furniture. One interesting aspect is the full length mirror you can see in one of the photos. It is also one of the walls of the shower - you can see out but not in! 

They now have a site office inside & the guys there told us they are hoping to start work on the bungalows in March. This information, however, was accompanied by the traditional Greek shrug of the shoulders so who knows"











Steve in Skiathos and 'Skiathos island News' posted regular updates during 2016, as the works have progressed during the year. You can see them here ...

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (12/01) ...

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 28/01) ...

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 11/03) ...

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 28/03) ...

Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 03/08) ...


Renovations at the Hotel Xenia (Update - 30/10) ...

Update on the Hotel Xenia (Update - 25/11) ...

Watching the inbox, for another chorus of 'Its never going to happen' but very clearly it is  ...

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Tsiknopempti time is here ...

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

Still here ? OK ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later Update: Read this tweet

Keep Talking Greece ‏@keeptalkingGR
#Tsiknopempti: The day #Greece is covered with smoke http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2017/02/16/tsiknopempti-the-day-greece-is-covered-with-smoke/#.WKXNkAAS8o4.twitter

Monday, 13 February 2017

Very British Problems ...

Very British Problems ...

Does anyone have contact details for?
I've booked not direct, with a tour operator. I have never been before, what is "Accoladdes" like?  I want room number * facing west in the afternoon, with a sun terrace for breakfast, air con at no extra cost, and a sea view ...

"I've emailed them, half an hour ago, No reply"
"They are busy preparing for the season, Give them a call tomorrow"

"They can't be that busy, I understand the islands are dead, if we are not there. I sent them a text last night as well, its been delivered"
"Be easier and quicker to just call them, if its that important. When are you going?"

"29th September for a week. I've emailed them, and texted them twice, and still no reply. Its no way to run a business. I thought our money was important to them"
"Just call them, speak to them, you will get an answer"

"That will be expensive, calling Greece, I have not got time to sit on the phone. I'll send them another email. Just a thought -Does anyone know about a trip to "Alonissisos" and the best boat to swim with the dolphins" ...

Only 79 days to go to the start of the UK season :) ...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Ferry fun - a solution ...

At last, well they did not want anyone on the islands to starve did they  ...

The passenger ferry Myrtidiotissa of Aqua Ferries, is now expected to serve the needs of the islands from February 14th to April 6th, covering Volos - Sporades,


Its a crucial time as there were no ferries planned to operate, when the boats were away for their annual service and paint job ....

The ANES Proteus will depart for its standard annual service  on February 13th, whilst the "Express Skiathos" of Hellenic Seaways is currently also in a phase of technical work.

The "Aqua Jewell" of Alpha Ferries, currently tucked up in Piraeus, is planning to start service in mid-March between Volos and the islands.



The Myrtidiotissa will then operate between Agios Konstantinos, and the Sporades for the second summer running.

source: www.taxydromos.gr

Thursday, 9 February 2017

If things were not tough enough ...

This report on the 'Keep talking Greece' site yesterday ...

Shock for cancer patients: “Life expectancy” needed for prescription medication
See: http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com

This on a day when 64% of people in the UK think the NHS has got worse in recent years according to a @SkyData poll

Yesterday. I watched as someone who could not communicate a word, was being given assistance, and treatment in the NHS 'Wait whilst we find you a translator' ...

In Greece it was 'This is Greece, you are not Greek, and you must speak Greek' In addition you had to have two years IKA (National Insurance) stamps to avail yourself of the service. Or the details so it could be charged back to the NHS, if you did not have private medical insurance.

I have learned a lot about hospitals, and treatment over the last five years. I know where you are considerably better off, as does the rest of the world ...

Question of the day:

What will the weather be like in (Insert Month here) ?
Answers here ...

Flying Cat 4

Those who may recall the earlier post, of the Thessaloniki service here Will be pleased to know our friends at SkopelosNews have published the timetable. You can view it here ...

Dolphins

Friends of Νικος Μπαντιδος on FB will be enjoying his video of Dolphins in the old harbour this morning. When the water is cold, you often get dolphins in the old harbour ...

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Countdown ...

Silly season is well and truly here ...

Wishing your lives away ...

Seems everyone is posting countdown clocks, shame they are all out of date by the next day. Oh you know what to do post another one. So here is mine ...


Its unique and its never out of date ...

Stand by for my alternative  A-Z coming soon :)

I was on a countdown of a different type this afternoon, well passing time with SWMBO. Well this is how I did it watching time roll by ...


Best coffee, I have had in a very long time ...



Saturday, 4 February 2017

#WorldCancerDay ...

Something we feel quite strongly about ...


We are supporting @Bowel_Cancer_UK and @CR_UK today for World Cancer Day, wearing a Unity Band as an #ActofUnity.

Together we will #STOPbowelcancer #WorldCancerDay #StandUpToCancer #WeCanICan

Friday, 3 February 2017

Lettuce crisis ...

A well known supermarket earlier ...


Who knows what effect this will have, on the friday night takeaway kebab market. However our man in Lancaster, reports no shortages down at the Water witch.

My earlier pre e-bay auction offer to UK friends remains available ...


Bids accepted, via the usual channels, ot BA vouchers in kind ...

Thursday, 2 February 2017

British Airways to Skiathos (3) ...

A happy ending ...

After a chorus of, 'its never going to happen' and 'you must be mistaken' the flights crept silently onto the BA website overnight.

Certainly there seems to be  lot of interest, which is keeping the prices high on some of the dates. It will be interesting to see if prices drop once the interested, are separated from the actually very interested.

It seems the flights are just covering the peak holiday period - school holidays. They will operate from 26th June until 5th September. Flights will be on a Monday, Tuesday and a Wednesday departing London City airport at 07:10am and arriving at Skiathos at 12:30pm.

Price wise they seem to be in the Thomas Cook/Thomson price bracket. You get 23kg luggage allowance and can opt to go with cabin baggage only cheaper if you have a bag that fits their size requirements with no weight restriction,

You get the advantage of taking off from one very short runway (LCY), and landing on another that used to be a rather short runway (JSI).

Seems they are testing the water with the trip, after all the other Greek flights run for a much longer period ...

But its extra seats and competition, at least for those who do not want to be restricted to the package market. That can only be good for the islanders, and the folks that stay with friends ...

Link to

British Airways to Skiathos (2) ...
British Airways to Skiathos ...


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

British Airways to Skiathos (2) ...

The plot story continues ...


A post on the Greek news (In English) site ekathimerini.com, further detailing the apparent good news regarding flights, However in the fine detail ...

"The carrier will offer three flights a week from London’s City Airport through the summer season, starting this year on June 26 and running until the end of September. The new flights will add over than 2 million seats for passengers to the northern Aegean island"

I am no mathematician but ...
  • 13 weeks of flights = 39 trips each way
  • 78 flights total
  • BA Embraer carries max 98 passengers
  • 78 flights x 98 passengers
That's 7644 Passengers nowhere near, and certainly not anywhere near 2 million ...

Skiathos never went on the BA site last night, but all the other summer destination islands did ...

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/destinations/europe/greece

Like all things Skiathos, when something good comes along (Assuming it does) - The BA sale ended midnight  last night ...

Link to
British Airways to Skiathos ...