Thursday, 1 December 2016

Kalo Mina - Δεκέμβριος ...

Kαλό μήνα σε όλους - Good Month - December ...

Yes it's December - the official month of acceptable daytime drinking. (Yes I meant coffee)  It is the season to be jolly, after the winter blast, that has chilled the island  ...

December is the month of acceptable excess ...

- Christmas enters its 4th month in the shops
- Chocolate for breakfast, for the sugar hit, and feel good factor
- Fridge visits triple until you learn the chocolate is on the top shelf, of the adjacent cupboard
- Scissors/sellotape vanish almost and as if by magic
- Mulled everything - Yes why not, you say regardless 'Chin Chin'


Its the first day of Advent, and the last month of the year, just 25 days until Christmas, and 31 more until the 'quietest day of the year' - New years eve, bar the shotguns at midnight.

Its also the last chance to get on a ferry to the mainland, but you will have to shift quick, after the weather related cancellations of the last few days. ANES Proteus is doing a double run to the mainland departing at 07:45 and at 19:00 hrs

The Seafarers union, has called a 48-hour nationwide strike in all categories of ships from 6.00 am Friday, December 2, until 6.00 am Sunday, December 4

Even the boat crew would rather be tucked up on the mainland, until Sunday ...

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Snow fun ...

Not on Skiathos, where its wet and windy ...

But lots of photos circulating of the snow that is affecting Northern Greece, and Pilio. Which is not far from Skiathos ...

Photo: facebook.com/IncroyableGrece
This is Meteora this morning, somewhere where many of us like to visit in warmer times ...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Cold draught ...

No not the Carlsberg Mythos on tap ...

Cold air is moving south, fire up the woodburner, winter is coming ...


A big cold blast moving across central, and into southern Europe!

Later update:

Cold arctic airmass continues pushing southwards tonight! Current temperatures ...


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Wet and windy ...

Severe Weather Outlook 26-28/11/2016
Alert issued by Severe Weather Greece

The main features of the weather systems which will affect the country for the next 3 days (at least), starting from Saturday noon from W Greece, will be the excessive precipitation (esp. for the "red" areas on the map – for the areas on W Greece, it is valid for Saturday, Sunday & Monday and for the areas on ENE Aegean sea, it is valid for Sunday & Monday) and the severe thunderstorms. Until the evening/night of Saturday, rainfall and thunderstorms will be affecting eastern continental parts as well.


Phenomena will continue till Monday evening at least. Waterspouts are likely at the Ionian sea (mainly on Saturday). A small possibility for tornadoes esp. for Peloponnese and Attica is there for Monday.
Winds will be generally strong, blowing from southern directions and very strong only in C & ENE Aegean sea (up to 75-80 km/h max).
From Monday noon winds will gradually start blowing from NNE and they will be stormy esp. in the Aegean. The temperature will drop considerably and snow will appear also in areas with low or zero altitude in C & N Greece, as well as semi-mountainous areas of SE continental Greece.

(Severe thunderstorms affecting Athens overnight)

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Something for the weekend ...

How about making a nice Moussaká - For Sunday lunch ?

Not impressed with the taverna version, or the slop they serve as ready made food in the supermarkets ? Well don't despair, This article, may well help you, and its well worth a read.

No Messing Moussaká – Greek Food Myth

Read on - Its a great site, with plenty of great hints and tips, so take time to explore it.

Remember the golden rule  Greek food, Moussaká, Stifado, stews and pies always taste better the next day, So after allowing it to cook, leave it to cool. Re-heating works wonders for the flavours to develop ...

Now what shall we have for dinner -tomorrow ...

Friday, 25 November 2016

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

Wonder how it will look ?

Yes me too, so here is a link for some artists impressions, by (HHH Architects) from the site http://kataskevesktirion.gr/ ...

"It is Greek web site, they are Greek, they do write in Greek"  For those who cannot use Google translate (Other translation services are widely available) This is what the architects have to say ...

"The study involves the construction of a 5 * hotel in Skiathos. The central idea of the study was the search for an original type of tourist facility whose architecture stand for respect and integration into the environment and the amenities offered.

The hotel consists of 24 apartments with private pool, garden and terrace. The plot is a amphitheater with steep slope overlooking the sea. The buildings are developed linearly along the amphitheater of the field. The configuration of the relief in the building complex is the basic idea of the project design.

The aim is to collate the building with the topography of the field structure, eliminating between their boundaries and allowing a single optical effect, a new topography. The contour per 4m converted into a building with a green roof, swimming pools, terraces and apartments in five different levels .

The roofs of the buildings utilized for forming the open spaces of the apartments located in each above level. All rooms have sea view and access to the linear pool. Access is from the side of the mountain. Finally, privacy is ensured by stepwise regression of flats parallel adjustable on the ground, the view and the use of spacers"

Steve in Skiathos and 'Skiathos island News' have been posting regular updates, 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) ...

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Ferry Fun ...


The Hellenic Seaways ferries and the 'Cosmote' sponsored flying cats 5/6, are tucked up in Piraeus, for the worst of the winter ...

Perhaps they have seen the weather forecast ...

Latest news, is that the Skiathos Express will start running on 14th February, after a new coat of paint and the annual engine overhaul. Check for updates on their web site https://hellenicseaways.gr/en/

Over the last few years, they seem to lay their boats up in Piraeus, rather than run them at a loss, during the winter. However the Sporades boats (Appolon Hellas - Poseidon and the Express Skiathos) are due to be handed over to a new company 'Two way ferries.

Both flying cats were withdrawn on 31/10. This means the islands rely solely on the flying Dolphin, for urgent passage to the mainland. Problem being the Dolphin cannot operate in bad weather, whereas the more expensive Flying cat could operate in conditions, up to force 8 beaufort.

Seems the islands have been disconnected, and we know how hard it is to get a phone engineer ...

Until then:

Flying Dolphin Erato is offering reduced prices for island travelers

VOLOS - SKIATHOS 25.00 / SKIATHOS - VOLOS 25.00
VOLOS - SKOPELOS 30.00 / SKOPELOS - VOLOS 30.00
VOLOS ALONNISOS 30.00 / ALONNISOS - VOLOS 30.00

The flying Dolphin Erato will oparste from Alonissos to Volos return daily. Sunday to Friday, the Erato will be sailing from the port of Volos at 14.00, Tuesday at 17.00 and Sunday at 15.00, while on Saturdays will not be any service.

ANES Ferry Proteus

According to the 'new timetable' the "Proteus" will be sailing from the port of Volos every Monday at 8 am, Tuesday at 11 am, Wednesday at 16.30, Thursday at 11.30 am on Friday 8:00 a.m., Saturday at 13:30 and Sunday runs the Sporades itinerary - Mantoudi Evia, back and ending in Volos.
a shuttle service will be performed on Monday December 26 and January 2, 2017 on the itinerary Sporades - Mantoudi Evia, while Christmas Day, New Year and Epiphany, there will not be any sailings

Restricted 'week ahead' advance timetables available here

Latest News:

A new ferry service the AQUA JEWEL run by Alpha ferries is due to start service in mid February,
I am advised, the E Booking system will be open after the Christmas holiday.

First sailing expected to be on 15th February ...

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Καλό ταξίδι φίλε ...

Good Journey my friend ...

Yesterday we celebrated the life, of a dear Skiathos friend, John Jackman ...


On a wet blustery day, with challenging driving conditions. The sun appeared as if on cue (A gift from Skiathos) for our friend, as we bade him farewell, and a safe journey ...

We learned of his love of life, music, the nickname 'Mad Dog' and the love affair of his 28 year Skiathos adventure. Still planning a summer return, and looking for a passport, that was in a safe place. Beautiful words from the heart, and his beloved family ...

Afterwards - Much afterwards in my case, after an adventure in the one way system.
I finally made my entrance, after my Monty Python adventure, and met up with friends and family. To raise a glass, and a coffee cup for our absent friend ...

Good to see 'TJ & Fast Eddie' from the Boomerang club - Geoff and as we are on first name terms again. 'Tracey and Steve' the silent surfers from Sittingbourne ...

Yvonne Farouk, Tamara & Nick, you did John proud - Thank you for allowing us to share the moment, with you. John sending us away with a smile, looking on the bright side of life ...

PS Those pastries in the wrappers (Lebanese?) were delicious ...

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The day of the Panagia ...

This morning the church bells at Tries Hieraches will be ringing ...

The icon ...
Today its Panagia Kounistra, the islands festival day when the townsfolk return the miraculous icon, to the monastery at Kounistra, in a pilgramage across the hills on the old paths. The icon which was found in a tree, where the monastery at Kounistria, was built, is going home ...

Most of the village will be walking just after noon, heading up to Acropolis, carrying torches and picnic baskets. Young and Old alike, many of the old ladies will be barefoot. They will be met at Acropolis by men with guns who serenade with a volley of gunfire as the icon and the villagers pass by below. Then climbing up on the old paths to Katsarou, then over the hills, visiting shrines and finally up to 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 the special buses, laid on for the event. Many will stay overnight with the Icon, then return in the morning over the hills to Tries Hieraches at first light.

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 ... 

This event is one of the 'must do' events for any true Skiathos Lovers ...

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Polytechneio ...

Today is Polytechneio day ...

Students, both young and not so young across Greece, will remember the Students uprising, and actions of the military junta in 1973.

Do read the link to 'A Gael in Greece' here it explained a lot more to me ...

On this day, the children in schools in Skiathos, take red carnations to school. The younger children draw or paint them, and take them home to their parents.

This is in memory of Nikos Beloyannis, A Greek resistance leader, sentenced to death for crimes against the state.

His wife gave him the carnation at court and he kept it throughout the whole trial, through to the day when he was sentenced to death. This image was captured in a sketch by Pablo Piccasso - Man with a Carnation ...



Later Update

The board of the Association of Parents and Guardians Skiathos Gymasium School invites all parents and guardians of school students at an extraordinary General Assembly, tomorrow 18th November at 19:30 in the school hall. 

Parents and Guardians will be updated on the latest developments on the issue of teacher shortages, discussion of serious issues that have arisen in the school and we will decide together on the actions of our Association. 

The presence of all, as always it is essential!