January 2010

January 2010

Greece Goes Green!

Greece Goes Green!, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Hooking up to the National Grid?

Many people fall about laughing when they mention environmental issues in relation to Greece, however in these dark economic days, the Government might well have the last laugh.

In September of 2009 Karamanlis, with the popularity of his party falling and his ability to govern being questioned by everyone, called for snap elections in the hopes of either stealing a victory or believing that a PASOK victory would be so close that they would be unable to form a government. The plan backfired when George Papandreou won in a landslide and within days had promised to protect all Greece's forests and close them off from developers, started a peace initiative for Cyprus, promised to end the corruption, nepotism and the scandals that have been a part of every Greek government, and asked his ministers to each trade in their gas-guzzling armored Mercedes for Toyota Prius Hybrid.

Car tax in Greece is now based on the age of your car as well as the engine capacity and many people are not happy about this. Perhaps it won't be only the MPs who are travelling around in electric cars!

Greece Goes Green!, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel
A Load of Rubbish?

Municipalities that do not encourage their residents to recycle will be forced to pay more for garbage collections under a radical new plan being drawn up by the Environment Ministry.

Sources revealed recently that the ministry is due to unveil a draft law that will penalise any municipalities that fail to reduce the volume of rubbish produced by their residents which ends up in landfills.

Less trash leads to lower charges; no-one wants to pay extra money in taxes so maybe this plan might just work ... watch this space!

Greece Goes Green!, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Holiday Inspirations

Holiday Inspirations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

At Agni Travel we like to think that our all destinations offer the ingredients for a perfect summer holiday. Sunshine and relaxation of course, but also a great selection of sporting, sightseeing and shopping opportunities as well as some of the best cuisine in the world.

Holiday Inspirations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Each month we'll take a peek at one of the areas we visit and tell you a little about some of the sights, scenes and activities that can be found there. This month we're off to the heel of the Italian boot, Apulia.

Holiday Inspirations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

With its fairytale-like trulli, little whitewashed circular buildings with conical roofs, diverse and individual landscape and some of the best beaches in Italy, Apulia is a fascinating area, steeped in history. Relatively flat, it is a great place to hire bicycles and enjoy the countryside at a leisurely pace. But visit during mid June and you'll find a very different form of transport. The Province of Lecce in the east of Apulia plays host to the annual two day Rally del Salento. First staged in 1957 it is one of Italy's oldest motor races. It attracts thousands of spectators who line the route to watch the cars and drivers expertly traverse the winding roads, negotiating narrow, stone wall lined stretches and hairpin bends on their coastal route. The rally offers a dash of adrenaline during an otherwise laid back break!

For at look at our Italian rental properties: Agni Travel Italy

Holiday Inspirations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel
January Travel Tip

Better to be safe than sorry. Before travelling abroad make sure you have an up to date European Health Insurance Card. Issued free on request by the NHS you can either complete an application form that you'll find at your local post office, or apply on line using this link: https://www.ehic.org.uk/Internet/home.do

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Christmas Donations

Christmas Donations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

It had been an ordinary sort of late November day in the Agni Travel office. Most of the staff had left and Nathan was just locking up when the phone rang. It was Stella, our head of sales. Ron, her husband and another essential cog in the business wheel, had been feeling a little short of breath so had gone to the doctor. The doctor had referred him to the local hospital for tests, so Stella was phoning to warn that they would both be late into work the next morning. No need to worry.

The following afternoon Stella rang again. The consultant had referred Ron to Yannina hospital on the mainland for further tests. Try not to worry.

48 hours later Ron had been diagnosed with heart disease, a triple bypass had been prescribed. We were worried.

Christmas Donations, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Was there anything we could do? Even visiting was difficult, involving a ferry crossing and 2 hour drive to the hospital. Nathan had a long talk with Stella and it transpired there was something we could do to help. Give blood.

The Greek blood donation system is somewhat different to that in the UK. If you're a registered blood donor, each 500ml that you give entitles you, or a nominee of your choice, to be credited with one unit. If you then need a transfusion or operation your credits entitle you to reclaim up to the number of units you have donated. If you're not a donor and, like Ron, you find yourself in need of blood, someone has to donate it on your behalf, or it has to be purchased.

The news of this was met with several white faces - drained of blood just at the thought! However, we're not simply co-workers, we're friends, so we agreed to go together the following day to donate.

At the appointed hour we all piled into the car and trundled off to the hospital, tummies rumbling. Sofri, who had given blood before, was certain you weren't supposed to eat before donating. On arrival we were handed lengthy questionnaires and asked whether we had eaten a good breakfast. "No, were we supposed to?" came the bemused reply before we shot out to the nearest kiosk, returning with carrier bags full of sticky cakes, filled rolls and cartons of orange juice.

As we picnicked in the waiting room our forms were completed and blood pressures taken. Unfortunately both ladies in our party precluded from giving due to low blood pressure. Leaving the ladies to munch on the last of the pastries, the brave gentlemen of Agni were led away to the donation suite.

The good news is that between us and other of Ron and Stella's friends on Corfu sufficient blood was donated. Nathan also has recovered well from his ordeal. As he was donating his blood pressure suddenly dropped and he was close to passing out for several minutes. A check up two weeks later confirmed that he is fine and also now, as a registered blood donor in Greece, is entitled to free blood tests, both to help confirm general health and for specific reasons.

The best news of all though is that Ron's operation went ahead and he is recovering superbly, much to everyones relief. We expect him back at his desk, fighting fit and organising car hire again by the time the summer season starts.

Photo Finish

Photo Finish, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

At the end of last season, Theo was showing off with his Greek dancing at Agni Taverna. The finale was when he danced on the edge of the chair until it 'flipped up' and he landed perfectly on the seat - not realising that the seat cover had fallen off!!

Property Feature: The Thalia Estate

Property Feature: The Thalia Estate, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Take a drive along a narrow lane through abundant and magical olive groves in the Saint Spiridon area of north Corfu and you will arrive at the superb hamlet of buildings known as The Thalia Estate. This group of four fabulous houses nestles deep in an olive grove on the hillside, yet is just a few minutes from the beach and surrounding coastal areas.

Property Feature: The Thalia Estate, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

The estate comprises of, two detached villas and a pair of bungalows which share a lovely pool and garden, but otherwise enjoy complete seclusion and privacy.

Property Feature: The Thalia Estate, January 2010, Newsletters, Agni Travel

All four properties are newly constructed and are owned by a professional photographer. The owner's artistic talent is reflected in the clever use of space and interior design in each accommodation. They are finished to exceptionally high standards and enjoy state of the art facilities which combine seamlessly with furnishings that are beautifully reminiscent of traditional Greek ideals.

For more information and pricing: The Thalia Estate

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