.October 2009 Page 1 2 3
Thursday 1st October - The Marida Festival at Polis Bay is just one of the great Winter events on Ithaca. I wasn't able to attend this year, but thanks to Stephen Stylianos (Homers View Villas) and beloved waiter at Dodonis Cafe in Frikes over the Summer, we have some great pics to share with you all. I'm sure you'll enjoy his perspective on this years' Marida Festival. Click Here or on photograph below left for more pics.

Saturday 3rd - Above Right - Maria Kapote says goodbye to her friend Zoe Patricios for another year. Maria will be back with her bo (Lucky from Polis Beach below) next year. Right - Pre-Election propaganda at Piso Aetos Bay. KKE is Greeces' Communist Party. Bet you wouldn't see banners like this welcoming incoming visitors in other places in the world.
Below Left - The Ionian sea from Patra to Cephalonia, looking very black this afternoon as bad weather rolled in from the north. Below - By the time the ferry arrived at Piso Aetos, the sun decided to come out a little, leaving the sky very blue again just long enough for disembarkation. Then bam! another downpour and more black clouds overhead.
Yesterday and today, there wasn't a ticket to be found for The Kefalonia ferry. Booked out. With hordes coming back to both Cephalonia and Ithaca to vote in the National Elections, finding a ticket was a bit of a challenge, as was finding a seat once on the ferry. It was packed to the rafters. These crowds may be usual in the high season, but for an October weekend, it's a very unusual sight. It's worth noting that although Ithaki may be a little lax in the non-smoking stakes, The Kefalonia ferry is right on the ball in that regard. There is no more smoking on the ferry except for the outside areas. The truly addicted were out on the decks puffing away in the rain and wind, looking a little dejected.
Below - In Patra last night, the Pasok rally was in full swing together with REM blaring from the loud speakers and 'end of the world' fire works in the sky. Bigger than a rock concert.
Sunday 4th - Right - The traditional Greek Sweet - Preserved fruit in syrup, usually served with a drink of water. Spavento Bar in Kioni has many.
Left - Looks like Rementzos' Grill Chiefs' reputation has reached as far as Patra. It's not often your name is graffitied in the big smoke.
Left - A view of Frikes bayside village in the north of Ithaki from the Windmill above the bay. Frikes pre-1953 earthquakes isn't too different from the Frikes of today. Sure, there is no line of tavernas with bayside seating, Rementzo Restaurant has an extra floor, the Stathi Raftopoulos Hotel hadn't been built, a series of houses under the windmill are missing and there isn't a road that divides the sea from the buildings, but apart from that the village is easily recognizable. What immediately strikes me is how cultivated the area behind was back then. I'm not certain, but I would hazard a guess that the young trees on the bayside are the same Eucalypts that give Frikes such great shade in the Summer now. For old photographs of Frikes, you can visit The Gods Gift Shop in Frikes. Ask Niko Douglas to show you his selection. You'll be surprised just how many wonderful photographs are at hand.
Above - Unfortunately not all the views around Kioni are pristine. I expect Ithaki will catch up sometime to join other areas in taking it underground. Above Right - This traditional building adds such character to Kioni. It's grand and beautiful. Right - Today is election day and I expected to see much more activity in the streets. Seems the people voted and then went back home to kick back the stress of it.
Right - For Zaharate and Niko (who turned 92 years old yesterday by the way) voting was an opportunity to stop in Frikes afterwards for a beer and meze. While relaxing, Niko noticed that the rock face of Frikes was quite awesome. He had never really noticed how Freaky Frikes actually was before. Niko Douglas assured him, Frikes has always been this Freaky, thus the name.,
Left - For Maki and Maria from Margaritas Cafe (The Zac), it was business as usual.

Election Update - At 11pm, the New Democratic Party conceded defeat to PASOK. Here are ithakis' figures after the votes were counted @10.30pm

  • PASOK - 901 (Major Left Party)
  • ND - 635 (Major Right Party)
  • KKE - 385 (Communist Party)
  • SYRIZA - 124 (Left Party)
  • LAOS - 115 (Right Party)
  • Green Parties - 43 (There are a few)
On Ithaca, there were no big rallies, parades or hooha. People quietly gathered around the cafes and restaurants (and not even that many) to watch the election results as the votes came in. 4% of the vote nationally, is needed for a seat in Parliament. The Green Party did not qualify, but SYRIZA, an alternative Left party, has secured a seat. In the weeks leading up to the elections, it was quite clear that PASOK would again move into Parliament to take the top spot, but it's thought the vote for them was more a vote against ND than for PASOKs policies. If we get right down to the chase, opposing major parties these days have more in common than not, so let's hope the small differences, make a big difference in the lives of Greeces' population and the countrys' well-being.

The Dolmabache Gallery in Istanbul Turkey was host to the group International Artists for Peace Exhibition to which our own Dimitris Danis from Ores Gallery was invited to participate. Dimitris took with him Tomi Dendrinou (Actress) and Klara Koitler (Painter) to enhance the exhibition Ithaki style. For more information and photographs please Click Here or on photograph left. Information and photographs were kindly supplied by Dr. Nick Levi who, along with his wife Judi, also joined Dimitri Danis for this momentous occasion.

Tuesday 6th - Already at the end of our first week of October. Time is just flying by. Visitors to the island are now only dotted here and there. The big crowds are far behind us now. Yachters will be sailing into our bays until at least the end of October and that's when we know we are really heading into Winter. Soon the fires will be burning around the island as farmers prepare to harvest their olive crops. Olive branches burning autumn into the landscape for another year. With only a few days rain, the island has already become so very green, it's hard to believe we've been dry for months
Above, Right and Below - Ithakis stunning capital of Vathy (Vathi) and its' natural harbour. Incase you've wondered the meaning of Vathy, it means deep and describes this natural harbour. Since 1983, my first time to the island, its' this town that has undergone the most changes over the years. More and more houses climb up the hillsides that surround the bay each year, all vying for that stunning view.
Above - It's not that hard to walk when the weather is this great. Stavros to Lefki has a vista that distracts you from the 5 or so km your feet are doing. Below - When the sky is this blue, there is no better place to be than Dexa Beach looking out onto the bay and to Kathara opposite. This mythologically significant bay is haunting and calm as the silver reflections of the olive trees, that line and give shade on the beach, sway gentle with the wind.

Friday 9th - This week the weather has been absolutely amazing. Such perfect days that even the weathered old locals took pleasure in enjoying them. Above Right - The mountain peaks across on the mainland take a cloud each and it seems they are the only 2 clouds in this dimming sky.

For more click here or on Page 2 below

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CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE MARIDA FESTIVAL AT POLIS BAY BY STEPHEN STYLIANOS Click here for more photos of this special event by Dimitris Danis from Ores Gallery