.July 2009 Page 1 2 3
July on Ithaca 2009
Wednesday 1st July - Left - The Frikes Panighiri starts off our July. Click here or on photograph left for more pics of the first Summer Festival on Ithaca. Frikes is not the most attended or the best known of the Summer Festivals, but with the organization of the new coordinators, last night proved that Frikes could work its way to the top over the next couple of years.
Thursday 2nd - Unsettled weather still dominates our skyline. No rain, but it does get a little windy and a little cloudy, especially in the afternoon. The weather forecast predicts this pattern to continue past the weekend. When the sun is out it's hot, when it's not, it's not.
Below - The rumour mill has Bill Gates sailing into Ithakis bays this week, so when I caught this big boat in Vathy harbour, it made me wonder if Mr. Microsoft could be on it. Unfortunately, I don't actually care, so I didn't use my zoom to look onto the deck.
Sunday 5th - Below - Ores Gallery has another exhibition on by Beatriz Acra from Mexico. Her association with Greece is a long one, living in Monemvasia in the Peleponnese for 17 years and now in Athens.
Left - Another little archeological dig is going on down at Polis Bay. Nothing has been found yet, but they'll keep digging until they do. Below - The colourful night time view of the Nostos Hotel swimming pool
Beatriz' current exhibition runs from 4 - 14 July, an exhibition of handmade pieces, using a technique which Beatriz Acra picked up from the rural people of Chiapas, Mexico. Get along and talk to Beatriz Acra about her art and her experiences both in Mexico and in Greece. Left - Beatriz Acra. Right - L - R - Dimitris Danis (Ores Owner and Curator), Judi (patron saint), Ian and Julie.
The skies over Ithaki have been a little 'Iffy' of late, but hopefully the weather will settle back into Summer again soon.
  Ores Gallery Exhibition with Beatriz Acra
Tuesday 7th - Can't miss the summer vibe now. Everyone is heading to the beaches while the sun shines. I had the pleasure of getting a slightly different view from Polis Bay boat hire yesterday, when I was taken out a little to get a glimpse of the island from the other side. At Polis Bay and Beach, visitors, yachters and local fisherman all seem to live in peace and harmony, sharing the same waters. Nice family atmosphere at this sheltered pebble beach.
Above - George and Spiridoula are just a couple of the Australians here on holidays this year. A record number of the Melbourne Philanthropic Society members and participants have come back to their roots this year. They will be celebrating this occasion by an Aussie Tavern night at Avra Restaurant in Kioni on Friday night. Even if you're not a member, but you're an Ithacan/Australian, you may want to join in the celebration there. See posters around the place. Can't miss the Aussie flag.
Thursday 9th - Above Left - Aleko, one of Stavros' locals, takes the wheel of a Polis Bay boat. Above Right - The far side of Frikes. A quiet alternative to the busy side. Left - The traditional taverna of Fatouros in Stavros, closes up after a late night.
So much for those who worried that tourism would be down this year. In the north at least, over the past week, each day has been as busy as any mid August day. Restaurants on the baysides are brimming for lunch and for dinner. Must be all the Australians here courtesy of great-priced airfares.
Unfortunately, the north of the island is still ADSLess. Yes, it is coming, but the question on everyones' lips is when? Northerns are mighty envious of the southern speed in regard to internet and are itching to experience the same. The information highway where no blood is spilled through speed.
Friday 10th - A steaming hot day today. Luckily on Ithaca we do get some refreshing sea breezes coming off the Ionian, even reaching into the hills. The summer mist and sweeping clouds, created by the heat and moisture in the air, have obscurred our views north, east and west today.
Left - Stavros looking toward Exoghi, watching the clouds sweep over the peak of the mountain and rolling down towards the cliffs of Afales. Above - The northern mountain village of Exoghi with undoubtedly some of the best views down on much of northern Ithaki, including the spectacular Afales Bay. Below Left - Through Frikes Bay, Mainland Greece is much obscurred by mist, low cloud and a steaming sea. Below Right - Frikes is known for its bright coloured buildings... or maybe not, but they do add to the colourful character of the village, the locals and the businesses. Baysides may get a little noisy in the midst of the summer rush, but who wouldn't want to eat in the presence of such great bay views on a hot summers' night in the Ionian.

This is as good a time as any to make everyone aware that this is a


Please do not toss cigarettes from windows, onto the ground or into the bushes. Extinguish them in the appropriate place. Also, the lighting of fires outdoors is strictly prohibited during the Summer months.

Thank You!

Saturday 11th - Last night was a big night for the Greek Australians here on Ithaca for 2009. Kristalenia (below) organized a big dinner while she was back in Australia, sending out invitations to the members of the Ithacan Philanthropic Society of Melbourne for a big Aussie Tavern night at Avra Restaurant in Kioni. By the time the table was set, Ithacans
from Queensland (Kominos family - left) were also arriving. I didn't stay till the end, but by all accounts, this was a very lively crew, happy to be together and very happy to have Ithaki in common.
If you're looking for a little entertainment tonight and tomorrow night, let me tell you that the Amara Zee Boat Theatre has sailed into Vathy town. Performance starts at 10pm.
Left - Kristalenia, a proud Ithacan with roots in Raxi, living in Melbourne Australia, and responsible for getting all the troops to Avra Restaurant. There's an open passion for Ithaki here.
The wind continues on for today, but one benefit is that the views are just crystal clear and the temperature is more managable too. Right and Below - Anoghi at the apex of Ithaki.
Sunday 12th - Good news for Exoghi. The wonderfully traditional mountain village which overlooks most of northern Ithaca including Afales bay, has been named 'Village of the Year' by the world renowned National Geographic Periodical Magazine.
Left - Locals enjoy some conversation at Margarita Cafe in Stavros. Even in the height of the tourist season, there's still enough real life that goes on despite the tourist influx. That's what's so great about Ithaca, no matter where you go, there will be a little corner untouched for all to enjoy. Below - Rementzo Restaurant. It was a little quiet in Frikes this morning with the Lefkada ferry not cleared to travel with the high winds over the region yesterday and today. Last night, the winds were too strong for the Amara Zee Theatre boat too, which was putting on performances over the weekend. The winds would have played havoc on juggling for instance. There were many disappointed faces, but you can still catch them tonight in Vathy at 10pm just off the village square. The boat itself is amazing. Go have a look, it's really worwhile, not just for kids, but for adults also.
Monday 13th - Yesterday the wind was blowing morning til night and by the afternoon, it began to get a little chilly. Smaller ferries didn't arrive morning, afternoon or evening, so those who planned to get off the island yesterday may have been a little disappointed. Below - Anoghi Cafenion is a little out of the way, but if you ring a day before, the owners will make you one of their special and traditional home cooked meals.
The first thing you notice when you enter the Anoghi Cafenion are the stuffed birds adorning the walls, but there are also live ones, like the blue cockatoo (or parrot, I'm not a bird specialist) brought in from the chill outside. The extremely social and sociable bird gave the kids quite a bit of entertainment. In Summer, when everthing is about beach and sun, it's easy to forget about the little traditional hutch on top of the island, but
whether it's going up for lunch or dinner or a little sight-seeing with a coffee stop, making the trip to Anoghi is definitely worth it.
  Position Vacant - Hospitality Service. Dodonis Cafe Frikes seeks waiter/waitress for casual and semi permanent positions. Some experience and speaks English and Greek. Call Pano on +30 677700377
Thursday 16th - Hot weather again this past week. Steaming horizon and grass crackling under foot.
Below Left - When you get a flat tyre first thing in the morning, it's good to know that Babbi at Avin gas station in Vathy, or one of his staff will fix it in a jiff. Below - Sarakiniko views. Below below Left - Dino is in the Army now, but on leave to be on Ithaca for the Summer. Below below right - The Roman discoveries uncovered in Vathy this year are still under examination. The owner of this plot may have expected all sorts of hold-ups in regard to building, but I doubt anyone would have thought a Roman house BC would have been the culprit.
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Frikes Festival Panighiri 2009 ithaca greece summer