Busier by the Day

Calm seas early on Friday morning.  The monastery over on Nimos is just catching the morning sun.  Trucks are gathering by the clock tower, waiting for the Friday morning Blue Star Diagoras.

The Panagia Skiadeni has resumed service from Rhodes on a regular basis so there is a lot more fresh stuff in the shops.  This photograph was taken yesterday,  in a brisk cold breeze.  We have had strong north-westerly winds all week which have kept temperatures below 20 degrees.

The Poseidon is back in the water and round the island excursions will be starting soon.

This old building on the waterfront belongs to Panormitis monastery.  The downstairs is now a shop but the elaborate pediment houses an icon to St Michael the archangel.

This old vine hasn't seen any formal attention for many a year but is still flourishing.  That curly bracket on the wall, just to the right of the main stem, is a latch, to hold the door open.

Swallows posing on a cornice of the clinic in Chorio.

Still life with chapel and lone black sheep.

Same chapel, different day, different sheep!  The cold wind has blown away the haze and visibility has been very good this week.  That is Pedi bay in the background.

Not all of my neighbours are sheep.  I spotted this chap on my way to work this morning.
It  has been a chilly week with lots of northerly winds but temperatures are forecast to rise into the mid twenties next week.  If we don't have rain in the next fortnight or so, that will be that until October as it is very rare to have rain in the second half of May.  It is about a month since we last had rain and the ground is starting to harden and crack. The drying wind is speeding up the rate at which the vegetation is wilting and the sheep, donkeys, ponies and goats are munching as fast as they can.  Unless we have a late shower to give the plants a boost, by the time the first package holiday arrivals start to come in mid-May Symi's greenery will just be a distant memory.

The island grows busier by the day. The Panagia Skiadeni is in nearly every day now, bringing small numbers of day trippers from Rhodes plus supplies for the shops on the island.  More businesses are opening up and there is a steady trickle of new arrivals including walking groups, artists, writers, botanists and those who enjoy Symi in the spring and aren't forced to plan their vacations around school holidays.

Have a good weekend.



Awash with Glorious Poppies

Friday's Dracunculus vulgaris in all its odiferous splendour.  

A donkey, head down among the daisies near the sports facility.  Whoever has that vegetable patch to the left of the donkey has a lot of weeding ahead as the rows of onions, broadbeans and artichokes are awash with glorious wild poppies.

Every old stone wall is a hanging garden at the moment.  Various stone crops, tiny ferns, daisies and figs turn the tumbled down ruins and winding lanes of old Chorio into a wonderful garden at this time of the year.

The grape vines have their new leaves and the housewives use them to make delicious dolmades.  Fresh vine leaves are often picked and frozen or pickled in brine for use later in the year when the leaves on the plants are tough and lack that spring succulence.

Poppies and figs in the Pedi Valley

Hello!  Is it me you are looking for?  A tagged ewe wants to know who is taking her photograph.  Note the furled dracunculi in the background, to her left. That is a really mean wild thistle to her right.  Those are oregano bushes in the background.
Down in the harbour the Symi and the Panagia Skiadeni have started bringing day trippers over from Rhodes on a regular basis and there are definitely more people around.  Foreign property owners are arriving to prepare their houses for the summer season so there are lots of familiar faces around. They are also surveying the damage from one of the wettest winters anyone can remember so there is plenty of painting and airing out of damp furnishings going on.

It has now been dry for about a fortnight so doors and shutters have shrunk to more normal proportions.  The long range forecast shows lots of wind but no definite rain so we are unlikely to have more than one more downpour between now and October.  Temperatures are still fairly cool, just hovering above the 20 mark and there is not much difference between day time and evening temperatures.

Have a good week.



About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 16 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

Adriana Shum

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