August Wednesday 11th
Mr. Bush senior is sailing around Greece. Is he the decoy for the terrorists?
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Yefiri (once Levendis)in Platrithias, will not be opening its' doors this year. Andy Pappas now has his sights set on next Easter. After seeing the transformation, many can't wait that long. Yefiri is going to be a wonderful environment to eat and drink in. A brand new look for Ithaki. Excellent job!
August Saturday 14th
Ianna Agelopoulou, President of the Athens Olympic Committee, decided to have a celebratory party at her house in Athens, unfortunately her spectacular fireworks set fire to the forest surrounding her area, threatening neighbours houses. It took 4 hours to get the blaze under control. Oops
!August Tuesday 17th
On Friday 20th August , the promised Hydro Plane Service for the Ionian begins its' initial route. which includes Ithaki among Kerkyra, Lefkada, Kephalonia, Zakintho. Full Service starts officially in October. These 19 seater planes go at 225 km per hour and need only 180 meters to land. It's been over 60 years since Ithaki last had planes land in its' harbor. This service is said to be cheaper than airlines, but more expensive than the ferry, whatever that means. It starts in a skeleton form so we gather there will only be a few hydro planes stopping like buses along the Ionian route. There are no details of frequency of service or travel time from Ithaki to Patra as yet.
A rumor which effects Ithaki is that the Kefalonia ferry is being sold off. Shipping companies are no doubt re- positioning themselves while they anticipate how road travel through Yugoslavia, which is now seriously on the cards again, and the opening of the Rio - Antirrio bridge impact on the travel habits of the Ionian. Mr. Superfast Ferry, who sold his fleet of Superfasts except for his latest two, started the sell off. We watch and wait and hope that whatever the dance across the Ionian, Ithacans will have a reasonable means of getting from Ithaki to where they need and want to go.
Big Athenian RUMOUR comes from an Athenian girl who was told this by someone in the Army. It goes like this - With much work around Athens still not finished, the government can not afford for it to rain and set everything back, especially now with the Olympics. Before the Summer began in ernest, the forecast for Greece was rain throughout the season, so as to overt a muddy disaster, they are using some sort of gas to stop it from raining. This girl says Athens continually gets big black clouds which threaten big storms, yet not a drop of rain has fallen. Remember this is a RUMOUR, not fact, but if true.....
It needs to be noted that so far there have been no power failures on Ithaki with the start of the Games. With DEH advertising all over the tv with glossy and boastful ads about the reliability and excellence of their service , it's a good thing there haven't been any disruptions. The phone service has also improved with the start of the Games. Looks like it's all sorted.
August Wednesday 19th
So which internet person got a photo of Pavlo, son of King Constantine without knowing his name or what he looked like? After being pointed to the table where he sat with friends and his wife and children at Penelopes Restaurant in Frikes, had to ask the party sitting around the table, which one of the males is the son of King Constantine. Not embarrassing enough? .."...and your wifes' name?"
August Tuesday 24th
Big problems with the Kefalonia Ferry yesterday afternoon. After failing to dock at Piso Aetos it headed for Vathy, got stuck just outside La La Bar, directly opposite the dock, and stayed there. Not quite sure what the problem was, there was lots of speculation, but it was no doubt mechanical. Those without cars, dogs and babies were 'shooted' down (Like emergency shoots in planes), the rest had to wait for the ferry to be fixed and docked.
August Sunday 29th
hOME ithaca greece website is preparing for a dot com. When the season is definitely over, this site will have a new address, a new server and another facelift . I'm taking the time to do a big clean up and out. No more ad either.!! hOME ithaca greece is finally paying for the privilege to do this website for free. Keep your eyes out here for updates.
September Thursday 2nd
Summer is officially over! News around Ithaki this week is that 'Arrow Signs' have been put at every bend around the island. Right on the bends. Consensus is that they do nothing to beautify the island, in fact 'eyesores' are what locals are calling them. This may be due to some EU regulation, no confirmation on that, but whatever the reason and the purpose, if you don't know that there's a bend when you approach it, chances are you won't see the sign either and you'll go over the edge. Just be careful. White luminous lines at the road edge or along the barriers would serve this safety purpose far better. So anyway, now Ithaca has the safety railing, the arrow signs....when do we get the road to go with them? Before criticism comes this way, let me say that unfortunately or fortunately, tourists come to Ithaki because it IS beautiful, and as Ithaki exists largely on whatever tourism it attracts, how the island appears to tourists must then be a consideration. Everyone agrees that safety should be a priority, but when the roads are in such bad states, shouldn't we be more concerned about making them safe first? Locals are seeking out their politicians to make that point clear to them. Now you can criticize.
Re - Arrow signs - Please read first before complaining. Nothing is being said about beauty before safety. Safety is paramount for everyone on the island, but let's not just give it lip service, lets really try to achieve it. What use are signs when the roads are so bad, especially Frikes - Stavros and Aetos. It must also be said that it's not the road that forces oncoming traffic into the ditches, pot holes and gravel, it's inconsiderate drivers, driving too fast with no small road courtesy. On Ithaki, do you really need to get anywhere fast? I must also note that this is not a criticism of the Council. They only have a limited budget allocated them and try to do their best Suggestions for road safety that doesn't cost a cent on Ithaki are - enforcement or self - enforcement of seatbelts and Helmets, speed limit and no drink driving. Good driving habits achieve safety ... and maybe a little fear that around the corner may be a cop ready to book you.
Notice to Ithacans - hOME ithaca greece is currently preparing for an online Calendar 2005. It will include all the Events and Public and Religious Holidays , but also Thoughts of the people which will fill in the days on which nothing other than life is going on. It's turning out to be very interesting and will surely be alot of fun to go through. Contact hOME ithaca greece if you would like your thoughts circulating around cyberspace instead of just your head. We're not looking for philosophy (unless you want to express yours), just honest, deep or funny thoughts about 9 subjects.
September Tuesday 7th
Yesterday high winds kept everyone inside. The Ionian had it good compared to the other side of Greece however. 9 Force winds reeked havoc with travelers all over.
2 small fires this week on Ithaki. Kathara and Kioni. No damage.
At the end of October 2004 you will find this site (www.ithaca.ionichost.com) at the new address www.ithacagreece.com Don't go there yet. There's nothing there. Still alot of work to do gathering all the bits and pieces from the different servers I've had to post this site on due to the huge content. Thanks to all of you who have made this site so popular. What started out as a 2 page blurb on Ithaki is turning into a constitution! The locals pages themselves had over 2.700 full page views over the past 20 days.
Preparations are under way for the Ithaki Calendar 2005 which will replace the Events Link. There you will find everything that's happening in regards to Performances, Concerts, Panighiria, Public and Religious Holidays etc. as well as Thoughts about a few things given to me by anyone with an association to Ithaki. On the days of the month with nothing but ordinary life happening, you will be able to click up a thought by someone. Over the past week I've been gathering the information. It's turning out to be very interesting. Just confirms again that you can't judge a book by its' cover. The questions put forward are easy enough so as not to scare anyone away, but revealing in ways not expected, not just to me and you, but to the person giving the answers. It's been alot of fun and luckily I haven't been punched in the nose (yet) for being too intrusive. The Calendar will be up around December 2004.
Today it's still windy, but the Sun is out again and it's supposed to fine up over the next few days when there is another cooler change expected.
You might be forgiven for thinking that there are alot of fat women on the island. Big bellies leading the way. Well, they're not fat, they're pregnant and one by one they will all have had their little surprises by the end of the year. It's a good time to start a Creche.
Thursday September 16th
At Aetos, road works are in process to deal with the problem of water from the mountain side eroding every road that is layed there. This stretch of road really gets a beating during Winter months with sea spraying it's surface and mountain offlow comprimising its' base. It was here sections of the road collapsed a couple of years ago and since then problems have continued. Looks like now Ithaki has finally found a solution and is setting about making a road that will hopefully last.