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Archive for the ‘Nature/environment’ Category

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.

Agnondas

Limnonari

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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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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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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On Samos island two children are dead from the collapse of a wall. Six people are recorded dead in Turkeys Izmir area. Many people are wounded.

Seismologists warned that people should expect a series of strong aftershocks to follow the 6.7 Richter earthquake. They urged the public to stay away from ‘distressed’ buildings. A large number of aftershocks have been recorded so far, with the strongest measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale.

The director of the National Observatory of Athens Geodynamics Institute, Akis Tselentis, said that the 6.7-Richter quake was the main tremor but warned that very strong aftershocks as high as 6.2 Richter are expected to follow and that island residents should be extremely cautious, and avoid going near damaged buildings.

Professor of Seismology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Kostas Papazachos stated that the quake was between 6.8 to 7 Richter and that this was why it also caused such serious damage in Turkey.

Source:AMNA.GR(Athens/Macedonian Press Agency)

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This is year ten of Skopelos Scramblers and the photo above was the walk to Ag Anna in 2011.

This Sunday, 1st Nov, the group will gather at 10.30am on the shore road at the Ancient Excavation Site/Asclepion.
The walk will climb up to Agia Marina Spring through Mili Village where Muriel will spread out the famous blue checked table cloth for a shared picnic.

The way back will give the walkers a beautiful view of Skopelos Town as they scramble down the ridge one level below the spring and back to the starting point where those who feel they deserve it, will carry on into town for a cup of coffee and discuss next weeks walk.

All are welcome to take part on Skopelos Scramblers Walks and this walk is also ideal for our 4 legged friends.

Any questions phone Muriel Dunlop on 24240 24732

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(Amarandos August 2020)

Dear Anna,

I was very moved today when I met you and your parents. You all came up to me and told me that you follow the blog. Your parents told me that you live in Transylvania, a region in Romania and that you all love Skopelos. It is the biggest compliment for me when I speak to readers of the blog, who love Skopelos and now I know its youngest reader.. It is an honor that you found me and told me that.

Your parents told me that you were very worried when you were told about the bottle that was left in Amarandos and which could be a possible fire hazard.
I know you visited Amarandos and saw what a beautiful place it is. I hope you can come back soon again and see how the small trees in Amarandos have grown bigger and make the part that was burned, green and healthy again.

We have an obligation for young people like you to preserve the environment.
You depend on us, the older people, but it made a big impression on me that you, as a small child, are environmentally conscious already. Thank you for reminding me that we have to keep preserving, protecting and appreciating the nature around us.

I hope to see you again on Skopelos, Daphne


(Amarandos August 2020)

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A couple of weeks we saw in the sea in front of Skopelos town, a ship that was not an oil tanker or a transport boat. We found out today that this boat is owned by the Laskaridis foundation which is active in shipping, tourism and real estate.
The state-of-the-art ship Typhoon carried out the cleaning of the coastline of Skopelos and the wider sea area of ​​the Sporades and the marine park on the 7th of August and between the 19th and 25th of August.

The “Typhoon” is a Norwegian-built 72 meter long vessel that contributes to the cleaning of coastal and underwater areas. In addition to modern maritime navigation systems, the vessel features five speed boats that can approach and clean inaccessible shores and has large containers suitable for sorting recyclables collected during these operations. The Typhoon Project team, consists of Foundation executives and other staff members. It has cleaned inaccessible shores in the Cyclades, Crete and the Saronic Gulf (and now Skopelos) and has removed over 20 tons of marine litter. The ship operates year-round, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations, research actors and academic institutions.

Laskaridis foundation

74 beaches on Skopelos were visited and they are mapped out on this aerial photograph
black dot; difficult to reach beach
yellow/red dot; beach with a lot of litter, over 26 kilos
green dot ; clean beach
yellow dot; beach with litter from 1 to 25 kilos

Please look at the before and after photo’s of the beaches.

The type of litter that was found was Styrofoam (56%) small pieces of plastic (39%) plastic bottles, bags etc. (4%)

In total 2103 kilo of litter was gathered.

(All this information was send to skopelosnews by the municipality. They congratulate the whole team that workd tirelessly on the beaches and thank the Laskaridis foundation and the crew of the Typhoon for this offer and for the work they have done. They also thank the Executive Director of the foundation, Mrs.Angeliki Kosmopoulou for the excellent and flawless collaboration. A clean environment enhances well-being and it is the duty of all of us to it keep the environment clean and sustainable)

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Be careful

The ministry of Civil Protection just send a message to many people in the Sporades warning them to be extremely careful tomorrow with actions that may cause fire. Because of lack of rain the ground is super dry. The hard wind that is predicted for tomorrow and any work/action that can cause sparks of fire may escalate into a big forest fire!!!
Let’s be very, very careful.

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In the last couple of weeks several readers of skopelosnews have send me letters in which they express their concern about the carelessness of people visiting or living on the island. The bottle seen above was left in Amarandos, one of the most magical places on the island that was destroyed a little over two years ago by a fire.

People have been seen lighting a fire in the forest to have BBQ. In many places on the streets face masks are dumped.

Skopelos is one big nature park and has a unique beauty. Only by acting more responsible all together we will be able to preserve that beauty.

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