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Archive for August, 2017

Mantoudi-Athens

The trip with Proteus from Glossa to Mantoudi takes one and a half hours (19.80 euro one way) Mantoudi harbor is a desolate place but the harbor serves it purpose. You get in quick and you get out quick.

A coach waits for passengers who want to go to Athens (14 euro) If the coach is not full you can get a seat and pay in the bus. In high season it is recommended to get a bus ticket together with your boat ticket. From Evia to Athens takes about 3 hours. There is a toilet stop in Halkida, Evia. The drive over the winding mountainous roads on Evia is long.

If you want to connect to the metro in Athens get out at Electriko/ Kato Liosa. Don’t forget to tell the coach driver this so your luggage is placed on the other side of the coach.

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Waiting in line

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Glossa 12.30 hours. Ferryboat Proteus has arrived. Many cars and passengers are waiting. With half an hour delay we leave for Mantoudi.

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Going where ?

As a foreigner in Greece with two children I was sometimes at a loss in understanding how the Greek school system worked and very worried whether my children would be able to walk through it with “success”. As a foreigner you have no clue how everything works and the first years the advice of other parents was vital. The first thing though I needed to do was stop comparing the school system I knew in Holland with the Greek. The second thing I did was: I became a member of school parents boards to understand more of the system, the curriculum etc.

As a mixed family (Greek-Dutch) we try to speak two languages at home but by the time the children reached the middle and high school, greek was the only language that was used to explain and to talk about lessons. Greek now is the children’s first language, english is the second (because many children follow extra english lessons and try to obtain an english diploma which helps them in the future) and Dutch is their third language. I feel the children know quite a bit about the dutch language and with some extra time their knowledge of the language will become even better.

When the children reached the high school they took a private test of about 500 questions to find out what their interests were and what kind of subjects/schools fit with them.This test helped a lot with the final direction of classes that the children wanted to follow and the choice of higher education later.

We chose to give the children the opportunity to follow extra lessons in subjects for their finals. This money the parents pay out of their pockets. Not every parent is able to do this and many children get to higher education schools without it but we felt that the teacher could help us with many questions we had about the whole process. After school they would go there. The children continued to participate in other activities like sports and it helped them psychologically too.

And then came the finals this year. You can do finals in four, five or six subjects. Unfortunately everything is decided at the finals and there is not much room to up your grades if you have a really bad exam. If you have a bad day, tough luck. The amount of points you gather enables you to get into higher education schools like a university. If you don’t have the required amount of points you can also go to a private school (you pay for this type of education)

Our oldest child graduated and has been accepted in a university. The result of her hard work. Our part in the whole process was listening to her dreams, trying to find out what possibilities she had and trying to support her every step of the way with the help of many people.

The heartfelt congratulations of so many people has overwhelmed us completely and we want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts. Here on Skopelos the children have to leave the island if they want to go and study. It is considered a big thing and rightfully so. Many people on the island (and off) follow and learn about the results and find out where students are accepted. Next steps getting there and finding an apartment …. Oh my ….

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250 degrees Celsius?

This is a big plum oven. They are scattered all over the island in areas where plums were harvested. On site the plums would be dried in the sun and later “baked” in the oven. nowadays many plum ovens don’t work anymore but are sometimes used as storage or even a little bedroom!

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Kjell Thovsen came to Skopelos for the first time 32 years ago. He fell in love with this beautiful, green island and returned at least a hundred times during all parts of the year. He now lives permanently on the island. Kjell was always interested in wild flowers and taking photos, but never systematically. Inspired by the site “http://wildflowersofskopelos.org.uk/Blog.html by dr. Sue Warren, the only Skopelos photo flora till now he thinks, he thought it would be a nice hobby, combining his interest in nature and his long walks with the dog.

Kjells intention is only to make a nice photo guide with little or no description of each species other than name, family and date of registration.
For the moment the gallery contains photos of 427 separate species found on Skopelos during the last two years. Most of the species are represented by one photo, but some have extra photos of fruits, flowers with alternative colors etc. Totally there are 510 photos in the gallery.

The gallery contains vascular plants only. None are omitted even if they look dull and uninteresting by the first sight as even a minute flower can appear as a beauty when enlarged.
According to the Flora Hellenica Database, there are reported 690 species on Skopelos, but the real number is probably much higher. Till now he has found about 70 new ones. Many of them are quite common, indicating the need of a proper exploration by professional botanists.

Here is the beautiful website of Kjell!skopelosflora

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Spring

You probably know that Skopelos has many springs and that many people get their drinking water from there. The springs provide so much water that properties, sometimes, don’t need a mains water connection because the water stream never stops flowing. A lot of people have a water tank and a small motor that brings the water to the house.

These are photos of a spring in Mourtero. It does not have s special name. The bottles on the photograph are used to water the plants and the garden of houses nearby. People sit around the spring and chat while filling their bottles. The area around the spring is very lush. There is a whole wall of bamboo type vegetation around the spring.

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