Winter on Ithaca
2007 - 2008
Winter views around Ithaca Island, the Gem of the Ionian with the picturesque villages of Vathy Perahori Marathia Dexa Aetos Piso Aetos Hani Anoghi Lefki Stavros Kalivia Pilakata Exoghi Platrithia Ag. Sarantas Afales Lahos Frikes Raxi Kioni
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Fri 19 Oct - When the skies are blue, they can be no bluer than in Anoghi. This very traditional village set high on a plateau on the top of Ithaki, has locals gathering on the bench in the village square or at the local Cafe as they wait for the Fruit and Veg van or the Bread van to deliver. It's an opportunity for this close-knit community to get together for a chat, discuss the week past or their plans for the day. This village may look sleep on the surface, but these locals are out in their fields and on the terraces, working the land as they have
for decades. Now as Ithaca prepares for olive picking season, there'll be even more work going on, on the slopes.
If the Weather Bureau is correct in its forecast, it will be raining again by tonight. Today the skies are already overcast, but Ithaki with its own micro-climate, is sometimes excluded from the weather happening around it, so who knows if we'll be needing umbrellas.
Sat 20 Oct - Above Left - Cameron with grandparents, Pat and Terry get in a little fishing in Vathy. A nice, relaxed way to spend the mainly morning in the south of the island. Meanwhile - Above Right - The weather had already changed in the north with the skies declaring imminent rain yesterday. Apparently there'll be more rain over the next few days.
Right - Last night in Frikes, the first open meeting for the newly founded pressure group 'Active Citizens' took place in the old school just outside Frikes village. Some came to give their support, others to gauge the intent of the group and argue incentives. Active Citizens' place in the community is to encourage and/or help the government find solutions for the problems facing the island and if need be, make them aware of problems that require solutions. Although last nights meeting was primarily to elect 7 preliminary members for the Group to become a legal entity and to lay out its agenda, some were determined to 'power-box' the issues, only confusing the intent with negativity rather than positive encouragement. Many begged the question - Is there really any argument against keeping Ithaki clean, beautiful and safe? Rumours that Active Citizens goal is to overthrow the government with fascist
ideas were put to rest by Efthimio, one of the original founders of the group, who declared the Group was set up solely to help fix the problems of the island through a community base. He was adamant in stating that Active Citizens and members thereof, have no intentions of being anti-government, but as all pressure groups around the world, will of course encourage the government to move on issues that are important to the welfare of the community and the well-being of the island. If you are a resident of northern Ithaki, Greek National or foreign, you can join Active Citizens. In the near future, another meeting to determine the hierarchy of the group will be held. A subscription payment will entitle you to vote. If issues such as Rubbish dumping, Quarry holes, dirty beaches, bad roads and environmental hazards etc worry you, keep your eye on the Notice Boards around the northern island for the next meeting. (If seeking a translation of this text into Greek, please contact for a reliable and accurate translation. These entries should be used as information, not ammunition. Thank you.)
Below - If you were on Ithaca today, this is what you'd see. Rain overnight and through the day. Low cloud blocks out the mountain tops and horizon.
Sun 21 Oct - Yesterdays' rain really cleared away all memories of summer and few cobwebs too. Today Ithaki is under a few rays of sunshine again, although it was forecast for storms and winds of 9 force, but I think the locals are all quite happy about winter coming. It's been a long hot summer. Vathy and Stavros will have a pulse all winter, but in other northern villages, it will be a different matter. This year, Rementzo restaurant in Frikes will be closing its doors until April 2008. No more music nights folks, but Piperato, directly behind the bay is believed to be staying open during the cold season, giving the locals somewhere to go. Symposium too, may open up here and there. The boys at Fiorendino Bar or the Orange Bar as its become known, still have enough enthusiasm to keep the bar open through the winter. There'll be some wild nights for the boys there no doubt.
In Kioni, Spavento Bar will soon be closed during the day and will open up each evening instead. Oasis Restaurant may have business as usual, but the other restaurants won't open their doors again until next Spring. Previous text has been removed due to complaint. I'm going to have to complain a bit myself from now on. Rien Post, Rementzo Grill Man and Mr. Lefki Cam has closed off the cam. He's moving to Stavros and may set it up there, with a new name of course. Winter on Ithaca means Cinema time. Season starts 10 November. As every year, all the latest releases will end up on the screen. The Ithaki Theatre Group will also be putting on a couple of performances during the winter months, an ancient comedy and maybe a 'live' Karatziozis.
Above Left - The winds started to blow in Kioni late this afternoon just before sunset. The 9 Force wind warning had all the boats out of the bay in case the forecast catastrophe actually eventuated. Above - The Spavento Twins, Nikos and Theofilos, celebrated their 3rd birthday this evening in Kioni. All the kids, young and old had a great time dancing to Greek childrens songs and The Wiggles, the Australian kiddy phenomenon. One got to witness just how many kids are now resident in Kioni. It's amazing what a few cold winters can do for the island population. Left - Nektarios and Ariadne. When both your hands are full you carry the birthday cake in your mouth...and then the wind blows... and then oops!
Above Left - Monika from Polyfemous restaurant and Britta, Argos Foundation (Ithaki Cats) volunteers, gather up stray cats for the Vets visit tomorrow in Stavros. Above Right - The colours of sunset and impending rain in Kioni.
Tue 23 Oct - Below - It's been rainy, stormy and cold with periods of high winds, but everything is still standing on Ithaca. The skies began to clear this afternoon, but the forecast predicts more rain until the weekend. Quite nice for a change.
Thu 25 Oct - This past week has been mostly grey and wet, but on reflection, that's a good thing. Ithaca needs water and the best way to get it is rain. Although yesterday, there was a break in the rain with some sunny periods, rain is expected to continue through to the weekend.
Below - The changing face of Stavros. Soon the Polis Bay view will be obscurred from the Stavros Square by the building in progress at the moment. It's reported to be a huge building once finished. Sad? Yes. Very sad.
Sat 27 Oct - Below - Pam and Doug are just a couple of Ithakis visitors who just can't keep away from the island. They come in May and again each October, taking in the more peaceful atmosphere.
Right - Blue skies again yesterday during the day, but by evening, the sky had turned grey, threatening more rain. In Stavros the Primary school children were practicing their steps for the Oxi Day Parade.
The annual Oxi Day Parade is on this Sunday, 28th October of course, starting in Vathy around 10am. School children from around Ithaca will take part in the March through the Vathy streets displaying their pride.
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