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Spring is here and everywhere I see colorful flowers, big and small. The poppies enchant me the most. So vibrant and fragile and the bees love them soo much!

There is a new possibility to sign up for the vaccination against Covid-19. Ages between 18 and 59. You can sign up until Friday the 23rd of April at KEP offices and the offices of the municipality. It is for Greeks and Non-Greeks.
After signing up you will be called by the Skopelos health center (the number can be a private number) You will be asked to come in for the first shot and after that you will receive a message on your phone for the second one (Pfizer)

At the KEP etc. Give your surname and name, your AMKA and a telephone number. If you don’t have AMKA try KEP for a temporary one.
KEP Skopelos: 2424029064
Social office municipality Skopelos: 2424023294
KEP Glossa: 2424034480
For Elios via the vice mayor Stamatoula Koukorini-Fivga 6983717851

The “protection of citizens” office from the municipality has contacted me to inform everybody that as of tomorrow, Friday the 16th of April you can get contacted by the Health center of Skopelos to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

All those (Greek and non-Greeks) that have signed up will get a call or an SMS message. The call will probably from the number 2424022222.

Please be prepared to meet their schedule

I have had several questions from travelers asking me if there is a possibility to have a Covid-19 rapid test and/or a molecular test done on Skopelos? The answer is yes.

The countries that you are travelling too can have different demands for which test so make sure you know what is needed. The rapid test you receive is quicker and is cheaper. The molecular test (PCR) takes longer and is more expensive.

Biomedical diagnostic laboratory of Alexandra Polyzou-Pournara

2424024555 (In the street to the left of the Platanos square close to the harbor)

Microbiology laboratory of Lina lemonis

2424024131 ( In the street to the left of the Platanos square close to the harbor)

Cosmohealth private polyclinic Skopelos

2424024500 (On the ring road next to supermarket Lemonis, in the former building of the tax office)

The organizing team of the first annual Skopelos trail race would like to inform you of the new event date which now shall be held on Sunday the 5th of September 2021. Given the current climate there has been a need for many local races to reschedule dates and as a result these changes have affected are schedule. 

Before Friday

In a press release from the civil protection office of the municipality, that I received, it says that those that would like to get vaccinated against Covid-19 should tell KEP or the Social department of the municipality in the different areas on Skopelos. You have until Friday at 14.00 hours. When there is a new opportunity to sign in, we will be notified.

ΕΚΤΑΚΤΗ ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ
Όσοι επιθυμείτε να εμβολιαστείτε έχετε τη δυνατότητα να το δηλώσετε στον
κατάλογο των εμβολιασμών εως την Παρασκευή 9-4-2021 και ώρα 14:00μμ.
Εαν υπάρξουν νέες εγγραφές θα ενημερωθείτε με νέα ανακοίνωση.
ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΗ ΠΡΟΣΤΑΣΤΙΑ ΔΗΜΟΥ ΣΚΟΠΕΛΟΥ

April

Megalo Pefko beach

As of today retail stores in Greece will re-open to consumers. The opening of these shops will be under COVID-secure guidelines. The government decided to make adjustments to the existing measures, in an aim to address the lockdown fatigue that citizens are facing. In the cities of Thessaloniki, Kozani and the area of Achaia the shops will not open. There are too many Covid-19 patients there.

How consumers can shop

More specifically, all retail stores in the country will be open as of today, Monday, April 5, with a three-hour limit per shopper so as to avoid crowding. To go shopping, citizens must send an SMS with a special code (13032)

All retail stores will be operating by both “click away” and “click in shop” methods. The rest of the article is here: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/03/31/shops-greece-re-open-under-covid-19-guidelines/

I know that Americans are really looking forward to come to Skopelos. Here is an article about how they can travel: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/04/02/fully-vaccinated-americans-do-not-need-to-quarantine-after-travel-say-new-cdc-guidelines/

On Saturday we visited a beach that , to our knowledge, was not reachable by car before now. It is called Μεγαλο/Big Πεφκο/Pefko. It is the next beach after Kastani. The road to the beach is longer and is still under construction. The beach is still completely natural. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Anybody that wants to get vaccinated can go to the KEP office. Here you give your details and with you AMKA number you will be electronically able to get the shot(s) You will not make the appointment there but you are in the registered in the Health system and especially for the vaccine shots. For this you can also go to the office of the social department of the municipality where Mrs. Maria Persisis and Mrs. Katherina Lithadioti work. It is two doors to the right from the KEP door. Very soon there will be more information about those foreigners that don’t have a AMKA (Greek social security number) but want to get vaccinated. It will be possible for them also to get vaccinated.

The central road along the harbor in Skopelos has now been lifted with a layer of cement. I think tiles will be placed on the same level with the sidewalks after this. It will be interesting to learn and see how the traffic in this area will be regulated. No streets with traffic (cars and motor bikes racing up and down the streets) and more possibilities for pedestrians to shop and sit outside nice coffee places and restaurants. Yes I am in!

Mrs. Sue Warren keeps surprising us with more interesting information about the flora of Skopelos with her blog “the wild flowers of Skopelos”

Here is her latest post about: Apiaceae; named for the bees http://www.wildflowersofskopelos.org.uk/Blog.html

We have a saying in Dutch which is: April doet wat hij wil/April does what it wants and the last few days have been an example of that. Really nice weather, around 25 degrees Celsius on Saturday and today a windy, miserable, rainy day. It will get better, I am sure!

Today I received a announcement from the municipality which says that a request to the ministry of interior and civil protection to have as many people on the island vaccinated before the summer season starts, has been granted.

Below is the announcement:

The Municipality of Skopelos and the civil protection service are pleased to inform you that the document sent to the Ministry of Civil Protection and the Ministry of Interior with the request that all residents who wish to be vaccinated before the summer because of the start of the summer season, has been granted. 
Today we and the health center of Skopelos received a positive response.
Fellow citizens from 18 years old up to 59 years old will be able to get vaccinated against covid-19. 
1. The vaccination program concerns: 
a) those who wish to be vaccinated from 18 years to 59 years. 
b) the permanent residents of our island Greeks and foreigners. 
2. The vaccination will take place at the Health Center of our island with an appointment. The exact method will  be announced in time. 
3. The registration details in the vaccination lists will include: 
-Surname 
-Name 
-ΑΜΚΑ 
-Contact telephone number 
For the citizens who live in the community of Skopelos, the registration will be done daily at the Community Center or at the KEP during opening hours: 
Κ.Ε.Π. Skopelos 24240-29064 
Skopelos Municipality Community Center 24240-23294 

For the citizens who live in the community of Glossa, the registration will be done daily in the KEP during opening hours: 
Κ.Ε.Π. Glossa 24240-34480 

For the citizens who live in the community of Neos Klima/Elios the registration will be done daily at the deputy mayor’s office: Koukorini-Fyvga Stamatoula 6983717851 

We hope for your response so that the island becomes COVID-FREE and welcomes visitors in the summer of 2021.

Municipality of Skopelos

Various news

On Sunday we visited the area around Saint Nikolaos church. This church lies very close to the cliffs/rocks in the older part of the town. A part of those cliffs/rocks were damaged and the whole area above them was in danger of falling down on the beach below. The municipality found money to build supporting walls and now the whole area looks safe, fresh and beautiful again. It was amazing to see how these walls were build, not an easy task at all!

We were hoping that the road to Perivoliou would be finished by now but whilst driving on it this weekend we saw what a major task this is. The whole road has been widened and leveled out in many placed. In the corners of roads where flooding could occur, small dams and big pipes have been placed so water can flow away without damaging too much. It looks amazing so far. There is still a lot to do though.

Those that want to visit Greece might be thinking: ” what about the Greek people, will they be vaccinated when I come and visit?” What I gather is that in April there will be more vaccines available to the lower age groups. They probably will also be vaccinated before summer really begins and tourism workers in Greece are among those that will be obliged to test for the coronavirus once a week, as part of the Greek government’s Covid-19 self-testing scheme expected to begin in April.

The announcement was made by Greek Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis during Friday’s Covid-19 media briefing. The rest of the article is here. https://news.gtp.gr/2021/03/26/greek-tourism-workers-test-covid-19-every-week/

Many more birds are around on Skopelos then a month ago. The hoopoe bird/ Τσαλαπετεινός we have seen many times besides the roads so far and their funny feathers both on their head and tails makes us laugh every time.

On Wednesday at 18.00 hours it is possible to see and hear the conversation with the municipality and interested parties (in Greek) about proposals for the operation and use of the port of Skopelos area. At the moment pavements and road are being layered with stone and I gather that it would not be possible to go to certain areas in the port ( mainly with cars and motorbike I think) without a license, a pass and the hours that you would like to go there will also be limited. An interesting development. This is one of the links to use: https://www.efimerida-sporades.com/

There are a lot of red jellyfish on most beaches at the moment. Be careful when you go swimming. At the moment Glysteri is one of the few beaches/sea that does not have them. The sting of this jellyfish is very painful. A lot of them are also in the harbor.

How time flies

Tonight is the night. Finally we can put the clock an hour ahead. At 03.00 hour it is official. Summertime at last.

There was not enough time for the owner of restaurant Flisvos restaurant in Loutraki , Jannis Kadartzis. He died yesterday unfortunately of cancer. He was 63 years old. I know many people who will miss him.

Today on the 25th of March the Greek National Anthem takes on a very special meaning because it was inspired by the brave men and women who fought in the Greek War of Independence in 1821. It was written by the country’s “National Poet” Dionysios Solomos in 1823.

Its title is Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν” (Hymn to Liberty). It was written as a 158-stanza poem on the Greek island of Zakynthos and printed one year later in Missolonghi. In 1865, the first two stanzas officially became the Greek national anthem.

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) has translated the Greek national anthem: here are some of the lyrics

We knew thee of old,
Oh divinely restored,
By the light of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword.

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again—
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Long time didst thou dwell
Mid the peoples that mourn,
Awaiting some voice
That should bid thee return.

Ah, slow broke that day
And no man dared call,
For the shadow of tyranny
Lay over all:

And we saw thee sad-eyed,
The tears on thy cheeks
While thy raiment was dyed
In the blood of the Greeks.

Yet, behold now thy sons
With impetuous breath
Go forth to the fight
Seeking Freedom or Death.

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Today Anastasia Zanni sang the National anthem at the Acropolis.

Greece has not been able to fully celebrate the 200 year independence but congratulations have been send from all over the world to Greece and many try to honor Greece by organizing something special.

I have said it before but I appreciate it very much that the current municipal authorities regularly send press releases and updates on work going on on Skopelos. It is not always possible for me to write about all the ongoing work because I also want to add photos to show what is happening. This is the case for the area of Glossa. I hope to go there soon and report.

I received a message with photos today about the cleaning of the beaches of Limnonari and Agnondas recently. Throughout the fall and the winter this has been happening. I also snapped a photo of the bags that were collected at the town beach after it was cleaned.

Agnondas

Limnonari

I really hope all of you that love and long for Skopelos will be able to come soon. and see the changes and developments with your own eyes.

Late again

Tomorrow it is the 25th of March 2021 and many around the world celebrate with Greece that it has been 200 years since the declaration of its war of independence. On that day in 1821 the Greeks decided that they had enough of their Turkish oppressors (after 400 years) and they started fighting back and reclaimed Greece. This day was the beginning of the war of independence. Tomorrow all over the world the Greek flag and its colors will be shown on buildings and outside spaces. The day will be celebrated with movies shown, exhibitions, parades etc. On Crete a 500 meter Greek flag was made and will be blowing in the wind there with the help of a giant crane. Although many Greeks are still fasting because of Lent tomorrow they can eat fish, cod. This year I forgot (late again) to buy salted cod a couple of days ago because you have to unsalt it and then cook it with a batter and garlic dip. I hope I can find some unsalted in the store. Shops are closed tomorrow and so are government offices, banks etc..

The weather has been horrible the last few days but we were able to take some rides and show the island’s different side. The hidden valleys, the small farmhouses (kalivi’s) and how green everything is.

Χρόνια πολλά Greece!