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The week ahead in Athens > books October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek.
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Enjoy Greek fairy tales on CD at noon Saturday at Eleftheroudakis Bookstore, when Acroasis Publications presents the CD “Organa kai Toumbana”  [Instruments and Percussion]. At Eleftheroudakis Bookstore, 17 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3258440.

Happy Village > SOS Children’s Villages Greece and Starbucks celebrate their fifth anniversaries with the launch of Eugene Trivizas’s latest book “To horio tis haras” [Happy Village], published by Papadopoulos, at Starbucks in Kolonaki on October 17 at 12.20 p.m. Starbucks Coffee, 12 Skoufa Street, Kolonaki, Athens, tel 210 2816134.

Paul Valery > The Paul Valery University of Montpellier, the French Archaeological School of Athens and the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) are holding a two-day international conference on “Paul Valery, Greece, Europe” next week, October 18-19. Valery’s work, which included philosophical dialogues based on the Platonic model, had a deep connection with Greece. Speakers from Greece and abroad will explore Valery’s connections with poetry, modern Greece and Sikelianos. Starting 9.30 a.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. Friday. French Archaeological School, 6 Didotou Street, Athens, tel 210 3679902-2.

Adventure of writing > Writer Zefi Kolia will appear at the Nikaia Cultural Center at 8 p.m. on October 15 to talk about her books and the adventure of writing. Fellow-writer Christos Christopoulos will read extracts from Kolia’s work. At Nikaia City Hall, 10 P. Tsaldari Street, Nikaia, tel 210 4278100.

Dragon-mania > Theater games will be part of the fun at noon this Saturday at the Evripidis ston Stoa Bookstore, when popular children’s writer Philippos Mandilaras presents his book “Dracomania” (Dragonmania), published by Patakis. At the Evripidis ston Stoa Bookstore, 11 A. Papandreou Avenue, Athens, tel 210 6800647.


Sporting Limassol > Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics, Cycling, Martial Arts, Sports & Games.
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Cyprus’ biggest festival of sport kicks off next weekend in Limassol. Whether you watch or take active part is up to you

With so much attention given to the Cyprus Rally, it comes as great relief to the non-petrol heads among us to have an entire festival devoted to human sporting endeavours to look forward to, particularly now that summer is almost over and the beach is beginning to lose its appeal.

Now in its 8th year,Lemesia” is the largest celebration of sport in Cyprus and, while focusing on professional athleticism, it also aims to encourage citizens to haul themselves off their couches to enjoy some exercise and try something new. Athos Xenofontos is responsible for putting the whole thing together and is the man who first planted the seeds of the festival back in 1998. Since then, Lemesia has experienced an explosion of growth, attracting more sports events and international athletes every year.

Among the events is an exhibition of photographs depicting Cyprus’ sporting history and a ceremony to honour Cypriot sportsmen and women of the past, with special recognition to be given to the tremendous achievements of 2007’s heroes: Volvo World Youth Sailing champion Pavlos Kontides, World Championship high jump bronze medallist Kyriakos Ioannou and World Champion shooters George Achilleos and Antonis Nicolaides who train locally.

The nine-day free sporting smorgasbord will kick-off with fireworks, a band competition and dancing to ‘Street Beats’. Here are some of the highlights; whether you want to get active or simply watch is entirely up to you.

10th Marios Agathaggelou international race > The oldest and the catalyst event for the entire Lemesia Festival is the 10km run held in honour of Cypriot athlete and coach, Marios Agathaggelou. “We started in 1998 with the first race. He was a big sportsman, a man ahead of his time. We held the race for two years and afterwards the municipality asked me to make a tournament with other sports so in 2000 we started Lemesia,” explains Athos. Up to 500 athletes will compete in three different races starting from the Municipal Gardens; the main race will take in two and a half laps to the Old Port while a 3km fun style event will run alongside a 1km race for children under the age of twelve. €1,000 is the top prize in the main event in which international runners will compete against teams from the National Guard and United Nations. Registration begins one hour before the runners set-off, entry is free.
Date: Saturday October 20, Time: 4pm, Location: Main entrance of the Municipal Gardens.

Amateur boxing > To encourage more spectators, this year’s boxing championships are going alfresco at the Enaerios parking area, convenient if the early evening fights get a bit dull with numerous nearby cafes or bars nearby to take a break from the pummelling. Contestants from around 15 countries will take part in the Olympic standard competition culminating in a grand final on October 14. Contestants can register for the event by contacting Cyprus.box@cytanet.com.cy
Date: October 12 to 14, Time: 5pm, Location: Enaerios parking area, corner of Archbishop Makariou III and the beach road.

Triathlon > Triathletes tempted by a €500 cash prize for the race winner with €200 and €100 on offer to the runners up, will be competing for what is probably the most challenging Lemesia competition, a ‘full’ triathlon race. Consisting of a 1,500m swim followed by 40km cycle and 10km run on a circuit from the Old to the New Port along the beach road. “We’ve made a special effort to make it a spectator event including changing the course to do several laps instead of a single one,” says Triathlon Federation President Pambos Spanoudes. The best spot to watch from is opposite the Catholic Church on the beach road or along the route through the sculpture park.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 9am, Location: route from the old to the new port along the beach road and sculpture park.

Shooting > Undoubtedly one of the most popular activities given the country’s status in world competitive shooting. Around 100 shooters are expected to take part in the Sport discipline competition, each with 30 clay targets to blast into oblivion. With world champion George Achilleos away from the range competing in Belgrade, there’s a sporting chance for anyone who wants to have a go. Entry is free but competitors must register before 12pm on the day.
Date: Sunday October 14, Time: 8am to 1pm, Location: The Limassol Shooting Club, outskirts of Armenochori village.

Veteran Athletics > For ladies over the age of 35 it’s depressing to hear that in sports terms at least, we fall into the ‘veterans’ category. The good news is that the oldies (aged over 40 for men) are still going strong and can show Cyprus’ cafe obsessed younger generation a thing or two about sport. 1980s champion sprinter Angelos Angelides is organising the athletics event consisting of javelin, long jump, shot put and running among others. “Everyone who is coming is not in the best shape but it’s to demonstrate how older athletes still have the courage to compete. It’s a good message to the people of Limassol that they can be involved in sport forever, for their health and to live a better life,” he says. 100 athletes from all over Cyprus will compete against teams from Greece and Romania. All competitors will be awarded a medal.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 4pm, Location: Lanitium High School (near McDonalds), Contact for entrants: Angelos Angelides 99324263.

Rhythm Gymnastics > If you want to feel really old then pop along to this event where a host of nubile athletes will be springing, twisting, somersaulting and bending themselves into impossible positions while creating clever displays with balls, ribbon and rope. Organisers were not able to confirm if Cyprus’ most promising gymnast, Raissa Panagioutou, will be demonstrating the talents that took her to the finals of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Date and Time: Saturday October 20, 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm, Sunday October 21, 3.30pm to 8.30pm, Location: Spyros Kyprianou Lemesos Stadium off the B8 from Limassol to Troodos road.

Karate > Fluid movement of a more combative nature will be one of the disciplines of the 4th International Traditional Karate Festival organised by president of the federation, Vaso Vassiliou. ‘Kata,’ a set sequence of Karate techniques based on the principles of physical combat, will sit alongside the real ring fights called ‘Kumite,’ meaning ‘a meeting of hands,’ on the Karate festival programme.
Date: Saturday October 20, 4pm to 7pm / Sunday October 21, 10am to 1pm, Location: Ag. Neophitos School, near Orphanides supermarket.

Limassol Cycling Tour > A relatively sedate 20km two wheeled tour of the city, guided by members of the Limassol Cycling Club, will set off from the Enaerios parking area on a circuit to Omonia and back along Makarios Avenue and Molus, taking in a little of the beachfront scenery. Around 400 cyclists are expected at this free to enter event which Club Secretary Christos Geros describes as “purely fun and recreational.” If you want to take part get there early to register and don’t forget to bring a helmet.
Date: Sunday October 21, Time: 10am, Location: Enaerios parking area.

It’s that time of year again > get ready for the Cyprus Rally 2007 October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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The annual highlight on the motorsport calendar, the 2007 Cyprus Rally, kicks off next weekend with a ceremonial start in the coastal town of Limassol.

The rally, that is part of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) will cover nine gravel stages on Saturday and Sunday before finishing in Limassol on Sunday afternoon.

Rally teams have entered from Qatar, the UAE, Jordan, Greece, the UK, Lebanon and Cyprus heading for four special stages on Saturday, beginning with the Xyliatos test and five on Sunday, culminating with the Panagia stage and the ceremonial finish.

In a total route of 878.72 km, there will be 239.66 km of special stages, mostly gravel and narrow dirt roads. The longest special stage will be the 32.42 km of the Anadiou stage, which will run twice on Sunday. The shortest is the fifth 11.87 km Kato Amaiantos special stage on Sunday morning.

This year’s Cyprus Rally will also include an official round of the 2007 FIA Historic Rally Championship.

The Historic Cyprus Rally will run first in the day, ahead of the Cyprus Rally, and competitors will tackle a total of five Special Stages (3 on Day 1 and 2 on Day 2), as opposed to the nine stages of the Cyprus Rally. Historic Rally entrants will also compete under older regulations, which allow for greater flexibility in servicing, for example.

Cyprus is hosting two rounds of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 2007. The Troodos Rally, round 3 of this year’s MERC, was held earlier this year and ended with a clear victory for Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah, the defending FIA Middle East and PWRC Champion, and co-driver Chris Patterson.

Greece’s Panathinaikos meets the Houston Rockets October 11, 2007

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European and Greek Champs Panathinaikos take on the Houston Rockets late tonight, Greek time, in the first of two friendlies against NBA teams this week.

Currently fine-tuning preparations for the new season, which begins October 20 at home against AGO Rethymnos, the Athens basketball club will end its two-match US tour against the San Antonio Spurs Saturday. Tonight’s game will not air on Greek television. The cable TV network Fox Sports Net has acquired the broadcasting rights for the US market.

Rugby on the big screen October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cricket Hockey Rugby.
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Nicosia’s rugby fans can enjoy all the fun of this weekend’s World Cup semi-finals on the big screen at the French Cultural Centre, which will be showing the two big matches on giant TVs in their gardens.

The France Vs England match kicks-off at 10pm on Saturday, with South Africa Vs Argentina starting 24 hours later. Entrance is free.

Communications Officer at the Centre Yiannis Hadjiloucas explained that “since France is the host nation, we thought it would be a nice idea to set something like this up”. He acknowledged that Rugby Union is not a popular sport with Cypriots but said that Saturday’s France vs England match-up “is sure to attract many expats currently living in Cyprus.”

French Cultural Centre, 14 Metochiou Street, Nicosia, tel 22 459333.

More visitors in Athens October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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Five-star hotel occupancy rates in Attica were up 11.5 percent in August, year-on-year, while two-star hotel rates rose 5.5 percent, according to the Attica Hotel Association.

For the summer as a whole, there was a 6.4 percent rise in occupancy, against a decline for London, Rome and Amsterdam.

Babis Vovos agreement with Media Markt October 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
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Athens listed real estate firm Babis Vovos and the international retailing chain Media Markt yesterday agreed to sign two new lease agreements.

One for 10 years for 7,291 sq.m. of retail space and 1,772 sq.m. of storage space at the commercial center under construction at 340 Syngrou Avenue, and a second to extending an existing lease by Media Markt at 49 Kifissias Avenue, both in Athens.