Kalymnos in gear for spring: New shops, recycling, and more good stuff
Hello and kaló mína everyone! The first day of spring is officially here. The weather is overcast, but ideal for fantasizing about cliffs while we’re hard at work on our current project (a ‘Best of Greece’ sport climbing guidebook due to be published later this year). February on Kalymnos was quite good; in fact, it was one of the driest in recent memory. As always, January and February were the slowest climbing months, with a dozen or so climbers enjoying the peace and quiet in an almost-deserted Masouri. But a lot has been happening behind the shuttered storefronts, as business owners and residents ‘clean house’ in anticipation of the upcoming spring climbing season.
Specifically, new shops, renovations, and a very important service are coming to Kalymnos and the climbing areas of Masouri, Myrties and Armeos. Most notably:
• Two pharmacies; one in Masouri, one in Elies. The one in Masouri will be more of a drugstore selling non-prescription pharmaceuticals, vitamins, supplements and so on. The one in Elies (a 10-min drive from Masouri) will be a full-service pharmacy.
• A new beachfront hotel. Remember the white-and-red abandoned building on the beach at Masouri, between Masouri Beach Hotel and Zorba’s restaurant? Well, it’s being renovated at last! Construction is well on its way to turning this lovely building into a 13-room hotel called Masouri Blu.
• A new bakery
• A bigger & better Wild Sport climbing shop. The current shop at Plaza Hotel’s lower level will continue to operate, but the business is also expanding to a brand-new space at street-level right across the street. The new Wild Sport will be up and running within the next couple of weeks. Besides the shop, there will be a nice terrace for hosting events, comfy seats for lounging, free WiFi, even some free tablets for surfing the net, courtesy of the shop.
• Additions to Elena Village hotel (home of The North Face Kalymnos Climbing Festival). Construction workers have been at it for several weeks now. More rooms? More parking spaces? A water park? It remains to be seen.
• Recycling! A special truck and 200 blue recycling bins for paper, plastic, glass and metal were delivered to Kalymnos last month and will be distributed throughout the island at some point, hopefully sooner than later. That’s a good start. The next critical step is getting people to actually use the bins, and to do so properly. (By the way, Kalymnos schools have been recycling paper on their own since last year, thanks to the Parent-Teacher Association’s initiative. Kudos!)
Besides all of the above, most business owners and residents of the Masouri area are painting walls, reupholstering chair cushions, trimming shrubs, and generally “freshening up” their properties for the new climbing season. Most shops will be open for business by March 15th, with only a few opening later, on May 1st. Coupled with the buzz surrounding the upcoming mayoral elections in late May, Kalymnos is pulsing with energy.
It’s encouraging to see this part of Kalymnos moving, developing, not stagnating. Like most other places in Greece, Kalymnos has been deeply affected by the crisis and lost thousands of its most productive citizens to a new wave of immigration. By local estimates, at least 4000 young Kalymnians have emigrated; mostly to Australia, where there’s a large expat community. So while such small-scale economy is just a drop in the proverbial bucket, having work options matters and some of these jobs fill important gaps; like the pharmacy, which has long been at the top of our ‘Wish List’ for Masouri. (In case you’re wondering, the other item on our list was an ice cream shop; thankfully that wish has also been fulfilled. Yay!)
So, what do you think Masouri needs, if anything? Your perspective and comments are always interesting. Feel free to share thoughts and suggestions below.
This entry was posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 00:56 and is filed under Kalymnos news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
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