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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Mon 20 Mar - Below - Salamanders coming out of hiding to help keep us bug free as Spring warms up. Right - A heightened police presence in Vathy, keeping Ithaki safe as houses. We are very lucky on this island to have avoided serious crime. It's one of the few places remaining in the world, where the safety of the community continues to be unchallenged.
Below left - The days have been a little dreary this past week with grey skies and rainy days. What to do, where to go. Fishing in the bay anyone?
Below - Vathy town. It seems the boundaries of Ithakis Capital, change weekly. There is much building going on wherever you look, even the center is going through a transformation as shop fronts move into the 21st century.
Vathy, Ithakis capital in the south of the island.
Mon 27 Mar - No updates over the past week because I've been away. A week in the big smoke via a few other places, mainly a week of 'Drive Bys', of which of course, you'll get all the pics. I missed the big weekend on Ithaca, but from the masses getting on the ferry yesterday as I was getting off, it must have been huge. The crowds, very reminiscent of a July at Piso Aetos, flooded the Kefalonia.
Left - Sounio coast. Just one of the 'Drive Bys' over the past week. More pics of Sounio, the beautiful and the ugly of Greece once I unpack, so check back later.
Tue 28 Mar - 'From Ithaca - On the road to nowhere in particular' is now online. Click here or on photo left for more pics.
Having been lucky enough to travel much of Greece, islands, and in particular the mainland, I was hoping to move up to Florina and on to Thessalonika this year. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this didn't happen, so come on a 'driveby' of a small section of the northern Peloponnese and outside Athens instead.
Lower Perahori View
Wed 29 Mar - Left - Congratulations to Christina Kostiri, Vathy local, on her recent position as Councillor for this Prefectures' Normarchs Office.
I don't think there was a soul alive on the entire island that was enlivened and enthusiastic about yesterdays' warm, sunny and mild Spring day. It appeared that the heavy winter load had lifted from the shoulders of Ithacans north to south. Daylight Savings has also brightened things up around the place. Locals were out in their gardens in short sleeves and shorts.
Ithaca is covered in wildflowers and green fields from all the rain, and with blue skies all around, the days are looking pretty close to perfect.
Thu 30 Mar - Transformations around Ithaki take shape as the community prepares for the Summer Season. Below - Odysseas Supermarket in Stavros gets shaded up with a cool veranda. Yesterday, the morning started with blue skies, but as the eclipse neared, yes, eclipse, the skies soon turned black and the wind roared. By sunset, the horizon was clear again for another fine day today.
Fri 31 Mar - It's the end of another month and now we are seriously heading into better weather, warmer days and longer nights. Yesterdays warm 22C had Ithaca in a T-shirt soaking up the rays. It wont be long before the green fields of Ithaki will burn under the sun and dry up so now is a good time to go for all those walks that were impossible with the rain. Boots on please. It's 'snake in the grass' time. Most of the snakes on the island are harmless, but there is the odd Adder or two.
Above and Left - The valley behind Vathy where grove after grove of olive trees shimmer under the midday sun and the Summer rush of yachts and beach goers seems worlds away. Just minutes from the Capital, traditional Ithaki continues on as always. The winter seemed to go on longer this year, but who cares, Summer is around the corner and soon it will be festivals Panighiri, and nights at the Taverna. The tour groups start around end of April, yachts, probably sooner than that, and then it will seem like Winter never was. Easter, Greek Easter of course, is rushing up on us with Easter Sunday on 23rd April. Traditionally this is a very busy time for Ithaca with families coming home to the island to celebrate Easter with their loved ones. Students, studying away from home in colleges and universities scattered all over mainland Greece, will also be beating a path home. For those wanting to experience a more traditional holiday, Easter is a great time to see Ithaca celebrating one of its' most revered holy holidays. No, it's not all religious pomp and ceremony, there's alot of good fun planned by the clubs, bars and restaurants around the island. Open to celebrate.
Oh my god! It's April
Below - Another new venture in Vathy is the new Supermarket which when finished, is touted to have Athens prices. To those in the know, that means cheaper than Ithaca prices. More choice for Ithaca.
First signs of the season
Sat 1 April - Left - Stathi Vlassopoulos better known as Steve to the yachties who take their crews to Penelope Restaurant in Frikes, also known as Steve's Place. Rumours were flying each way but straight when the grapevine had it that Stathi was buying a new business. No more Frikes they said. He's moving his dancing feet to Vathy, they said. Wrong. Stathi has invested in a restaurant in Vathy, Kantouni Restaurant along the bay, but it's for his daughters. He's staying put in Frikes. Another rumour shot out of the sky. Stathi, not only the Frikes music man, but also a dedicated father, is helping his girls find a future on the island. It's a well known fact that jobs are hard to come by, so if you can't get a job, create one. We wish the ex- Penelope girls good luck with their new venture.
Yiannis and Maria from Batis Restaurant and Pizzeria in Vathy are the owners of this franchise. Maria Georgoulis announced the opening will be soon after Easter. You'll be able to find the supermarket on the road behind the Vathy car park, near the Council offices. The complex is huge by Ithacan standards, and will hopefully provide greater choice to the community. Together with Ena Supermarket, Vathy and the island in general, should be well covered for all it needs.
Above - Left - Right - Pete, Alice and first tour rep on the island, Sue. The 3 live on Lefkada full time. Alice and Pete have 9 years there, but as they are travellers at heart, their dream is to buy a barge and sail the canals and rivers of Europe. Sue arrived with her escorts yesterday to get ready for another season. She started repping on Ithaca in 2005 and has returned for another year.
More news from Vathy is the opening of a new restaurant next door to the Omirikon Hotel on the other side of the bay. It's a new venture for cousins Omiros (Polyctor Tours) and Dimos Kostopoulos (former chef at Drosia Restaurant). The name is Liberty and the opening party is on Friday the 7th of April.
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