Winter on Ithaca
2007 - 2008
The sights and the views around all the villages of Ithaca during Winter 2007 - 2008. 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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Wed 21 Nov - Above - Niko and Maria from the Anoghi Kafenion. Anoghi may not be the tourist hot spot during the summer, but those who have discovered that a home cooked meal there, in the traditional Cafe surroundings, with the stuffed vulture hanging on the wall and the friendly locals always ready to part with a story or two, makes for a very enjoyable evening. In winter, it's even more enjoyable and very cosy with the pot belly heating up the night.
Fri 23 Nov - Above Left - View from Stavros across the valley to Platrithia with Exoghi mountain village on the left and Lefkada island ahead. Above Right - The Dutch connection settling opposite ends of Ithaki, Rien from Stavros and Lilia from Perahori. While in Summer a trip to Vathy center is a quick 'in and out', in Winter locals take time to enjoy eachothers company over a long coffee break at one of the Cafes in the village Square and why not, the weather has been fantastic over the past days and is predicted to continue over the weekend.
The crash barriers erected around the island a couple of years ago seem to be working, although some argue that since their erection, some drivers feel a false sense of security and just put their foot on the eccellerator even harder. Anyway, just outside Lefki to the south, there's a huge dent in the barrier, seems a truck hit it. The barrier saved the driver from going over the cliffs edge, but by the look of the dent and the extreme lean the truck must have stopped on, surely would have put the fear of god into him. Very lucky escape.
Some good news for those wanting to learn Greek and Italian. Dimitris Raftopoulos, who some may know from Kioni during his days as a waiter, is now giving language lessons. For all the details, please visit the Tutors Page - Click here
Sun 25 Nov - Above Left - A sunny and warm morning gets some out of the house and up north for brunch at Yefuri in Platrithia. Above right - The German connection... almost. L - R - Son and mum Bettina, Gerasimos (quite Greek), Gunter and Eva. Below Left - The Ithaki Rolls.
Olive picking time on Ithaki
Tue 27 Nov - Left and Above Right - Nikos Vlassopoulos from Lahos in the north of Ithaki, is still climbing olive trees and harvesting his olive crop at 90 years old. The traditions and work ethics of pre-tourism Ithaki have armoured him well against age.
It's very quiet now on the island. For those who only come during the Summer period, it would be quite a shock to see some of the villages during this time. Frikes for instance, seems almost completely abandoned during the day, although Kikis Mini Market does its best to keep the locals in produce, opening up for them to do their shopping.
Although another weather change is predicted for this coming week, for now however, the temp is very mild, even quite warm in the sun. The skies are a little grey, but overall, a very pleasant time to be on Ithaca if you like to get in touch with the natural beauty of the island.
The Ithaki Theatre Group is deep into rehearsals for the Ancient Greek play they will be performing next year. The Groups performances are always a very worthwhile night out. Keep tuned.
In the south of Ithaki, in Vathy, you'll have no problem finding a good place to eat and entertain yourself, but in the north, it's a little more difficult during this time of year. In Frikes, Symposium opens occasionally on the weekends and so does Piperato, in Platrithia, Yefuri is open on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday at 11am for brunch and again for dinner from around 6pm. In Stavros, it's life and business as usual. Everyone that's open during the summer is open all during the year, so you can still hang out at Margarita Cafe and Soris Way Creperie, eat pizza at Yiannis Taverna and grill at Fatouros Taverna. Stavros is the hub of the north, the only thing missing is a bank. Stavros is well known for its traditional oven baked bread, still delivered around the villages as it has been for decades.
Fri 30 Nov - The last day of November brings rain and storms across the Ionian. Temps have been mild, but that's about to change too with north/westerly winds hitting our shores. Last night the power teetered between on and off as spectacular lightning strikes caused interference. Thunder exploded and rumbled for hours.
Below - Frikes looks deserted at this time of year. Not even a dog in the streets. The usual influx of Flotilla yachts is a mere memory. The local fisherman have claimed the bay as their own again.
The day turned out more pleasant than predicted. Seems the storms passed through the night, drenching Ithaca before we all woke up.
Sun 2 Dec - Below - Santa Margarita. Maki and Maria from Margarita Cafe in Stavros have wasted no time in getting Santa out of the closet as we take the fast track towards Christmas. Chrissy lights are also beginning to light up the night as more and more locals dust off the globes to decorate their houses and their streets with Christmas spirit.
Tue 4 Dec - Left - Woodpiles are being gathered up from olive tree prunings all over the island. They'll be the fuel to light the home fires next year, once they've dried up, while the olive branches are the fuel for the many bon fires smoking up the hills and valleys of Ithaki at present. It seems the crop was plentiful this year with many locals still heading out early each day to pick olives from the trees. Today the winds are howling again and the sky is black with impending stormy weather, not bad enough to stop the ferry however, it's on its way to Patra as I write.
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