Ithaca Summer Lodown 2008
 
Summer on Ithaca means long afternoons at the beach swimming and taking in the sun, refreshing evenings at the bayside restaurants, cafes and bars with cool evening breezes straight from the Ionian, it means street and village festivals and concerts in the park and meeting new people who fall in love with Ithaca as have the locals.
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Mon 12 May - Above Left - Nikos Douglas is feeding The Gods...The Gods gift shop that is. He's doing his best to stock his small shop in Frikes with interesting gifts for the holidayers coming to the island. Above Right - Niko from Lahos is chilling in the mid afternoon at Symposium Restaurant over a Frappe and a sea view. Life is hard on Ithaca, isn't it?

Left - Arthur Kominos is back in Lefki again this year, but we caught up with him in Vathy, where he was catching up with old friends. Arthur is one of the regular happy faces of Spring and Summer time on Ithaca. "You can take the boy out of Ithaki"...well, actually, I don't think you can. Hello Jenny!

Right - Spiros and Artemis Arkouzis settle comfortably into their Ithacan lifestyle. Spiros and Artemis are here from Australia to run Dexa Villa Apartments in Vathy, a family accommodation which allows them to live on Ithaca for a great part of the year.

 
It's warm and fine on Ithaca. Why don't you just drop what you're doing and join us here in the sun.
 
Wed 14 May - Right - It's a rare occasion that George and Jenny are both at Spavento Bar together, so it was worth a quick pic. Outside it was drizzling and inside, yachters warmed up their bellies with Draft Beer. Locally, the conversation on everyones' lips over the past week is the petrol and transport strike which is slowly bringing Greece to a halt with supplies that can't be delivered. Ithaca isn't suffering yet, but if the strike
 
Tue 13 May - Left - Jeanette and Lesa are here from Birmingham and have crammed alot into their 1 week holiday on Ithaki. They've been propositioned, seen naked bodies (of the mankind) on the beach and have learned that 'have you been for a swim' is the question on everyones' lips. They're convinced it must be code for something, although they have yet to discover, for what.
continues, we too may run out of petrol as have the cities on the mainland. There are some ferries on the Aegean side that are stuck in port. Our ferry is still running on the timetable, and hopefully the strikes will be over soon so that they can continue to run. Weather wise, yesterday was fairly ordinary. A fine start to the day turned grey and unremarkable by midday, and by late afternoon, it even began to rain. Not much rain, heavy drizzle really, but enough to send everyone indoors for an hour or so.

Sat 17 May - Above - Just look at those blue skies. Loutsa Beach is already jumping with activity and it's only May. Locals head to this, one of the nearest beaches to Vathy center, to cool down after school and work. The tree-lined road that leads around the bay to Loutsa is a lovely and picturesque walk with fishing boats moored on the rocks. If you've never headed this far around the bay, then get on your walking sandals and go. It's really worth it. For those who seek sand, look and yea shall find...at Loutsa.

 
From my travels north and south of the island, I've noticed that there are many people walking, eating and drinking around Vathy area and Kioni area also. Stavros and Frikes are still a little up and down at this time of year. One day there's no room to move, the next you can take your pick of the best spot in the village to sit yourself down. Everyone seems to be in good spirits with the anticipation of Summer ahead, so take advantage of the great atmosphere and enjoy as many of the villages as you can while on your holiday on Ithaca. If you should feel the need to leave Ithaca, you can take a day trip to another island or around Ithaki itself. Day Trippers leave Vathy and go to Fiscardo and Meganisi, also to Gidaki beach, one of Ithakis treasures.
Left - Vathy Pier. Locals and visitors try their hand at a little Line fishing off the pier or merely include the pier in their Vathy promenade. Below Left - Bettina and Judi enjoy a morning coffee in Vathy Square. A little mid morning conversation before it's back to work. Below Right - Adrian, Sharon from Ag. Sarants and Jinny from Perahori, meet up while on a break from perusing the shops in Vathy looking for 'everything'. It's a big order when you don't know your way around too well, but eventually they find that as 'everything' doesn't exist on ithaca, they may as well head to Cafe for a Frappe and toast.
Sun 18 May - Below Left - Frikes Bay looking very picturesque. Below Right - Now Australians may find this funnier than other nationalities, but reading this on a local Frikes menu yesterday, did make me laugh... and go to another restaurant.

Below Left - Regular visitor to Ithaki, Jeffrey, and local, Demetri, share more than a quick hello. When Demetri worked at Spavento Bar as a waiter in Kioni a couple of years ago, Jeffrey was regularly mistaken for Demetri and given orders for coffee and cake. Below Right - Vathy local, Masso celebrated his 50th Birthday last night at Yefuri in Platrithia. It wasn't long before the guitars came out and the Kefi began. Masso who has a library of traditional Greek folk songs in his head, played his way through the track list and had everyone singing along. Hronia Polla Masso.

 
While Masso and guests entertained themselves with music, the children in the party began to build an empire out of the blocks and games Yefuri has on standby for children of all ages, and as is usual with all birthday celebrations at Yefuri, when the cake comes out, so do all the staff with Sparklers.
Below Left - On a visit to Captain Yiannis Hotel in Vathy, I was pleasant.y suprised by the 3 turtles the Captain keeps in his pond. Below Right - Mark makes his way from Kioni to Vathy on a regular basis. He's one of the faces the visitors who hire boats, get to know. Must be good at his job, he's wearing white
Tue 20 May - What a weird day it was yesterday. Quite warm, but completely overcast and windy. It felt like the rest of the world had disappeared, but we'd all forgotten to turn on the tv to hear the news. The streets were eerily quiet, even in Vathy, which usually on a Monday, is a manic hub of activity. Everyone was scratching their head wondering why. There was no line at the bank, no telephones ringing off the hook, no echoes of voices, greek or foreign throughout the village Squares. "Is there anybody out there?"
May is not only the time for visitors to the island, but also the time many ex-pat Ithacans and 2nd and 3rd generation Ithacans return to the island. Below - L - R - Georgia Vlassopoulos with her family, young Lefteris and husband Ron sharing a meal with friend Maria who will be on Ithaki until November. You may remember Marias face from Polis Beach last year where she helped Lucky keep the beach clean, interesting and fun.
 
Unification Day Parade 2008
 
Wed 21 May - Above - Yes, it's that time of the year again when islands in the Ionian celebrate Unification Day with parades around the this part of the world. To see more pics, Click Here or on photo above. Unification Day is the Ionians annual celebration of the time it joined Greece to be one nation. To go straight to the video - Click Here
 
Thu 22 May - The road between Frikes and Stavros is undergoing another makeover as the Water Mains are piped from Stavros down.
The road that is renowned for its danger aspects, has now increased these aspects just in time for the tourist Season. To take the pipe down to the bayside village,, one side of the road is cut open, leaving just enough room for one car to pass at a time, so if you're driving that way, slow down and take care. It beats me why these major works take place at the busiest times of the year. Ithakis very mild winter would have been a perfect time to dig up a major road, but I guess good timing isn't just a gift in regard to comedy.
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