.March 2009 Page 1 2
Sunday 1st - First day of March, first day of Spring and the weather agrees. It's been a hectic party week (Phew! I'm exhausted) and the parties haven't stopped yet.
Vathy was really popping last night with the Forkis Theatre Group Carnival Party. Many on the island mark a big X on their social calendar for this date. It means dressing up and dancing all night. This year the dance was held at Mentor Hotel in Vathy. Click here or on photograph Left for 2 pages of pics.
Today it was Carnival time. A big parade through Vathy Main Street, costumes, music, people everywhere. After the parade, the school children and local action groups, performed a variety of sketches and dances to entertain the masses that gathered around the performing circle just outside Mentor hotel on the Vathy bayside. The weather wasn't too bad, a little cloudy, but quite mild, and of course with no rain, everyone was able to enjoy the Carnival and the great atmosphere of it all. Click here or on photo below for many more pics
Phew! Running faster than I can run to keep up with it all this week. There will be a video of the Carnival coming, but first there's Kathara Deftera tomorrow. More pics to put online...after I take them (and enjoy the day myself, hopefully). Carnival video will have its' turn after this very busy week and weekend are done and dusted for another year. Hronia Polla to all.
Monday 2nd March - Below - Yes, it's that time of year again when Greeks all over stop eating their favourite and usually mainstay fare, MEAT. Kathara Deftera on Ithaca means heading up to the mountain village of Anoghi to eat, drink and fly kites. A great day for all the family and the dog. For more pics Click Here or on photograph below. Video coming soon ... well as soon as ...

Tuesday 3rd - The Carnival 2009 video is now online. Click here. This video has taken up the maximum minutes Youtube allows, so it's quite compressed, but still you will get a feel for the day. Please note you'll need a broadband connection to view this video. It's 10 minutes long (cut down from 59 minutes)

Can't stop to chat, have the Kathara Deftera video to do now.
Thursday 4th - The Kathara Deftera video is now online. Click Here
We've had some wonderful weather over the past week, but it looks like a change coming tomorrow with more rain and wind predicted. It does feel like Spring now however. Life on Ithaca is opening up.
Below - Vathy streets are pretty dusty lately, but for a good reason. The old water pipes are being dug up and replaced with brand new ones.
Another month and the flotillas will start sailing into Ithakis ports. Holiday company reps will also begin to arrive shortly, getting their accommodations prepared for the Season, but first Greek Easter. The biggest celebration on the Greek Calendar. Each year, more and more visitors come to the island to experience Greek Easter for themselves. If you're looking for a traditional affair, then Ithaca is the place to be. It's all about church, food and family, sharing and celebrating. It's a culturally rich time on Ithaca.
Sunday 8th - After the rain over the past few days, todays sunshine and warmth felt quite special. The views around the island and beyond had a crystal clarity and the sound of the bees buzzing signalled that Spring really is beginning.
Thursday 12th - It rained so much yesterday that even the goats were getting out from under (Right).
Ores Gallery has a 3 day Tribute to Cavafi coming up starting Friday. Check out their website and Calendar for all the details.
More rain predicted for today, but from Friday through the weekend, the forecast is for blue skies and sunshine. Real spring weather for the soggy.
Left - The view to Lefkada from the outskirts of Stavros. On days such as these, it's great to get out and about to look at the island through open eyes. The winter sleepiness is on its last breath, soon there'll be nothing but sunshine ahead. If you're not here, then I'm sure you want to be. It's bloody beautiful. We are very lucky to call Ithaki home.
We're all looking forward to see what the Summer Season will bring this year. With Easter just over a month away, it won't be long after that before the Operator Reps descend on us and the yachts begin to sail into our ports again. Let's hope there'll be more nice people to meet, new friends to make and a long season of swimming in the blue Ionian which encompasses ithaki.
Saturday 14th - Last night at Ores Gallery in Vathy, the 3 day Tribute to Cavafi began. Opening nights at Ores are always a little special, but last night there was a very special atmosphere with sculptor A. Papadoperaki talking about her work with Cavafi. Aladin Vaoumi was the inspiration behind this 3 day oral exhibition of Cavafi and his poetry. Members of the community, Aladin, Ricky, Judi and Nikos, and members of the Ithaki Theatre company, Tomi and Zaharoula, recited some of Cavafis poetry and it seemed that all who attended had an enjoyable night with poetry read in Greek, English and Arabic. Dimitris Danis, owner of Ores Gallery took on the role of translater for Ms. Papadoperaki and this would have been of great benefit for the English speaking locals of Ithaki. It was also wonderful to hear a language no one understood or spoke except for Aladin Vaoumi, who recited one of Cavafis poems in the language it was written. Mr. Vaoumi will be continuing the Cavafi tribute on Sunday night when he presents his knowledge of Cavafis' Alexandria years. Mr. Vaoumi who has personal knowledge of Alexandria will no doubt give us great insight into Cavafi and his time there.

Good news for Ores owner, Dimitris Danis, was that Vodafone sponsored the Cavafi Tribute. Ores Gallery website www.ores-gallery.com will have more photographs of the 3 day tribute online soon. So check the ores site after the weekend for more.

Now to the weather. We had a couple of days of rain, but yesterday the days brightened up again giving us all the sense of Spring. There is even a visitor here and there. A sure sign of the upcoming Season.

Thursday 19th - The skies are still blue, but suddenly there's another fierce cold blowing. The previously mild temps had lulled us all into feeling quite confident that the winter cold was over, but we forgot just how cold March can be.
Monday 23rd - Right - Vathy back street. The sun is shining, but there's a definite chill in the air again. The mountain tops on the mainland are covered in snow and there was also a little sign of snow on the Lefkada mountain tops this morning. Still the days are pleasant enough and ideal to do some work outside. There is more rain on our horizon. This winter has been a mixed back of flus and bugs that have had most of the island in bed at one time or another. Let's hope April will stop the sniffles.
Sunday 15th - Left - Penelope Restaurant (Steve's Place) in Frikes is getting a bayfront facelift with a new wooden canopy being erected as I type. I'll miss the old one personally, it had lots of character, but I'm sure the new eating area on the bayside will benefit the visitors who love to eat at Steves (Stathi) each year. More area to dance around for Ithakis favourite music man.
'Germa' the early 20th century drama will soon hit the stage at the Cultural center in Vathy. March 28th is the Premier date that the Forkis Theatre group will be performing. Mark it into your diaries with 29th and 30th performances also.. The group will have rehearsals every night from now until the opening, so I'll go along to give you all a sneak preview.
Right - Margaritta Cafe Bar is a great winter warm spot to get together for a drink and chat.
Tuesday 24th - The posters are out. Ester van Zuylen, Dutch artist and walking guide who has made Ithaki her home over the past few years, will be exhibiting her work at Ores Gallery in Vathy from 12-26 April.
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