Ithaca Greece - Winter 2005 - 2006. Greek Island Holidays in the Ionian. Ithaca Ithaki, the home of Ulysses and Homer
Winter on Ithaca 2005 - 2006
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..Ithaca Notary Office
Wed23 Nov - Yesterday was fairly miserable weather wise, it was cold, wet and windy, but life for the working people of ithaca, went on as usual. Left - Spyros Boya, Ithakis' Notary, was deep into work when we passed by for a photo. His story will be in the locals soon. Left Bottom - Emanuella and Gherardo from Florence, make a new friend in Ricky Church, formerly from the UK, then Kioni and now living in Vathy. Below - Many restaurants are now closed, but Kalkanis Grill, behind the village Square of Vathy, is open for business Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn (not particularly in that order). Aristotelis, owner of Kalkanis, slaves over a hot grill all year 'round for the hungry on Ithaca, and with a smile what's more.
Left - Emanuella and Gherardo are just a couple of people getting a taste of Winter on Ithaca. Gherardo is a retired computer engineer and a dedicated Biker, although in this weather, he brought the car over on the ferry from Italy and left the BMW in Florence.
Thu 24 Nov - Even ugly days have their beauty on Ithaca. Above - the skies turned black over the Ionian and Kefalonia began to disappear in the rainy mist of yesterday. Low temperatures and a day of stormy weather had Ithacans indoors most of the time, while the streets around the island were left to puddle under the continuous downpour.
Above - Remember the fire at Aetos during the Summer? Now that the mountain is greening up with the rain, the extent of the fires' damage to the mountainside is far more obvious. My guess is that someone coming from the Port of Piso Aetos, halts briefly at the main road which goes south to Vathy and north to the villages, flicks his/her cigarette out of the window and drives happily off home or on to his/her holiday accommodation, while behind him/her the fire begins to crackle through the bush, lighting up the mountain before he/she throws down his/her suitcase and lights up another cigarette.
Right - Under that big, bulging cover of cloud lays the Kathara Monastery and beyond that, the village of Anoghi. Let's take a drive into the heavens to experience Ithaca from the blind side. Click Here or on photograph right.
Fri 25 Nov - Above - Another rainy and grey day around the island yesterday, but try keeping the locals away from their local Cafenion. The locals are like the Postman - 'through rain, hail or shine'. Nothing can keep them from their Greek coffee and Parea (friends).
Another book worth getting is Andreas Anagnostatos' book 'Analecta - Collected from the History and Folklore of Ithaca'. This book can be purchased from the Council of Ithaca. Their website is Analecta has interesting facts about the way of life on Ithaca over the centuries. Andreas Anagnostatos has been archiving the Ithaki history his entire life time and is an expert on the island. He is a local who has opened his home to those interested in learning about Ithaki and has an unstoppable determination to chronicle Ithaca for the generations ahead.
Left - Dimitris Danis is currently gathering information on all the churches and chapels, large and small, on the island so that the religious history of Ithaca can be explored by the online community. All going well, next season there may well be a tour of all the churches, organized by Dimitris, and in the near future, a page on the site which will document the information gathered.
Going through all the things I've collected since starting ithacagreece website, I came across the book The Children of Ulysses by Christos Raftopoulos. It's a book of portraits and seascapes from Ithaca. A great addition to the coffee table library. Inside there are photographs of some of the locals way back when, and it's interesting to see how they have changed over time. Many are known by some of the regular visitors to the island. There is Kiki from the mini market in Frikes for example, before marriage, before motherhood. In the eyes of the locals, Christos Raftopoulos has captured an era of Ithaki that no longer exists, an innocence, which over time, has been a little corrupted with tourism. If you are interested in a copy of The Children of Ulysses, you can visit Christos' site CLICK HERE or email him CLICK HERE. Christos Raftopoulos is an Ithacan local who continues to explore the psyche of the island through photography. You can read about his illustrious career on his webpage.
Nowadays on Ithaki, it's dark by 5.30pm and the hum around the island isn't an earthquake building, but the sound of oil burners firing up. It's rainy, it's cold, it's damp and's a great place to be. Every window in every house is like a canvas painting itself into something wonderful to look at.
Sat 26 Nov - Clear skies and views yesterday after days of rain. Above - Fiscardo in Kefalnia, only a stones throw away from Polis Bay under northern village of Stavros.
For the goats on Ithaki, the mountains have been divided into obstacles since the roadside safety barriers were erected.
Right - Another moment in Frikes, but this time a little more on the wild side. Over the past month Rementzo restaurant has been turning away patrons, as news of their fun music nights have spread around the island. Accordionist, Makis Andrianatos (remember the old Panighiri band?) turns up the volume with his friend on bouzouki, to heat up the cold winter nights for the locals looking for a good time. From now until Dec 31st, Rementzo will have music nights on Frikdays and Saturdays. Click here or on photo right to see why. Beware - lots of photos here.
The idyllic bayside village of Frikes - Fishermen untangling their nets, calm waters, blue skies... If you've been to Frikes during the warm season, you'll remember the restaurants along the bay, the sound of plates and cutlery clanging from behind restaurant doors, the smell of souvlaki, Meropi with her blonde locks, Stathi dancing in the street and Nektarios sending Poppy to the frontline. Well take a look at it now. Click here or on photograph Left.
Join the fun at Rementzo on Friday and Saturday night in Frikes, Ithaca.
Tue 29 Nov - Left - The sun goes down on Ithaki. Some dramatic skies yesterday after heavy winds, rain and storms passed over Ithaca early Monday morning. As we head into the last days of November, the weather is showing its' winter rage across Europe. On Ithaca, we're quite lucky not to be under a meter of snow or drowning in one of the floods, causing havoc and despair on mainland Greece. Click on Photo Left
Below Left - The new look Post Office in Vathy. Everyone working at the Post Office these days seems alot cheerier and more welcoming since the facelift to the offices. Bright and open spaces have done wonders for the staff and the patrons. Pavlos, Ithakis Post Master, has just nipped out for a minute to get his coffee from across the way, To see him up close and personal, check out the Vathy locals. One customer seems to be Demetri, the culprit of Spavento Bars' Ouzo Sundays.
Below - Aetos views from a little off the bay road reveals some stately ruins that would have been grand homes in their day.
The Wells are filling up quite nicely over the past days, with rain each day. The clouds begin to well up again for another downpour as we head through Ag. Sarantas. This morning the seas were like glass, no sign of the 6 force winds predicted for today, but there are a few hours to go before this day ends, and in November, that can mean a complete weather change, so no doubt it will be blowing a gale by nightfall. The temperature is quite mild however, 17C
Wed 30 Nov - If you want to know what the picture left has to do with Ithaki, you better click here or on the photo to find out.
The end of another month. Don't know about anyone else, but the months are just flying by. Today is fairly ordinary, grey skies with the horizon misted out. The weather has erased the colour from the island, but the locals look pretty relaxed and happy right now. All the hard work is over for the year and Ithaca now begins to settle into the Winter routine. The temps have been very mild however, 17 / 18 degrees C. No snow on the mountains across on the mainland yet either.
...and so it's on to December, Christmas and the New Year
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