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I have had my vaccinations and went to KEP after a few days and got my vaccination certificate. Make an appointment and have your AMKA or temporary AMKA with you.

It wonderful to see restaurants opening again. One of them is Apolafsi restaurant in Skopelos town. Close to the harbor police and near the cross road going to the monasteries. Tonight is their first night. There are lots of things on the menu but they will also have nice appetizers to go with your glass of wine or your chiporo!

This year, more than ever, bars and restaurant owners have had the time to think about their businesses and what they would like to change so you will see quite a few changes in Skopelos this summer. Some restaurants and bars have moved. New bars have popped up. Other places stayed right where they are. It is all good, bring it on !!

Quiet

This morning I took a walk to the area of Jilali which is close to my home. As I was walking I noticed how quiet it was and I started enjoying the walk more and more and instead of using my hearing senses I started seeing more of my surroundings. The flowers on the side of the road! How divers they are at this time of the year. Coming up closer to see the flowers I saw bees, bumble bees and butterflies. They made “noise” but it was a quiet sound, a relaxing sound.

A couple of cars passed by but it was like they were outside of my walk. Closer to my home I heard the waves of the sea. The perfect noise to accompany me to my house.

When I came home I saw an email of a friend of mine. She has been sending me emails with letters from the alphabet for a spiritual journey. Het letter for today is Q. She says; “Q is for quietness: it is when we “still” our eyes, our ears and our minds that we awaken” Thank you Cate! I am wide awake today.

This is the second time in Greece that a major celebration like Easter is celebrated in a lockdown situation. I know it happens all over the world. Events like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, births, and local and world historical happenings, all are celebrated differently.

From this period one thing I have learned is to not take anything for granted and count my blessings. I am also very happy that many people stayed in touch with me in many different ways and I was able to do so too. The different communication methods that are available these days make it easier to send a message or talk with somebody. I had many facetime calls with friends and family, I have sent letters either by post or via email. I have send photos from Skopelos and my family to friends and family and they send me theirs on the most unexpected times. It is not like being with them in the same room but the connection with those people in this way is so very important, I think.

My hope is that some sense of normality will return for everybody. For sure we will not forget this period of time for the rest of our lives. We have to remember those that became ill and were lost and those that became ill and still struggle physically. The people that financially struggled and those that lost their business. It has been hard.

The sense that you are free to see people, to travel, must make life a lot better.

I always find it remarkable that flowers and plants grow almost everywhere. Between two cracks in this wall, near the town beach, these poppies emerged! This years month of April has been a month with various types of weather and it also rained a lot. No wonder everything is blooming at the moment. The types of flowers that are around are, again, amazing.

Yesterday we visited the area of Armenopetra and the beach. The flower field in front of the beach is georgous. Because of the wind blowing in a certain direction (inland) most of the times, the flower stems are bend the way the wind blows! The same goes for the olive trees there. The access to the beach is a narrow road but it is easy to enter the area behind the beach now.

On Monday the 3rd of May restaurants and cafe / bars re-open outdoors.

The government has decided, though, that no music can be played outdoors in the cafe’s and restaurants!

On Tuesday the 4th of May, the first of May is celebrated officially so shops, the bank and government offices can be closed on Skopelos.

It is very important for Greeks that the first of May stays an official holiday and that is why the day is celebrated on a weekday this year..

Until the 7th of May it will be possible to go and sign up to be vaccinated on Skopelos. Please have a look at earlier posts for the places where you can register.

The mayor has send a very long list (about 30 pages) of projects that were executed on the island, future plans and proposals etc. The projects were categorized in various topics like infrastructure, environment, health, sport, culture etc. and each area, Skopelos, Elios and Glossa has its own list.

Anybody that would like to receive the update please let me know (the list is in Greek) You can also find photographic material on the municipality website: http://www.skopelos.gov.gr/article/index/761

The work on the new paved road in the harbor has stopped for a few days because of Orthodox Easter. The municipality asked everybody that lives or passes through this area to be very careful. The project is not finished and can get damaged.

Easter is coming and there are many churches in Skopelos that celebrate before and after Easter. This is the church of Saint Jannis Theologos. The door was fixed and the church was white washed. The church celebrates its name on the 8th of May. It is close to the Christ church in Skopelos town. The church is named after Agios Jannis Theologos (θεολόγος/ God’s speech) He wrote the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse which is the final book of the New Testament , and consequently is also the final book of the Christian Bible.

This is the icon of Saint Jannis Theologos that can be found in the church.

Saint John and his book of revelation/apocalypse

The municipality has send a press release informing the citizens of Skopelos town that tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, between 07.30 hours and 15.00 hours there can be short (in duration) power cuts. It might be good to remove cables from sensitive equipment.

The work on the road along the harbor front is beautiful . I have heard that inhabitants from the area can go to their home, with a car, to drop off shopping etc. certain hours of the day and only with a paper that they obtain.

Tomorrow it is Saint Lazarus nameday. I cannot believe that Easter will be celebrated in a little bit more than a week. Last year we were learning what a lockdown was. Little did we know… The celebration of Saint Lazarus, eight days before Easter Sunday, signifies the end of Great Lent. It commemorates the time when Jesus is believed to have raised Lazarus from the dead. The bread puppets, that you find in the bakeries and can buy, are shaped like a man wrapped (Lazarus) in a shroud with cloves for eyes. They contain several sweet spices and are a fasting Lenten food, meaning that they do not contain any dairy products or eggs. For that reason, unlike the tsourekia, they can be brushed with olive oil instead of egg or butter for a gloss finish.

On Sunday it is Palm Sunday. It is a moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Easter Week. For the second time it will not be possible to travel from the city to the countryside in Greece.

Here are the restrictions for Greek Easter 

– no travel is allowed between regions

– 10pm-5am curfew for Holy Week starting on Monday, April 26

– 9pm-5am curfew on Easter Sunday (May 2) 

– 11pm-5am curfew from May 3 (second day of Easter) 

I get questions from readers if they can get vaccinated here in the summer. I am not sure. At the moment the vaccination is for Greeks and non Greeks that live permanently or at least part of the year on the island.

At the moment the vaccination is free. There might come a time that you can get a vaccination from a private institute and pay for it.

So, at the moment there is no reliable information stating that you will be able to get vaccinated here.

Enjoy your weekend everybody, wherever you are!

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!