Archive for the ‘Culture/Music/Film’ Category

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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(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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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 music box

Sunday afternoon on Panormos beach

The last three weeks, on a Wednesday, I have been watching a new music program on the state television Ert. It is called the music box/Το Μουσικό Κουτί.
The show is hosted by Nikos Portokaloglou; famous singer/songwriter and Rena Morfi; singer/actress. They invite two or three singers/musicians each time who at first glance don’t have anything in common, they may be from different music backgrounds but in the couple of hours that you hear them play and sing you find out that their musical paths have crossed in one way or another and that they can make beautiful music together. The combinations are fantastic. The choice of musical instruments and the performances give the well know Greek and foreign songs a new coat. Wonderful to hear and see. A must for Greek music lovers.

Big heaps of sand were dumped in the area below the Panajitsa tou Pirgos church. That is why you had to remove your vehicles…

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Today, almost by accident, we visited the famous burial site in Vergina (one hour drive from Thessaloniki)  My husband said we should go and see the area but we did not research anything before we went. Maybe that was a good thing. I have never been so impressed by what I saw in a museum.

Vergina is best known as the site of ancient Aigai (Αἰγαί, Aigaí, Latinized: Aegae), the first capital of Macedon. In 336 BC King Philip II was assassinated in Aigai’s theatre and his son, Alexander the Great, was proclaimed king.

Where was the burial ground of Philip II though? For many years archaeologists looked in Greece. The Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos became convinced that a hill called the Great Tumulus (Μεγάλη Τούμπα) concealed the tombs of the Macedonian kings. In 1977, Andronikos undertook a six-week dig at the Great Tumulus and found four buried tombs, two of which had never been disturbed. Andronikos claimed that these were the burial sites of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great (Tomb II) and also of Alexander IV of Macedon, son of Alexander the Great and Roxana (Tomb III). Enough information. You have to go and see it. It is one of the most amazing collection of artefacts I ever saw. The museum is housed in the tumulus/the dome. The thought behind the set up of the museum is very clever. What has been found there is of such stunning beauty. The collection is enormous. With Covid 19 present everywhere in the world this now quiet village, that depends on tourists, unfortunately has plenty of time to pick the famous apricots, which trees, surround this beautiful area. There are hardly any visitors which is a terrible shame. Entrance fee 12 euros (every cent worth it) Students free. Sources:Unesco, World heritage site.

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We have a page with books about Skopelos. This is a new addition. The setting is a small, unnamed (fictional) island in the Sporades, but much inspired by Skopelos and to a lesser extent Alonnisos the author told me.
the last island

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Regina Boudalas

Regina Boudalas is an archaeologist, life coach, inhabitant of Skopelos and daughter of Jannis Boudalas, famous ship builder. Regina, apart from her own work as an archaeologist and life coach is also involved in the cultural activities of the municipality of Skopelos and she works along her father on his beautiful boats. Regina was featured today on the television station Alpha where she was able to talk about shipbuilding, her father and her work on Skopelos. I admire young people like Regina who are so involved in keeping the cultural heritage of Skopelos and it’s wonderful crafts alive!

Jannis Boudalas

You can find Jannis his work here

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The 15th of August is one of the biggest religious celebrations in Greece after Easter and Christmas, a national holiday that is observed by the public and private sector. Dekapentavgoustos (15 August), as the day is referred to in Greek, is the day of the Dormition of Virgin Mary. On the Greek Orthodox calendar this date marks the moment when Mary, Christ’s mother, ascended into Heaven. It is considered a day, not of mourning, but a celebration of joy for the union of the mother with her son.
(Source: GTP travel pages)

Greece today celebrates and remembers. Many Greeks will have gone to church last night or this morning and after the ceremony that will have gone out for diner in their own house or outside or for a coffee.
Maria’s, Panajotis, Panajota’s, will receive sweets, drinks and presents. The Chronia polla wish is heard everywhere.

The sweet shop Skopelitissa has wonderful handmade sweets for sale made from local Skopelitan products. They also have jams and spoon sweets. A really nice present for those that celebrate today or another nameday.

Corona patients in Greece are rising but if we wear masks where they are necessary and keep a distance, things will not get out of hand.

Make sure you have the right travel papers, tests with you when you enter or leave Greece and enter another country.

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Today and tomorrow the Glysteri beach bar has organized some live concerts. We were there this afternoon. We had a swimm and listened to the music from the beach. The concert from Nikos Jiannatos and Vangelis Karamitzas was especially wonderful! Tomorrow afternoon you can enjoy the live music again.

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On Tuesday the 7th of July a special poem night is organized by IDEA cafe and Emporium, Spira Skopelos brewers and Veranda cafe bar, (the venues are situated close to the Agios Michael church and the police office)
The evening will be presented by Mrs. Eleni Spilioti.
The poet Mrs. Maro Vlachaki will read from her own poems. The actor Angeliki Lemoni will read from the poet’s work.
Live music will be played afterwards by Niko Jiannato and Vangelis Karamintza.

The evening will start at 20.30 hours

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