Ithaca Greece - Winter 2005 - 2006. Greek Island Holidays in the Ionian. Ithaca Ithaki, the home of Ulysses and Homer
Winter on Ithaca 2005 - 2006
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
  Yesterday, the olive tree trimmings burned and smouldered under a rainy sky...Sounds romantic doesn't it. Actually during the day this was a raging bon fire which the owner left unattended after incinerating half the mountain side. Luckily there was some rain in the afternoon to dampen it, because the days' wind really whipped the flames dangerously close to the higher branches of trees and to the nearby house. Mine in fact. At 9pm it was still a glowing heap. Maybe there wasn't any danger, but the ash has left the house looking like a volcany has exploded nearby, and there isn't a room that doesn't smell like a crematorium. Even with all the windows closed, the smoke got in, just from the sheer force of the wind that blew it in the direction of the house. Ok, so maybe not all Ithacans are firendly. This Ithacan was asked to burn a little further from the house and just plain refused. Should have expected that, seeing that this same Ithacan once told me to go back to where I came from. Did he mean Lahos?  
Thu 17 Nov - Above - Yesterday, the olive tree trimmings burned and smoldered under a rainy sky...
Fri - 18 Nov - Yesterday we caught up with some of the working Vathinians. Below - Kyriakoula, secretary to Masso Deftereos, one of Ithakis architects, still working even while the boss is away. Right - The boys at Alpha Bike and Car Hire getting down and dirty, fixing the machinery ready for next Season
ithaca secretary  
alpha car and bike rental  
Oiling the wheels of Summer
Yesterdays' forecast predicted more rain and storms, but Ithaki rose to a bright, sunny day, and warmish day, with blue skies all around...until late afternoon, the prediction began to bare some truth as the skies darkened and thunder roared around the island.
Below Left - This is how the days started, with children and locals around the Vathy town Square, enjoying the warmth of the day and the sunshine. Below - This is how it ended. A black sky at 4.40pm ready to open up and say grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
vathy town square
  black skies over ithaca  
Sun 20 Nov - Right - Gerasimos from Stavros and Bettina from Vathy, brave the growing cold to enjoy a dinner in Frikes together. Outside the wind whistled and roared through the streets, but inside Rementzo it was toasty warm infront of the newly installed, slow combustion, wood burner. Gerasimos, with his wealth of experience in the installation of these burners, gave the owners a few tips on how to get the best out of them.

Sat 19 Nov - It's about time we had another Winter Special, and what could be more special than a walk from Stavros to Lahos via Pilikata. Put on your walking shoes because you're coming along. Click here on or photograph left, and let's get going.

From last night on, everyone will have fired up their heating as the temps dropped down to 0 overnight, with a top of only 12C expected today. With 8 force winds, the wind chill will probably bring the temps down even further. Get out the warm coats, scarves and hats, Winter has arrived. At this time of year my thoughts go to some of the older locals who still live very traditionally, without modern heating and insulation. These locals keep warm with hard work and a log fire in the kitchen, on which they cook their meals, as well as heat their bones. The damp, especially in the villages near the sea, will now take hold and settle into the pores of every house that can't eliminate the chill. It's no secret that the damp is the enemy of every Ithacan. It gets into the walls and into the bones, and without an electric blanket or hot water bottle, into the bed sheets. Fortunately on Ithaki, days with sunshine are always just around the corner, and although the sun doesn't heat up the ground, it does dry up the damp in the air, and makes winter a season that is not completely miserable and without redeeming features. Black skies often give way to blue...but not today.
Mon 20 Nov - Yesterday was definitely the coldest day so far. Icy! Above - The aqua waters of Aspro Yiallo, across from Aphales, weren't at all tempting. There was no easing into Winter this year, its' abrupt start came suddenly last night, so no more thoughts of Autumn swims.
The skies were mixed with heavy dark clouds and pristine blue. Above - Platrithia church was momentarily basked in sunshine before another cover of grey passed over it.
Above - A Raxi local. Once the back bone of a traditional village, now a disappearing relic of an era. In Raxi, where the narrow lanes through and around the hillsides are too narrow for cars, the donkey is still an imperative means of transporting olives.
Tue 22 Nov - Left - Yesterday, an early morning visit to the capital of Vathy, reveals surveyor and architect, Mr. Masso Deftereos advising one of his assistants on the workings of a design programme, after which she sees her first floor plan coming from the printer.
Right - Tatooist and Lefki Cams' Rien Post and partner and artist Ester van Zuylen do their weekly shop and the ritual coffee afterwards in the Vathy Square. While
yesterdays' high was a chilly 14C, it was quite pleasant in the sun and warm enough to take off the coats and scarves. Ester heads to Australia this week, but will return to continue her painting before she takes to the hills on her Spring walks. It was a quiet morning for Vathy, usually buzzing for the first working day of the week.
Above - The changing face of Frikes on the far side
Above - Around 5.30pm, the mountains on the mainland took on a pink glow as the sun began to set over northern Ithaki
It's hard to believe that our Ithaki can have such blue sky days like there have been over the past days, when most of Europe is covered in grey, but that's exactly how it is many days through winter here. On these chilly, but clear days, the mainland appears close enough to touch from just about anywhere in the north of the island. Crystal clear views to Cephalonia and Lefkada also. Right - A traditional old house in Vathy, now quite rustic from years of neglect. Low ceilings, traditional balcony and cellar on the lower floor.
Above - Gefyri Restaurant in Platrithia battens down for the Winter. The plastic keeps out the rain in the absence of its' owners who have fled to warmer climates over the next 2 months or so, but don't despair, they'll be back.
For those of you who read Greek, you may want to have a look at Spyros Arsenis webpage. Click here. An Ithacan musician and performer living in Vathy. There are so few websites made by Ithacans, that I think it's worth supporting the ones that exist.
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20