.January 2010 Page 1 2 3
Sunday 10th - Thigontas book launch. Dennis Sikiotis launches his controversial book for the second time. Once in Mitillini and now here on Ithaca.
Dennis Sikiotis is no stranger to controversy, but last night, as if God had spoken himself, the book launch was left in the dark. Although the electricity had stayed on for the past days of very strong winds, the moment the wind stopped, so did the power. Don't anyone breathe just incase the phones go off line too. Thigontas is selling for 10 euro and all proceeds go toward the walking paths of Ithaca.
Seems a pole near Lefki exploded into flames. The fix seemed too much for Ithakis DEH, so everyone thought as hour after hour passed, but just before midnight, there was light again. Ithakis DEH saved the day just before it was about to end. We're happy... as long as the lights stay on.
Thursday 14th - Rain and heavy skies over our part of the Ionian over the past days. While in the rest of Greece there have been some covering snow falls already, here, the big chill hasn't quite hit yet, although the mountains behind Sami on Cephalonia, a little snow has begun to fall on the peaks. Ithaki is enjoying a very quiet winter. Old men and dogs in the streets.
Above - A view to Ithaca from Sami in Cephalonia. The Strait between the two islands of Ithaca and Cephalonia, was calm as could be yesterday. It made for an enjoyable trip from Patra to Ithaca. That the ferry was almost empty wasn't bad either.
Friday 15th - Already half way through January. With Greek Easter early this year, it feels we are rushing toward the coming Season. There's not much to report from Ithaki at this time of year, seems half the population have fled the island either for the mainland or on holidays abroad. It's very quiet at all times of the day. Almond blossoms are beginning to brighten up the country side, a little early I believe, but with the mild temperatures we've been having, I don't think nature quite knows what the season is. As in photo right, there is snow in these parts, but just a little on the peaks as we can see on the mainland view from Frikes and Stavros.
Sunday 17th - A perfect weather day today. Nothing but blue skies and warm sunshine all around. Today had families going out seeking entertainment from something other than the tv. Hot chocolate at Sunset Cafe or a great home made pie from Margaritas in Stavros and for Kioni, well there's always Spavento Bar for a hot croissant from the oven.
Below Left - A sad thing for the northern community this winter is that Fatouros Taverna is not open for business as usual. As the owner ages, she is less able to keep up the commitment to serve the community. Kassiani has done more than her bit when it comes to feeding locals and visitors alike. Fatouros will open again for Summer.
Above - View to the snow mountain tops of the Mainland from Frikes.
It's taken a little longer than usual, but Ithaki Calendar 2010 is now online. Let's hope we have lots of fun things to add as the year goes on. Click here or access it on New where it has it's regular access if that is your entry to ithacagreece.com
Monday 18th - A rainy start to today, but by midday we had quite alot of sunny breaks with blue skies emerging from behind the grey. Monday morning is business day. Everyone that has a bill to pay, a lawyer to see, shopping to do, heads down to Vathy, but with so few people on the island, the streets are still vacant of any activity. Below - Work continues in the back streets of Vathy with new paving and drainage.
Left - Dimitri from Laertes Farm Fruit and Vegetable market opens his doors even on Sunday to keep the fresh produce going out of his door and into the kitchens of the locals. It's also a good place for a chat for many of the locals.
Left - Sunset Cafe has only been in business for a couple of years, but has already gained itself a dedicated winter following, and why not, Sunset has an open fire place and welcomes mums (and dads) with their kids for Sunday morning refreshments. A welcoming and warm atmosphere for getting together with friends.
When the sun shines, what better activity than to take a walk. There's so much beauty to be enjoyed. When going by foot, Ithakis beauty is better appreciated than by driving around. Below - Polis Bay view from Stavros
Right - Vathys' Roman era archeological Find disappears under a rain-filled lake. Let's hope it doesn't all turn to mud between now and Summer. The discovery is quite impressive for Ithaki.
Wednesday 21st - Although the weather is pretty miserable with nothing but grey skies, rain and bitter cold today, yesterday Ithaki was mostly covered in blue skies and sunshine. Every second person seems to be nursing a virus or flu, so generally the atmosphere around Ithaca is one of hibernation, especially on a day like today.
Calm bayside in the center of Ithakis' Capital, Vathy
Left - The mythologically significant Forkis Bay near Dexa Beach, still looks wonderful, even on a winters' day. Locals moor their boats here. If it was good enough for Odysseas then it's good enough for them.
Friday 22nd - The Restaurant & Accommodation Link pages have had a little facelift on ithacagreece.com. Time to sweep out some of the corners of this website. Other pages to come as I work my way through.
As you can imagine, there is more to Ithaki than just a beautiful island with wonderful views. There are many negatives for this small community. One was brought to the head again for the second time with some concerned parents (School Committee) closing the doors to the Kindergarten and Primary School in the north of the island to protest that there is no Pediatrician to service the community. With Ithakis baby boom over the past years, there is more than a serious need. After the last demonstration, the island did get a pediatrician for a few weeks, but the doctors' time was up and thus, the community is again without medical care for their young Ithacans. It's a problem that faces many of the small islands around Greece and ultimately this can only change with some law updates which would secure each remote community the necessary
George and Nektarios headed off to Fiorendino Bar in Frikes to gather more supporters to take to Cephalonia tomorrow. The government really needs to look seriously at this issue. It effects many remote islands around Greece.
healthcare before the problem is highlighted with a devastating statistic to force the issue. George Karantzis and Nektarios Vasilopoulos members of the School committee, turned parents and children away as they headed for school. They, along with other concerned parents, will head off to Cephalonia tomorrow to take their issue to a higher force. Parents have a conviction to have this issue resolved and will take further action if deemed necessary. Any pediatricians out there that don't mind living on Ithaki for a year ... or two or three?
There are many Ithacans living away from Ithaki that catch up with the island by logging onto ithacagreece.com I was privileged yesterday to receive an email from one of the visitors to the site, Spyros Paxinos, originally from Lefki. He is Captain of the Tanker Astro Sculptor (See below) which came Ithakis way three times in 2008. Something that gave the Captain great pleasure. Seems once Ithaca is in your blood, it take more than relocation to get it out.
Sunday 24th - Rain and stormy skies again over the weekend, but Saturday we were gifted at least 3 seasons in one day with black skies in the morning, sunshine and blue skies through the day, flowers blooming, and late in the afternoon, rain again. Ithaki looks so dramatic through the winter months. Spectacular storms pass through faster than you can count between the lightning and thunder clap.
Pages on ithacagreece.com that have received a facelift are now Accommodation, Restaurants, General Business, Car Boat Bike Hire, Sailing Links and Trades and Services (these pages will be added to shortly)
Wouldn't be surprised if there was snow on Anoghi overnight. It's cold!!!!!
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