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Archive for January, 2021

Don’t give up


(Windy day at Agnondas on Saturday)

A couple of days ago I had a video chat with a friend of mine. She caught the corona virus last year in the workplace and she had it bad. High fever, unbearable headaches, not able to eat, fuzziness in the head, forgetting things, very thirsty all the time, fatigue and loss of taste buds were some of the symptoms. Recovery is slow and she told me a thing that shocked me very much. “If I did not have the support of my family and friends I probably would have given up”

Psychologically it was very, very hard for her. The support she got through help, messages, cards, calls etc. helped her pull through. I had not realized how low you can be when something like this happens to you and how important it is to have support. The support is not only for those who are sick but also for the people that are by themselves and lonely in this very difficult time. The families that just had a child and have not been able to see other families with newborns, cannot go out to playgrounds etc. Families that have children that need to learn via e-learning, that are living in a small apartment without outside space. How lucky we are to live on Skopelos with these vast spaces around us. My thoughts after our conversation are that I never stop learning, does not matter how old I am. We can make a difference in somebody’s life with small things. We just have to do it.


(View towards Amarandos on Saturday morning)

Greece has been divided in yellow and red zones again because there are certain areas in the country that have more Covid patients than other areas. In the yellow zones high-schools will open again as of tomorrow, the first of February. The link to the measures that will be in place is GTP travel pages

The beach of Limnonari had a lot of garbage on it. Somebody, I don’t know who, decided to clean it thoroughly. Looking good now!!

Stay well, stay safe everybody. Have a nice Sunday. Tomorrow a new month starts, we are slowly going towards spring!

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Is it winter or spring? One day we have very strong winds that change the shape of all the beaches, like Glysteri yesterday.

This morning it was snowing for a little while and now the sun is shining.

Digea, the digital service provider, that makes sure that we have a clear tv signal, has announced that we need to retune our televisions on the 5th of February in the Sporades and some areas around it like Evia. Here is the link with the directions.

Today Skopelos has started to vaccinate the first, over 80 years old, citizens on the island. Skiathos and Alonissos did too. The photo below shows the head of the Health center Mrs. Regina Sklavos and the vice mayor Mr. Aristidis Voulgaris today (photo received from municipality press release ) The next people that will be vaccinated on the island are the first responders and municipal employees.

I think that the islands that are dependent on tourism will try and vaccinate their population quicker than the rest of the country. They will be ready to receive visitors, whenever that will be. We will see.

Stefano Psimenos is the founder of Terrain. It is a Greek cartographic company, founded in 2008. Stefanos is a travel writer and cartographer with a long experience in the field. His company has created a series of maps of Greece with unique features.

This week Stefano visited Skopelos again and met up with Heather Parsons who has cleared and tracked numerous trails on Skopelos. Their cooperation will hopefully put Skopelos, literally, on the map as a destination worth visiting because of its beautifully tended, interesting trails.

The photo above and below are from the last Skopelos Scramblers walk (before quarantine) It was my first walk with Muriel and Jim and it was so much fun. We met Jannis and his girlfriend with their mule and goat and we had a wonderful picknick. Hopefully we can do this again soon.

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The beach, the sky


Sitting on the beach of Stafylos with the waves crashing on the sand I have a live painting in front of me that shows the most beautiful clouds and colors in the sky. They keep changing, it is magical and I feel free but also in awe of the magic of nature.

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Vaccination process

The municipality has just announced, via a press release that I also received, that this Friday Mr. Σερετη will visit Skopelos to talk about the vaccination process, against Covid-19, on Skopelos. He will also visit the other Sporades islands. Mr. Σερετη is a representative of the governmental health region of Thessalia. It is decided that a vaccination center will be put up on the island to avoid travelling for the islanders so the vaccination process can be better organized for the health workers, first responders and the different age groups.

It was also announced that Greek islands with less than a 1000 inhabitants, all inhabitants who want too can get vaccinated at once.

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Small things

Greece has just come out of a strict lockdown and I feel that with the government plans for the next couple of months, apart for the possibility of being able to work and earn money we also will be able to travel, see friends and have a window on a brighter future.

In the meantime I try to stay aware of the small positive things around me. I have posted one more time a segment of the wonderful “musical box” that plays on ERT1 Greek state television every Wednesday . Great musicians, wonderful singers. Two hours long where you can forget everything!! This particular song I liked very much from last Wednesday. A cover song, don’t really know which one.

On Skopelos I enjoy the positive people. Today we saw Katharina from transport company Balalas for instance.
She always greats us with a smile and showers good wishes for those around her. Works many hours a day, has four children including a young son. Never heard her complaining, ever. With the receipt she gave us these sweets!

Sofia in the supermarket, always good advice on current sales and always with an optimistic word. Today she showed me a photo of my husband when he was in fourth grade with her husband. I just received it on my phone so I can show it to him.

I met Mrs. Maggie in the supermarket too. She has a sick husband but she always looks with a positive eye towards the future. They have a huge goat herd, she cooks for the farm hands who are of different origin so she cooks three different styles, makes cheese and takes care of her sick husband.

Two eggs from our chickens. Do you know how bright they look when I put them in a cake and how good they taste?

Our family is fortunate to be safe and well and together. We appreciate it very much!

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Snow

Today it snowed on Skopelos. Important roads were kept open and no real problems occurred. Weather channels report that this situation will not last long. We will see…

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Changes

So the weather in Greece and on Skopelos changed. We have had such wonderful weather so far with nice temperatures but that had changed two days ago. +3 degrees this morning and a little bit of snow on Mount Delphi. Two nights with heavy rain and yesterday during the day this continued too. Today it is cold but we have a sun shining. We are still in lockdown so we think well about our reason to go out of the house and before we send our SMS message. Masks ready and we are ready to go.

The sea is still rough and the shape of the beaches will change again. That is nice, always something interesting to find. More changes in the harbor, the entrance is “under construction”.

Skopelos is mourning the deaths of three relatively young people who died of causes not related to Covid-19. They died in the last three weeks. It must be so hard to say goodbye to your loved ones under these difficult circumstances. Our sincere condolences to their families.


Greece is doing relatively well with trying to get the pandemic under control and that is one of the reasons that tomorrow many retail shops, malls, hairdressers and barbers will reopen their shops again; under strict rules. The amount of people that can enter a shop will me minimized even further so crowding can be avoided. After you send message two you have two hours to shop.
Pre schools and elementary schools have been opened again since last week. Most parents have send their children to attend classes.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis ruled out on Thursday the need for a Covid-19 vaccination certificate for travelers wishing to visit Greece this summer. Read more here, GTP travel pages

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Lockdown in Greece has been extended by another week. Hopefully after this week some shops and restaurants can open again with click away (calling and ordering or via the computer and picking up later) Some other countries in and outside of Europe have even stricter lockdowns.

So much in the immediate future is unsure and that is hard for so many people. Will travelling be without too many restrictions soon? This situation that we are finding ourselves in, we have have to take it day by day, week by week and hopefully those brighter days will come.

Winter has not reached Skopelos yet. Apart from rain and strong winds, most days are sunny and we have temperatures that are far above normal for this time of the year. Many early spring flowers are out. Can’t remember them blooming so early.

Only one ferryboat, the Express Skiathos will sail from Volos to the Sporades and back the next couple of weeks. The flying dolphin called Venus and the ferryboat Proteus will stop sailing indefinitely. There are not enough passengers at this time to keep all three boats on the line Volos-Sporades and back.

Tomorrow Greek pre-school and elementary school children will able to go to school again. The government has tried to give all teachers a rapid test before they start teaching again. Some teachter arraive here on Saturday. Whether the authorities will be able to test them all is uncertain. Parents are worried because many teachers don’t work where their permanent residence is. They need to travel. To avoid crowds in front of the school the children have to arrive at different times and through different entrances. It might not be possible at all schools.

In Greece many first responders, hospital staff and old people’s homes staff have been vaccinated. As of tomorrow people from the general population, over 85 years can get vaccinated. They will be notified via their health insurance organization or they can make an appointment via the KEP offices and the pharmacies.

The rules for travelling in and out of Greece change constantly. Now when coming into Greece you need to quarantine for a week. This may change again.

Today instead of going to the beach we went to the area of Karya and collected wild greens. In particular radiki, a quite bitter green. We know a place…

All photographs were taken in the last three days.

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Going back

Greece goes back and forth with the restrictions under the current lockdown in the hope it will bring the Corona-virus patients and deaths numbers down. If there is a tendency of them going down there is a big probability of the schools opening. It is a big priority. Let children and teachers be able to find some kind of normality in these strange times. Give parents also time to breath.

This is why the Greek government has decided to tighten restrictive measures for next week in order to keep the virus infections at low levels and for schools to be able to open safely on January 11th.

The tightening of the measures for the week of January 3-10, 2021, is a decision of the prime minister for precautionary reasons, Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said today, Saturday.

Therefore, all activities and services that were gradually allowed in Greece before the holidays will be suspended from 6am Sunday, January 3, until 6am Monday, January 11.

More specifically, until January 11:

– The “click away” shopping method in retail stores, the operation of bookstores, hairdressers, nail salons and vehicle inspection services (KTEO) will be suspended.

– All hunting and fishing activities will be banned.

– Movement will be banned from 9pm until 5am throughout Greece. Movement after in between these times will only be allowed for work and health reasons.

– Churches will remain closed to worshipers and there will be no outdoor public ceremonies (blessing of the waters) on the day of the Epiphany (January 6). After January 11, worshipers will be allowed to go to church for Sunday services (according to the rules that were in place during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays).

According to Petsas, new coronavirus cases in Greece are at high levels and the pressure on the country’s health system continues.

At the end of the second week of January, the epidemiological situation in the country will be evaluated and new announcements will be made for Greece’s other sectors of social and economic activity.
Source:GTP pages

Businesses closing until Jan. 11 will not pay months rent.
The ministry of finance decision came after the government announced a seven-day closure of all businesses that were allowed to open during the holidays.

It concerns businesses in the retail sector, the arts, sports, tourism, transportation services, as well as hairdressers and beauty salons.

An 80 pct of the agreed rent will be compensated to legal owners of commercial premises from the state budget.

In the case of legal entities who own commercial properties, the compensation is set to 60 pct, the ministry added.
Source:EKathimerini

Work in the harbour continues. A part of the old harbour has been tiled with pillion slate. We think the whole harbour will be tiled this way. Will they continue through the rest of the harbour? Will the harbour be off limits for cars? Interesting developments…

More pedestrian room along the water too.

Let’s wait and see what new surprises the Greek government will have for us after the 11th of January.

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