Archive for December, 2020


(Stafylos on Tuesday morning 29 December 2020)

I don’t like the day before the New Year. On this day you reflect how the year has been and usually I don’t get a clear picture. I have lived the year and when something worthwhile happened I lived that moment to the fullest at that time. The day before the New Year will not bring those moments back with the same love, enjoyment, sorrow, grief, excitement. So maybe that is what I will think about today and remember of this year; to live more in the moment!

What I hope for in 2021? Less suffering, more kindness in the world and for Skopelos? That parts of its identity; culture, nature and environment get more incorporated in a roadmap for the future of the island. Those that have invested already in drawing that roadmap should participate in the realization of it. Also the landmarks that we have on the island should be accessible for the public.

This guy below gets the kindness and stamina award from me and many others.

Photo: Marios Giannakou

This is long-distance runner Marios Giannakou. In October 2020 he carried student and friend Eleftheria Tosiou on his back all the way to the top of Mount Olympos. Eleftheria is 22 years old and disabled. “There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram, as he reached Mytikas, the peak of Mount Olympos.

He also says “With the end of this difficult year nearby for all of us, I would like to say that every difficulty can be part of a chance to review circumstances, to get stronger and to to try more.

Thank you Marios, you inspire me and I will try more in 2021. To a New Year with many unforgettable wonderful moments. Happy 2021!

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(Limnonari sky a few days ago)

A full hour of Skopelos with well know faces was not what we expected this second Christmas day. A pleasant surprise. Sorry that it is all in Greek. They were all there; Nikos Rodios, Prodromos Kathinioti, Nikos Tsako Mango, Regina and Jannis Boudalas and Yorgos Ksidaris and the island of course, Glysteri beach, Agios Jannis tou Kastri, Panormos and Kastro in Skopelos.

Look here for another kind of life from ERT1; Skopelos

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Men’s best friend

Natasa Lambrogianni has a dog and cat shelter on Skopelos. She takes care of many animals that need help. She has saved many. Natasa and a couple of volunteers feed the cats and dogs via her non-profit organization Straycare Skopelos, she has cats and dogs neutered and asks of the citizens of Skopelos to do the same. She also tries to have the animals adopted. A friend of Natasa in Athens helps her with the adoptions. If they get adopted they all have proper adoption papers, they have been neutered and they can only be adopted if they will not be chained and not live on balconies or roof terraces. A family would be the best place for them to live. They need to be an equal part of the family Natasa said to me today.

I am talking about Natasa because I saw a wonderful post from her yesterday. Natasa asked everyone who follows her on Facebook and has adopted a dog if they could send in photos of the dogs. They did and these are some of the dogs that have found new homes. I love seeing all the dogs in their new houses with their new owners! Everybody in the posts had their own story about how these animals “men’s best friends” changed their lives and they deserve a place on this blog today, Christmas day.

I admire Natasa, she is hands on, she is there for the animals and takes no cr.p. Many people know her but if you don’t know her and are interested try to find out about her when you are on Skopelos again, talk to her and if you can, help her.

(All these dogs have found a new home!)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anastasia.lamprogianni/

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Enjoy being together!

Dear readers,

A very personal Christmas message from our family to you all. I feel that this year especially we need to focus on the people around us, the family, friends, acquaintances and people we do not know well but whom we can greet or talk to in these difficult times. Do something special just make them smile!

News from the UK; All travelers arriving to Greece from the United Kingdom must self-isolate for 7 days as of 6am on Monday, December 21, the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection said on Sunday.

The Greek Health Ministry’s committee of experts for Covid-19 will further evaluate the scientific data on Monday, the general secretariat added in its announcement.

The previously announced measure of a 3-day mandatory quarantine for arrivals to Greece from abroad still applies for arrivals from all other countries.

The new measure involving arrivals from the UK is an addition to existing restrictions. All incoming travelers are still obliged to submit a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR) performed up to 72 hours before arrival in Greece. They must also take a mandatory rapid Covid-19 test upon entry.

The mandatory quarantine rule for incoming travelers is among the government’s latest measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Where to self-isolate
According to an aviation directive issued by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) on Sunday, the self-isolation of travelers from the UK will take place either at their home (for permanent residents) or at the place of temporary residence declared on the PLF, for seven days, unless they remain in Greece for a shorter period, in which case the temporary restriction is valid for that period of time (until their departure).

According to reports, the Greek government took the extra measure for arrivals from the UK, following the call from the World Health Organization (WHO) for extra caution and action due to the mutant strain of the coronavirus found in the UK, which is 70 percent more contagious.

Source: GTP Travel Pages

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Photo: https://www.alternative-tourism.gr/

At 17.00 hours today we saw the wonderful another sort of life/η ζωη αλλιως on Ert1. This is a series of television programmes where an island or area is shown. Ina Tarandou is the presenter and she is not afraid to take time to hear beautiful personal stories from the people she interviews. This time Alonissos is highlighted. In the one hour of the broadcast you might not see everything there is on the island but you get a good idea of how they live there and that is the charm of it. More time devoted to interesting people. The young and old(er) on the island have an enticing story to tell about how they live on Alonissos and why they want to live there.

What we see is the amazing underwater Peristera shipwreck, the impressing Alonissos Museum, founded in 2000 by Kostas and Angela Mavrikis, the very informative Mediterranean monk seal center, Kostas and his hand made drums and many more wonderful people. Another sort of life/η ζωη αλλιως is in Greek but the scenery and people speak for themselves. You might recognize somebody!

While watching this I think it is wonderful to see the professionalism that the inhabitants show when it comes to giving information about their heritage. The museums that are open to the public and the information centers with volunteers helping out.

Ertflix another sort of life/η ζωη αλλιως; Alonissos

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Rapid tests results

According to the Skiathos life website all 59 rapid tests that were performed on Skopelos on Friday and Saturday for Covid-19, were negative. Skiathoslife website: rapid Covid-19 tests

Milia beach from above

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That’s how

If you wondered how islands get their electricity please have a look at the Vories Sporades blog that shows the work getting the underwater electricity cable from Evia going to Skiathos. The cable can be placed as deep as 400 meters!

Vories sporades article about new electricity underwater pipeline

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The civil protection unit of the Muncipality of Skopelos has just announced that on Friday 18-12-2020 from 14.00 -20.00 hours and Saturday 19-12-2020 from 08.00-10.00 hours you can get a free Covid rapid test at the health center.
What I can gather from other media sources is that it will be “a drive through” testing. Those that want to have the test should drive in their car to the health center and bring their passport/identity paper and their AMKA number. If you want more information call 2424022222 (health center)

The tests will be carried out by a mobile health unit KOMY of the EODY (National Organization for Public Health) in collaboration with the region of Thessaly and the Municipality of Skopelos.

Un going work in the harbor and along the water front.

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(Sorry, Panormos again)

The mayor of Skopelos announced on Saturday that 190.000 euro is going to be available to repair the road leading to the Agios Konstantinos beach. He also announced that repairs on the roof of the high school of Glossa are finished.

As of Monday a couple of restrictions concerning the lockdown in Greece are being lifted. GTP Travel News has it all written down again so I am borrowing their text again.

Greece Announces Limited Easing of Covid-19 Lockdown Restrictions for Holiday Season

Greek authorities on Friday announced a limited easing of the country’s Covid-19 lockdown restrictions for the Christmas and new year holidays.

Government Spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced the following on Friday:

Retailers, from Sunday, December 13, until Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be allowed to operate only under the so-called “click-away” method to accept orders by consumers made online or via telephone. Customers will be allowed to enter stores only to collect their orders. Shopping in retail stores is not allowed. It is also noted that the “click-away” method will not apply to shops in malls, which will remain closed.

Hairdressers and barber shops will operate (only with scheduled appointments) throughout the country as of Monday, December 14, from 7am until 9 pm, under strict measures that include mandatory mask wearing.

Bookstores will reopen throughout the country from Monday, December 14, under strict measures: a maximum of four customers will be allowed in stores up to 100 sq.m. or one customer per 15 sq.m. for stores over 100 sq.m.

Churches will be open to worshipers only on Christmas day (December 25) and on the Epiphany (also called Theofania or Fota) holiday (January 6). During these two days, only nine people will be allowed in churches at the same time and up to 25 people in the Metropolitan churches in all regions of the country will be allowed.

Night curfew in place / Movement only via SMS

Greece will continue to have a night curfew throughout the holiday season. From Sunday, December 13, until January 7, 2021, from 10 pm to 5 am non-essential movement is prohibited. Outside movement will continue to be allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

It is noted that for movements related to picking up “click-away” shopping orders from retail stores and going to hairdressers and bookstores, consumers must send an SMS to option 2.

International travel
All travelers entering Greece from countries abroad between Friday, December 18 and Thursday, January 7, 2021, will be obliged to enter a preventive quarantine for 3 days (reduced from the 10-day quarantine rule that had been previously announced).

Source: GTP travel news

Old photo’s of Skopelos? Look here: LiFo

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The new normal?

(Glysteri yesterday morning, south winds, high waters)

Yesterday was a rainy day here on Skopelos and this weather fitted the mood we are in. The weather plays a big role. Here in Greece and on Skopelos we are in the fifth week of a general lockdown. We try to do things that can lift our spirits but that is not easy all the time. We go back and forth with thoughts and feelings. All gloom and then optimistic. Feeling low and with the first sunshine more energized and ready to take on the world. I think many feel like that. Depending also on how strict a lockdown is installed in their city, village and how their life is affected if you think about work, education etc. This lockdown is different from the first one when everything was new. Now we have to do it again and I feel it is much more difficult the second time.

On Skopelos we have a certain kind of freedom to go out and the meeting of people on streets can be easily avoided, if you want, because there are not a lot of people on the island! If you want to meet people on a beach or in the nature that is also easy because there is hardly anybody around!

We still have two ferryboats and one flying dolphin travelling back and forth to the Sporades and it was just announced yesterday by the ministry of Finance that in order to have them continue this service they will be supported with two million euro until the end of 2020. 2 million euro support for boats

Most “general” shops on the island are closed. If you really need something you can try calling the shop and arrange a “takeaway”. Order the things you need and pick them up. I think it is better than ordering something online. Support the local shops. Yesterday I ordered a pillow and some elastic band. I met with the shop owner (masks on) on a square and I paid her. I asked beforehand what the cost was. New measures have been announced today. More about that in another post.

On Skopelos, with this current situation, restaurants, souvlaki and pizza places do takeaway and so do most coffeeshops. Some deliver at home too. I have told you this before, I know. It is nice to support them, though, in these difficult times.

Will deliveries at home without seeing many people be the new normal? Shopping without many other people? Will the new normal be living and working with only a few people around you for company?

Will the new normal be hesitating before you shake a hand, kiss or hug somebody you know, a family member or a friend? That used to be a spontaneous thing! A normal act. I really hope it will become normal again.

On a lighter note, with so much time on my hands, at home, I am making my own masks. On YouTube there are many people showing us how to make them. After numerous mistakes I have found a good pattern and recognize which kind of fabric I need to use. I am using a firmer kind of fabric for one side and another lighter fabric like sheets, old swimming trunks (yes!) and old couch pillows cases. The new “normal” is having them hanging on our washing line, on my ironing board and in a box on the refrigerator. Ready to be used. Don’t know for how long…

The civil protection office from the municipality yesterday gave this message (see below) directed to all of those who live on Skopelos. They respond to information from the Greek government and questions from the public that have occurred in the last few weeks. (Translated and edited a little by me to make it more clear)

1) The recent two (2) cases of coronavirus patients announced by EODY (National Organization for Public Health) for the Sporades Prefecture do not concern the island of Skopelos.

2) Your concern and questions and their management should always concern us and not only when cases occur.

Note by me: people have complained that it is not just about if there are corona virus patients on the island but also about what is being done, how measures are being followed up. There is no transparency they say.

3) We must not be complacent and always follow the rules of self-protection:
a) social distancing, b) wear a mask, c) clean hands, d) no overcrowding e) no uncontrolled concentrations of people.

4) In this current situation, nobody should panic and be fearful, they should try to preserve self-control, be patient and don’t relax the rules of self protection (see number 3)

5) We would like to inform you that requests from the Municipality of Skopelos to the Ministry of Health and the Region have been sent about the condition of the Health Center and for the needs of medical, nursing staff and the shortages of medical supplies. We also requested the presence of an EODY team on our island.

Note by me: The health center needs help, the building needs to be renovated, there is not enough staff and they need supplies. Many citizens and visitors have helped the health center the last couple of years but funding from the government is necessary and that effort needs to be made by the municipality

Stay well, stay safe everybody!

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