SKopelos

By Sofia, Feb 21 2019 10:03AM

Meandering through busy European city squares this winter brought me to places bustling with the life of post-Christmas sales. There were tranquil moments too and I captured both busy and calm scenes on my camera.


I am pleased to have arrived from my sojourn to the beautiful winter scenes here on Skopelos.


The sun over the Aegean with a mirage of the marine park islands
The sun over the Aegean with a mirage of the marine park islands
Winter sun shines over Stafylos beach
Winter sun shines over Stafylos beach
In London, a stroll along the Thames at dusk
In London, a stroll along the Thames at dusk
Volos, with its marina
Volos, with its marina

By Sofia, Feb 3 2019 09:26AM

GUEST BLOG by Joe


What a treat to see Sofe back here in London.


I've known her for many years. Indeed I've known her for as long as I've been alive as she was a friend of my parents and frequently looked after my brother and I as babies and toddlers.


It has been far too long since I visited Skopelos, however Sofe manages, always in deepest midwinter, to visit us every year and has become known to the kids as 'Sofe-from-Greece-who-will-want-a-cuddle'.


We eat out whenever she visits, enjoying her choice of traditional British fish and chips (a little strange, I always reflect, for a Mediterranean island-dweller who, back at home, has virtually unlimited access to some of Europe's finest, freshest, healthiest and most exotic seafood dishes!)


Nevertheless, this year we visited a nearby chippie for the full fish, chips, mushy peas, salt and vinegar experience. To cap it we treated ourselves to pudding of the peculiar salty-sweet, crispy-soggy juxtapositions that are pineapple fritters. To my surprise, they were actually rather nice!


Whenever she visits, Sofe recounts enthusiastically stories from when I was young. This invariably baffles my young children who of course find it hard to grasp that I was once their age myself. A story that always features is of my tantrummy refusals to eat the strange foods she used to cook me and my brother as children, notably 'dirty chicken' and 'minced-liver risotto' (known notoriously to me and my brother at the time as 'savoury'). My kids then react in delightful horror as I tease them that Sofe is visiting again tomorrow and will be doing the dinner. All great fun!


Sofe is also the person who, last year, introduced the kids to the joys of second-hand shop foraging. Since then, no trip into town has been complete without a thorough trawl of the many second hand shops. As a result, the house has become a dragon's hoard of bargain toys, second-hand books, eclectic nick-nacs and second-hand jewellery.


Back at home, we took the opportunity to show Sofe the full collection of which she was, naturally, most appreciative!


Thanks for taking the time to visit ... and until next time, 'Sofe-from-Greece-who-will-want-a-cuddle'!


Joe


By Sofia, Jan 13 2019 04:24PM

Greeks have been through a lot this last decade, but we are still here and still a hospitable nation, welcoming visitors.


This towel - spotted outside a Skopelos Old Town beach shop - spells out a message to all our visitors, but now especially to those of the United Kingdom.


Long term viewers of the blog may recognise it from a similar blog 2 years ago, but the message is the same - whether you feel overwhelmed by world politics in general, or just need a break, come to Greece, leave your yellow jackets behind, and come, diligent and mobile to just recuperate in our warm sunshine and hospitality!


You will always be welcome here.


By Sofia, Jan 8 2019 07:44PM

Observing the Julian calendar the Festival of Lights as well as the visitation of the Three Kings; one of whom has been adopted as Father Christmas in Western Christianity - is held on 6 January.


There is much attendance of religious sermons. In ways of customs, a plain sponge (βασιλόπιτα) cake is baked which contains within it small presents, usually in the form of coins. The cake is then divided into sections, as many as there are members in the household, not even missing out baby Jesus!


As in many other East Mediterranean cultures, in Greece a pomegranate is significant as a sign of luck and prosperity. There are differing rituals around the New Year and one, shared by other cultures in the Mediterranean, is the smashing of a pomegranate on the threshold of the household (καλό ποδαρικό), or the hanging of one above the entrance to the household.


A decorated street light next to the playground
A decorated street light next to the playground
Good luck and prosperity and health everyone!
Good luck and prosperity and health everyone!
A tree decorated with lights only. Next to it the three Kings' visitation
A tree decorated with lights only. Next to it the three Kings' visitation
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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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