AMNA/ European Day Without Cars was marked in Samos and throughout the rest of Greece on Saturday.
Central city streets were closed off to cars in many urban centers, as bikers took advantage of the car-free streets and showed up in numbers.
The Bicycle Association of Veteran Athletes organized a 200-kilometer non-competitive large distance race, with more than 410 bikers participating.
September 22 was designated as European Day Without Cars as a self-standing day in 2000, under the auspices of the European Commission.
Pedestrians, bicycles, public transit and other forms of sustainable transportation are encouraged on these days, and people are invited to reflect on what their city would look like with a lot fewer cars, and what might be needed to accomplish that.
Samos had a surprise unscheduled landing a few days ago when a Buff-breasted sandpiper, which breeds in the open arctic tundra of North America made one of its rare appearances in Europe and first-ever in Greece.
The Buff-breasted sandpiper, Tryngites subruficollis, is a small shorebird, classified as a calidrid sandpiper and currently believed to be the only member of the genus Tryngites.
Members of the Fauna Observation Team of the Airport’s environmental service — who are also members of the Greek Ornithological Society — spotted the bird at the airport’s southern border.amna
The Buff-breasted sandpiper is a very long-distance migrant and spends the non-breeding season mainly in South American, migrating usually through central North American. Occurring as an occasional wanderer to western Europe, particularly during the autumn migratory season, this was the first recorded sighting of Tryngites subruficollis in Greece. Its moderately small remaining population continues to decline and as a result it is considered Near-Threatened. amna
Arrivals of rare birds are not uncommon in the region of the AIA, and the Buff-breasted sandpiper was the 188th species of bird to be recorded there.
Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).
In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.
In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.
In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.
In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.
In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.
Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666) – La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 – 1828)
Two important works of art have been surrendered to the nation in lieu of taxes. Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666), has never before seen by the public and La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) have both been allocated to the National Gallery by the Arts Council England under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows donors to leave major works of art to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. These two paintings make an important addition to the National Gallery’s permanent collection and are now available for visitors to enjoy in Rooms 42 and 32 respectively.
Guercino’s, Samian Sibyl with a Putto was an oracle of Apollo from the Greek island of Samos, who prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin in a stable at Bethlehem – the inscription held by the putto refers to the suffering of the Virgin Mary: ‘Hail Zion, chaste maiden who has much suffered.’
This painting is directly related to the National Gallery’s Cumaean Sibyl, which was painted in 1651 by Guercino for his patron Giuseppe Locatelli of Cesena. As told by the artist’s early biographers, the Cumaean Sibyl painting was being finished when Prince Mattias de’ Medici, brother of Grand Duke Ferdinand II, sighted it and convinced Guercino to sell it to him. The artist then had to create another painting for Locatelli and, rather than repeat the same composition, he painted The Samian Sibyl so that each of his noble patrons would have an entirely original composition.
It is rare to be able to display subsequent versions of compositions. Their juxtaposition offers a profound and clear demonstration of the artist’s ability to vary a basic compositional formula to create a distinctive mood. The points of distinction between the two Sibyl paintings – one being active and the other contemplative – make them function as a brilliant pair, even if this was not intended by the artist.
Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté – This is the first work by the great master, Parkes Bonington to enter the National Gallery’s permanent collection. La Fertéestablishes the connection between the French and English painting traditions and beautifully enhances the National Gallery’s landscape collection.
Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté , probably depicts the estuary of the river Somme, on the French coast of Picardy. A hamlet on the outskirts of the small port of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, La Ferté offered wide unspoilt views and was a favourite sketching spot for Bonington and his painting companions, Paul Huet and Thomas Shotter Boys.
This open-air study painted in 1825 is likely to have been made on the spot and conveys the changeable weather of the Northern coast. Characterised by a fluid handling of paint, light , smooth horizontal sweeps of his brush evoke the sky, the brisk sea air and the sand washed tide whilst vertical strokes suggest distant rain showers further in the horizon. Foam and seaweed are picked out with a few thicker highlights, painted wet-in-wet and some details such as the large boat and the woman on the right may have been added later in Bonington’s studio.
Its inclusion in the National Gallery collection will enable visitors to appreciate the freshness and freedom of Parkes Bonington’s modern brushwork and the impressionist investigations into open-air painting.
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (‘squinter’) (1591 – 1666), was born in Cento, near Ferrara. He became one of the leading painters of the Bolognese school and was one of the most accomplished draughtsman of the Italian Baroque. His early work shows the influence of a variety of North Italian sources, most notably the work of Ludovico Carracci and Venetian artists of the preceding century. He developed a highly individual style that shows a command of subtle effects of light and dark, strong colour, and robust brushwork. After serving the Bolognese Pope Gregory XV in Rome in 1621–3, his work began slowly to change as he came under the influence of a more classical style of painting. His figures reveal an acute command of the affetti, gestures and facial expressions that reflect the study of body language in relation to the classical tradition. In his later work, such as Samian Sibyl, he was deeply affected by the austere classicism of one of his greatest rivals, Guido Reni.
Richard Parkes Bonington (25 October 1802 – 23 September 1828) Born of English parents, Richard Parkes Bonington spent much of his short life in France. He initially studied painting in Calais before moving to Paris. In 1818 he first met Eugène Delacroix and enrolled in the atelier of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros. A keen traveller, he spent much time exploring Normandy and Picardy, frequently sketching at St Valéry sur Somme and nearby La Ferté with his painting companions, such as his great friend Paul Huet (whose work is also represented in the National Gallery collection). In 1825 he visited London with several French artists, including Delacroix, and in 1826 he travelled through Switzerland to Venice. He died tragically young, at the age of 26, from consumption.
Priest: Greek Orthodox
priests ( popes ) are very revered and the custom is to kiss a priest’s hand in
respect when meeting one, today this custom is only followed in small villages.
But it is believed that seeing a black cat and a priest during the same day is
Bat Bone: For some Island folk, bat bones are considered
to be very lucky. These people carry a small bit of the bone in their pockets or
purses with them where ever they go. The only problem is getting the bone as it
is supposed to be very bad luck to kill a bat.
Cactus: No Greek
home would be complete with out at least 1 cactus positioned somewhere close the
front entrance. Cactus with its thorny spikes, takes it place proudly warding
off the evil eye from the property.
Crow: Crows are considered
omens of bad news, misfortune, disease and death. When you see or hear a crow
cawing, you say go well into the day and bring me good news ( in greek language “Sto Kalo, Sto Kalo, Kala
Nea na me Feris” )
Tuesday the 13th: Different from Western
cultures, it is Tuesday the 13th of the month that is considered unlucky in Greece and not Friday the 13th .
Social networking has embraced all that Samos nightlife has to offer, Samos by Night is a page set up on facebook which has over 2 thousand people following it. It is constantly being updated with the islands social goings on.
Based in Athens – Greece, one of the most beautiful charter destinations in the Mediterranean, the luxury charter yacht DALOLI (ex AA Absolute, Teeth, La Bella 2) is currently offering a 9 days charter special at a price of 7 days. DALOLI superyacht was built by Heesen Yachts in 1995 with two recent refits in 2007 and 2012. She is available at an excellent charter rate of € 45,500 per week plus expenses and you will get two additional days for free if booking minimum of 7 days in the month of September. Stylish accommodation is offered to 8-9 guests in four luxurious cabins.
Motor Yacht DALOLI features modern interior design and styling with a 2007 refurbishment including a full interior refit as well as a full mechanical refit. In 2012 she has received an additional refit, making this vessel looking better than ever.
Although her spacious salon is furnished in a ultra modern style, it is very comfortable, featuring low couches to port and starboard. One of her most striking features is the central staircase, incorporating charcoal burled wood veneer, stainless and Lucite handrails.
Superyacht DALOLI provides her charter guests with elegant and comfortable accommodation layout in one master cabin, two queen bedded VIP cabins as well as one twin cabin with two single beds.
The upper deck of Daloli yacht hosts a sophisticated high-tech wheelhouse with the latest in electronics. Just aft of the wheelhouse the newly decorated sky-lounge / office can be found, where two semi-circular, camel ultra soft leather sofas with accent pillows and built-in tables assure guests’ comfort at any time. One side of the sofa is convertible into a lounge-type sofa that is the ultimate spot to relax while indoors. Built into the cabinetry is a U-Line icemaker and a Sony Tv with DVD & surround sound.
Accessible through full-sized glass doors is the sun deck area, which can be found aft of the sky lounge. Here we have an L-shaped settee forward to port accompanied with a hi-lo table that converts into a sunpad. There is another settee aft as well as a wet bar with sink, icemaker, refrigerator, four stools, Jenn Aire grill, and generous sunning area.
Furthermore, the aft deck offers a great space for al fresco dining and relaxation thanks to a large table and a built in couch located to aft.
Measuring 36 metres (120 ft) charter yacht Daloli is a very speedy vessel, able to reach up to 38 knots with a cruising speed of 25 knots. She is managed by a professional and friendly crew of 7.
Greece Yacht Charters
Situated in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece offers its charter yacht holiday makers an amazing selection of destinations to explore. Greek Islands are renowned for their ancient history, modest yet striking architecture as well as beautiful little waterfront villages scattered around. In addition, chartering a motor yacht or a sailing yacht in Greece will give you the opportunity to discover its beautiful aqua or dark blue waters and the wonderful warm Mediterranean weather.
Greek yacht charters can be divided into four major destinations, including the Ionian Islands, the Aegean and Sporades, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese.
Ionian Islands offer such cruising destinations as Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Ithaca, Paxi and Kythera – also known as The Seven Islands or Eptanisa.
The Aegean and Sporades are perhaps one of the less visited destinations in Greece, making them the perfect place for a quieter yacht charter holiday. Art lovers and those interested in culture and history will certainly feel sattisfied around here. Some of the islands to explore include Samos, Lesvos and Samothraki.
The Cyclades are another popular yacht charter destination offering both culture as well as natural beauty. Boasting ancient sites, Byzantine castles, museums, lively nightlife, great shopping, dining and excellent beaches, some of the Cyclades most sought after places are Mykonos, Delos, Santorini, Sikinos, Paros and Naxos as well as Serifos.
The Dodecanese is the most southern group of islands in the Southern Sporades. Here you have 14 large islands to discover and cruise around, including Lipsi, Parmos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Astypalea, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos, Rhodes, Khalki, Karpathos and Kasos as well as around 40 smaller islets and rocks.
Sportif have put together new multi activity and windsurf coaching weeks to the wonderful Greek Island of Samosin the North Aegean. These fun and sociable weeks include windsurf coaching, mountain biking and a host of activities led by successful British Coach Rob Horne.
Rob has enjoyed a reputation built up over many years in Dahab as a highly effective windsurfing coach. Based in Samos from June to October, he successfully teaches windsurfing to all levels from teenagers and beginners first starting out to expert level slalom and freestyle technique including looping. With the variety of conditions and top quality Fanatic and North equipment available from the first class windsurf and bike centre you can be sure to improve and have fun at the same time.
Tourist agents appear optimistic as the data regarding the tourist reservations for the first six months of the year are showing better than expected results, with 6,336,370 visitors recorded. Greek airlines released a report showing that losses compared to the same time period last year were only 3.77%, while a much larger decline was expected.
Strife-ridden Athens has been strongly hit, however, with 240,000 fewer tourists compared to last year’s same months. The Halkidiki peninsula and Ionian islands such as Corfu and Kefalonia, on the contrary, showed strong results in attracting tourists.
The Northern city of Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest, is also doing better than expected during an economic crisis. On Aug. 9, the Aida cruise ship arrived in port along with 1,413 tourists, most of whom were Germans, a country which has been feuding with Greece over austerity demands being pushed by international lenders and supported by Berlin. A number of excursions has been planned to Halkidiki, Dion and Vergina, while other tourists will explore the city with bike tours. The cruise ship will also stop by at Samos island and is expected to return to Thessaloniki next year. The Aida will spend five nights on Thessaloniki port during 2013!
The eastern Aegean island of Samos will be linked with the Dodecanese islands to its south through hydrofoils.
Samos’ port of Pythagorio will be linked with Kos every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with stopovers on the islands of Patmos, Leros and Kalymnos, while hydrofoils will also service the islet of Agathonissi twice a week. After June 16, the route will be serviced more frequently.
Local entrepreneurs have also begun contacts with Turkish counterparts ahead of the new coastal shipping route linking Seferihisar, near Izmir on the Turkish coast, and Carlovassi on Samos. A catamaran will make the two-hour voyage between Samos and Seferihisar, linking the eastern Aegean island with the five-million-people-strong tourist market in the greater Izmir region.
This new connection will give a major boost to these Greek islands’ tourism since many Turkish people choose them to spend their summer vacations. Especially after the Greek state’s decision to simplify the Visa process, more and more Turkish tourists have visited Samos, Kos and other Greek islands.