SKopelos

By Sofia, May 30 2020 06:26PM

We are open at last! Although visitors are still amiss; albeit there are some.... those that were locked down with us not having made exit in time!


An unfamiliar sight was the young French couple in front of 39 Steps entrance, taking selfies as well as photos of the Old Town streets in these memorable times. As they didn't get away, they decided to stay put, continue their holidays and later have helped Heather Parsons with the Skopelos volunteer walking-path clearance programme (a worthy project)!


In reality, we were never cut off completely. Ferries came to us three times a week with essential supplies, some by night, and there never was stock piling or shortages. Of course, choice was rather depleted, but itl was all surprisingly well-coordinated.


It is good to have a slow comeback of 'normality' such as ferries arriving in broad daylight, ferry staff loading and unloading what comes and goes, as if we are the potential thousands they will welcome to the island soon and coordinate efficiently their stay on our beautiful island.


Welcome to the steady return to a new normal!! Stay safe!


Even quieter than usual in the Old Town!
Even quieter than usual in the Old Town!
Ferries arriving with supplies; the ferry office which coordinates sailings
Ferries arriving with supplies; the ferry office which coordinates sailings
Everything taken with caution
Everything taken with caution
The ANES ferry at harbour
The ANES ferry at harbour

By Sofia, May 24 2020 03:54PM

Skopeos (and 39 steps) is now ready to open for the season. If you are safe and intend to travel, then start planning your vacation by the sea on our beautiful island. Skopelos offers a great variety of fun and interest which, hopefully, will help to get you over the difficulties the world has been going through.


Photography, nature walks, cycling, dining out or picnics, sea sports, local history, local traditions, culture, monuments, intoxicating nature: all of this is here to enjoy and to take back home with you in memories.


I know many who come here enjoy walks, long or short. There are a number of marked trails, which you can follow, or you can be even more adventurous, discovering old paths which have faded away with disuse since mechanised transport became norm! With social distancing, cycling is now a fashionable sport even for the small children of our community.


In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned Skopelos Cycling, a cycle-hire shop run by Panos and Manolis, both keen and experienced cyclists; Manolis cycled several times to Switzerland! They operate a cycling programme by which they introduce the visitor to the island on bicycles. I presume the water sports line of work; the SUP, stand-up-and-paddle, the diving, kayaking and others will not be left behind in getting their businesses started this season.


There is a lively bustle of activity at the water front right now as the tavernas and coffee shops, gift and craft shops prepare to open. The gourmets will be happy to learn that, among other favoured establishments the well-known Perivoli Garden restaurant in Skopelos town will open at the end of June. In their beautiful, already-full-of-blooms garden, the scent of the flowers mingle with the aromas of the herbs and vegetables grown exclusively for use in their kitchens.


If you are interested in history, culture, traditional lives of the islanders and landmarks in the island's history, then Skopelos is rich in these, although here, stunning nature is what dominates: our small island is a place of clean air and seas, beautiful beach coves, harbours, marine vistas as well as a mountainous interior terrain, valleys and far away mirage of coastlines and islands. It is an island of natural beauty and health.


Come and see for yourself and Stay safe!

Coast of coves and bays from Limnonari
Coast of coves and bays from Limnonari
Kalderimi to Ag. Konstantinos and Prophet Ellas shrine
Kalderimi to Ag. Konstantinos and Prophet Ellas shrine
Once upon a time, there was Sendoukia, set high on a mountain in Skopelos!
Once upon a time, there was Sendoukia, set high on a mountain in Skopelos!
Perivoli Garden restaurant
Perivoli Garden restaurant
Skopelos cycling
Skopelos cycling
Skopelos Town from Livadhiotisa
Skopelos Town from Livadhiotisa

By Sofia, May 17 2020 07:24AM

It's a habit by now, in season or out of season, to maintain and whitewash the steps leading to and around 39steps, be that for a name day, a holiday, or just for the heck of it because I like attractive places and things!


This time the motivation came from all the mostly-white blossoms around our area. The lemon and orange trees in the tiny yards of the houses opposite are full of white aromatic blooms and their aroma is heady. The pomegranate buds in the neighboring yard are bursting to open and show off their beautiful crimson chalice like petals and the sculptured jasmine in the corner opposite my entrance, is a joy to behold for the chance passers and neighbourhood residents alike.


Many stop and admire this beauty, but missing are the passers by from beyond the islands shores: our visitors! They would do one thing more we, the residents, do not: take a photo of this beauty, sit on the steps, stand at the corner.........and so, here I am, doing it for you.


It is spring time!


Looking down onto the cobbled street from 39steps' terrace
Looking down onto the cobbled street from 39steps' terrace
The whitewashed steps leading to 39steps' main entrance
The whitewashed steps leading to 39steps' main entrance
Towards 39steps from the cobbled alley below
Towards 39steps from the cobbled alley below

By Sofia, May 8 2020 09:22AM

Out of lock down, I ventured out to look for seasonal herbs out at this time. It has been a capricious year and I wasn't sure what can be found. The nettles, my favourite, are almost at their end with their stalks getting woody. The tips with the seeds are still OK to dry and use in soups or in a tea mix. Uncanny how the nettle seed pods resemble the corona capsule we are so used to seeing. The hawthorn bush was in full bloom and I gathered some of the blooms, along with malveas and chamomile blooms to dry and use as my daily tea.


There are so many beautiful botanical plants on the island, especialy at this time of year. We know and use only very few, mostly enjoying them as myriad of flowers which adorn our island's roadside, olive groves, meadows and swamps.


For those who love Skopelos and the flowers of Greece, my friend, Sue Warren, has compiled an extensive study of the Wild Flowers of Skopelos, which she keeps updating and adding to annually, and seasonally. If you are interested you might like to look at this work of love. It has a wealth of information on the Skopelos flora.


http://wildflowersofskopelos.org.uk/Blog.html



Pomegranate bloom
Pomegranate bloom
Wild gladiolus, malvea, poppies, chamomole and more! Everything you need!
Wild gladiolus, malvea, poppies, chamomole and more! Everything you need!
Goats grazing freely on flora
Goats grazing freely on flora
The nettle seed pods
The nettle seed pods
Delicious soup made of the bobbies
Delicious soup made of the bobbies

By Sofia, Apr 28 2020 05:46PM

When I arrived back to Skopelos in March, I noticed that a beautiful plant, Jackman's Rue Blue which graced the courtyard for years, was not in a good condition and might not survive the winter.


Sadly, that was the case and at first I was upset. The best thing about this plant was that apart from not needing much care, year after year it attracted the most exotic butterflies, which adopted the plant as their home. They would appear sometime in the spring (once as early as March), breeze around the garden showing off their exotic wings and generally floating from flower to flower feeding on nectar. True, in the autumn, when they laid their eggs on the rue it was a messy nuisance as the hungry grubs denuded much of the foliage, but the plants always recovered. Against the pleasure gained in the long run it did not matter.


Sad that the Jackman's Rue Blue had died, I was delighted to see, when I removed the stump of the dried trunk, its seedlings germinating through the ground. New life! It will be some time before the seedlings reach the size of the mother plant but it pleases me nevertheless that the next generation of the rue will be there to grace my garden and be a home to clouds of butterflies.


Especially in these strange times (but also, to be honest, at any time) I refect how lucky to have this space to simply walk out and observe nature at work.


Jackmans Blue rue
Jackmans Blue rue
Rue seedlings nestling between sage leaves
Rue seedlings nestling between sage leaves
Rue seedlngs near the mother root
Rue seedlngs near the mother root
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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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