Thursday, 17 August 2017

A reader writes ...

With details of the Skiathos Balloon festival ...

Apparently the success of the Bristol event, has brought the idea to the thoughts of islanders. Who are suggesting that they hold a similar event, when conditions are right ...


Now to do this will require lots of meetings, discussions with the people in positions of power. Not to mention many papers to be filled in, and numerous stamps to be applied on official documentation ...

After all there are strict rules on this kind of thing, and no-one wants to be in the position of breaking the law. It seems everyone has a drone above the island at the moment. That should come to an end swiftly as the hunting season starts in a few weeks - and they will become fair game ...

So this morning, at first light in a secret location, away from prying eyes. The first small steps were made, in preparation for the first balloon flights on Skiathos.


The still dawn airs made for a very successful first flight, above 'the rock' ...



Followed by a rather bumpy landing in an olive grove shortly afterwards, having avoided some thistles, and a neighbours flowering bougainvillea.

Onward and upward ...

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Its a public holiday ...

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

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. - See Greek Reporter link here:

So 'summer easter' means the epitaphos has to be prepared, for its journey ...


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, Why ? 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, 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 over' the ferries will  be full, as they start taking the mainlanders away, however to you, and me there are still seven weeks left, and some sense of normality still to return ...

However as its a bank holiday, the police are out and about, parking fines on the port, apparently walking is still permitted.

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 (source ©: www.namedays.gr)

A message from the Skiathos Dog Shelter:

'Just to remind everyone that we still have our quiz nights every Wednesday evening from 9pm at the Iguana Bar - Agia Paraskevi (bus stop 16). All money raised goes towards funding the shelter. We try to raise as much as we can during the summer months to keep us going through the winter'

Monday, 14 August 2017

Cruise news ...

TUI will be in town next year ...

The Aegean Meze cruise aboard the TUI Discovery 2, will call into Skiathos on day five of its voyage, around the aegean. Cruises start from Corfu, on 29th June, 10th August and 5th October 2018. Calling at Syros, Kusadasi (Turkey) Skiathos, Piraeus and Argostoli

So expect to see the boat in the bay, and guests being brought ashore on ...

Tue 3rd July 2018
Tue 14th August 2018 (Next day 15th is the Holiday)
Tue 9th October 2018 (After the main tour ops have departed)

Looks like a nice itinary, and will bring some more euros to town, when everyone else is on the beach, or back in the UK.

Perhaps this last visit is what they call extending the season, when TUI are flying their passengers out on 28th September ...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bravo Ioannis ...

Μπράβο Ιωάννης ...

It has been confirmed yesterday, Ioannis Voutsis, saved the life of a woman who lost consciousness in the sea on Friday. Preventing her from drowning, and ultimately saving her life.

With his experience as a lifeguard, he also provided medical assistance, to resuscitate her on the beach.

Ioannis you may know from his days on the Eleni boat with his brother Kostas, now run the Nikolaki fishing trips, from the old harbour. He also has a watersports concession on Koukounaries beach.

To give life is one thing, to save a life another. Bravo Ioannis ...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Καληνύχτα από τη Σκόπελο ...

Good Night from Skopelos ...

© Ioannis Pagonis 2017
From Ioannis Pagonis, a good friend, who for many years worked in Stamatis, but now works in Nikos restaurant over in Panormos Skopelos ...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Extend the season ...

From the Taxydromos newspaper

'Tourists come to the islands of the Northern Sporades, which are at the peak of the season, with plumes reaching 100% in Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos.

The island of Papadiamantis is full of calamity, while  Alekos Efstathiou, chairman of Skiathos Hoteliers Association, tells  TACHYDROMOS that the island is overloaded since July 20th and is expected to maintain until the end of August the same picture. He states that the image of arrivals is more satisfactory than last year, adding that "we are trying to lengthen the season until the second week of October, with additional flights from England".

The Greeks are so reluctant so far, compared to at least the image that existed in the past, while the presence of the young friends of the island, who mainly opt for the weekend breaks, is more intense. As Mrs. Efstathiou underlines, the island has benefited a lot from the island, as many young people from Northern Greece make a holiday on the island, but there is limited consumption in the restaurants. It is generally accepted that the economic potential for the overwhelming majority of consumers is limited, resulting in less turnover in the focus, even at the peak of the tourist season.

At the same time, Skopelos, the owner of the Skopelos Hotels Association, said that the occupation is at the highest level of occupancy, as the Municipality of Skiathos, Mary Diamanti, points to 100% of the island's tourist attraction. She also stresses that it is very important that events take place in every area of ​​Skopelos, raising the tourist interest and the traffic. The hotel chairman also underlined the remarkable momentum of the season, which as they all appear, will continue until the beginning of autumn, while Greek tourists on the island are becoming more and more intense.

Satisfied at the same time, for the tourist image of Alonissos, the mayor of the island, Petros Vafinis, who stresses that the occupation is approaching 100%, there is a lot of people on the island from Thessaloniki and other areas, along with the foreign tourists of the summer season . The world, however, is "numb", as he notes, referring to the limited economic potential of most visitors. Consumption is limited, as the island's professionals say at the same time that the move is satisfactory, but the money spent by tourists is much less compared to earlier times and especially to the pre-crisis times'

Additional flights from England ? Not Italy or our Scandinavian friends? or the Balklan countries where they have been seeking new markets, with tourists who turn studios into restaurants?

If they want the 'Swans' then they need to treat them well, Flights and packages are extortionate, compared to the other places in Greece, that stay open until the end of October. Corfu Rhodes etc.

If the seats are cheaper you get more custom, and they have more money to spend - on the island. Thats the idea isn't it ? ...

Will there be any sunbeds for the tourists to use, or are they just for part of June, July, August, and most of September ?

In addition, they better make sure the mainlanders, with businesses, don't leave at the end of September. Its bad enough everyone has the mistaken belief, the islanders put padlocks on the island then as it is ...

Its no good 'treating your best customer mean, and expecting them to remain keen' when you feel like it ...

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Olives ...

It may be hot or very wet outside ...

Depending of course where you are ...

Greek marinated olives ...
But you cannot help sometimes, to fancy a taste of the sun, and have something that makes you feel better inside ...

If you are on the border, and the yak is powering the WiFi in North Korea, right now. I have a message from the leader of the free world ...


Run for the hills, if you see fireworks ...

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Memories ...

People often ask what is August like?
Six years ago on this day in 2011 ...

Q1. When is the next trip available ?
A. Its on Friday - We are sold out until then. (This was a Monday)

Q2. What have you got tomorrow ?
A. Nothing until Friday - We are sold out until then.

After listening to this just five times, the captain looked at me, shook his head, turned off the lights, and said 'lets go home' ...

Maybe it was the full moon, it still seems to have been casting its spell over the last few days

Ever heard of canceling your holiday, just in case of loosing your luggage on the way back? Or because the buses are full? No me neither, but I have now ...

Late News:

Local joke (August)

Q: Where is the best place to park in Skiathos Town in the evening ?

A: Glossa (Skopelos)

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bravo Amanda ...

... and the Attikon cinema team

 From http://www.kathimerini.gr/

Konstantinos Zoulas CONSTANTINOS ZOULAS
Lydia - Mamma Mia ... in Croatia
POLICY 05.08.2017 : 20:16

"After you are in Skiathos you must definitely go with your children to Mamma Mia. They should not lose it as many times as they have ever seen. Because here is not a simple projection of the project, but something really original that you will be happy and you, it is enough to book in time ".

The friend's incitement brought curiosity to the company and so we booked tickets for everyone. Well, you will not believe it. In the beautiful Summer Cinema "Attikon" of Skiathos, four times a week, and for the whole summer, the following crazy thing is happening: While Mamma Mia is being shown, ABBA's songs are already on the first scene and they are on the stage In front of the screen some young people (rather actors) with excellent voices who manage in a few minutes to turn the work into an unprecedented interactive musical. What I mean;

In the show I saw the scene filled every so many dozens of boys and girls and older people - Greeks and mainly foreign tourists - who were on stage to become the choir of Meryl Streep, Piers Brosnan and Amanda Safed, with the original "Animeter" does not even need to give the tone after a while. Until the break, there was not even a spectator who did not sing the ABBA songs, and in the ballads the cinema was transformed into an ecclesiastical choir.

Our children are meant to go crazy, while searching for a bit to learn how this paradoxical spectacle arose, my surprise grew even bigger, as I found out that everything started in 2008 completely random and spontaneous. It was then the first year that Mamma Mia was screened all over the world and the strangers who succeeded in winning the summer work in Skiathos were so excited to be on one of the islands that was filmed to spontaneously step on the stage to " And sing along with the famous actors.

And somehow, the owners of "Attikon", without themselves too busy, became producers of this paradox spectacle, which has since been constantly rising over the last nine summers with all the performances - four weeks each week - sold out as foreigners Greek tourists learn that in "Attikon" when playing Mamma Mia is a party and they want to live it.

Especially watching the strangers rejoice so much even in the Greek "paradox" of the summer cinema, my mind went together in one last year's visit to the beautiful Damouhari of Pelion. And again I remembered the surprise I had felt when I realized that the local taverns even today, nine years after the show of Mamma Mia, show their place with great pictures showing scenes from the movie against the backdrop of the enchanting beach that was filmed. The same thing is happening in Skopelos where most Mamma Mia was filmed. Even today, thousands of tourists visit her to see the beautiful landscapes chosen by the director, while a friend told me that something like this is happening in Amorgos,

For those who have not yet guessed the occasion of today's note, I will tell you in one sentence. When I came out of Skiathos summer cinema I was in front of Lydia Koniordou, I think I would not be able to stop her from ... catching it. Or, to be exact, I would force her by all means to reveal how the demon of her ministry managed to lose Greece shooting the second Mamma Mia, which will eventually be filmed in Croatia. Because it is a real feat for a minister of culture to know, like all Greeks, how much our country has benefited from its unbelievable visibility through this film and sends Meryl Streep and other actors to turn its course in Croatia.

And even more outrageous is that Mrs. Konidoros did not even feel the need to explain to the public her success or even to deny the version of production that her ministry was asked to bend the bureaucratic procedures and to give some tax imperfections, Which, of course, promptly helped the Croats to meet. You will tell me, Mrs. Konidord would have more serious issues to deal with. Like proclaiming a listed monument a tavern in Epidaurus or shaking as she used her hands to clean the negative aura from her ministry.

ΥΓ. The story-telling of the story is that after the outcry, SYRIZA announced that it is enacting a law that will motivate foreign producers. They will be implemented, however, after 2018. Do not hurry children, we have time (to expel other productions).

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Lucifer ...

Interesting name for a heatwave ...

Yesterdays official high was 35.8 °C at the weather station in town ...


Those with thermometers from jumbo, managed to record 10 degrees hotter than that. Still the temperature at 08:30 is a very impressive 30.2 °C

Sunrise 6th August 2017
Photo: Nick Yerasimos, Swell Beach Bar
The heat is increasing on the streets, and beaches. Clearly its fried a few folks brain cells as they are saying Skiathos resembles Benidorm.

Now you will have to help me here, as I have never been there, but know people who have and love it. Has the island changed to this overnight?

Apparently one of the best beaches Mandraki resembles this ?



Apparently the beach at Nostos resembles Faliraki, well I have been there. To be honest, I cant see the likeness either. But when i did, albeit years ago, had a great time.

The bottom line to me, is that its August, Europe is on holiday and having fun in the sun. That includes young people who want to enjoy themselves. The folks on Nostos are having a ball, with like minded people and age groups.

They are utilising the services of the taverna, and - spending cash on drinks and bottles of Greek champagne. Apparently you have to buy food from the taverna, if you use the beds. Seems quite reasonable to me, if you were a few weeks ago 'feeling sorry for the licence holders, only having a few weeks to make their money' ...

Well €8 for a brolly and two sunbeds, will not keep the wolf away from the door, this winter.

Other beaches are setting up different types of loungers, like double beds. They are doing that for a reason, there is a market for it. They have a few weeks to make their seasons money. If you think a rusty metal frame stringy elastic sunbed will return, go to the GP immediately - It is not going to happen ...

Earlier the Brits were likened to being 'the oldests swans' of the tourists. Which in essence is true, but if you visit in August you have to go with the flow, that includes young people arriving from the mainland, its happened every August and will continue to do so. Expect cramped and overcrowded busses, mossies, wasps, short tempers, traffic end to end on the island, less than silver service, and all the changes to the island that have happened since you were last there.

That's the way it is at least for another ten days ...

Many of the swans are saying they will not be coming back, too many changes. Well there will be others to take your place, that is the way of the world.

Its called Crazy August for a reason, and if you are complaining there are too many tourists, its because, you too are one of them ...

So enjoy returning to Benidorm, let us know how you get on. Its very warm there too at the moment, thanks to Lucifer ...

Previous blog: Heatwave

Later update:

Lucifer peaked today on Skiathos at 37.2 °C at 15:50
Benidorm was slightly cooler at 33.2 °C at 16:10 ...

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Heatwave ...

Some like it hot ...

Weather forecasters are warning of a prolonged heat wave up to 41 degrees Celsius. The temperature will gradually rise over the weekend affecting all the country

This is the time of the meltemi winds that cool the islands, like a hairdryer. However it seems the meltemi will be turning itself off, after the weekend.

Although the wind will be blowing from the North, however, it will do so as a whisper ...

The heat wave is expected to continue through the week into Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 10-12, 2017, and the temperature is expected to decrease to normal seasonal levels around Sunday, August 13th.

So drink lots of fluids, so you don't dehydrate. No naked flames in the woodland areas, the fire risk will be high. Then as the winds drop, the mossies will become airborne, take all precautions, they will take no prisoners.

Lots of grumbles on the forums, at the moment, but it is August, and yes this is 'Your Skiathos - Welcome to paradise' ...

Its now the peak of the high season, this is when the locals are ringing the cash register, as fast as they can. Its now all about making money, and forget the niceties, get seated get fed, get paid, and turn the table as fast as you can.

Next week is the Greek Holiday weekend. The ferries will be full to bursting point, this week as they arrive from the mainland. The island and its five buses will be even more packed than they are now ...

Go with the flow, there is nothing you can do about it. The heat will be rising, and not just on the streets ...



Thursday, 3 August 2017

Skiathos, one of the best years ...

This is a recent report shared by http://www.skiathosview.gr

The  green island of Sporades,  with its exceptional golden beaches, seems to  be breaking down every record of the past , since the beginning of June shows hotels reaching 100%.

One of its best times, and probably the best one, is Skiathos on the tourism side,  as evidenced by figures and numbers,  making the island one of the flags of the great industry of Greek tourism. The previous month was spectacular in terms of tourist arrivals at Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport  ,  which grew by 14.2% compared to the corresponding period of 2016, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

The  majority of tourists in Skiathos and this year comes from the UK, with British tourists accounting for 51%  of the total number of tourists. This year, the British, traditionally regarded as the oldest skiers in Skiathos,  seem to have reduced their holiday budget due to the insecurity caused by Brexit.  However, arrivals from Great Britain in June increased by 6.6%.

The  increase in arrivals of tourists was also spectacular in June, according to Skiathos Hotel Association after an increase of 24.3%.  The Italians are the second best customer for Skiathos, accounting for 34% of all tourists. Already in the current tourist season Skiathos is connected directly with 14 Italian airports and at the peak of the tourist season  from Rome and Milan there are two flights per day.

A large increase in June also recorded arrivals from Scandinavian countries and especially from Sweden, increasing by  30.5%, which means opening up a new dynamic tourist market. The most spectacular rise was recorded in arrivals from Germany, which recorded an increase of 49.7% in June , since for the German tourists the island was almost unknown and their preference was towards the land of Greece.

A significant share in June was also attributed to arrivals from Balkan countries, mainly from Romania and Serbia, and to a lesser extent from Bulgaria. Finally, the current month as far as the figures so far will be the best July of all time, since the fullness already reaches 100%,  according to Skiathos Hotel Association, and the same picture is expected to be presented in August.

Characteristic of the great tourist climb  for the Sporades, and especially for Skiathos, are the arrivals of aircraft last weekend, which reached 69 from all over Europe,  bringing more than 10,000 passengers to the island, while the same picture also shows arrivals by ferry.

newsbomb.gr

However all may not be as it seems ...

Following the article, there was feedback from businesses on the island from their perspective. So an update has been posted http://www.skiathosview.gr/

It makes for interesting reading - Form your own opinion, who is right ...

'AVANTI FM listeners and site readers of www. Skiathosview.gr and our station's FB-page, we were told over 90%, That we are going through one of the worst years ever! That's because not only the English visitors have reduced their budget due to Brexit, but also because the shift that our island has made to Balkan target markets has brought new "elements" to the market of our island. 
The situation is as follows. Visitors who do not spend at all, cars full of food, rented rooms that have become restaurants because they all cook in the rooms, while for the first time there is an increase in small thefts in shops'

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Medical emergencies ...

Its that time of year ...

Under the care of the Coast Guard Operations Center - Greek Coast Guard, it was transported in the morning hours yesterday, Tuesday, August 1, 2017, with the vessel "AGIOS IOANNIS ROSSOS" N.S. 158, from the port of Skiathos at the port of Volos, 21 years old, who needed immediate hospital care.

The 21-year-old was taken from an ambulance of the EKAB and transferred to the Volos Hospital for care and hospitalization

Later again with care of the Coast Guard Operations Center - Greek Coast Guard, two patients were taken from Skiathos to Volos, who needed immediate hospital care. In particular, a 7-year-old and a 64-year old were transferred to the port of Koukounaries and to the port of Volos and were transferred by EKAB ambulances to the Volos Hospital for Care and hospitalization.

Update:

'In the morning, the life of a 21-year-old national who made a holiday on Sporades Island with his company was in serious danger yesterday morning. The young man had fun with his friends in a shop when, for unknown reason, the moments of carefreeness turned into a nightmare and martyrdom. Suddenly she began to squeeze off the pain while she had only consumed three drinks, which raises concerns even for their quality.

However, lately there have been many incidents with young people being transferred to Volos General Hospital having consumed alcohol. Doctors are saying dangerously. In the summer with high temperatures and with the increase in alcohol consumption it is necessary to pay close attention to the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

It all happened around 4 at dawn. While the evening was flowing nicely, and for the moment nothing said that something bad would happen, the 21-year-old showed acute abdominal pain and found himself from one moment to the other at the Health Center of the island to seek help. He had fled poorly from the fun center because of unbearable pains, and a friend of his was with him and accompanied him.

This Health Center not the first time people are asked for help with a similar symptom. However, the 21-year-old really had a severe pain, which did not seem to have faded. According to information, he is reportedly asked about his diet or alcohol, and said he had consumed only alcohol and specifically three drinks.

The incident, reportedly, was considered suspicious with regard to its development. The 21-year-old was judged to be in need of immediate hospital care as the pain continued to be acute. Immediately, with the care of the Coast Guard - Greek Coast Guard, a company was set up to transport it to Volos. Around 21:00 the 21-year-old moved to Volos.

The young man was admitted to hospital at the Volos General Hospital. According to information, it is monitored by the surgical clinic, having undergone pancreatitis. Pancreatitis, reportedly, is caused by several reasons, one of which is alcohol. The young man, however, did not use it inexorably.

Achilopoulos doctors watch the young man conservatively, that is, they expect to see the course of his health by administering the required medication. The 21-year-old, up until yesterday evening, reportedly had not yet recovered from the pain.

In order to treat this inflammation in the pancreas, it takes some time. Doctors continue to follow closely at 21, as pancreatitis can cause serious health problems.

Source: Taxydromos newspaper

We wish them well ...

Previous Blog: Crazy August

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Crazy August ...

Καλημέρα και καλό μήνα ...

Good Morning, and Good Month to our Greek friends, and those who read the blog, from across the world.

Crazy August has arrived, and its now the peak of the season, The sun is up, the heat is rising, the pressure is on for the next few weeks to keep the till full, the tables turned, and pray that the ice machine, does not break down ...

The tax inspectors know this, and are doing the rounds, lets hope the till machines are fully operational ...

August means the roads will be very busy, parking will be even less fun than usual. Watch out for the quads, there was an accident yesterday up in the hills. Hopefully the riders are both recovering well.

Its also the start of high season for the wasps. Ripe fruit, grapes plums and especially figs mean its wasp heaven ...

The Meltemi winds are blowing, a hairdryer from the north all the way down to the Cyclades. The round the island boats will get a rest, for a few days or amend the destinations.

August, has thirty one days, so by the 31st you're only losing 47 minutes daylight in the morning, and an hour's daylight in the evening. There is something to look forward to.

Have a good day wherever you are ...

Previous Blog: Boats and Money ...