Archive for March, 2021

Various news

On Sunday we visited the area around Saint Nikolaos church. This church lies very close to the cliffs/rocks in the older part of the town. A part of those cliffs/rocks were damaged and the whole area above them was in danger of falling down on the beach below. The municipality found money to build supporting walls and now the whole area looks safe, fresh and beautiful again. It was amazing to see how these walls were build, not an easy task at all!

We were hoping that the road to Perivoliou would be finished by now but whilst driving on it this weekend we saw what a major task this is. The whole road has been widened and leveled out in many placed. In the corners of roads where flooding could occur, small dams and big pipes have been placed so water can flow away without damaging too much. It looks amazing so far. There is still a lot to do though.

Those that want to visit Greece might be thinking: ” what about the Greek people, will they be vaccinated when I come and visit?” What I gather is that in April there will be more vaccines available to the lower age groups. They probably will also be vaccinated before summer really begins and tourism workers in Greece are among those that will be obliged to test for the coronavirus once a week, as part of the Greek government’s Covid-19 self-testing scheme expected to begin in April.

The announcement was made by Greek Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis during Friday’s Covid-19 media briefing. The rest of the article is here. https://news.gtp.gr/2021/03/26/greek-tourism-workers-test-covid-19-every-week/

Many more birds are around on Skopelos then a month ago. The hoopoe bird/ Τσαλαπετεινός we have seen many times besides the roads so far and their funny feathers both on their head and tails makes us laugh every time.

On Wednesday at 18.00 hours it is possible to see and hear the conversation with the municipality and interested parties (in Greek) about proposals for the operation and use of the port of Skopelos area. At the moment pavements and road are being layered with stone and I gather that it would not be possible to go to certain areas in the port ( mainly with cars and motorbike I think) without a license, a pass and the hours that you would like to go there will also be limited. An interesting development. This is one of the links to use: https://www.efimerida-sporades.com/

There are a lot of red jellyfish on most beaches at the moment. Be careful when you go swimming. At the moment Glysteri is one of the few beaches/sea that does not have them. The sting of this jellyfish is very painful. A lot of them are also in the harbor.

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How time flies

Tonight is the night. Finally we can put the clock an hour ahead. At 03.00 hour it is official. Summertime at last.

There was not enough time for the owner of restaurant Flisvos restaurant in Loutraki , Jannis Kadartzis. He died yesterday unfortunately of cancer. He was 63 years old. I know many people who will miss him.

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Today on the 25th of March the Greek National Anthem takes on a very special meaning because it was inspired by the brave men and women who fought in the Greek War of Independence in 1821. It was written by the country’s “National Poet” Dionysios Solomos in 1823.

Its title is Ὕμνος εἰς τὴν Ἐλευθερίαν” (Hymn to Liberty). It was written as a 158-stanza poem on the Greek island of Zakynthos and printed one year later in Missolonghi. In 1865, the first two stanzas officially became the Greek national anthem.

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) has translated the Greek national anthem: here are some of the lyrics

We knew thee of old,
Oh divinely restored,
By the light of thine eyes
And the light of thy Sword.

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again—
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Long time didst thou dwell
Mid the peoples that mourn,
Awaiting some voice
That should bid thee return.

Ah, slow broke that day
And no man dared call,
For the shadow of tyranny
Lay over all:

And we saw thee sad-eyed,
The tears on thy cheeks
While thy raiment was dyed
In the blood of the Greeks.

Yet, behold now thy sons
With impetuous breath
Go forth to the fight
Seeking Freedom or Death.

From the graves of our slain
Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again
Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Today Anastasia Zanni sang the National anthem at the Acropolis.

Greece has not been able to fully celebrate the 200 year independence but congratulations have been send from all over the world to Greece and many try to honor Greece by organizing something special.

I have said it before but I appreciate it very much that the current municipal authorities regularly send press releases and updates on work going on on Skopelos. It is not always possible for me to write about all the ongoing work because I also want to add photos to show what is happening. This is the case for the area of Glossa. I hope to go there soon and report.

I received a message with photos today about the cleaning of the beaches of Limnonari and Agnondas recently. Throughout the fall and the winter this has been happening. I also snapped a photo of the bags that were collected at the town beach after it was cleaned.



I really hope all of you that love and long for Skopelos will be able to come soon. and see the changes and developments with your own eyes.

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Late again

Tomorrow it is the 25th of March 2021 and many around the world celebrate with Greece that it has been 200 years since the declaration of its war of independence. On that day in 1821 the Greeks decided that they had enough of their Turkish oppressors (after 400 years) and they started fighting back and reclaimed Greece. This day was the beginning of the war of independence. Tomorrow all over the world the Greek flag and its colors will be shown on buildings and outside spaces. The day will be celebrated with movies shown, exhibitions, parades etc. On Crete a 500 meter Greek flag was made and will be blowing in the wind there with the help of a giant crane. Although many Greeks are still fasting because of Lent tomorrow they can eat fish, cod. This year I forgot (late again) to buy salted cod a couple of days ago because you have to unsalt it and then cook it with a batter and garlic dip. I hope I can find some unsalted in the store. Shops are closed tomorrow and so are government offices, banks etc..

The weather has been horrible the last few days but we were able to take some rides and show the island’s different side. The hidden valleys, the small farmhouses (kalivi’s) and how green everything is.

Χρόνια πολλά Greece!

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Latest news: As of Monday the 22nd of March the curfew will change from 21.00 hours until 05.00 hours, hair dressers and beauty salons will open again. It will be possible to visit archeological sites and public parks under certain circumstances. Amateur fishing is allowed again and it will be possible for everybody (every week, once) to get a rapid test from the pharmacy for free.

The last couple of days the amount of Covid19 patients in Greece is rising but the government is trying to speed up the vaccination rate but a shortage of vaccines does not help. Greece has administered at least 1,345,735 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs two doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 6.3% of the country’s population.
(Source: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/greece/)

From graphic.reuters.com: This vaccine rollout data is reported by the number of doses of coronavirus vaccines administered, not the number of people who have been vaccinated. Because most vaccines require two doses and many countries have different schedules to deliver the second dose, we don’t know with this data how many people have ultimately received both doses.

Tuesday was a wonderful day with a lot of sunshine. I decided to take a walk because you have to get out of the house don’t you? And then I “stumbled” on this lot.

Little snips of information and moments in the day made it even a better day.

I heard from a non-Greek friend who owns a house here that he will get his first vaccination next week on Skopelos. He is over 70. I went to the KEP office and talked with Joanna there. She told me that if that somebody does not turn up or cannot get his/her vaccine, there is a list of first responders on the island that can get the vaccine that would otherwise go to waste. Non-Greeks that are younger than 70 cannot get the shots yet unless there is a very serious health threat and you have to talk with the Health center about that. Joanna expects that with more vaccines coming (The Astra Zeneca for instance) the age that somebody can get a vaccine might drop down below 60 in May. We will have to see. Visitors are coming to the island and many people like to get vaccinated before they arrive. Those that are coming also do not want to quarantine so the Greek government might change some of the restrictions after the 22nd of March. This article was published today:

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday confirmed that Greece will open this year for tourists as of mid-May and said he expects travel to pick up significantly during the summer.

Speaking to CNN, the Greek PM said the safety of visitors is Greece’s absolute priority and that he expects the country to have a much better tourism season in 2021.

“We will do everything in our power to make sure that visitors come to Greece in the most safe way. We have in place all the necessary protocols to ensure that they will get the full Greek experience without any real compromises… If we did it last year, we will certainly do it much better this year now that we have additional tools at our disposal,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the European Commission’s official proposal on establishing a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate travel in Europe.

Source: GTP travel news

It is still possible to find shells on the beach. This one I found on Limnonari. It was connected but cracked when I picked it up.

Some winds on Skopelos do not cause waves but ripples on the water. It is very beautiful!

Having hope is something that helps you make it through the day. It allows you to make plans for the future. A brighter future for all. Have a nice weekend everybody!

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(Καλές 2018/ The carnival parade called Kales in 2018 portraying a wedding with cross dressing)

And now it is Sunday again. I am amazed of how quick some of these weeks in quarantine go by and I really have to make an effort to remember what we were doing last year around this time. Last year around this time we were getting an idea that this virus was a serious one and the planned celebrations relating to carnival were already postponed. The last Sunday of carnival on Skopelos we celebrate the tradition called Καλές/ Kales.

A big group of people dress up, many in traditional Skopelitan costumes/dresses etc. and join in a wedding procession. The costumes/dresses etc. are owned by the municipality and kept in store for special occasions. For cultural festivities like the carnival procession but many other cultural events like the dance festivals organized on Skopelos, cultural organizational but also individuals can ask if they can wear a costume and you are instructed how to wear them.

I have participated twice and I am thankful that I am allowed.


The people in the parade sing, dance and go through the town and stop at every square to show off. Locals from the neighborhood present them with drinks and rice pudding. Usually the bride is a man and the groom a woman.

Now we are one year further and we have lived through so much, people have suffered and are suffering but hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe we will be able to join each other in festivities like carnival on Skopelos soon.

The fact that we have this vast space around us on Skopelos and that we are able (within some limits) to enjoy it is very precious.

Greece hopes to fully open up its borders on the 14th of May but many people have stated in a poll that they will only travel if they do not have to quarantine. Travelling with a negative Covid-19 test or a “passport” with evidence of vaccination should make the travelling easier. Airlines are slowly, slowly showing their intentions to fly to Skiathos and of course Athens and Thessaloniki already have flights coming in from abroad. Everybody in this industry and the government should cooperate and have information ready on what is expected of the travelers so they don’t have the anxiety whilst travelling that they might be stopped and put in quarantine and are not able to reach their destination.

And tomorrow it is clean Monday. Shops will be open for a while and most people will then find a place with their family where they will be able to fly their kites. It is an old tradition and much fun for the children. The food we have in the house we will try to cook and the house will be “clean” so we can get ready for the fasting period before Easter. Will we be able to fast for so many days? We will see….

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Today I visited the workshop of Pandelis and Constantinos Kyriakis. I was invited by Pandelis’s wife Barbara whom I know from the days I worked in tourism.
Pandelis left the elementary school at the end of the 70’s and started working for the carpenter and wood carver Skopelitan Jannis Kritsilis. After a couple of years Pandelis left Skopelos and lived in Athens. When he returned to Skopelos he worked as a carpenter and woodcarver but also as a fisherman.
The last couple of years he has focused on woodcarving mainly and his son Constantinos joined him last year.

A lot of woodcarving are based on drawings. Pandelis has quite a few and some are over 40 years old. He inherited most of them from Mr. Kritsilis.

At the moment Pandelis and Constantantinos are working on a church iconostasis. A framework of wood meant for icons and elaborate woodwork in a church.
Here you see the frame, the woodcarvings that will go on the lowest part of the frame and the doors. Pandelis and Constantinos are discussing what goes where and how.

Other things that they make are chandeliers, head boards for beds and chests.
I like the carvings of mermaids, sea horses and octopuses on the chest!

It is wonderful to see that a trade like woodcarving is not lost on Skopelos and that the younger generation continues in the footsteps of their parents. Pandelis his Facebook page is here: If you are interested to visit their workplace let me know.

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In efforts to ensure that everyone living in Greece can get vaccinated against Covid-19, Greek authorities are making efforts to issue a temporary AMKA number to all foreigners and uninsured individuals. This information comes following a recent amendment/addition to a draft law of the Ministry of Development and Investment on Thursday.

Participation in the current Covid-19 vaccination procedure requires an 11-digit social security number (AMKA).

The form to obtain a temporary AMKA number is expected to launch in the near future.

At the moment, those who do not have an AMKA number (or have one but is being rejected by the system) can obtain advice after filling out a form on the government’s emvolio.gov.gr vaccination platform.

1) Select option that says: Αν δεν διαθέτετε ΑΜΚΑ παρακαλούμε ακολουθήστε τις οδηγίες εδώ

2) Fill in the form:

a) Last name (Επώνυμο)
b) First name (Όνομα)
c) Father’s name (Πατρώνυμο)
d) Identification document number (Αριθμός εγγράφου ταυτοποίησης)
e) Type of identification document (Είδος εγγράφου ταυτοποίησης) and choose one of the following:
– ID card (Ταυτότητα)
– Passport (Διαβατήριο)
– European Health Insurance Card (Ευρωπαϊκή Κάρτα Ασφάλισης)
f) AMKA number (for those who have and cannot log into system)
g) Tax number (ΑFΜ), if you have one (Αριθμό Φορολογικού Μητρώου – ΑΦΜ)
h) Telephone number (Τηλέφωνο επικοινωνίας)
i) E-mail address (Εmail επικοινωνίας)
j) Press Submit (Υποβολή)

All requests will be reviewed and instructions on obtaining a temporary AMKA number should follow.

Source: GTP travel news

Ask your local KEP office for more information. You might get it done there.

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Being in a hard lockdown and in a life that has a lot of restrictions makes most days look the same, sometimes I cannot remember what day it is and that is sad. We therefore have to try to remember the historical/cultural landmarks on the calendar. Today in Greece we celebrate Tsiknopempti /charred Thursday. Today is supposed to be the last day that a lot of Greeks will eat meat until Easter.

So we cleaned the BBQ, bought some meat, made a salad, tzaziki on the side and on the terrace, in the sun we celebrated Tsiknopempti. Χρόνια πολλά και του χρονού! Oh yes and a galaktoboureko popped out of the oven too!!

Fasting for many will start tomorrow and it includes not eating meat, diary, eggs and sometimes olive oil too. Tsiknopempti is also a day that people can act silly, dress up, walk around the village with with masks and have their faces painted with charcoal. That is something that only can happen if we keep a distance. A silly mask we can wear I hope!

Express Skiathos ferryboat will start sailing again tomorrow. Proteus will stop for now. We thank the crew for their hard work in keeping up with the rules during these trying times. On Sundays Express Skiathps will not sail.

Greece has passed the 1.000.000 point of vaccinations Prime minister Mitsotakis announced today.

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The words below have been copied from the article that was published last night in the Greek Travel Pages. For Skopelos I do not know how the rules will be enforced because up till now we have been able to cruise free on the island and go to beaches etc. For those that are not sure of what they can and cannot do, you can ask the authorities.

See below:

Going outside in Greece during lockdown will get harder as of Thursday, March 4, as authorities have tightened rules for leaving home under the SMS system for outside movement.

Since the country’s first lockdown, people have been allowed to leave their homes only for specific reasons and after notifying authorities by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.

However, due to the recent sharp spike in new coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country and rise in hospital admissions, the Greek authorities are looking to limit movement between municipalities to curb the spread. Taking under consideration the “excessive use” of certain SMS movement codes, which has resulted to crowding in many areas, some restrictions for leaving home under the SMS system have been announced.

Speaking during Wednesday’s Covid-19 media briefing, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias announced that as of today, Thursday, March 4 (6am) until March 16 (6am), people requesting permission for movement by sending as SMS for option “code 2” (going to supermarkets and essential stores) and option “code 3” (going to banks or public services) will be restricted to movement only in the municipality they are in or within a 2-kilometer distance from their place of residence.

People who send an SMS for option “code 6” (personal exercise or walking a pet), movement will be allowed only on foot or by bicycle, not by car or motorcycle, and only in the municipality of residence.

Also, in order to confirm the correct use of option “code 4” (assistance to the elderly or to a person in need), authorities will request additional clarifications and documentation.

Changes to curfew
The deputy minister also announced that the curfew for areas in “red” (high-risk) status will now be from 9 pm to 5 am and for areas in “dark red” (very high-risk) status, will be from 7 pm to 5 am.

The only “dark red” areas that will have the 9 pm to 5 am curfew will be the Region of Attica and the Regional Unit of Thessaloniki, except on weekends when the 7 pm to 5 am will apply.

During the hours of curfew, outside movement is allowed strictly for specific reasons (such as work and health).

For the rest of the article read Movement restrictions GTP Travel pages

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