Ithaca Summer Lodown 2008
 
Long warm days at the beach, long nights at the restaurants, Cafes and bars and a summer full of new faces, things to do and places to see around Ithaca. The Ithaki summer is 5 months long.
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Above - 30 degrees C today. A great time to look around the north island to see what's happening. Click here or on photograph above for more pics.
Fri 23 May - Left - Fishing in the Strait between Ithaca and Cephalonia. From Lefki the glitter of the sea as the sun begins to slowly set over the Ionian, is just too stunning to ignore. Below - Jeff and Maureen from the UK, have been on Ithaca for their 4th visit, and this year were staying in Kioni. We caught up with them on their last night over a pre-dinner drink at Spavento Bar. It's a rare occurrence in this modern day to meet people who don't own a tv, a great achievement in my book. Jeff and Maureen get pleasure out of conversation, reading and cooking, so the flickering box doesn't have the 'corner of pride' in their home. Their first Greek experience was through the island of Skopelos, where they were married, but this lovely couple have since also fallen in love with Ithaki and Ithaki is glad of it.
 
Sun 25 May - Left - A beautiful large yacht came sailing into Vathy with around 48 US passengers on a Tour of the Balkans which included a visit to Homers Ithaki. We caught up with a few of them in Stavros at Margarita Cafe with their guide, Ester, having a quick refreshment break before heading off to see more sites around the island. L - R - Terry and Eileen are from Colorado (The Rockies), Ester (all the way from Stavros), and Curt and Pat from Columbia Missouri. Next they head off to Albania and will finish their tour in Croatia.
Left - Mary Lillis-Jensen is here from Chelsea in the UK with Painting holidays, staying at the Nostos Hotel in Frikes. This interesting woman of 90 years old, has
a little more than one story to tell so she has written a book. 'I just happened to be there' published by Vintage Publications in Chelsea, London. All profits of this book go to World Vision, a great cause, so of course we're going to give it a good plug. Mary will send me an email address if you're interested in purchasing a copy of this book, but meanwhile if you so wish, you can contact the Publisher.
Mon 26 May - Below - ithaca was quite a bit less populated this past weekend with many on the island heading to Patras. As part of the 144th Anniversary of the Ionian Islands joining Greece to be one Nation, the Seven Islands Club of Patras presented a night of music which included Ithakis Choir. You may not know that we have a very tuneful choir on Ithaca that has participants from all over the island. Director of the Choir is Spyros Theotokatos and on Piano - Gregor Schafer, Guitar - Gerasimos Defteraios and Harmonica - Panoyianni Kouloumbis. First Voice - Niki Tzionia, Anna Molfesi, Yiannis Molfesis, Konstontina Kostopoulou, Maria Mantzari, Christina Crab, Spiros Grivas, Spiridoula Karantzi, Yiannis Vlassopoulos, Mantina Soranti, Haralambos Tofalos, Spyros Lorantos, Maria Bouloubasakou and Maria Defteraiou. Second Voice - Thaleia Kandilioti, Marina Fotopoulou, Christina Kostiri, Eri Vitoratou, Georgia Delaporta, Kiki Vlisma, Giovanna Defteraiou, Spyros Gerasimos Grivas, Theodoris Moraitis, Katy Bourbouli, Dina Vlassopoulou, Alexandra Blaxou, Barbara Hourlembous. Photograph by Gerasimos Defteraios.
 
 
 
 
Left - Jenny from Painting Holidays will return again in October.
 
Wed 28 May - As we head into the last few days of May, the temperatures continue to rise. Weather on Ithaca is more reminiscent of high Summer than Spring, but that's ok. With visitor numbers down again over the past week, the locals get to have the beaches to themselves. Flotillas are increasing in the Ionian however. Lots of boats sailing across the horizon on a minute by minute basis, and when the sun begins to go down, some of them come in to dock in one of Ithakis picturesque bays. News to hand is that Lucky from Polis returned yesterday. About time, Polis Beach could well use his tender lovin' care after a windy winter.
 
 

Caterpillars are munching their way across the mountain scrub again. This year the hills around Raxi and Kioni are browning after these hungry slimeys have had their lunch on them. As every year, late June and July, the moths take over the night and then after the party, they usually go committ suicide in the sea. Speaking of insects, they're everywhere right now. Everything has woken up after winter. It's the season of the creepy crawlies and while some people never lay an eye on them, others are inundated by them. This year we've witnessed some mutant mosquitos. They don't bite, but they are the size of 6 seater helicopter. (that's a joke by the way and not meant to scare anyone off). Soris Cafe in Stavros had a visit from a wayward snake the other day. To the rescue were close-by residents. The snake was done away with so that it wouldn't slither over to the park where all the kids play on a daily basis.

Coming up in June is Aghios Pnevmatos. This means another long weekend with Mainlanders descending upon us.

 
Thu 29 May - Another hot day today, and although the weather bureau is predicting a change for the weekend, it's difficult to believe. We have to keep pinching ourselves to remind us that it's only May and not August.
 

Left - Costa Vlass (or Costaki as he's known to You Tubers) is back in town. He wasted no time in seeing his old friend Pete at Fiorendino Bar in Frikes. This year Costa will be staying for as long as it is legally possibly without getting drafted into the army, something all young Greek boys (even those born overseas) have to take into serious consideration when coming to Greece to stay.

Right Top - A lovely old sailing boat was moored in Vathy bay this morning. Wooden masts, body and decking. Very impressive and a romantic vision through the Thursday morning Vathy hussle. Right Bottom - Vathy was buzzing with activity this morning with Greek tourists from a bus tour, taking to the shops around the Square with real gusto.

 
 
Meanwhile in Stavros - Left and below - things were very laid back. Locals shopping and getting together for a chat at one of the Cafes. The sun was really beating down by lunchtime, making everyone feel a little sleepy. Those who were wide-eyed, headed to the beaches. In Frikes, boats began to sail in around midday and by late afternoon, the harbour was filled with colour and sailing activity.

Fri 30 May - Another scorcher day today. Everything's still and steaming. Bayside villages are being descended upon for the usual cooling sea breeze that starts up in the early afternoon.

A little bird told me that ADSL, which has been promised to northern Ithacans for over a year now, may not reach this side of the island. Although new equipment and fibre optic lines are being put in place, the north island may not be considered lucrative enough for the OTE powers to be. Start painting the placards now, looks like we'll have to make a bigger fuss. On the Mainland, customers can go to various Telecommunication providers, but here, well we have guess who? OTE only. It's not only ADSL which is a problem, but also ISDN and dial-up, whose users are currently being kept offline due to our overrated telecommunication providers' lack of service. Even wireless broadband isn't what it's been cracked up to be.

Meanwhile ithacagreece.com Server (ipower.com) isn't much better, giving me a hard time with email delivery. Oh for the days when a hand written letter sent from a far away land was reason enough to gather all the family around to read it. Don't get mad...turn off the computer and go to the beach. "Ok, I will"

Sat 31 May - Right - Millions of moths on Ithaca right now. The Stavros Clinic building is black with moths every night. You have to keep the car windows up so they don't fly in while you're driving. It's an annual phenomenon here, but each year it's a big surprise to be inundated by these suicidal insects that just can't keep away from the flame.
Left - Kate and Patrick have been back on Ithaki a couple of weeks working hard on their Ithacan projects. They never would have imagined that while docking in Sami on their journey here, that they would have been greeted by a beached whale near the dock, but there it was, a giant dead whale in the small port of Sami in Cephalonia. It's not impossible that a whale could make it's way from the depth of the ocean to the Ionian, but completely unheard of in these parts. Seems there is a first time for everything.
 
Sun 1 June - Left - LUNCH (Seafood Rissoto I think). Right - A Day Tripper in Kioni. They come for lunch and a look around and then it's off again to another shore in the Ionian. The humidity was swept out to sea today with a fresher breeze blowing over Ithaca. It was still very warm, but the breeze was a nice change from the steamy hot days we've had over the
past week. The cooler evening temps also decreased the moth population which was also a welcome change. In other news, Dimitris Danis, well known Ithacan living in Vathy, is turning another year older, and celebrating his age to the wiser with a bang party on the bay tonight. Happy Birthday.
 
Mon 2 June - Above - Dimitris Danis celebrated his 46th birthday last night at Manu in Vathy. Click here or on photo above for more pics. Right - Annemarie Hoeve with photographer, Fulco, is on Ithaca for a short time writing an article for KLM inflight magazine about Legends. Getting to the heart

of Odyssea through getting to know some of the locals, the history and the attraction Ithaca has on the unsuspecting traveler. Annemarie and Fulco soon discover how easy it is to while away the afternoon over a glass of home-made wine and some good greek food while they delve into some local history and the making of Tsipouro. Ithacans were happy to show them Ithaca from the inside. Next, they head to Cephalonia to search for Legends there. Shame there are no ferries that go there.

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click here for more pics of today - 25th May 2008 around northern ithaca