Subject: Fw: The Spring Skiathos Newsletter (GREECE)
Hi Ziners, Forwarding the non-commercial parts of The Skiathos Newsletter, which we thought you'd enjoy. Regards, Don&Linda Toronto

Hello and welcome to the Spring Skiathos newsletter. Yes, I woke up this morning to the sound of the first nightingale caroling away in the trees next to our house and realised that Spring is definitely with us (and I hadn't managed to start this newsletter yet!) Of course this time of the year, the whole island picks itself up from its winter somnolence, shakes itself, and comes to the awful realisation that, yet again, all the preparations for the summer had been put off until the last minute. The same procedure as every year. We have been busy preparing our houses and attacking the weeds in the flower borders (why do they always grow faster and stronger than everything else?). New border plants have gone in and the lawns (which always suffer from frost in the winter) are being gentled back to life. Speaking of frost, we also had snow in the middle of March just to remind us that Greece does get a winter and it can be very cold here. Sometimes we have temperatures well below northern Europe but, mostly, we are warmer than this. Our one special day in this time of the year is Kathero Theftera which is at the beginning of Lent and is the day when families traditionally picnic on seafood down by the water and fly kites as high as possible. For some reason, although this day is linked to Greek Easter and therefore is never the same day each year, the weather is always marvelous. It is our foretaste of the summer to come and lets us know that winter, although it may bite a couple more times, is definitely on the way out! In Skiathos Town, everything is a bustle with shop and taverna owners whitewashing, painting chairs, getting in each others way and greeting old acquaintances. This is the time when those who do not live on the island start to return, like the swallows, and catch up with what has happened in the winter. We are starting to prepare Merlin, our catamaran, for the season. Renewing rigging, scraping her bottom and repairing all the nicks &scratches that accrue during a year on the water. We were supposed to have a new marina but this spring but, despite the appearance of a large dredger for a few days, again we are without this addition to the harbour. We will be having new ferries and the Haroula Express, a large &fast freight-carrying catamaran, has already appeared. We have been promised another car and passenger catamaran which will come from Thessalonica and go to Volos via Skiathos and is reputed to be faster than the Flying Dolphin hydrofoils. That must be something to see. I just hope that we do not have too many problems from the wash of these large ferries that tends to eat away the sand on some beaches. The town council finally started paving Papadiamantis, the main street of Skiathos, which will now become a pedestrian only boulevard. It is long past time that this happened and, with a bit of luck, they might even finish before the season starts! Ok, as ever, I would like to leave you with some feel of Greece, for example, the rustle of Spring in your veins and the feel of warm sunlight on your body. I hope that this newsletter has gone some way towards that. Regards, Geof.