.October 2009 Page 1 2 3
Tuesday 20th - Although we've had quite a bit of rain this month, the days seem to settle with lots of sunshine and warmth, with rain mostly overnight or early mornings.
I guess the most noticeable thing at this time of year is the quiet. No cars and bikes revving it up. Another sign we're heading into the deep of it is when you go to Margarita Cafe in Stavros at 10.30pm and it's closed. God knows that Maki and Maria need the rest after a hard season, but it looks like the locals are staying in more now too.
Congratulations to the Penelope (Restaurant Frikes) family who have recently welcomed a baby boy into their fold.
Rementzo Restaurant Frikes, due to unforeseen circumstances, is closing a little earlier than usual. This is the last week. That's not to say that Frikes nightlife is over, Piperato, Symposium and Dodonis are still open for business and serving it up for some time to come yet, and of course Fiorendinos Bar will be keeping the lights on all through the winter. So if you get a twinge for a pizza or hamburger, just call Pete or Dini (although Dini may have his hands full when he becomes a dad.)
Wednesday 21st - Right - During the summer months parking restrictions prevented cars parked in the Frikes main street, now in October, feel free to park in the middle of the road? Hmmm.
Dry dock for most of the boats around the island at this time of year, but there are still some going out and bringing in a good catch (Right).
Above - The old and the new take pride of place in the hills of Ithaki. The winter skies billow and clear through each passing day, giving us a little of everything in regard to weather.
Thursday 22nd - Brilliant day yesterday. No sign of rain, lots of blue sky and warm sunshine. Quite a few tourists around Vathy too. It's like a second wind of tourism for the bayside capital.
Friday 23rd - For the next 3 days the weather is predicted to be quite a bit wilder than we've had this past week. High winds and some rain predicted. Right - Kioni bayside is getting back to Winter mode. Most of the restaurants have closed. Oasis, the restaurant under Kioni Apartments is however still serving it up every day for the yachts and tourists in the village.
Pantopoleion Mini Market in Kioni, also known as Alekas (below left), is the mainstay over the winter months, open morning and afternoon and Spavento Bar (below), now only open a few hours in the morning and then from 5pm, keeps the Kioni village alive at night.
Above Left - The old olive oil press in Lahos. Below - Kolieri views. Around Homers View Villas, you don't only get afales bay views, but traditional village views also.
Left - Dusk on the outskirts of Stavros toward Platrithia. It's amazing how quickly Summer becomes just a memory. It's only been a couple of weeks since people were still swimming.
Saturday 24th - Get ready the Ark, the rain cometh. So much rain last night and through the early hours through to today. The sky has lifted a bit this morning, but there's more rain coming over this weekend. First sign of winter was yesterdays power-out for around 2 hours in the north of the island, and with no street lights last night around the Stavros area, there's just a little hint that whatever the problem was/is, the problem may be continuing. It's happened before that electricity is directed from the street-light grid to the houses in order for the domestic sector to have electricity.
Yesterday evening amidst rain, lightning and thunder, the Spavento twins, Niko and Theofilos, celebrated their 5th birthday with a party for all the kids at the old primary school in Kioni. It was mayhem and I guess alot of fun for those on a sugar high.
Left - The mountain village of Exoghi in the north of Ithaca. Now that the church towers are blue again, they stand as colourful beacon in the village. During the Summer, Exoghi has one of the best organized street festivals on the island. It's always alot of fun, and why not, the Exoghi community go all out to make it so.
Sunday night - 25th October is the last night Rementzo Restaurant in Frikes will be open for this year. Poppy and Nektarios will re-open next year 1st April.
Sunday 25th - There are some pitfalls to living in a bubble, such has Daylight Saving time changing without you having a clue and thus waking people who are taking advantage of that extra hours' sleep. Oh oh.
High school students on Ithaca have been gifted Netbooks by the government. Now that's a positive step toward their futures. It wasn't long ago that only a hand full of people on Ithaca knew about computers, let alone owned one, but ithaca, as the rest of Greece, is catching up quickly and taking to technology with both arms open... now if the 'powers that be' could only guarrantee ADSL, regular phone service and electricity that's more on than off, than we'd all be smiling alot more.
Left - Rien Post and wife Ester van Zuylen get in one last dinner before Rementzo closes for this year. Rien, Rementzos' grill person, gets a little of his own back when he orders up big from the grill on which his boss, Nektarios, is slaving over for a change.
Left - Rementzo Restaurant. Tonight, Poppy and Nek shut up shop for another year. They, like many on Ithaca, will be taking their holidays over the winter period.
Below Left - This is the sky I woke up to this morning (an hour earlier than necessary) Ready to be completely blue after the dawn cloud lifts for the day. I think it may just end up to be a wonderful weather day today.
The rains have left the island greener than ever. Lush views all over Ithaca this week.
Tuesday 27th - What a great day yesterday. Our Indian Summer days. Above Right - Kimis Butcher shop in Stavros. Left - The lush fields of Lahos. Below - Stavros with Dimitri unloading his Laertes Farm Truck.
Disappointing news for Ithaca and other small islands and villages around Greece is that we will have no more fresh milk deliveries to the island over the 'NON Season' months. 'The Company' has determined that we will get milk deliveries again when we have tourists on the island. OH YEAH?!!! What's next? I guess this is what we can expect when 1 company owns almost everything. It's just another item to add to Greeces' "ti na kanoume (what can we do)" list. People are annoyed, but feel helpless in doing anything about it. For now it's 'long life' milk full of wholesome chemicals & convenience that go well with all the other chemicals & convenience that have replaced our fresh 'untampered with' food over the years. For the children on the island or people like me who are allergic to chemicals & preservatives, we'll have to go to Patras or Athens to drink our glass of fresh milk until the tourists come back.
Left - The sun begins to set over Polis, the bay beneath the northern center of Stavros.

.... Oxi Day Parade .... 28th October 2009

OXI day parade 2009 ithaca greece
Wednesday 28th - Each year on Ithaca, Stavros and Vathy hold the Oxi Day Parade which celebrates Metaxas' 'NO' to Mussolini during WWII. Ithacas' Primary and High School school children, led by their teachers, adorn their blue and white to march down the main streets in rememberance of this momentus day October 28th. Missing from the parade this year was Ithakis Marching Band, they were replaced by whistle blowers to keep the marching feet in time. For more photographs of the Stavros and Vathy parades, click here or on photo left.
Only a few more days and we head into November, but still the weather is very mild. Winter ahoy?
Below Right - The waters of Vathy bay were so reflective today that you can turn the bay upside down to become a beautiful painting.
Thursday 29th - Vathy Harbour. Even at the Seasons' end, there are still a few yachts sailing in, and why not, the weather is still very mild and ideal for sailing around the Ionian.
Now at the end of October, more and more locals begin this years' olive harvest. This will happen over the next month and maybe a little longer eventuating in that fantastic olive oil that ends up on every dining table.
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click here for more on oxi day on ithaca greek island 2009