July 2012 >> Page 1 2 3 4 5
Above - Niko from The Gods Gift shop in Frikes. Below - Dusk in Vathy.
Above - Greek Nationals had an exhibition in the Vathy village square last night. The sounds of patriotism filled the night air.
Above - Gerasimos Rosolimos from the Eptanisos Group with Cynthia, enjoying a moment in front of ithacagreece.com camera. Below - This fish was getting ready to go on the grill, but by the look of it, it looks more capable of doing the eating rather than being eaten.
July Friday 20th - Another hot day ahead as we look forward to Ag. Lia Festival tonight in Kioni. That's still hours away and the day is best spent at the beaches where we can cool off.
Many more people around now. Ithaca, despite the crisis, has a special kind of tourism, people come back again and again because Ithaki has rooted deep inside them. Their choice to come to Ithaca is more a need than a holiday decision. Luckily for us I would say, as I hear many popular islands are really struggling.
Left - Polis Beach.
Below Left and Below - Olivia. One of the main attractions to Ithaca is how safe the island is for children. Parents can enjoy their holidays without worry of predators. Here kids climb trees and dive off the pier for fun, instead of computer games. They naturally connect with nature and not so much with the internet.
If there was any doubt we are into the high season, then the Day Tripper from Lefkada with 350 people aboard which came into Frikes yesterday, should qualify my statement. Hordes came off the boat to find a little beach somewhere or to have lunch or a snack and refreshments.
Left - Some couldn't wait to get into the water and just dove into the bayside of Frikes.
Below - The grape vines are looking nearer to fruition. August is usually a good time to pick. Many of the grapes on ithaca are used to make the local wine that takes around 40 days to be drinkable. Local wine made from the grapes of Ithaca, is usually what you will get if you ask for Local Wine.
On the 28th of July, Perahori will celebrate its annual wine festival in the mountain village of Perahori above Vathy. There'll be wine of course, but also food and live music and dancing. The village always puts on a great night. Very enjoyable.
Left - In Kioni, the daily day trippers also bring in visitors. Kioni has the pleasure of 2 at a time. On the sea route, Kioni is a more popular destination than Frikes, as is evident with the latest visitor, Bon Jovi, who had lunch there a few days ago after sailing into the port on his way around the Ionian.
Left - Below Raxi, are some wonderful little coves with pristine beaches.
The Homeric Writers Retreat
has released its schedule for Writing Workshops that can be attended by the public.
For the Schedule and pricing

Click Here to Download pdf.
Saturday 21st - Just goes to show that when the yachts aren't in, the bay side villages, including Vathy, are much more quiet this year. Not many people in the streets at all. Usually Vathy Bay is full of yachts, Flotillas and private, taking up the mooring spaces along most of the length of the bay. Not this year. The numbers are definitely down across the board... and still, we are luckier than most other islands in Greece.
Left - The bayside of Vathy should be in buzz mode, but instead, it's quiet. The Ithaca Council has now allocated moped/bike parking, as well as disabled parking. The 'no parking' zones are as usual, filled with parked cars.

Kioni Panighiri
Ag. Lia Festival
Friday 20th July 2012

A warm night for this years Kioni Panighiri.
Although there didn't seem to be many people around during the day, people somehow appeared
to fill up the village with good Kefi for the festival.

Mnistires played up a storm and everyone loved it!

For more photos and news Click Here or on photograph Left

Sunday 22nd - What a busy week this past week. Festivals and parties, dances etc etc. The Summer high life.
Last night I was asked to go along and take some photos of Romantsa. The venue in Stavros that has such a wonderful and rich history with the locals. Niko Sikiotis will be sending me some information on Romantsa soon, so I will do a little special on it later with the photos I took last night. What I can say now is that a local dance is obviously something that's been missing over the past years, as the full tables and happy environment was a testament to. Mr. Sikiotis set up a night of nostalgia in music and atmosphere. What a lovely night. Keep your eye out for the special, hopefully coming soon. Just waiting for some info to arrive in my inbox.
Left - Romantsa just outside of Stavros. Below - Rementzo in Frikes.

I woke up this morning to a rather dirty and cloudy sky. An hour later it had all cleared to another hot, blue sky day.
Monday 23rd - Some high cloud and a fresher wind blowing today, giving us a little relief from the endlessly hot summer days. A little rain wouldn't hurt, but that seems unlikely, and it's only the locals that would be secretly wishing for it.
Left - Vaia is here with her baby from Melbourne, Australia. Her roots are originally from the north of Greece, but if you have a friend on Ithaki, then it's best to take advantage of the opportunity. Ithaki is a great place for young families. As you can see Below - Niko and Viki from Mylos Creperie relocated back to Ithaki many years ago now to have a simpler life and to start a family. Their efforts have not been unrewarded with their 'almost' 4 month old baby, who will get a name when he is christened.
It was a busy night in Vathy last night. Big yachts, small yachts, people, not only dining at the bayside restaurants, but in the restaurants in the back streets, like Nikos and Kalkanis, both very fine tavernas with fresh Greek Kitchen meals and grill.
The old doctors surgery in Stavros was remodeled last year as an exhibition space. From today, you can see paintings by Danae Kouvara, who although lives in Athens, has her roots deeply planted in the north of ithaki.
The Stavros exhibition room isn't the only place however, where you can see artists' work. In Platrithia, opposite Yefuri Restaurant, Catherine Andrews Rombotis also has a space at which you can see her artwork, paintings, tiles and stones from the local beaches.
You can simply enjoy looking, or better yet, support the artists with a purchase.

Tuesday 24th - The early cloud yesterday morning didn't do much to quell the heat. It was another scorcher.
Don't know what's happened this year, but in the north of the island, the road sides are becoming fire hazards more and more. Usually the Council pays someone to strim the dry grass, but this year it's been left. It was law a couple of years ago that everyone had to keep their property cleared due to fire danger, but this year it doesn't seem to matter.
Left & Below - Frikes Bayside.

Left - Just a sample of local artist's, Catherine Andrews Rombotis work. Currently Catherine is painting tiles with traditional motifs such as olive and branch as seen here. You can view or purchase her work from her studio, opposite Yefuri Restaurant in Platrithia in the north of ithaca.

Above - Fatouros Taverna in Stavros has been operating again over the past few weeks. It's good to see this Stavros tradition continue.

Nikos Douglas (from The Gods Gift shop) and wife, Xanthi are now the proud parents of another baby boy, their second. Xanthi gave birth to their second son yesterday in Patras. Congratulations to both families.

Many businesses are concerned that tourism is noticeably down this year. Now that we are racing through July with only a marginal improvement on June in regard to visitors to the island, things are a bit worrying for many. Although most seem to put on a brave face, taking this downturn in their stride, some are being pressured too much for comfort. With news yesterday that the Tax Department was on the island, there were even more worried brows. Surprise hits by the tax office usually mean fines for anyone that is spot checked. The tax officials can't go back empty handed. That the entire island knows that the tax department came off the ferry, isn't surprising, although it should be. Do these officials walk around with neon signs over their heads? Ithaca tax alert is better than smoke signals, email, sms or any other means of communication. News of the tax department was already around the island the minute they stepped foot on its ground.

Wednesday 25th - It's Hot Hot Hot folks, so hot nearly everyone has become lethargic. We're almost floppy.
Above - Danae Kouvara exhibition poster. Head along, I believe it's excellent. Left - Stavros. That's excellent too :) Below - A couple of years ago, there was a Aussie night in Kioni which was very successful, so they thought they'd do it again.
Left - You have to admire the hard workers who don't let a little heatwave put them off. Roofing on days like these is more than a challenge, but it doesn't seem to stop these builders.
July 2012 >> Page 1 2 3 4 5

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