winter on the greek island of ithaki in greece. see what the locals are up to in greece. 2007
Winter on Ithaca 2006 - 2007
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Thu 14 Dec - There surely isn't a person alive that's come to the island or Greece for that matter, stayed any amount of time, that hasn't had the throat burn of a good Tsipouro. Greek moonshine. Poppy Pagoulatou has kindly sent in pics taken at Anoghi. What could they possibly be making in those cauldrons. .....A few
Sun 17 Dec - Above - Ithacans get together in Kew for the Annual IPS Christmas Lunch. Click here for more
locals headed up to see. Niko Karantzis took along some lamb chops and his friends Viki, Aki, Nektarios and Poppy for a grillin, spillin and chillin Tsipouro experience. We know at least one of them made it back down the mountain. Click on pic above for more. Note - You'll need to allow active content in your browser to see the Flash movie.
Sat 23 Dec - Cough, cough!!!! sorry, but I'm choking on smoke from the fires in Victoria Australia. Better buy some shoes to make me feel better. Luckily in Australia they're giving them away (Pic Right). Everyone on Ithaki must be very busy or having too much fun to send me some pics, so this is official filler.
Merry Christmas to all and Happy Holidays
Mon 25 Dec - Nick Levy from Perahori sent in these photos of Fiorendino (formerly Bemenis) Opening night in Frikes (above) and Christmas lights in Stavros and Vathy (below). News is the weather's fine and looks like it will stay that way over the holidays.

Above - Plastic Santa is back in the Vathy Square and the boats in the harbour are lit up with Christmas lights. wishes everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year, peace of mind and many visits to Ithaki in the future.
Wed 27 Dec - Left - Loula Vlass and Anna Vlass, creators and authors of the Ithacan Recipe Australian Memories Book subsidized by the Ithacan Philanthropic Society of Melbourne Australia. (See recipes) Included are recipes from Ithacans living in Australia with photographs and memories from the Melbourne Ithacan community.
Melbourne City skyline at dusk from Port Melbourne will be back to normal in a few days. The holiday ends tomorrow so there'll be pics from the island again for the New Year and of course, as always, a special on the holiday in Australia. Thank you to everyone for still logging on even though the Ithaki content was a little slim. By all accounts the weather was better on the island than in Melbourne. Here it's cold, there was snow in an outer suburb and on the mountains and lots of rain. Good for the fires that raged out of control for weeks now, and hopefully good for the long drought Victoria has been suffering. Victoria is now heading for Stage 4 water restrictions. It's a hard lesson to learn for people who have taken water for granted. Short showers, no car washing, garden watering only twice per week. The city of lawns may soon opt to concrete. Keep tuned.
Back on Ithaca
Above - The boys from Stavros do the rounds singing the Calendar for the New Year. After a donation, they head on to the next house. Happy New Year to all.
Tue 2 Jan - At Rementzo in Frikes, it was dinner and music to bring in the New Year.
Ithaca has been down with a virus since Christmas, where people are losing kilos in the loo. It's quick, it's vicious and spread like wild fire from one end of the island to the other, children to grandparents, mums to dads... and it's not over yet. Yes, I'm sick, barely 24 hours after arriving.
They'll be pics of the Australia trip to come after I get over 4 days in transit due to plane problems, missing ferries, missing New Years Eve due to exhaustion and now the Ithaca virus. Back soon I hope.
Thu 4 Jan - The weather today was just perfect. Blue skies and sunshine all around. Overnight, a big freeze dropped snow across the mainland, which makes a pretty sight from Ithaca today, and saw the temperature plummet down to below O. The streets around the northern island are quiet as people hibernate for the winter, but the views are so clear and the light is so pristine that you are tempted to pop your head out from behind your shuttered window at least once to breathe in the warmth a day like this brings. Greece has a happy light. Maybe that's why so many are drawn to its shores again and again. "Get your happy hit right here." In the hub of Ithaki, Vathy, it's business as usual. There's always plenty to see and do there when things get too boring up north.

New Year timetables, storms and heavy winds earlier in the week caused havoc with travel plans for ferry travelers, so todays' fantastic weather was a welcome relief for those who were stuck either in Patras or on Ithaca while the Kefalonia ferry was halted due to extreme weather. The weather is predicted to deteriorate again with rain tomorrow and the cold too, will remain as most of Greece is now under or in view of snowfall. Well, it is winter afterall. Up until now, Greece, including Ithaki, had experienced such fine and warm weather not at all usual for this time of year, that it made many worry. Everyone agrees, it's time for rain, it's time for Winter. So bring it on. The open fires are burning and the sternas are ready for a good fill of fresh rain water.

Sat 6 Jan - Today is Epiphany. Another big holiday in Greece. It's time for all the young boys to dive into the cold waters for the holy cross. It also means there's no bread today. No bread is the sure way to tell it's either Sunday or a holy day. Above - Vathy yesterday. Left - the local hang out, Odysseys Cafe, where a hot cup of coffee really hits the spot on a cold day. Right - the Dutch connection, Ester and Lilia, unite to organize cat care on the island.

Hronia Polla to all the Fotis, Theofanias and Fotoulas, wherever you are. Happy Name Day.

Above - Papas Babbis blesses the waters for the Frikes community. As in the past years, only Gerasimos from Platrithias, dares to unrobe in the bitter chill of winter to dive for the holy cross, tossed into the bay by the Papas.

There was a great turn out for the Epiphany this year, but still only one man dared to tread water. Congratulations and Hronia Polla to Gerasimo and family. Above Middle- Poppy and Nektarios from Rementzo introduce Ariadne to the Epiphany. They say hello to all their family and friends around the world. Above right - Is it a bird, is it a plane? No it's super George or Tzortz as he is lovingly called by those who don't know the 'G' sound. Attempting acrobatics from the Spavento roof top while wife Jennie discusses shutter colours with friend Poppy.

Above - Mitsos, Kionis retired Taxi driver and friend Aphrodite from Avra Taverna soak up the sun rays on the steps of the bay side house, once owned by Christos Raftopoulos, renowned fashion photographer, who now concentrates his talent on depicting Ithaki through photographs with the book The Children of Ulysses and exihibitions such as 'Imagine Ithaca', a moody, black and white photographic journey through winter on the island.

Revisit Winter 2003- 4 ..2004 - 5.. 2005 - 6
(C) 2003 - 2006
Click here for a flash performance click here for more pics of Christmas Lunch in Kew with IPS of Melbourne - 2006