Fluffy Clouds and Symi Blues

The goddess, Pallas Athena, looking down from a harbour rooftop.  That is the dome of Lemonitissa church you can see in the background.

The customs' house slipway in Yialos with friendly ducks and fishermen contemplating the day's catch.  As you can see from the clothing, it is still decidedly chilly here at the moment and everyone is well wrapped up, particularly those who travel by motorbike or scooter.  Yes, that is a small BBQ standing on the kerb, no doubt ready to receive some of those fish.

Fluffy clouds and Symi blues.

Wind-blown skies and a cold dark sea.  The Nireus and Aliki hotels are still closed which is why there are no umbrellas to be seen along the quay.  The Harani boatyard is still full.  The Merchant House, Sofia's House, Villa Nicola and Villa Karnayo are all in this area adjoining the main harbour, Yialos.

Buoys bobbing in the harbour.

Friday morning's Blue Star Diagoras.

The Monday morning Dodecanese Seaways catamaran. The schedule does not fill out until April and even then there are a lot of gaps in the program. The online schedule is only available until 19 April, the weekend after Greek Easter.

A place in the sun.  Cats making use of a well-wrapped quad bike near the high school as a sun lounger.

Typical access steps to Symi houses.  As the houses are small and built into the hillside if there is an internal connecting staircase it is usually an open tread wooden ladder through a trapdoor to save space.  The main access between up and down is usually an external staircase such as these.  

Someone thoughtfully gave this cat an old sleeping bag to snooze on.
It is one of those overcast and drizzly days that happen quite frequently at this time of the year.  The dreaded 'red rain' from the Sahara has begun.  Fine particles of sand arrive on water droplets and cover everything with a thin film of pinkish dust which dries to a crust.  This is probably why ochre is such a popular tint for whitewash here rather than the dazzling white of the Cyclades. The forecast for the week is unsettled, with showery weather and strong winds, particularly at the end of the week.

Wednesday is Greek Independence Day and also the Feast of the Annunciation so both a religious and a public holiday.  Evangelismos church, the church on the headland in Harani that is dedicated to the Annunciation, is the main focus for the church festivities on Symi and on the holiday eve burning braziers are put along the ramp leading up the church.  There is also a parade in the harbour on Wednesday morning.  It is very much a family holiday and people usually get together for gyros after the parade as it is a fast-free day.

Have a good week.



Dry and Chilly

Off loading gas bottles at the fuel station.

Looking across at the works on the new commercial boat jetty by the fuel station from the balcony of the Symi Visitor Accommodation office.  That scar on the hill behind is the only motor road out of Yialos, connecting the harbour with Chorio, Pedi and the rest of the island. This is the vehicle alternative to the Kali Strata steps.

Manos fish taverna is still in winter mode, i.e. closed, but the restaurant next door is open all year round.

The tourist shops aren't open yet but work has started on painting shop-fittings and so on.  Some places may open to a limited extent for Greek Easter but there isn't much point in opening fully until there are more people around and the day boats start to come over from Rhodes which will be sometime in late April.

Stavro giving one of the wine shops a spring facelift.

Wild cyclamens growing out of the rock face behind the bus stop in Yialos.  They have a very delicate scent.

Looking down at the clock tower and Harani from the top corner of the Kali Strata, above the high school.  The island of Nimos with its small monastery is visible on the right.  That lush vegetation in the foreground is an eruption of wild alexanders, very sweet-scented members of the carrot family that flower at this time of the year.

Bird activity on the Kali Strata.

Showing off his best side, a Chorio cat contemplates some castor oil plants. The house in the background is in fact occupied, despite its somewhat dilapidated appearance.

The landmark oak in Lieni is now covered with pollen-laden tassels and is a-hum with bees.

More alexanders.  They grow to quite impressive proportions, only to vanish completely in a few weeks, leaving just a few broken brown stalks.
It is fairly overcast on Symi today so not much good for watching the eclipse, alas.  Temperatures have taken a dive.  It is only about 13 degrees now at midday and will fall to 8 or 9 degrees centigrade tonight.  It may be the spring equinox but we have a way to go yet before we can pack away our winter woollies.  The weekend will be dry and chilly with strong northerly winds tomorrow.

Dodecanese Seaways have now posted the ferry schedule up to 19 April, the weekend after Greek Easter, on their website so on line booking for those dates has opened.  For ferry information for later in the season it is still necessary to consult the PDF on their website.  There has been no further information so far about reinstating the Thursday connection from Rhodes to Symi in May and June but as soon as we hear anything we will put it up on Andy's Symi Travel Blog as well as on our Symi Visitor Accommodation Facebook page and, of course, in my blog.

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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