Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Update on the Hotel Xenia (Update - 22/11/2017) ...

Thanks to 'Steve in Skiathos' and 'Skiathos Island News' for very kindly, allowing us to share the following update, and photos of the ongoing works ...

Steve has been out and about, with the camera, once again, and yesterday had a wander up to the Xenia hotel as it seems they are opening next summer.




The views from the terraces are excellent following some good work on the trees and the interior is looking very smart with one of the most important features coming along nicely (the bar!). 




Although the outside is still untidy, there are 2 new pools being built to one side (not likely to get much sun) and some small bits of landscaping have been done. 


Still not much sign of any work on the land behind the beach or any real clues as to the route of the access road to the hotel but it looks like the re-development will be a great success when it is completed.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Its the day of the Panagia ...

This morning the church bells at Tries Hieraches will be ringing ...

The icon ...
Today its Panagia Kounistra, the islands festival day when the townsfolk return the miraculous icon, to the monastery at Kounistra, in a pilgramage across the hills on the old paths. The icon which was found in a tree, where the monastery at Kounistria, was built, is going home ...

Most of the village will be walking just after noon, heading up to Acropolis, carrying torches and picnic baskets. Young and Old alike, many of the old ladies will be barefoot. They will be met at Acropolis by men with guns who serenade with a volley of gunfire as the icon and the villagers pass by below. Then climbing up on the old paths to Katsarou, then over the hills, visiting shrines and finally up to Kounistra.

Once at Kounistra there will be a service and the villagers will rest and take Coffee, Tsipouro or make the return to town on the special buses, laid on for the event. Many will stay overnight with the Icon, then return in the morning over the hills to Tries Hieraches at first light.

The Skiathos Calendar by Betsy Barnard mentions ... 

21st Panayia Kounistra (The presentation of the mother of god in the temple, 
i.e. when she was taken to serve in the temple as a child aged about 12) 
On the morning of the 20th the miraculous icon is brought up to the top 
church and taken out of the town about 2.30. The bells ring in town at about 
1.00. People follow on foot on the old road to Kounistra. At the monastery 
of Kounistra an evening service, all night vigil, bonfires food, much 
feasting. Buses run to the monastery all evening. 
Early next morning, about 5am the icon is taken back along the old road to 
town, people following on foot. To Ayia Triada about 8am, down the old paved 
road to the Kalo Pigadi and along the main road to the Tries Hieraches. 
Service 9 - 10.30 ... 

Buses will operate from Terminus and Acropolis to the Monastery from 14:00hrs until 23:00hrs

This event is one of the 'must do' events for any true Skiathos Lovers ...

Previous Blog: Panagia Kounistria

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Panagia Kounistria ...

Xronia Polla!

On Sunday, 19 November 2017 at 16:45, the miracle image of the lady of from the metropolitan temple of the three leaders at the birth temple. The will be held and then the mystery of the holy oil with the occasion of the two-day celebration of the of the immaculate conception and polioúcho of our island.

The icon is taken from Tries Hieraches to the top church, Panagia Limania, where it rests overnight

On the 20th the original icon of the Virgin Mary located in the church of Tries Hieraches is removed, and taken to the Kounistra monastery by foot via the mountain route. Along the way a gun salute honours the removal of the icon at Acropolis (by bus stop no. 4). Most of the village will take part in the procession.

Once the icon reaches the monastery prayers are said all night, and a vigil takes place. There will be socialising, coffee annd tsipouro, and for those who cannot stay overnight, buses will return to the village at regular intervals.

On the 21st November Kounistra Monastery celebrates the Presentation of Virgin Mary and at dawn  the icon is returned to Tries Hieraches church in town, along the same route.

The shops will be closed Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday as its an island holiday ...

Previous blog: Hey Baby ...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Hey Baby ...

 It's cold outside ❄️ ...


Just Good friends ...
Its been a little damp too ...

Meanwhile the Medicane approaches Greece

Midday photo - Severe Weather Greece

Whats a Medicane? Its a Mediterranean cyclone, bordering on becoming a Cat 1 Hurricane.
Mediterranean + Hurricane = a Medicane ...

Previous blog: http://skiathian.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/polytechneio.html

Friday, 17 November 2017

Polytechneio ...

Today is Polytechneio day in Greece ...

Students, both young and not so young across Greece, will remember the Students uprising, and actions of the military junta in 1973.



Do read the link to 'A Gael in Greece' here it explained a lot more to me ...

On this day, the children in schools in Skiathos, take red carnations to school. The younger children draw or paint them, and take them home to their parents.

This is in memory of Nikos Beloyannis, A Greek resistance leader, sentenced to death for crimes against the state ...

Previous Blog: Rain Rain Rain ...

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Rain Rain Rain ...

All across Greece ...

Storms lashing Greece causing immense difficulties for the infrastructure, loss of life and damage to property.

At least 15 people have died, six are missing and 23 are injured following the disaster caused by extensive flooding in western Attica on Wednesday.

Firemen and other emergency services worked non-stop throughout the night to clear the water and the mud that covered streets, houses and businesses mainly in the towns of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Magoula.

The Attica prefecture, the administrative district for the towns, said it would seek assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund, set up to respond to natural disasters.

A state of emergency was declared in the region and PM Alexis Tsipras declared three-day national mourning.

Its another very dark wet amd stormy day on Skiathos, with more bad weather on the way.

Mediteranean cyclone - A Medicane ...

The National Meteorological Services (EMY) have issued an emergency bulletin warning of more extreme weather conditions over the next days.

Lightning 16:50 local time ...
According to the report, heavy rainfall and storms will continue, while strong winds and hail storms are also forecast.

If friends on the island are quiet, they may well have lost their internet in the storm ...

Previous blog: Ένα πρωί του Οκτωβρίου ...

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Ένα πρωί του Οκτωβρίου ...

One morning in October ...


The throbbing sound of the diesel engines, as it comes into view. Skimming across the golden sea as the sun rises beyond the Pounta.

For me its the only way to travel, one day soon you will blink, and this piece of history will be gone forever ...

Actually if you want to get to the mainland in the morning, this really is 'the only way to travel' this winter. Now that Hellenic have put the Cats to bed for winter.

Previous blog: Remembrance ...


Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remembrance ...

My fathers cousin ...

Albert Branch DFM Flight Sergeant (Flight Engineer) 962835, 83 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 20/10/1943. Age 21.


DFM Flight Sergeant (Flight Engineer) 962835, 83 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 20/10/1943. Age 21. Son of Charles William and Ruby Florence Branch of Aldeburgh. Buried at Assen Southern General Cemetery.



Notes: 1.The Cemetery at Assen, Drenthe, Netherlands, contains the graves of the crew of Flt Sgt Branch’s Lancaster Bomber. At the time of Flt Sgt Branch’s death, 83 Squadron were part of the Pathfinder Force.


The Memorial: Click here


Lest we forget, Wear your poppy with pride ...


At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them ...

Friday, 10 November 2017

A message from Steve in Skiathos ...

Remembrancetide ...

We will be holding our usual 2 minute silence on Saturday November 11th;
11am at the submarine memorial, all welcome.

Skiathian remains under the weather with the sweats, shivers and shakes.


One of the mums at school coughed and sneezed all over me, You know that moment when they are coughing and spluttering, so you try to keep a distance. Then they stand behind you then sneeze over you. Yes that was me ...

It could have been the sneeze across the table, which of course is denied. But I thought three days to go, it was four,

Sweating like a jockey in a sauna ...

Three years ago today, I was sitting in a cafe in Athens whilst SWMBO was in surgery. That was a very long day indeed.

Thanks to the lovely Anastasia, who came and kept me company, and we hit the caffeine hard.

It was her mothers birthday, and yet she came to see me, and keep me company outside a cafe, whilst the top man in Greece performed his art ...

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Bad Weather ...

There is a weather alert in place ...

See Severe Weather Greece site - Click here

Lightning strikes 09:43am >10:43am
'November decides to show us his real face with strong rains and intense in the west to the north and east Aegean in the next few days.

The intense phenomena have already begun in Corfu to the east, from tonight the phenomena will expand to the east and will affect the other areas.

The winds in the Ionian Sea will reach 8 beauforts. In the Aegean, 5-6 beaufort. The temperature at normal levels for the time. On the maps, we see the storms at that time in the fairly large line of snow that is open to the Ionian islands.

In European photography we see the low swirl in Italy.

Severe Weather across the country for the next 5 days, except Thursday. Intense thunderstorms are affecting already western Greece now, moving slowly to the east by the end of Wednesday'

Pop the Olive nets out quick, the winds may pick them from the trees for you ...

Previous blog: Fishing ...