Monday, 26 June 2017

British Airways arrival at Skiathos ...

Its here at last ...

@BritishAirways arrived on the rock this morning, Their first flight ✈ from London City Airport in to Skiathos airport ...

BA2224 - Embraeur E190 (G-LCYP) Due 13:15 Arr 13:13


Great photo by Martyn Hill, shared here with his kind permission ...

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Things that Make You Uniquely Greek ...

So you are in the holiday mood, you are in your version of paradise. 
Its not bad, the sun shines, you have a glass to hand, life is good …

Yes I can handle this, for the rest of my life ...

Many thoughts like that go through your head, as the sun warms your bones, and slowly fries your inner grey matter. How would you adapt ?

Our Greek friends stand apart from other nationalities, in many aspects of everyday life.  To a foreigner this may seem inconceivable, absurd even, but a Greek wouldn’t feel Greek if he did not abide by ‘certain rules’

So here are a few things (many belong to the past) that are said to make someone a real Greek, or happen in Greece alone …

1. Never eat dinner before 10:00 pm.
2. In your neighborhood, there is at least one street called “Eleftherios Venizelos street.” Even the Athens airport is called that.
3. You run several red lights to get to a coffee shop and then stare lazily at your frappe for three hours.
4. You travel abroad to escape from Greek attitudes for a while and during your trip you look for other Greeks to hang out with.
5. You applaud the pilot when landing.
6. You are not surprised when your 43-year-old buddy tells you he lives with his mom.
7. You consider it normal that someone gets a four-year university degree in 12 years.
8. You never have enough cash for necessities, but you always manage to find money for luxuries.
9. You hate public employees and call them lazy, but you dream of becoming one.
10. You go to church and pray to Jesus and the Virgin Mary on Sundays, but later you curse at them during the football game.
11. You light a cigarette before you enter the gym. And one as soon as you get out.
12. You wonder what the white lines are in pedestrian crossings.
13. You jog five kilometers but you take the elevator to the first floor.
14. You get in a traffic jam at 6:00 am on a Sunday.
15. You brag about what a womanizer your son is, but you claim your daughter is a virgin.
16. You wonder why people in the rest of the world don’t drink frappe.
17. You always honk to show the world you own a car.
18. When other drivers honk at you, you swear at them
19. You paid 50,000 euros for your over-priced car, but you think the valet is a thief when he asks for 5 euros to park it.
20. You insist that the “evil eye” has been scientifically proven.
21. You believe that the rest of the world envies you for being Greek.
22. You are certain there is an international conspiracy to destroy your language.
23. You root for politicians even though you call them thieves in the next sentence.
24. You wonder how other countries survive when they don’t have kiosks in every corner.
25. You feel a burst of national pride when you hear the word “malakas” in a Hollywood movie.


Thursday, 22 June 2017

Europa 2 ...

Hello Good Morning ..,

... and welcome back to the cruise liner Europa 2



A busy week for our friends on Skiathos. The Salamis Filoxenia visited on tuesday, and what an interesting history that ship has had - Click Here to find out why ...


Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Airborne update over the Olive Grove ...

Happy Summer solstice ...

The summer solstice has happened its June 21, also known as the longest day of the year ...

Sunrise in Skiathos was at 6:00 AM
Sunset in Skiathos 8:56 PM

That's 14 hours, and 56 minutes of midsummer fun.

Meanwhile at Stonehenge, and most of Britain you can enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight.
As, the sun rose at 4:43am and will set at 9:31pm

Its going to be a warm one, So where would you rather be sunkissed, naked at Stonehenge or down on Spartacus ?

Talking of which, take a look at this video ...

All credit to Svend Brinch for this amazing view, of the developments on the Koukounaries peninsular ...



From the air the beaches at Banana are even more stunning ...

Meanwhile, its going to be another very warm day, so you need to keep cool. What better way than with a Water Melon. Now I have to admit, I am not the greatest fan since being force fed them every night for two weeks in Crete.

But this is different ...


Its an Argo from Volos, It weighed 3.5 Kilos, and when I realised, I just had to lug it home. Junior thought Christmas comes twice a year ...


The sweet side we ate, and the sour side, went in the juicer. It made 1.5 litres and is residing in the fridge. What you see is almost frozen in an old Vodka bottle ...



Now there is an idea, 'Water Melon Vodka' you would happily pay me €10 a glass for that, with a sprig of mint wouldn't you - Thats my 'Happy Hour' offer ...

Late Update:

Καλο παραδεισο Βαντα ...

Previous blog: Beach Auctions / Planned power Cuts on 23rd, 24th & 25th June...

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Beach Auctions 2017 & Power cuts ...

The auctions took place yesterday ...

They will operate until 31/12/2019, The exception being Big Banana which will only operate until 31/12/2017.


So except for Agistros and Agia Paraskevi went for exactly €500, more then the reserve price. Tsougrias went for an eye watering €35500, again €500 more then the reserve ...

€23500 higher than asking price, lets hope its collected and spent wisely ...

Planned power Cuts  Skiathos 23rd, 24th & 25th June



Thanks to Steve in Skiathos and Skiathos Island News for the update ...


Previous blog: Skiathos bans plastic bags ...

Monday, 19 June 2017

Skiathos bans plastic bags this summer ...

Yes really ...

http://www.tornosnews.gr reports ...

The island is launching the ASAP programme (Active Skiathos Against Plastic bags)

Plastic bags will soon be a thing of the past for the Greek island of Skiathos, one of the most beautiful resorts in the country, which has voted to ban their use in line with European directives. The island is launching the ASAP programme (Active Skiathos Against Plastic bags) run by the MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network, which is to run until the end of June 2018, with a beach-cleaning activity on Friday.

Funded by BeMed (Beyond Plastic Med), the Thalassa Foundation, Skiathos municipality and MEDITERRANEAN SOS Network, the ASAP pilot programme will strive to increase public awareness and sensitise the public to this issue. It mirrors a similar programme successfully adopted by the island of Alonissos, another island in the Sporades group, using tried-and-tested methods and tools to get islanders on board, such as beach-cleaning, consultation processes, distribution of fabric shopping bags etc.

Read more here.

So all the household rubbish will be bagged up, and left outside in the street, in free fancy fabric bags instead ? This will take some believing changing the culture ...

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hotel Xenia - Update ...

Ministries Approve Plans to Build Holiday Village on Skiathos

The Greek island of Skiathos is about to get a new holiday village located next to the well-known Koukounaries beach on the northern Aegean.


For some reason they are looking at the wrong end of the beach ...
The government has given the go-ahead to create the holiday resort following a joint decision by five ministries who took into consideration everything from the investment plan to the environmental impact.

It is to be built in an area that is 65,900 square meters and was sold back in 2013 by the Greek State’s privatization fund, TAIPED. It was purchased by Nathanailidis construction company for 2.6 million euros.

Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/ but all the Greek sites are carrying the info ...

Now it seems its all legal and will move to completion, which will be great for the island.

Makes you wonder if 'TAIPED' pocketed €2.6m for this development - How much was trousered by the owner of the Olive grove behind Banana beach ?

Is that his boat with the helicopter in the bay? ...



Catch up on yesterdays blog: SWMBO - Its a must read ...

Saturday, 17 June 2017

SWMBO ...

A very important update for those that still follow the blog ...

One year ago Kamila (SWMBO) was offered a life changing decision. To go for surgery at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

She was a terminal stage 4 cancer patient, who had defied all the odds. So she took another chance.

This is her yesterday with her friend the surgeon, who gave her an opportunity on life instead.


So for all of you, who followed her journey, who helped. Many of whom sent love, stood by her, and for all those messages of support. Especially those on 'a small green island in the aegean' ...

This is how it looks to be told, after what has been a very scary three months, where it was not certain. That at least for now - Cancer free ...

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rosetta Stone ...

I ordered the Greek version from Amazon, some years ago ...

Try as I might, I just cannot get it to load on my Laptop. However it seems there is a tablet version, in the British Museum.


Along with very many other interesting things from Athens ...

I will be going back to explore at leisure, as soon as I can do so,

'The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script, respectively, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek. As the decree is the same (with some minor differences) in all three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs'

Beach Auctions

The Beach auctions have again been delayed and are now scheduled for next Monday. No doubt the prices will be high for the bidders, but low in return for the successful licence holders. After all it will be week 8 of the season, and there will be just sixteen more left, until the end of it ...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

TUI Chief Says Longer Season, Improved Infrastructure Key to Greece’s Tourism Growth ...

TUI Chief Says Longer Season, Improved Infrastructure Key to Greece’s Tourism Growth

Extending the season and creating substantial infrastructure are key to maintaining the momentum in Greek tourism, TUI Group CEO Friedrich Joussen told Greek daily Ta Nea, adding that insecurity due to strikes can lead to great losses.

The Hannover-based group is the largest tour operator active in Greece, investing additionally this year in cruise travel as well as in a pilot sustainable tourism program on the island of Crete. But Joussen is quick to point out that despite increasing tourist numbers in the last two years, sector professionals must continue to work towards improving services and keeping damaging actions at bay.

“I believe it is important that while things are going well there are no actions taken that thwart the upward trend,” Joussen said referring to an increase value added tax and a proposed night levy.

“I wonder, is it really sensible to take such measures? To the contrary, I believe it is more important to ensure upgraded infrastructure is in place such as airports…,” he added.

Joussen pointed out that despite the sociopolitical factors that have turned tourism flows to Greece, the country remains a very attractive destination due to its excellent human potential, sea, sun, natural environment and infrastructure as well as for its originality and a way of life that embraces tourism.

According to Joussen, Greece’s tourism strategy should focus on taking advantage of a current increased interest in the Western Mediterranean and the overall insecurity elsewhere in the region but it should also remain a strong destination in the long term by offering excellent services and attracting in the meantime new visitors.

On a final note, Joussen said that TUI was investing in additional flights to Greek destinations, expanding its hotel dynamic and boosting cruise travel by 20 percent compared to last year. The company has also organized on Crete a pilot program involving a network of hotels and agricultural businesses, farmers, wine producers, olive growers with the aim of linking tourism with local agricultural production and becoming a model of sustainable tourism.

Sounds good in principle, I wonder how they will persuade the mainland locals, from heading back to the mainland in droves, for winter work from mid September ...

MS Europa 2 - one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world, is currently moored offshore the old harbour of Skiathos.


As is usual lots of 'shock gasp horror oh no's from the #NIMS'

But none of them will be in town whilst the cruise passengers are ashore, offloading their funds in local tavernas and businesses ...

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Sunrise ...

A burning globe from a boiling sea ...

At this time of the year, it rises out of the sea to the north of Alonnisos


If you are up early enough, and know where to look ...

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Late News ...

Today marks six months without drinking a drop of alcohol or any kind of wine!

Six months of eating seven fruit and veg a day, drinking 10 glasses of water, no carbs and no red meat, with lots of 8 hr sleeps.

The change in my body has been fantastic! I feel great, I lost weight and my way of thinking is very positive! I'm looking to keep this up because I choose to! No alcohol, eat only healthy foods, get lots of sleep and above all, an hour of exercise every day!

God knows whose status this is, but I was so happy for them, I copied their good news while I'm eating a pizza ...

Thunder and Lightning

Seems during the earlier storm, the lightning made a technical adjustment to the electrical supply of one of the Halkia (Χαλκιά) hardware shop on the ring road. Hopefully the electrical company can put it all back together again by 7.30am tomorrow ...

Soon be July, it will stop raining and return to heat again ...

UK Election

Still enjoying the news, which is like a record with a scratch.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Projected UK Election result ...

I suspect running through a field of wheat, is no longer top of Theresa May's list of worst things she's ever done. #GE2017

Thursday, 8 June 2017

UK Election day ...

Who cant be bothered to vote today ...


17 year old Dora Thewlis being arrested in 1907 for fighting for the right to vote.


57% of young people aged 18-24 didn't vote in 2015. Talk to your kids about voting and why it's important. Better still take them with you ...


But at the end of the day its all about this ...


Tonight it will be all about this ...



Meanwhile its an important day on Skiathos too. Here we are, Nearly six weeks into the season, and today its finally the day of the beach auction. So later someone will be round for the sunbeds money. Only four months to earn your money, and pay the licence fee ...

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Update from the Olive grove (2) ...

Latest report from Steve in Skiathos, and Skiathos Island News ...

'Had another look at banana beach this morning. The "bungalows" appear to be on steroids having grown substantially since I last looked. 



According to a Greek who has a contract to provide services to the developers, there are to be a total of 150 buildings behind the two banana beaches and Abelakia. 



The good news is that pedestrian access to the 2 banana beaches is still straightforward' ...


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

Previous post:  Lost SD card & Grey Funnel line ...

Update: Lead on the SD card to a Scandanavian lady who works for Airtours has been a success - SD card reunited with the owner ...

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Lost SD card & Grey Funnel line ...

Have you lost an SD card ?

Friend of the blog Dennis N writes ...

'An SD card with 4,500 photos, found in a hire car in Skiathos by a member of the Boomerang forum. The photos look less like UK citizens and you have followers from all over the world, might help reunite them with their SD Card. I have posted it on Facebook, but those posts disappear in minutes' ...

Perhaps you recognise these people?

Photos removed see update below ...

See: http://skiathosboomerang.freeforums.net/thread/811/sd-card-4-500-photos for contact details Otherwise then you can contact me via the 'Contact the Skiathian' link to the right of the page >>==> and I will put you in touch with Dennis

Fingers crossed we can put the card in its owners hands once again ...

Update: 7th June 2017:

Hello Ian,

We have been able to discover the owner and have put her in touch with the finder to arrange the card’s return.  Thank you very much for your help.  I have been asked to delete the photos from the internet, which I have done from my posts and therefore I’d be grateful if you could do the same from the blog.

Thank you for your prompt help in this matter.

Regards
Dennis

Great news , Well done Dennis and Stephen ...


Grey Funnel line:
The navy have been around the island ...

All the nice girls like a sailor, but the Greek lads have been busy with the annual maintenance of the lighthouses and marker buoys around the island.

Karavogiannos (A-479)

Photo credit&©Frank Behrends

Not the prettiest boat but if it does the job ...

Late News:

Mrs May - may have her problems with the pollsters ...

But 'Keep Talking Greece' report that in a recent survey.  Only '98% of Greeks consider the economic situation as “bad”, Read more about it on the link here ...

Dianne Abbot was asked to comment, but was feeling unwell ...

Monday, 5 June 2017

Pentecost Monday ...

Well this morning the priest at Tries Hieraches, is reminding all about this importance of Pentecost in the religious calendar ...

The summoning to church must have been the most insistent, for quite some time ...

Today is a public holiday. Banks and offices will be closed, and there will be a very busy ferry service this evening, to accommodate the weekend travellers from the mainland, heading home ...

But first the cafes and ouzerias, will brace themselves for the holiday rush ...

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Pentecost Sunday ...

As terrorism once again strikes the streets of London. This morning the Tries Hieraches church in Skiathos will be very busy - Its a very religious day on Skiathos ...

Pentecost in Greece happens fifty days after Greek Easter. While in some Christian denominations, this religious holiday slides by with relatively little fanfare, in Orthodox Greece Pentecost is vigorously celebrated. For the more secularly-minded traveler in Greece, it can even be thought of as a kind of "second Easter" if you've unfortunately missed the first.

It occurs on the seventh Sunday after Easter, or the "Fiftieth Day", and commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is also known as Trinity Sunday.

"Pente" in Pentecost is an easy way to help remember the number "five" in Greek if you can associate it with the "50 days". Like other religious holidays in Greece, such as Easter itself and the Feast of the Virgin Mary on August 15th, transit schedules may shift and extra ferries or ferry stops may be added to accommodate Pentecost travelers {http://gogreece.about.com}

The observance is much less than Easter, however there are many visitors from the mainland enjoying the lovely weather.

Its the first big earning weekend of the summer. The cafes and tavernas should be very busy this morning and  lunchtime, But rest assured they will never run out of, either coffee or tsipouro ...

Monday will be a public holiday ...

6th Trail Run Half Marathon 

Skiathos Mountain Bikes in cooperation with the Municipality of Skiathos organize with the support of Sponsors the 6th Trail Run Half Marathon (21km) titled 'Follow Alexandros Papadiamantis' on Sunday June 4th 2017


At the same time with the Half Marathon there another race of 10km will be held as well with a route that goes through Skiathos Town Monuments and Culture.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Scandinavian friends ...

The weather forecast ...

Our learned friend Stig, will be updating the 'Pentecost Bank Holiday weekend' weather forecast at regular intervals from this afternoon ...

His equipment has arrived, and will be installed on the west of the island shortly.


He has provided a British translation, for those not hot on foreign languages ...

Translated:
METEOROLOGICAL STONE
hot stone = sun
wet stone = rain
white stone = snow
no stone = fog


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Kalo Mina - Ιούνιος ...

Ιούνιος - June is here ...

Happy new month - Its the traditional busiest month, for annual returning visitors ...

1967 or 2017 - Which do you prefer ?
Its not only the Brits, Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn are usually on 'the rock' for their annual vacation to the island. Its always great to see them mixing with the tourists, and enjoying our little island every year.

Along with the sound of the other annual visitors, the swallows peforming acrobatics, and screeching over the rooftops in town ...

Previous post: Gone for a swim ...

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Gone for a swim ...

Wonder if the trawlers will be out today ...

A 28-year-old Hellenic Air Force pilot sustained minor injuries Monday after ejecting from a Mirage 2000 fighter jet south of the Sporades islands group, but the incident brought to the fore the issue of old and malfunctioning aircraft currently in use.

According to most initial assessments by experienced military officials, the Mirage crashed because of a malfunctioning engine which the pilot was unable to restart. The 28-year-old pilot was in a military hospital Monday with a dislocated shoulder, which he sustained while ejecting from the aircraft.

He had taken off from Tanagra Air Base, north of Athens, in the morning on a routine training exercise, but was forced to abandon the Mirage at around 12.25 p.m. after the engine stopped working. He was picked up by a Super Puma rescue helicopter.

Monday’s crash is the latest in a string of such incidents that have revived fears about the reliability of Greece’s military aircraft. Just over a month ago, four officers were killed when a Huey helicopter crashed.

The UH-1H helicopter went down near the village of Sarantaporo in Elassona, central Greece, during a routine patrol flight. Initially Greek military officials indicated that the UH-1H in question had not had any mechanical problems but an investigation into the cause of the crash remains ongoing.

Last November the fuel tank of an F-16 fighter jet that was preparing to take off from Hania airport on the island of Crete burst into flames, while two months earlier an Apache helicopter crash landed during exercises off the coast of Halkidiki in central Macedonia, northern Greece.

Apparently this was south of Skopelos, Catch this in the net, and you can buy a new boat with the salvage. On Sunday low clouds stopped aircraft from landing at Skiathos for a short time. Now its sunny they are dropping out of the sky.

Do hope he pressed engine restart, and not eject in error, or bang goes that career with Aegean.

Fancy being on a boat watching for Dolphins, and you hear the imortal words, 'Honey I have just seen a mirage' - 'Dont be ridiculous, its warm, but not that warm' the reply ...

Source: /www.ekathimerini.com

Later update:

They fished it out ...


There is a very excited report of how the aircraft landed on the water without the pilot, and skimmed for several hundred yards. Then floated away towards Evia ...

The aircraft touched the surface and covering several hundred meters above the surface, stopped without sinking ... and began to sail in a development aircraft accident is a global phenomenon!

Currently the currents drifted the aircraft at a distance of 12 miles from where they fell and has approached the shore a mile from Sarakiniko beach Kimi Evia! 

If you want to read more go to:  http://www.olathessaloniki.com/ 

The reporter should be back from school shortly ...

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A message from Simon ...

The start-line beckons!

Thanks to everyone who has supported us. Best wishes to everyone taking part in the Great Manchester 10K today and the thousands of people doing runs in many other places - especially to friends in Liverpool and Edinburgh.



We're at the start nice and early...


The start area is filling up ...


Two finish medals and over £600 raised for Bowel Cancer U.K.



Simon and Donna said - 'Thanks to everyone who supported us. Your sponsorship means so much'

Actually we should say thank you to them, a lot of time, a great effort and supporting a cause that is near to their heart.  Like so many others yesterday, inspiring everyone at the #greatmanchesterrun #notafraid

Airport:

Some flights are being delayed or diverted to Athens, due to low cloud ☁ cover following rain ☔ overnight ...

Previous blog: Are we saying goodbye to the 757's ...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Are we saying goodbye to the 757's ...

Things are changing ?

Photo © : @stephenporter70
TUI Airlines UK (Thomson) were using a 737-8KS on the LGW (G-FDZD) & LTN (G-TAWD) routes today instead of the trusty 757

Is this the start of their journey to the desert ...

Photo (G-TAWD) by kind permission: © @stephenporter70


Yesterday: Quiet Night ...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Quiet night ...

Down at the Attikon cinema ...

Dusting away the winter cobwebs with Mamma Mia ...



The weather gods shine on Skiathos ...


Yesterdays blog: Koukounaries area

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Koukounaries area ...

Koukounaries beach concession - update

The municipality will receive 551.000 euros from the licence holders at Koukounaries for each year for the next 5 years

At the auction, held on Sunday 21st May - this year the prices soared through the roof as the concessions rose up to 105.000 euros! In addition the municipality decided to dismantle the newsstands ...

The sunbeds were being set out yesterday, good luck to the owners, lets hope they can make a decent profitfrom it ...

Other island beaches concession - No update on the date for their auctions as yet.

Hotel Xenia Latest photos (Not to be confused with Banana) ...





It seems the large Koukanaries car park is going to be part of the new Xenia hotel complex. Where all the cars are going to park when the accomodation is built ?





Weather

Keep a brolly close to hand ...

Later Update (18:10hrs):

Thundertorms nearby with an impressive array of lightning strikes ...


Yesterdays blog: Thoughts ...

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Thoughts ...

Are with people in Manchester - especially the children ...

The blog is read by hundreds of people each day from the UK. I sincerely hope none are affected by this tragedy, but it will be hard to imagine that there will be no Skiathos friends, who do not know someone ...

Manchester. United by Stuart Latarche

So I suppose you think you're clever with what you've gone and done?
To target those so innocent and young, who were simply having fun
You may have done some damage in the name of your "just" cause,
But we have a message to send; our bombs are louder than yours

But our bombs aren't filled with hate or metal shards and broken glass
Ours are filled with love and hope to mend those broken hearts
An explosion of emotion to show the world we care
To bring us all together, to show that we aren't scared

To help all those wounds to start to mend
To show our families this does not have to be an end
To not let some coward win and tear us all apart
To live our lives with those we lost still living in our hearts

So whilst elections may temporarily divide us
Events like this must do nothing but unite us
Let's not live in a world of which we're scared
Choose love, choose hope as hate cannot compare

No photos/talk or posts today - just think of the children ...



Yesterdays Blog: Update from the Olive Grove ....

Monday, 22 May 2017

Update from the Olive grove ...

Work continues ...

Here are some photos of the site, and the path down to the Banana Beaches.

Our roving reporter writes ...

'I have been advised the new hotel have taken over Bananistas and from 2018 there will be foot access only. Not sure if this is true, as so many rumours are going around, like the 51 new properties are now 100.  

A few cars/jeeps have managed to sneak down, I am waiting for the day they padlock the barrier while they are there, and can't get back up' ... 












'There were around 35 people, on Banana,  a couple of jeeps at the bottom everyone else parked at the top or walked down' ...