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Our peripatetic domehead has been on the move again, taking two days to get to the remote island of Anafi, 12 nautical miles east of Santorini, current population (from a 2011 census) 271 souls and some very docile cats. It has just one small hotel halfway up the mountain between the tiny port and the one equally tiny town, but plenty of rooms (most with cruising-altitude views over the Cretan Sea) and at least a dozen tavernas whose canny owners remain open all day and late in the season. There are daily ferry links with Santorini in mid/high season, although connections dwindle to just two a week outside that. Its dramatic landscape is criss-crossed with walking trails for hikers, and the long, deserted sandy beaches draw naturists from northern Europe. Our man reckoned that if he were working on The Long, Difficult Novel (he isn’t), it would make the perfect hideaway.

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En route home, he surrendered to the madness of Santorini during a 14-hour layover and dropped in to see an old friend, Kostis Psychas, owner of the Perivolas Hotel in Oia. While Oia now bristles with over fifty “boutique” hotels, Kostis and his parents started building theirs over forty years ago, adding a couple of rooms at a time to complete the few dozen that now command high season prices of between €540-760 a night for a double. (There are, however, at least ten other even more expensive hotels in Oia.) That’s more than twenty times what our domehead was paying on Anafi (€25 a night, in fact), although it’s par for the course in a village with more infinity pools that most entire Greek islands. More remarkable, however, is that the Perivolas season, like much of Santorini, runs from April 1 until the last days of October. The only downside is you have to pass through the tacky retail outlet and permanent traffic jam of the capital, Fira, to get to it.

(Thanks to the Community of Anafi and to Perivolas for the images.)

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Passed by this gem the other day, 21 September to be exact. Though well after “tourist season”, there were still people parking on the pedestrian walkways. This crunched bench seemed to be a victim of inadequate planning, poor traffic policing, and selfishly lousy drivers.

The plan for the Grand Boulevard did not prove up to expectations, at least not to the expectations of those who thought that the plan would clear up summer traffic congestion and other forms of mayhem on the way to/from the port. In Traffic Engineering school there probably is a rule that if “one narrows a two way street, cars will have to pass closer to each other. When the road is narrowed even more due to double parking on both sides, traffic stops.”

One suggestion would be to take the engineer/designer and tie him/her to the broken bench in August to observe what they have created. And why are there benches there anyway? To observe the traffic jams and the goings on at the Amalia Hotel?

If you ruled the world, what would you do to improve the forsaken piece of asphalt from Agios Riganaki (T-Junction) to Ghikas bakery?

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Mr. and Mrs. Payne visited Panoramos at the beginning of the week and saw a really great sunset. Photos below.

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Skopelosnews likes to thank everybody who send us pictures or information that have to do with Skopelos.

triathlonThe organizers of Sunday’s triathlon have released a list of guidelines for anyone wanting to participate, with a further announcement that registration will be open until 2pm Saturday afternoon at the Skopelos Cycling centre on the way to the post office. Athletes are asked to be on the town beach at noon or shortly after for a prompt start at 1pm, and to bring the following:

1. One bottle of tap water for rinsing after swimming.
2. Towel and dry clothes to continue cycling – backpack.
3. Helmet and bicycle, with spare inner tube and pump.
4. Water and food (banana, chocolate, power snacks, dry fruits etc…).
5. Dry clothes for the end of the race.
6. Salty snacks for the end of the race.

Optional extras:
1. Sunglasses.
2. Swimming goggles.
3. Sunscreen.

Long-range weather forecasts that had been predicting rain Sunday are now suggesting dry but overcast conditions. We’ll be there applauding regardless. We may even gatecrash the proposed After Party at Gousto.

MoonandJet02Oct14
While traipsing in Kaigelia last evening we came across this sky spectacular and tried to take it home with us.
We first saw the cloud with the moon and a second later an airplane contrail. We hurriedly took six long shot photos and later pieced them together. The aircraft was moving quickly but we just got it in the frame.
[click on the photo to enlarge it. Recommended]

BikersThe start of Sunday’s friendly triathlon has been moved forward to 1pm to give participants plenty of time to complete all three stages of the event. Triathletes are expected to start gathering on the town beach for the swimming heat shortly after noon, after which they will tackle the mountain bike ride, partly off-road, up to the helicopter pad and returning to the football stadium for the minimarathon on the running track. Some racers are raising funds for the island palliative care charity Faros, which hopes to field people wielding collection boxes at various points.

View from Delphi

From Delphi15Sep14
[photo enlarges with click]
There are other places in Greece almost as beautiful as Skopelos. We had an opportunity to visit the site of the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi in mid-September (hidden by the olive tree on the right). It is well worth the visit, especially for our readers who winter on Skopelos.

On the way down the backside of Mt. Parnassos we stopped to see the “Tholos”, a temple to Athena Pronaia which is on the grounds of the site, but about 1/2 km from the main sanctuary. This is the view southwest from the road. We look down to the Peloponissos and stately Mt. Chelmos (2,355 m) near Kalavryta. Unfortunately the Gulf of Corinth and the port of Itea are hidden by the windmilled mountain in the middle ground.

Mt. Chelmos is a popular ski destination centered in the village of Kalavryta. The village was the scene of a massacre of 683 civilians by the Germans during WWII.

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“A” is Delphi and the shaded area the view.

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