.February 2009 Page 1 2
Monday 2nd - Last night the thunder rolled across the Ionian sky, finally settling over Ithaki with deafening crashes and bolts of lightning which turned night into day for a flash of a second. Still looking a little dramatic today, but no rain so far. February is the deep winter period in Greece, but now and then the sun and a blue sky do make an appearance.
Tuesday 3rd - Ithaca ferry went as far as Sami in Cephalonia this morning, where it's held up until the 9 force winds dissipate. Apart from the wind, it's almost sunny and temperature wise, very mild. Spring all around? Yes, Spring weather on Ithaki. Almond trees are bursting into full bloom.
Friday 6th - Yesterday Ithaca woke to a crisp blue sky and warm temps, bees buzzing and flowers blooming. A great day, only made less enjoyable with the knowledge that this weather is so wrong for this time of year. Warm southerly winds should have no place in the Ionian in February.
For those on the island or coming to the island, please note that the 3rd year High School students from Vathy have their painting exhibition starting Monday 9th. For more info visit www.ores-gallery.com. If the artistic value doesn't lure you in, then remember Opening nights at Ores include wine and meze (free). The exhibition is hoping to raise some money for the 3rd class, so it's a good cause. Get along and support.
Sunday 8th - Another mild and sunny day. It would be great, if only it weren't in the deep throws of winter. The weather is freaky. To have 20C in February is strange enough, but to have warm southerly winds blowing at this time of year is unheard of.
On Valentines Day, the northern Ithaki fisherman are having a dance at the Ethousa (Community Hall) in Stavros. All are invited, whether you smell like fish or not.
February/March also means Carnival time. First is the childrens Carnival in Stavros and then the 'all in one' carnival in Vathy. My favourite day on the Ithaki Calendar, Clean Monday, happens the day after. Locals head up to Anoghi to picnic and fly kites. This is usually a wonderful day, regardless of the weather. Rain or shine, wind or not, somehow this day always fixes itself no matter what goes wrong. Community members cook up a storm on which the rest of Ithaki gets to feast. You leave a little donation and enjoy.
Tuesday 10th - Last night the 3rd Class of Vathy High School premiered their "After The Fire" Exhibition at Ores Gallery in Vathy. The wind was howling, the bay overflowed onto the streets and the sky was puffing up with some dramatic clouds, but the turn out for the opening night of this exhibition was fantastic. The artists proudly presented their works to each and every visitor to the gallery and as usual, Dimitris Danis pulled out all the stops to make the exhibition a delight for the eyes.
Click here for more pics of the 'After The Fire' Exhibition
Left - Kalkanis, one of the great Grills on Ithaca, made for a quick and satisfying food stop after the Exhibition.
Today there's a cooler wind blowing from the north/west, but quite a bit of sunshine too. Apparently it won't last as the weather forecast predicts some miserable weather coming over the next week. With the Carnivals and Kathara Deftera coming up, let's keep our fingers crossed for some pleasant blue sky days, so that we here on the island can enjoy the 'breaking out of winter' in the streets of Stavros and Vathy on the 22nd Feb and 1st March and our annual Kite flying and picnic day in Anoghi for Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday), the day Greeks go meat free before Easter.
Friday 13th - Rain and storms, storms and rain...oh and wind. it's difficult to get anything done outside when sudden violent downpours roll across the black skies over Ithaki. Seems that we haven't had 2 days in a row since Christmas, when it hasn't rained. Anyway, Saturday 14th at the Stavros Community Hall is the Fishermans Ball. All welcome. Entry 10 euro. This gets you 'live' music and food. Celebrate Valentines Day dancing your feet off.
On Sunday at the Stavros Primary School at 5pm, Nontas Lorandos (possibly Ithakis first Social worker) is giving a talk on the emotional welfare and well-being of our growing children, the subject also breaches the drug issue. Parents with children of all ages are encouraged to go along.
Sat 14th - Below - Descending from Anoghi toward Stavros. Even on a grey and cold day, the views around the island are still amazing. Yesterday, like today, it really felt like winter. Cold nose, snow caps all around and a chill that could only be relieved when walking into a warm room. I don't know whether winter is really here now or just making another teaser appearance, but from the forecast, it looks like chilly days ahead with more snow falling on the Mainland and The Peleponnese. With Spring just around the corner, this winter season is a bit late starting.
Sunday 15th - Right - Last night the fisherman of the island put on a dance for Valentines Day. Click on photo right or click here for more pics.
Above - Finally it's winter on Ithaca with snowfall in Anoghi. After a warm Sunday morning at Spavento, it was up to Anoghi to see if last nights' cold brought any sign of snow to the village. To my delight, half way up the mountain road, snow began to fall. Snow turned the mountain village and the hills all around, into a sugar coated fairy land. Before lunch was over, most of the island had driven up for a look and a quick snowball fight before the afternoon sunshine melted most of it away again. The forecast is for more cold weather, which may bring more snow over the next few days. Click here or on winter wonderland photograph above for more pics.

In the north of the island, Sunday morning at Spavento Bar seems the popular thing to do. Hot chocolate and Croissant, Metaxa or beer and BYO meze, whatever takes your fancy on a Sunday morning, the Kioni cafe bar is open for it. Jenny and George provide a place for locals and guests, summer through winter.

Tuesday 17th - To see a video of Winter Wonderland (Snowfall in Anoghi) Click here

Disappointing this year, is that the Childrens Carnival has been cancelled. The Primary schools' gym teacher has left Ithaca and there is no one at the school, not teacher or parent, that can organize the Carnival. Instead of the usual parade and games in the Square, there will instead be a dance at the Ethousa (Community Hall) for the children which will carry on into the night for the adults of the community.

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