July Sunday 4th
Greece plays Portugal today. A mass exodus to Portugal from all over Greece was reported as fans and enthusiasts rushed the Passport department and airport to get to the game. Ithaca too, is vibrating in anticipation. Greece vs Portugal is the only event on everyones' mind. All the Cafes, restaurants and Bars are set up and ready to go. It's going to be HUGE! Lets hope there are no power cuts. Ithaki is scorching with another day of 38 degrees and the island is running hot with air conditioners and fans.
July Friday 9th
Ithaca is scorching under 38 - 40 degree temperatures over the past 2 weeks. The regular afternoon breezes of summer are not so regular and if they do come, blow hot air instead of cool. Everyone is of course heading to the beaches to cool down, but the water too, has warmed to bath temps. Outside the church in Kioni, it clocked up 44 degrees yesterday and there seems to be no change on the horizon any time soon. A heat mist lays heavy on the island obscuring much of the view and the coolest place on the island, Frikes, is as hot as everywhere else. It's a heat wave.
July Sunday 10 th
Everyone is waiting for a cool change to hit Ithaki tomorrow after temperatures of high 30's. The nights have been too warm to recover from the days heat and it's starting to show on Ithakis faces. The island is filling up with people now. All the villages are full of new faces all dressed up in Summer colors.
On the night of the Euro Cup, the house of Stathis Raftopoulos in Frikes, burnt down in the early hours of the morning. It seems unbelievable that no one heard or smelled the fire. By the time someone did, everything had gone. Luckily Stathis was not there at the time. The cause of the fire has still not been established, but some say it may have been a cracker from the Euro Cup win celebrations or due to an electrical fault. Whatever the cause, the fact is this old house with all its belongings is no longer.
A new feature in Frikes is the security fencing around Penelope Supermarket. Visions of New York come to mind. Stavros, the owner, has made many changes since his competition, Kikis Mini Market, opened it's doors last year.
The Nostos Hotel in Frikes finally has its swimming pool up and running. After speculation of the pros and cons of having a pool so near ithakis beautiful beaches, all agree that the Nostos have done a fine job. It looks very appealing and is not an eye sore in any way.
In Vathy last night, the winner of the Ithaca Poster Competition was picked. Will get a pic of the winning Poster so we can all judge. There are many events and concerts happening over the summer, some are in the Events section, but hOME ithaca greece is still waiting for the program so we can add all the details. When we get it, so will you.
Today is changeover day for the Tour Groups. All the reps will be busy welcoming new faces to the island, settling them into their accommodation and familiarizing them in the ways of Ithaki. As we head towards the peak season of August, there is little time to holiday for those who have businesses on the island. For most it's Battle Stations already. The fear that the island would have a quiet season seems to be unfounded. People are coming, they just didn't book months in advance.
July Monday 12th
Half of Greece suffered from a black out today between 11am and 2pm. The cause has not been identified The black out brought major cities and islands in the Ionian to a standstill, with public transport halted. When everything works on electricity you don't want to be stuck in an elevator or train, but there were many who suffered just that today. Here on Ithaca, with the scorching heat, there is always worry that everything will just melt into the sea. Thank you again DEH. I hope they have a good explanation because all the power cuts are beyond a joke at this stage. As we are reminded by all the News programs, only 1 month to go until the Olympics.
July Friday 16th
The Kefalonia Ferry was 4 hours late getting into Vathy due a bomb threat at Patras. Passengers were unloaded while Police checked and rechecked the entire vessel. Most passengers decided to wait the 4 hours with hope that it would all be ok in the end, and thankfully it was. The Kefalonia was sent on its' way across the Ionian and its' passengers finally arrived at their destinations. Word has it here, that an anonymous caller hoaxed the threat so that he wouldn't miss the ferry. Apparently it's happened before... Bon Voyage.
July Sunday 25th
Ithaki has been suffering under a very long heat wave. High 30's with hot wind when there is wind, or absolutely no airflow at all. It's nice not to rug up at night, but not so great trying to get to sleep. High humidity has cloaked the island in a thick and sticky mist and as this heat wave continues day after day, everyone is wishing on a 'cool change'. Watermelon sales are up!
July Tuesday 27th
Last night the heat wave broke with storms, rain and wind. Today the rain seems to have stopped, but it's very windy with only occasional sunny breaks. This sort of weather always plays havoc with everyone's holiday, but I think the cooler air is appreciated.
Yiorgos Sopoulas of Lahos, husband of Toula and father to Thanasis sadly passed away this evening after many months of illness. The funeral is at Platrithias church tomorrow at 11am.
July Wednesday 28th
It was a sad day today for the Sopoula family here on Ithaki and in Australia with the funeral of Yiorgos Sopoulas. He was a loved husband, father, grandfather and neighbour to the Lahos community. His passing signals the end of an era in northern Ithaca. He will be missed. Sympathies to the family and friends that said goodbye to him today