Amazing Visibility

7.30 in the morning and the sun is only just catching the houses on the Kastro.

Light and shade on the Milos.

The weekend's winds have blown the haze away and visibility is wonderful.  This is a shot of the village Wendy, Barry, Sue and Mike walked up to last weekend, above the top of Pedi bay, photographed from the roof of my house at the top of the Pedi valley, several kilometres away, using a not very sophisticated camera.

Two kittens heading up the Kali Strata.  

The Dodecanese Seaways catamaran coming into Yialos this morning.  Yes, the sea really is that blue today!

It's never too late in the season for fouled anchors in Yialos.
Strong winds came out of nowhere at the weekend causing minor ferry disruptions and bringing a sharp drop in temperatures and amazing visibility.  The weather remains unsettled and there is the possibility of thunderstorms and rain later in the week.  The weather forecasts at this time of the year are not very reliable as fronts come through quickly and can pass to the north or the south of us or straight over us and the clash between the cold air coming down from Europe and Russia and the warm air from North Africa spawn storms too.

The Symi bus is still out of commission and is in Rhodes, awaiting repair.  Fortunately it is a bit cooler now so having to toil up the Kali Strata is not as much of a chore as it would be during the summer months.

The Symi and Nikolaos day trip boats from Rhodes are still coming over on a daily basis although there are fewer people about.  The tourist shops around Yialos are starting to pack up or are only open for a few hours a day when the boats are in as it is not worth sitting about for hours when there is not a soul to be seen.  In another 10 days the only places open will be the essential ones used by the locals for the winter. Symi is slipping into sleepy off season mode.

Have a good week.



A Stroll Around Chorio

A strikingly unusual mansion on the Kastro, above the Kali Strata and very close to Lemonitissa Church. This is the only one I know of on the island with this rather exotic roof detail.

Whatever you do, don't step out onto the balcony of this one to admire the view!  It is unusual to see such a long wooden balcony, particularly up in Chorio.

This old mansion off the Syllogos square in Chorio, next to the cafeneion has been undergoing painstaking restoration for a couple of years now.

An intriguing staircase to nowhere opposite Zoe's taverna in Chorio.

Let me in!  I want to play too!  A Chorio cat waits patiently outside the school gates.

And another wonders where the humans have gone. As houses close up for the winter and their owners head off to places where there is heating and the comforts of life are not dependent on the precarious winter ferry service, the island's cat population who have enjoyed a pleasant summer of companionship and food on demand are left to fend for themselves.  No matter what arrangements are made to feed cats during the winter, the ones that have been accustomed to human interaction do mope around when their people are gone and do latch onto other families eventually.

A pretty lane in Chorio, behind the old pharmacy and looking towards the Pedi valley.

Symi harbour may be famous for its steep steps but Chorio is famous for its narrow winding lanes that form a labyrinth round the Kastro and up towards Periotissa and Agia Trianda churches.  Some say that the intention was to confuse marauding pirates but the reality is probably more a case of squeezing in as much accommodation as possible into a small area and constantly building on extra rooms for married daughters.  It is not uncommon for new homeowners to find unknown layers of rooms going down into the hillside, filled with rubble and forgotten about over the centuries.

The autumn crocuses are out.  A very pale mauve, they are very difficult to photograph with my rather basic camera as they don't show up well against the dry thistles of summer.

Looking down on Mavrovouni from the top of the Kastro on the opposite side of the harbour.  The scrap of road you can see is a turn off from the road to the helipad and is the closest vehicle access to Villa Iris and Spiti Grand Helene.

The first cyclamens are putting in an appearance in the shady places.  As you can see, the other wild plants are also starting to germinate again.

Acorns ripening on the Valonia oak in Lieni.  If we have heavy rain they can swell to the size of small eggs but usually they are of more modest proportions.

The Blue Star Diagoras making a modest contribution to global warming.  The big car ferries that ply Greek seas work hard, providing an essential link between the small islands and the mainland.  This ship left Piraeus yesterday afternoon and called into Symi en route to Rhodes this morning. She then continued on to Kastellorizon, the most remote of the Greek islands and will be back in Rhodes this evening to retrace her steps back to Piraeus overnight.  
It is another humid and intermittently overcast day on Symi.  The morning mist never really quite clears and occasionally we think, surely it must rain now!  Temperatures remain mild and in the mid twenties. There is heavy dew at night.

Symi featured in a 60 minute program on Alpha TV this week.  This is one of Greece's commercial channels and the documentary was filmed during the last weeks of September.  We had drones buzzing round the harbour at the time.  The dialogue is in Greek and the editing is bad but you may enjoy watching it if you have an hour to spare.  For those of you who have never been here before, no, the harbour is not normally as chaotic as they have depicted it and we actually have beautiful peaceful places up in Chorio and down in Pedi that are not frequented by a noddy train full of enthusiastically singing Russian day-trippers.  It is amazing how a journalist's agenda combined with an editor who has never been to a place can create a distorted impression of a place, barely recognisable to those who live here!

Dodecanese Seaways have now put up their November ferry timetable, including for the Panormitis Festival.  Once again it looks as though we will be heavily dependent on the Blue Star to get to Rhodes during the week for business as it won't be possible to do a day return from Symi to Rhodes on the Dodecanese Seaways boats and they will only be serving us on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Have a good weekend.



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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