Tuesday, 2 January 2007

New Years News

In Holland the amount of traffic jams has increased by 7%. There is no way that you'll get a traffic jam on Lesvos like in Holland. On the island at worst you have to slow down when driving for example to Mytilini, where they are building a new road and where you need all your concentration to avoid damaging your car by falling into the big potholes or the bad surface of the 'road under construction'.

Also the traffic problems of Kaloni are nothing compared to the Dutch morning rush hour. Our neighbour said recently that she hated travelling through Kaloni and getting stuck in the traffic there. I must admit that whenever you go from Molyvos and you take a left turn in the centre of Kaloni to go to Mytilini, you usually find slow drivers, which is a real traffic jam in the eyes of the Greeks!

A while ago they made plans to solve this traffic mess. They designed a new road to go from Molyvos/Petra via Stipsi and Agia Paraskevi to the main road that goes to Mytilini.

So that is how the small mountain village under the tops of Lepetymnos, Stipsi, got its ring-road a few weeks ago. Well, the road doesn't run exactly in a circle, but goes below the village in the direction of Ypsolometopo. For most tourists it is a fun adventure to drive along the small main road of Stipsi. Just like in Filia, Kalochori or Neochori (and many other villages where the main road still goes through their centre) it really takes a lot of skill to avoid the kafenion tables and the old Greek men sitting there sipping their coffees, or the boxes of fresh vegetables placed in front of the local stores. It's amazing that you never get stuck there!

People who regularly have to pass through Stipsi are not that amused anymore to find so many obstacles in their way. For them the new ring-road at Stipsi is a gift from Heaven. But where is the next stage of the road in the direction of Agia Paraskevi? It is said that the shopkeepers and the Mayor of Kaloni are against this new road. They are afraid that when the road to Mytilini no longer passes through Kaloni, but through other villages, people will stop going there to shop. So they do everything to stop this road from being finished and it will probably be many more years before we can enjoy this road going through the meat producing villages of Stipsi and Agia Paraskevi, to Mytilini.

There is only one thing I can tell Kaloni: Open the long promised Lidl and you will see what traffic jams you get. Then nobody will take the new road because everybody always needs something from Lidl.

No traffic jams in Eftalou, but there is more judicial chaos. Many people will wonder what happened to restaurant Anatoli. Well, since the action to 'Save Anatoli' in one way a lot happened and in another nothing happened, because Angelo is still in his kitchen, making his delightful dishes. Although for them it has been a difficult time.

Nearly every week there was an order to close NOW and tear down the building at the road side. Each time I passed by I expected to see the sad ruin of a collapsed restaurant, but each time everything was still in place, like it was all those years.

It is typically Greek that nobody understands why. Not even Angelo. He just got a lot of lawyers to save his business and he succeeded. The last time they were told to close was just a few days before Christmas. But then a lawyer found a judicial mistake and that is why Anatoli is still open this new year.

And then there is the weather that provided us with so many wonderful sunny and clear days. The sun was that warm that it took some discipline not to sit out all day sunbathing. Until New Years Day many people took advantage of it and had lunches under a clear blue sky. But once the sun went down, it suddenly became incredibly cold. It was that cold that several nights already we've had a frost. On New Years Night we found our car thick with a layer of ice.

The New Year did not start very spectacularly in Molyvos. There were some booms from the fireworks. But after 12 o'clock the Bazaar was swinging and the visitors at the Music Café were nearly bursting out of the doors. At least half of Molyvos wished each other a happy New Year while swinging to disco music or listening to some great Greek Ballad. The new year did arrive! Once again: Chronia Polla!

Copyright © Smitaki 2007

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