Season's Greetings and See You on Symi in 2018

It doesn't take much to make the Stanni patisserie next door to the Symi Visitor Accommodation office look festive.

A festive glimpse through the door of the butchery.

The Symi Flower shop is always a cheerful sight.

This is how fuel arrives for the petrol station in Yialos. Tankers roll off and drive round to the fuel station to fill the bunkers.

Oranges and lemons for sale in the square in Yialos.  Most Symiots have lemon trees somewhere but Symi oranges tend to be extremely bitter and are only suitable for marmalade or glykos.  Oranges for squeezing or eating come from Rhodes or Kalymnos.

Fresh fish for sale, straight from the boat. The cats are optimistic.

Down in the Pedi Valley.  The  bare brown bits are where water washed through in the storm.
This will be my last blog for 2017 as I am going to England to visit family and friends for the festive season.  Leaving Symi is often a fraught business in the winter. This time I will be missing a 24 hour shipping strike by a mere 24 nail-biting hours!  The 5.50 a.m. departure on the Blue Star is not an attractive prospect either!  In the winter the Blue Star serving Symi fits in a quick trip down to Karpathos and back on a Wednesday so instead of the extremely civilised 8.15 departure from Symi that we enjoy in the summer, in the winter we have to be down in the harbour in the dark at 5.30 a.m.  Fortunately the weather forecast is good so there are no gales to worry about and it won't be raining.

Christmas is only a fortnight away and a few more decorations are putting in an appearance. There still isn't much in the shops - the main holiday supplies will arrive on the big boat on the Friday before Christmas.  Anyone with premature Christmas cravings has to take the Blue Star to Rhodes on Wednesday or Friday to buy goodies at Lidl!  No Aldi in Greece - they pulled out early in the economic crisis - but Lidl and Praktiker are stalwarts, particularly in these times of austerity. The other great source of Christmas bling is Jumbo, a huge jolly junk Greek chain store out in the middle of the island and thus only accessible by car or taxi.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

See you in January!

Regards,
Adriana


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Good Bye, George Kalodoukas

George Kalodoukas - photograph Kalodoukas Holidays


Today we say good bye to George Kalodoukas, one of the founding fathers of tourism on Symi.  For a generation of visitors to Symi, George's welcoming smile was synonymous with an authentic Greek island holiday, particularly as Kalodoukas was the Symi office of the award-winning Laskarina Holidays founded by Kate and Ian Murdoch.  Together in the 1970s and 80s they laid the foundations for Symi's reputation for authentic Greek island holidays, targeting a discerning repeat clientele who wanted to experience real island life in a totally traditional setting. Many of the island's present day visitors first discovered Symi this way and continue to come back, even if their accommodation needs are different today.

George Kalodoukas was ever the idealist and his dream was his organic farm at Marathounda, the small seaside village near Panormitis at the southern end of the island, where he hoped to spend his retirement with  his wife,  Anna.  Sadly this dream was cut short on Wednesday 6 December 2017 when his vehicle left the tarred road on the treacherous descent to Marathounda and Panormitis with tragic consequences. 

All of us at Symi Visitor Accommodation and Sunflower Laundry extend our deepest condolences to his widow, Anna, his sons, Louis and Petros, and extended family as well as his many friends around the world.

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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 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.


Adriana Shum

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