Guest blog by John and Jean
We have visited Skopelos a number of times over the past 20 years or so - even before Mamma Mia! We have always enjoyed the island, its people, the great beaches and the friendly restaurants.
Two years ago we experienced a 2-day thunderstorm which caused a great deal of damage to the island's infrastucture. We were keen to return to our favourite Greek island to see how it had recovered from the storms. We found the website for 39steps which looked ideal for us as it was not too far from harbour level as Jean is struggling with a painful hip which is waiting for replacement.
We could not have chosen a better place to stay. The apartment occupied the whole top floor and with its own balcony, was ideal for our purpose. Additionally we shared with another apartment a lovely garden with space to sit at a table in the shade. The owner Sofia was most informative and hospitable. She went out of her way to make our visit the most memorable ever in Skopelos.
One morning we rose early to accompany Sofia on a visit to a monastery called Ag. Moni. On the way we saw fantastic views of the marine park and the nearby island of Alonissos. Unusually the early morning was a little cloudy, producing great skyscapes as well.
Sofia took us inside the monastery where we viewed the beautiful church and the Mother Superior invited us to have coffee and fresh figs, plums as well as bakery items. An unbelievable experience - we had to pinch ourselves as it seemed unreal.
Sofia then took us to visit a small country church called Profitis Ilias.
On another occasion Sofia took us to visit a farm which grows the small plums which are special to Skopelos.We saw the process whereby the plums are dried and pressed by the family members to make the special Skopelos prunes.
We were also invited to a vigil at a monastery church in Skopelos town which Sofia and her friends are involved in their project to restore from dilapidation.
Sofia was an endless source of local information and told us what was going on locally including an international traditional dance festival, which gathered on their first evening and processed along from the new port to the old port in wonderful national costumes.
Thanks to our wonderful host we have seen much more of the island life than the usual holiday maker ever does.
John and Jean
Kaldermimi path to Prophet Ellas church (with John and Jean walking down)
Nikos, head of the family, testing the plum drying process
Magda, Nikos' wife sorting plums - Jean looking on
The extended family at work