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Passing through the village and along the port we have noticed that some tavernas and restaurants are doing a booming trade while others remain empty. Since we are basically a community service we’d like to mention some of the places with good food that could be doing better. (Everyone should get a plug, of course, but we thought that the following deserved a little push. No need to mention the spots which consistently do well.)

New this year is Seaside – wedged between Muses and Spitalia above the town beach, it serves good Greek food with a twist and has a genial staff. Daphne has already been twice. Likes it.

The oldest continuously running taverna in Skopelos, Ta Kymata (Angelos), suffers this year from being the last restaurant on the port. Even those adventurers who have passed up Gialos, Klimataria and Molos find the ‘hard sell’ at Kyratso’s Kitchen difficult to get past. This is unfortunate for Ta Kymata and for diners wanting good food, really friendly service and a view of the sea.

Olivo wins the hidden-in-plain-sight award. Hemmed into a corner next to the tank building at the old olive press site towards the post office, this year the small pleasant garden restaurant has a reputation for very good food and quiet atmosphere.

Peparethos on the ring road near Aperiton Hotel has been serving grilled meat and other goodies in their pleasant garden for over twenty years. Quiet, relaxed and with cooler temperatures on hot nights because of its location in the countryside.

Short listed, as we are not sure if this summer is boom or bust for them, as follows:
the perennially overlooked Gorgones is open in its unique courtyard space with an imaginative menu, while its new neighbour Finikas has recently re-purposed as an all-day (and evening) sandwich bar also offering (usually excellent) Greek dishes, including made-as-you-watch Skopelos cheese pies, veg pies and more.

Blessed with outdoor seating in summertime, the aesthetically Spartan Ampeliki above the town beach has also been consistently excellent since it opened last autumn. The concrete interior can be tough on the ears during winter, although new decor is helping baffle the clamour.

We agree with others who have enjoyed snack meals such as home-made pies and sandwiches at Rosemary near the Alkistis Hotel on the Staphylos road, and there are regular visitors to the island who aren’t aware of what Rosemary is offering so haven’t been. So go!

And last but not least is quiet and unassuming Stella’s, almost at Glyfoneri Beach. Sometimes busy, sometimes not, Stella continues to cook good tasting taverna dishes with vegetables from her husband’s garden plot across the road. Order her cheese pie and she’ll mix the dough and fashion the pie and fry it on the spot, just for you. Amazing.

Ready, set, go

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After two days of stories and discussions about KEFI (see our earlier post about the festival) the participants of the Skopelos International Film Festival for Youth (SIFFY) have heard so far from musician Kostas Kalafatis and dance teacher Suzanna Christini. The children have also learned the basic steps of several dances related with KEFI. Today, Wednesday, children who play musical instruments can bring them to the studio and they can see if they can use them in the movies. Later the children will be placed into their teams with the film directors. This afternoon the film directors will arrive on Skopelos and all the children will welcome them in the harbour. Over 50 children (12-18 years) are participating in SIFFY. This year over 30 children between the age of 8-12 years old will be participating in SIFFY junior. They will make an animation with 3 animators that come from abroad.

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Tomorrow the children will start writing the scenario and start looking for nice places to shoot. Friday and Saturday are for filming and the days after that for editing. On Monday August 3 the films can be seen in the open air cinema Orfeas at 21.00 hours.

Among famous comedy pairings such as Burns and Allen, Fred and Betty Flintstone, Ralph and Alice Cramden, Lucy and Ricky Arnez, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Bush and Cheney we must consider Tom and Isabel. Known for their hilarious routines which include, “Tom, where’s my wine?” and “I don’t know, Isabel” as well as the provocative “Would it kill you to go to the market once in a while ?” (and many, many more), the fast-thinking duo will set up shop once again at Mercurius in downtown Skopelos.

Featuring Isabel’s beautiful and engaging works of painting/collage and Tom’s brand new and boldly timid foray into the wacky world of painting on ceramic, the exhibition will open tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at 9pm with refreshments. The artists will be on hand at the gallery from 9pm each evening through 4 August for those who wish to see the work or settle any scores.
Tom & Isabel JPG copy
[image enlarges]
The ceramics were painted under the watchful eye of Elena Lambrou and fired at the Armoloi ceramics workshop.
More images down yonder at SkopelosArts blog.

Knitted mapOne of the SkopelosNews so-called troika spent a pleasant lunch among friends at the Pavlos taverna in Agnontas last week ignoring the fact that they were marking yet another birthday. Among the surprises in the post around that day was this essay in extreme-knitting cartography, a knitted card in the form of a map of Skopelos (a shout-out, perhaps baffling to most readers, to a certain Ms. Linda Cooke, of Crouch End, north London). Despite never having visited Skopelos, or indeed Greece, with the help of Google maps and other sources she identifies Skopelos town and beach (the red spot marks the recipient), Mount Palouki, Velanio, Milia, Kastani and even Armenopetra. True, Mount Delfi is a little flatter than it might be, although we reckon those tiny flecks of white capture a force four or five sea.

Our busy seas

While pondering the state of the world and the fate of nature and therefore humankind, these shipping “density” maps caught the eye of the writer. The maps are color-coded to indicate the busiest routes (in red) down to the least trafficked lanes in blue. We (Tom) found the information provocative and so we provided three area maps.
The first map details our beloved Skopelos and the traffic arriving leaving and just passing by. [maps enlarge]
Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 11.59.58 AM

The second shows the eastern Mediterranean from the Adriatic to the Middle East. It also includes the Dardanelles and the entrance to the Black Sea.
Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 11.57.27 AM

The third map is only the Black Sea.
Screen shot 2015-07-26 at 11.58.00 AM

What struck me was the importance of Greece and Turkey as shown on maps 2 and 3. So much crucial shipping passes through the Greek Aegean and then later through the Turkish Bosphorus it is no wonder that it is vitally important to “the Great Powers” that Greece and Turkey remain enemies.

Should the two nations ‘bury the hatchet’ and agree to work together they could control the oil lanes and make a little spending money. That two NATO members are enemies is purely a construction of the Great Powers involving payouts to the governing elite of both countries to keep up the charade (note the regular “Kathimerini” stoking the fire with articles about Turkish military jets entering Greek airspace over the eastern Aegean).

Also of interest is the presence of US military forces in Kosovo to protect an oil pipeline which is to be built from the Bulgarian port of Burgas across the Balkans to a deep water port in Albania. Just in case Greece and Turkey solve their “differences”.

Learning to fly

Three students resting on a branch

Three students resting on a branch


Free flying lessons are given once or twice a summer by Ma & Pa Barnswallow. The lessons are guaranteed to work if you are a Barn Swallow a few weeks old. Learning to catch insects on the fly comes in the second level. So first learn to fly and then catch the bugs while flying. Not the other way around! Doing so might have serious consequences for your health. In the meantime, in the first level, Ma & Pa will feed you FROM THEIR OWN MOUTHS until you get the hang of it.
This might be the caterer.

This might be the caterer.


It's "Lefty's" turn for a snack

It’s “Lefty’s” turn for a snack

It was interesting to watch this interaction. The wee ones would venture periodically from the branch for short flights (five to ten seconds) and return. In the meantime the teachers were grabbing insects from the air and zooming in and feeding the resting young, one by one, in a split second. Or so it seemed.

Glossa 2015 A3 lands art exhib This year’s Art Exhibition in Glossa (on the square in the top of the village near the church) opens on Sunday the 26th of July at 7 p.m. with a free wine reception. The exhibition features the work of: Vasilis Chrisanthakopoulos, Maria Falcou, Roger Fox, Fabienne Francotte, Thomas Kambouris, Vangelis Ouranitsas and  Andromachi Panagiotera and it will be open daily from 19.00 to 22.00 until 29th August. IMG_7437

(work from Fabienne Francotte)

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