.December 2009 Page 1
kalo mnva
Tuesday 1st - Today we should have some bursts of sunshine around the island, but who really knows what the weather has install for us today, the first official day of Winter on Ithaca. With the warmish temperatures we've been having, it's no wonder the flowers don't know whether they're coming or going. Above Left - Pilikata covered in green grass and daisies. Above Right - Burning off after the olive harvest in Stavros, the main village of the north isle.
Sad news is that Ores Gallery in Vathy, a Dimitris Danis Initiative, is closing its doors. Dimitris is on to bigger and better things, but until then, you can catch him at Manus on the bayside serving up his talent for hospitality.
Thursday 3rd - It's winter, and the island feels almost abandoned in the northern villages, especially in the afternoon. It's quite easy to feel completely alone. In Vathy, there's a little more action and a little more to do, and if there's not, then just catch the ferry to Patras where the world awaits. Frikes and Kioni with Spavento and Fiorendino Bars have been known to disturb the peace on a chilly winters' night once or twice, so the north may still have a surprise in store during our annual winter lull.
Tuesday 8th - Lots of sunshine due for today, but tomorrow we're looking at rain again. Below Right - The Port Police and Tax department share the same building on the Vathy waterside.
Saturday 12th - It's getting a little chilly now and Christmas lights are beginning to light up the night sky as Ithaki approaches Christmas. Over the years I've noticed just how much the western Christmas has creeped into the Greek psyche, not so much the religious side, but definitely the commercial side. Economic crisis or not, no one is missing out on the Christmas shopping experience, luckily on Ithaki, there's not that much to choose from so money isn't really burning a hole in our pockets.
Saturday 5th - 3 days ago the community parents got together to demonstrate about the lack of pediatricians on the island, especially with the media blow-up of swine flu which is reported to be of threat to Greece right about now. The parents closed down the schools and the public service to get their point across. The Tv media picked up on the story and made a big deal of the situation, obviously causing enough embarrassment for the government to give in and order an alternating 3 doctor service for the island. Ithaca is just one of many small islands suffering the lack of sufficient health care due to its small population. Over the past few years the island has had a couple of baby booms making a pediatric service imperative, yet instead of gaining more doctors, the island lost the ones they had. It's good to know that a little island like Ithaki can make its voice heard through the tried and tested demonstration of unity for a common cause.
Above - Kioni, just south of the harbor side. Left - The Frikes road sign that no one really pays attention to in the winter. Only buses should be going down this road leading to the bay, but that's not usually the case. When a rogue driver happens to go down this road (illegally) while you're coming up (legally), to add insult to injury, they usually make you back up to where you came from while they continue stubbornly along this 1 car road.
With all the media hype focused on the 'Swine Flu' people seem to be staying in mostly. Let's hope we're spared the dreaded virus.
As you may have read here, Ores Gallery in Vathy is no longer. Currently it's standing empty, but news on the grapevine has it that the space may be used for a Kindergarten which would be great. Dimitris Danis who started Ores Gallery will be using the name Ores for a special project which will be announced here on ithacagreece.com soon. Meanwhile if you miss his face, head to Manus in Vathy where he is tending the bar.
Monday 14th - A couple of degrees warmer today, not that it makes that much difference, cold is cold. There'll be no complaints about empty water Wells this year. Ithaki has had its fair share of rain with more rain ahead. Everything is green... and wet. Today we'll get a few sunny patches along with the rain.
Thursday 17th - Christmas is rushing upon us now. Another year nearly over and a Winter eager to make us forget about the Summer past. Rain dispersed with a little sunshine and a chill that's not too severe, is what we can expect from the weather over the next few days while quiet streets and home fires burning make up the atmosphere of the island. Some villages seem almost deserted.
Above - Kioni and the unused old bakery. The first time I came to Ithaki, the Kioni Bakery was up and running with the smell of baking bread wafting through the air and along the street. Who could go past wood oven baked bread. Not me. I remember the days well. Now the building is in ruins with only the memory of the village keeping its title of 'Bakery' alive
Tuesday 22nd - Left - Now Where is this exactly?
Wishing you all a very blissful Festive Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year with many trips to Ithaki in the future from www.ithacagreece.com
Sunday 27th - You just never know who you'll run into when you're on holiday. Ithacan faces wherever you may go. Above - Peter Razos with his daughter Olivia and partner, Maria found me through GPS and Right - Maria and Lucky (Polis Beach) sniffed the scent of Polis pebbles until they found the source.
Thanks to the Ithacan grapevine, I can tell you that the weather is reminiscent of Spring, and that's nice to know as I make my way back to the rock I love.
Thursday 31st - Well folks, it's the end of another year on ithacagreece.com. I hope you've enjoyed our online connection for 2009 and I will do my best to make it an even bigger 2010.
I have just returned to the island after a few weeks holidays so I have some catching up to do. It was a rather wet and foggy return, but beautiful nonetheless. Left - Exoghi almost completely covered in low cloud.
My first day back, I notice it's very, very quiet on Ithaca. From Stavros to Vathy, not a single car crossed my path. Seems many have left the island for their holidays. Christmas lights are still flickering everywhere, north to south, with the Pyramid in Exoghi flagging space craft with its brilliant shine of white bulbs.
Tonight there'll be parties for bring in the New Year and ithacagreece will head to one of them at Spavento Bar in Kioni to see how the most northern villagers celebrate the arrival of 2010. On New Years Day, the traditional Greek day for giving gifts, locals will be luncheoning with their families celebrating the first day of the New Year surrounded by the people they love.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and very Happy New Year!
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