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Archive for December, 2021

With great sadness and a big sense of loss we laid to rest today, Mr. Apostolis Kosifis, who was an anchor on Skopelos for many, many people.

Apostolis was known because of his work as a travel agent. He had a boat ticket office opposite the harbor for many, many years.

Who hasn’t received help from him, before, during or after traveling with a boat. No boat ticket available ? but he put you on that boat, no room for a car ? but that car travelled to its destination, luggage lost, he found it.

Apostolis was not a man of yes and no. He was a, probably, maybe and there is a good chance. He thought there was always a solution and he would share that information with you.

Many people worked for Apostolis and they became friends and have been with him for ages. Only with regret you stop working for him and you leave his office.

Many years ago he also was a tour operator. And again many people passed by his office. Elli was one of them. She was a rep for Attica Reisen and started working in the office of Apostolis. This describes, her and her husband Max’s, friendship with him.


(Elli, Max and Apostolis)

One for the road…. Our dear friend Apostoli
We lost a very good soul.
Whenever we arrived on Skopelos, we first went to his office to greet him and it was as if we were coming home.
We met Apostolis for the first time in 1999 in his office in the old harbour where Elli worked in his office at that time.
He told her that she will learn a lot in Greece. It was more than a lot.
Even when it was very stressful in the high season he never lost his great sense of humour. He was always friendly and solid as a rock.
In the following years, in which we met regularly on Skopelos, a wonderful friendship developed.
We remember his amazing quotes like “Everything is under Control“ or “Finito La Musica – Passato La Festa“.“One for the road and one for the asphalt road and after that one for the dusty road!“ That was what he said, when we couldn’t end a marvelous evening we had spent together.

What will it be like when we arrive next year on Skopelos and go to his office?
We are very sad, we have tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts.
Our thoughts are with his beloved ones; Maya and his children Angeliki and Vangelis. Apostoli we will miss you and we will drink „one for the road“ remembering what a great person you were. We are grateful to have had the privilege of knowing you.
Goodbye, our dear friend. We already miss you infinitely. Now the party is over. “Finito La Musica Passato La Festa!“
Elli & Max

My first job on the island was in Apostolis his office. I think it was 1998. I was also a rep but for Hotelplan, a Dutch travel organization. I met Elli there and until today we keep in contact. Apostolis taught me the ropes in tourism, he introduced me to the people I had to work with and through him I got credit, they helped me because Apostolis vouched for me. He had my back. What a start for a stranger on a small Greek island. I never met a more kinder boss. I made mistakes but he never got mad. When I became pregnant and had to start work again with a very small child he allowed me to take my three month old daughter to the office so I could feed her. After that she slept in a office chair because she was still so small. Ηe called her, up to this day, (rose) bud/ μπουμπουκι. Years later when I went to work somewhere else he gave me a bonus. I still have that bank transfer paper.

A boulder in the harbor is gone. The harbor is not the same anymore. Apostolis will not walk up to the incoming ferryboat. Apostolis is gone. Our thoughts are with Maya, Vangelis and Angeliki and all those that loved him.

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Light, a lot of light

For all the readers out there in the world, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and hope you can spend a wonderful time with your loved ones. May 2022 be a year full of light, a lot of light.

I received a Christmas wish that I want to repeat here because when something or somebody is hurt, broken, injured or damaged, it does not mean there is no hope for something better. There is always hope, and lights that will shine and helps us move forward.

Anthem from Leonard Cohen (four lines of the song)

“Ring the bells that still can ring,

forget your perfect offering,

there’s a crack in everything,

that’s how the light gets in”

Daphne

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Fears over the fast-spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19 have prompted Greek authorities to require as of 6am on Sunday, December 19, of all inbound travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result taken before entering the country.

PCR tests should be performed within 72 hours before travel and rapid antigen tests should be performed within 24 hours before travel.

Speaking during a media briefing on Thursday, Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga said that the measure was being taken as a precaution due to the holiday season and that exempt from presenting a negative test are (vaccinated) people who stayed abroad for less than 48 hours.

Further details and updates on travel restrictions are expected to be announced soon by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA).

Highly concerned, earlier today, European Union leaders agreed that vaccine booster shots were necessary, particularly in view of the holiday season as epidemiologists warn of a surge in cases.

The heads of EU nations said that repeat doses of vaccines against the deadly virus were “urgent” and “crucial”, stressing at the same time that a coordinated response to travel was critical in order to avoid creating confusion and trust among travelers.

Source: https://news.gtp.gr/2021/12/16/greece-require-negative-covid-19-tests-all-travelers-december-19/

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Ferries and ships will remain docked as Greece’s seamen federation PNO has announced it will launch a 48-hour strike on December 10-11, 2021. The strike will affect all categories of ships.

It will start at 00:01 on Friday, December 10 and end at midnight Saturday, December 11, 2021.

According to a statement issued by the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), seamen demand wage increases in the collective bargaining agreements for 2020-2021 and solutions to problems relating to social insurance, pensions, education, unemployment, undeclared work and many others.

Source: https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2021/11/30/ferries-greece-strike-dec-10-11-2021/

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Water

Elios sky this afternoon, 6 December 2021

Today, in Greece, it’s the name day of Nicholas (Nikos, Niki, Nikoletta etc.) Saint Nicholas of Myra (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian Bishop of Greek descent from the city of Myra is Asia Minor. Because of the many miracles attributed to his name, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the pious, as was common for early Christian saint , and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus and Sinterklaas.

The sea is very important for Greece and even more for islanders. We have to travel on the sea to go somewhere else. All goods arriving on the island travel by sea. A lot of Greeks have travelled and worked on ships all over the world. Greece is a very big sea transport player.

We also receive a lot of food from the sea. This huge amount of fish was caught a couple of days ago. I think that there are so many fish because fishing was forbidden for some time during one of the first Covid-19 quarantines. The fish finally had time to reproduce because nobody was fishing for them.

If you love the sea and all the creatures that live there you should see this film. After this it might be difficult to eat an octopus again. One of the most beautiful documentaries I have seen in a long time.

There is a spring close to Stafylos beach and because of different weather circumstances it gets blocked sometimes and the water from the spring flows down the steps to the beach and it gets dangerous to walk down at some point. I asked the vice mayor of Skopelos mr. Angelos Xidaris if the municipality could unblock the grills. He send me a video of the unblocked waterway and the cleaned grills!! Small things but they are also important. Thank you!

We have to be thankful that water on Skopelos is so abundant. We need to cherish it and keep the springs and their environment clean. Every winter a lot of rubbish and wood washes on the beaches. Most of the wood is picked up to use for woodstoves and fire places. Fortunately a lot of rubbish is picked up by regular visitors of those beaches. Let’s keep it that way.

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