Tuesday 31 August 2021

No WiFi

 Boohoo. It's been almost a week now. Life without internet. Almost.

K phones the phone company 2 - 3 times every day to either complain or find out what progress they might be making. Not much. It's not all Poros, just our sparsely inhabited part of the island. Maybe they're not too worried. I bet they would never leave the whole island without internet.

But they didn't reckon on my traditional Greek who loves sitting on the phone 'chatting' and will not stop until he gets action. He's notified all the neighbours too and make sure they are phoning for daily updates.

None of the operators really know what's going on even though they're here in Greece and not in India. But his constant prodding has given us free 10GB worth of data. 

Know how fast that disappears when you're listening to YouTube podcasts all night? Not very long.

We've been out for coffee a couple of times to use the cafe's WiFi . That's ok when I'm reading but not when I'm trying to type something on a tiny screen with big-people-fingers.

And it's the end of the month so online payments have to be made. What a hassle. 

We can live without Facebook, blogging, Viber, Whatsap or Instagram. But I don't want too!

Thursday 26 August 2021

A Fishy Tale


Here's that fish taverna again.  The one across the waters, up the hill and round the corner, that became up-market, with coffee machines and a lounge bar.  Below was the  beach of very tightly packed bods.

View from our table.
  We could have sat further out and in the breeze, and shade, but those tables were only for 6.  We were 6 but we eat for eight and like to spread things around.  Usually the waiters will add or take-away tables to suit the client.  Not these.

At a fish taverna you eat fish.
Some of our party were frightened by the prices, and ate pork chops.
Lobster 95 euros a kilo
Local shrimps 70 euros a kilo.
No one is going to eat a kilo of these.  Not by themselves anyway. 

Fried squid 12 euros.  Frozen is half the price but they don't have frozen here.

Share the food , share the price .

A kilo of fresh cod was 45 euros.  Still pricey?  Half a kilo fed 2 men.  That's reasonable.  You look at the menu, you go inside and look at the fish and it's your choice.

Our nephew chose shrimp spaghetti.  
I think it worked out at 19 euros.   He had a delicious meal that he really enjoyed.  Worth every cent he said.

5 huge local red shrimp
This is all that was left

Those heads are the tastiest part of the shrimp.  They got passed down the table

We took the bones home for the cats who hissed their anger at such meagre tidbits.  

Shrimp in a tomatoey sauce over a huge plate of spaghetti.  The heads got special attention and the leftovers fed the pets.  Well worth the money.

The only thing you need to be careful about with this dish is not getting half of that sauce down your t-shirt.  He managed magnificently.

And he deserved it.  He's been sailing around the world, captaining a tanker  for the last 9 months.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Tavernas By the Sea

 Some of our favourite places to eat.  It's far too hot during the day to eat a meal.  A cold drink and a snack is what we have most days.  A sandwich, a salad, some cold leftovers.  Cheese, olives and bread.

The the evening breezes cool the air down a little.  We hose down the flagstones, have a shower.  Mostly I cook, or K grills, but sometimes we meet friends or cousins for an evening meal.  Beside the sea.

Looking back across the tourist bay
Askeli Beach

Eating with family in our all time favourite taverna
Right on the water.  

All our visitors have eaten here.  Mostly basic greek home cooking and bbqed fish and meat. A big plate of cold watermelon to finish off. The owner is a close friends of K's and the waiters all come over for a chat and  advise on the menu

Here we all are at the end of the meal
A table filled with half empty dishes, plates with scraps, glasses of wine, beer and water
And birthday cake

An out of town taverna

One meal we did eat in the early afternoon.  
Our table was right in front of the kitchen and waves of hot air billowed out.  Overhead fans and a seabreeze  cooled us down

Here K is talking to the owner.  His son was a conscript at Poros Navy base when K was stationed there.  K knows everyone, everywhere

Our view over the beach.
This fish taverna is not on Poros.  Its an hour or so away down the coast.  We hadn't been here for 10 years and were flabbergasted by the change.  Once upon a time there was barely a person to be seen on the beach.  The taverna was rustic, homely, and relatively cheap.

10 years on the taverna has been expanded 3 times, has a comfy couch and chairs at one end of the open deck.  Coffee is from a complex of machines and the beach below was so crowded there was hardly a space in the crush of bods. 


This is not a taverna but the water sports platform at Neorio beach.

Sofia's taverna at the end of Neorio beach and my happy grandaughter Poppi.  Sofia does an array of good greek cooking and grilling.  The family gathered to say farewell to cousins from out of town.  We ate dolmathes (stuffed vines leaves), grilled sardines, grilled chicken, lots and lots of tzatziki and greek salad.  The perfect way to send off well loved guests.  

Saturday 21 August 2021

Tourist Time

 What's hot in the tourist shop.

All sorts of silver jewellery in that blue colour which, all over the med, is said to ward off the evil eye

Hats.  Always top seller on a greek island, after sunscreen No.50.
These have been in fashion for years.  Or are they just old stock

Magnets, magnets and more magnets.  Poros island, blue sea and blue sky.  I love fridge magnets.  There are plenty, mainly from NZ, holding up photos on our refrigerator.

More blue eyes for protection against  envious and nasty thoughts.
These are big glass eyes which can be hung over a babies cot, in the car or on your donkey.  They will ward off flat tyres, endless grizzles or a stone in the hoof.

Next to the eyes are t-shirts. 'I was here', sort of  souvenirs to show off when you return home

Monday 16 August 2021

15th August

 15th August.  The biggest holiday of the year. A church holiday marking the Dormition of the Virgin Mary.  To everyone's disappointment this year it falls on a Sunday and workers don't get an extra days holiday.

Athens has emptied of cars and greek people and they all seem to have come to Poros for the week.  If you want to visit central Athens this is the best time to do it, as long as you don't mind the  midday sun.

Poros is full.  Cars are everywhere.  There's always a line outside the supermarket, cafe tables are like hen's teeth and if you want to eat you'd better make a reservation.

We go for coffee in the early morning when tourists are still sleeping and sit on our table for a few hours enjoying the strange sight of all these transients.  We spend the mornings drinking freddo espresso and watching the yachts smack against each other as the car ferries create waves making fast journeys between island and mainland.

Then we go home and keep out of their way.  Our neighbourhood has filled up and the once upon a time youngsters have grown into rowdy teens and almost adults.  For the past two nights one of the houses across the valley has had noisy parties till 5 in the morning.  By road they are a kilometre away but as the crow flies they are too close for comfort and noise carries very clearly.  They had better leave soon or shut up before someone around here explodes.

We spent a very quiet 15th August, sleeping late because of the disruption and then drinking coffee and observing the ants.  This wasp was swatted to the ground, deceased.  5 minutes later it was surrounded by an army of tiny scurrying ants who pushed it up flagstones and down into the ruts between before, one metre and 10 minutes later, disappearing with it down a hole.  

They've got enough dead flies and wasps to last them through several winters.  

On the Eve of the Feast of the Virgin we were invited to a taverna by the sea.  It's a very greek taverna with hard uncomfortable wooden chairs with woven mat bottoms. That doesn't stop us from always being the last to leave. 

 Typical of its kind.  Greek salads and courgette fritters, chips, tzatziki, fresh fish if you can afford it and grilled meat.  It's the first place we bring all our family when they visit.  Lots of good memories and even more photos.

This was towards the end of the evening.  A table full of half empty dishes, mucky plates and assorted drinking glasses.  Everyone relaxed and happy.  We had birthday cake as well.  Our favourite greek relative was celebrating her birthday and her name day.

Kronia Polla Yioula. xx

Friday 13 August 2021

Pictorial No 2


The Parthenon and Acropolis in Athens
The Parthenon is the temple on top of the rock and the Acropolis is the outcrop itself.  All lit up and enchanting foreign visitors

Peeping through a hole in the ruins of the Russian Naval base, Rossikos.
Looking towards the small white church on Daskalio, Teachers Island.

In 1770 Russia sent a fleet to help Greece in its war against Turkey and a supply station was established on Poros. In the early 1900s it was all handed over to Greece and since then has fallen into disrepair and ruin.  The ruins are a great backdrop for concerts and theatre on the beach.

The island opposite has a small church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is popular for weddings in the summer.  The island is almost heart shaped so it's all very romantic .  Bride, groom and guests are taken over by water taxi decked out with flags and ribbons, appropiate music blaring.

The main town and harbour
Mainland Peloponese on the left and mountain background

Approaching Poros at dusk.  The blue and white clock tower in the centre .

Another photo from above 

Wednesday 11 August 2021


 If you've been watching the news over the past 9 days you would have seen that parts of Greece have turned to ash.  The wild fires are slowly being extinguished but not before they've burnt houses, olive trees, vineyards, shops, livestock and hundreds of thousands of acres of forest.  Turkey is burning, neighbours Albania and Bulgaria are in flames.  We've had endless high temperatures which has turned the earth and everything on it to a brittle brown stubble that is tinder dry.  Most of the forests are pine, highly flammable.  Pine cones can explode and be projected 50 yards to start new fires.

We've had help from all over the Balkans, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, the Middle East, Israel, Qatar and Kuwait and many  European countries.      Russia sent three gigantic firefighting planes.  Two of them can carry 110 tons of water and refill in 15 minutes.  

Now the rains have begun.  Late this afternoon thunder rumbled around us and we had 10 minutes of very heavy rain. Our garden got a good drenching.

  The island of Evia where the worst fires are still burning will have rain tomorrow.  Hopefully it's enough to dampen the flames but there will be high winds again too.  

On our island there are groups of volunteers doing a 24 hour fire patrol and everyone coming up the mountain after dark is subject to a check.  You're allowed up if you live here, like us, or want to eat at the taverna at the top of the hill.  Otherwise the mountain and it's forests are out of bounds after dark.

Tonight the perseid meteor shower should be at it's peak but there is a lot of cloud here.  My daughter is having a picnic on their roof and keeping an eye out for these meteors which come streaking across the sky at this time of the year.  It can be quite a show if you're lucky enough to catch them.  

Monday 9 August 2021

Pictorial Poros

I was cleaning out crap from my viber and whatsap account and came across photos that others have posted of the island.  I don't know where they've come from or who took them, though several are mine. 

Looking back towards the main town from a high point (obviously)
The mountains and town on the left are across the straits on the mainland

Looking idyllic under a full moon

Must have been taken from the car ferry in the evening.  Looking up towards the clock tower

Ruins of a Venetian castle which was built over much older ruins on a small island at the entrance to the harbour.  Out of bounds except for goats and their herders and archeologists.

Taken by drone.  The Monastery and its plantation of olive trees

Friday 6 August 2021


 Vayonia, our local Bay and swimming hole is getting crowded.

There are always small fishing boats tied up to the wooden wharf and often small yachts and catamarans anchored out in the bay but we were amazed to see this monster come cruising in backwards.  
First of all a small rubber boat came zipping out carrying huge ropes and two crewmen in smart white t-shirts clambered over the rocks tieing these to rocky outcrops.  Then this behemoth slid into view.

Once it was held fast to their satisfaction something in it's bowels opened up and every water sport machine known to the rich was disgorged into the bay.  Besides the jet ski there was a board which zipped along a few feet above the water, another device which dragged swimmers through the sea, a waterski with onboard power, kayaks, skiffs and wind surf boards.  

The 'boat' had a Maltese flag.  I don't know what language they were speaking but it wasn't english.  We all stopped to goggle, and swimmers kept out of their way.

There are always swimmers when we go down around 4pm for our daily dip.  Where we sit, on a stone wall, is the local's area.  K loves it.  He has a chat and catches up on gossip.

Looking out to open sea

These short flippers have been recommended by one of K's doctors.  They  make the legs work in a way which helps those with back problems.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Poros Pics 2

 The heat has been unbearable these last few days.  I went out to hang some washing today, undercover, away from the burning rays, and there was complete quiet.  The cicadas were silent.  There were no dogs barking.  No cars moving.  The inferno had closed our whole world in a fiery calm.

The cicadas started up again around 6pm.  They also have their limits.  I love they way they all start up together and stop again.  Usually there are one or two rebels but the rest sing in unison.

One more day I think and temperatures will go down just below 40o.   Meanwhile Greece is ravished by wild fires.  Suburbs north of Athens have suffered enormous devestation.  Residents of the capitol have been warned of toxic fumes.  Once more it's stay home, stay safe.  The wind hasn't been blowing in our direction this time so we've been saved the air pollution and smell of Hades.

Poros town in the evening from across the bay. 
We went out for a pizza.  It was one of the few places, right on the water, where there was a slight breeze and  it was pleasant to sit and eat

Greek dolls made by our local weaver

The Greek flag.  I thought this was the nautical flag but it seems it is the old greek flag, once used on land.  You rarely see this one anymore

Monday 2 August 2021

Poros Pics

26th July, the Feast of Saint Paraskevi.  She is the one who heals problems with the eyes and is patron saint of Ophthalmologists 

Sweet loaves waiting to be blessed, cut and handed around
We take to the little church 5 loaves of sweet bread, representing the 5 loaves that Christ fed the 5,000, a loaf with the Holy seal pressed into it, a bottle of oil to light the lamps, incense, a bottle of sweet communion wine and list of family members whose names are read out along with a prayer for their good health.  All this in a big wicker basket.

At the end of the service the bread is cut into big chunks and handed around.  K makes sure he always gets two of our loaves to bring home to hand out to the immediate family.

Usually I bake our loaves and Holy Bread but this year we ordered them from the baker. It was too hot to think about kneading kilos of dough.

Local vendetta.  This man has an axe to grind with the Mayor and parked his truck right in front of the ambulance so it can't get out.  You can see how long he has parked there by the number of tickets on the windscreen.
What words can describe this senseless act?  Unacceptable is the least of it.  His truck should of been towed from the first day and he should have been in front of a judge.

Someone at the big hotel needed the ambulance the other day, so we heard, and they had bring one over from the village opposite.
I haven't been down in the last few days, since I took this photo, but apparently the truck has been moved.  I hope they find a suitable place to park the ambulance too.  Not on a footpath.

Our lending library is still in operation.  It has books in all languages.  You go in, browse and take what you fancy.  If you've got a book to leave there in its place, even better