SKopelos

By Sofia, Jul 22 2019 07:34PM

Life on earth would quickly come to an end without the sun. The light it brings (the quality of which is one of the great attractions of the Greek islands, attracting keen photographers from across the world) has always played a stable, central role in everything alive.


To start with, in abstract, the well known biblical saying "Let there be light" gradually led mankind to the years of "enlightenment" from the dark ages of the medieval times. The Church continues to use light - stained glaass, candles - as reflections of its beliefs. Ancient cultures used light for healing, meanwhile sunbathing (ηλιοθεραπεία) has been proved - at the right levels - to be beneficial for rehabilitation from many ailments.


Before the rays reach their full power - and long before the first 'sun worshippers' head tp Skopelos' beaches - the sights of Skopelos' coastlines awakening to a rising sun, bring great joy on early morning strolls. These strolls are my very own sort of 'sun worship'!


Sunrise over Alonisos (to the East) as seen from Skopelos Old Town
Sunrise over Alonisos (to the East) as seen from Skopelos Old Town
Light and life in the church
Light and life in the church
Skopelos goats feel the heat of th sun!
Skopelos goats feel the heat of th sun!

By Sofia, Jul 16 2019 06:42PM

In the heatwave months of July/August, fires of negligence are what we normally look out for. Error from human impulsiveness, sad to say, is unpredictable and the damages can be vast. However nowadays global warming and climate change sometimes bring unexpected phenomena, at unexpected times, with unpredictable weather changes.


The recently forecast cyclone with massive rain downpour caused damage and human lives in the most popular Greek tourist resort of Chalkidike. Familiar to very occasional weather calamities, we sympathise with the Chalkidiceans!


However the samey cyclone proved beneficial for Skopelos. It brought relief as the rain cooled fauna and flora, and cleaned the air and terrain. Bizarrely, it also assisted in the completion of major roadworks at the Kastro parking, saving weeks of labour and resources. Overnight, the rain and streams of running water tempered and compacted the three metre deep loose aggregate and soil, thus priming the area for the final stages! With metal screed laid on top, the concrete layer was poured and the parking area is now ready to use. The final stage of the asphalt layer will have to wait until September, when the season ends.


Good teamwork of man and nature!


The long-awaited downpour
The long-awaited downpour
Alleyways turn to waterfalls and rivers
Alleyways turn to waterfalls and rivers
Close up of a temporary waterfall down the steps of the old town
Close up of a temporary waterfall down the steps of the old town
Kastro parking, completed by man and nature!
Kastro parking, completed by man and nature!
Local mallard ducks have no complaints about the downpour
Local mallard ducks have no complaints about the downpour

By Sofia, Jul 10 2019 09:01PM

Entertainment on Skopelos is rich all year round. The spiritual ensemble of orthodoxy is such that a shift from one religious event to another carries unique singularities, festivals and traditions, and so we pass the winter, out of season months. For the studious there are the subsidized by the EU courses, such as study of byzantine song and more.


Summer is time when the island is teeming with visitors from all over the world. Our short term residents return to their summer homes, the seasonal tavernas open, the islands isolated beaches and waterfront fill. It is time when extra facilities are needed to entertain visitors and islanders alike. Talented members of our community undertake performance of traditional Greek music and dance, summer art courses, film, photography, walks, and more. We are fortunate with our short term residents who contribute cultural variety for the cultural benediction of islanders and visitors who come, in expectation of a dream break dreamt of in the cold winter months in their country.


The Orpheus community cultural centre,was established in the 20's of the last century during the interwar years. Here news reels, films and more have been shown and even nowadays the building and its outdoor space continues to serve the community summer and winter.


The early start, for some years now, is with the brilliant Scandinavian Pink and White choir. Their charismatic conductor manages to orchestrate his choir and audience alike with Abba and Mama Mia songs achieving not merely songs but Pilate exercises and head stands from them, all in good fun and variate! More serious was the two night dual concert of Rod Liffe held in the Livadhiotisa monastery and Orpheus. Well accomplished performance! There are more events programmed during the summer, all for the well being of residents and visitors and performers alike.


Concert 2019 at the Orpheus
Concert 2019 at the Orpheus
Orpheus cultural centre door
Orpheus cultural centre door
Rod Liffe's double concert poster
Rod Liffe's double concert poster

By Sofia, Jun 28 2019 04:51AM

I recently went to Loutraki, Glossa, on the other side of the island, with a friend for a meal. The meal was - in truth - unspectacular, but is a pretty harbour waterfront, similar to how Skopelos was many years ago. I noted the lovely colours of the colourful kaique and the boats of green and red, which brought to mind the Italian flag!


I was also amused to see this child's toy car, so dutifully parked in accordance with rules!


An old timer kaique
An old timer kaique
Lovely colours
Lovely colours
Perfect parking
Perfect parking

By Sofia, Jun 18 2019 04:04AM

Out of the way places in Greece had, in the past, their displays and signs hand-painted as commercial displays were expensive to produce. One also came across entertaining home-produced translations. In these, b, p, and d were often confused, thereby a dish of fresh crab salad (φρέσκο καβούρι in Greek) could have come out in the English version as fresh cra..?


Greece has come a long way since. Generations changed and the deep recession left its mark, but the optimism of the individuals remains. Nowadays, with the swell of tourism, advertising is rarely unique. Technology reduced the cost of advertising and accuracy of translations has reached a high standard.


What has not changed is the innovative optimism and the positive spirit of the people with their drive to succeed.


See belowsome of the smart, well-designed new advertising to be seen around Skopelos.


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I'm Sofia, 39 Steps' owner and host. This is an occasional blog to keep in touch with my regular guests, give a taste of Skopeliti life and share my experiences of foraging through the summer season

 

Sofia

 

Sofia's 39 Steps Forage Blog

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