Suddenly It's Summer

The view from above - looking from the bend in the Kali Strata, across to the clock tower in Yialos and Harani.  Note the large sailing yacht moored stern-to on the quay.  There are lots more yachts coming in every day.

The best dolmades are made with tender young vine leaves, picked before they wilt in the heat of the day.

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office at 9 this morning.  There was a lot more yachting activity in the harbour than we have seen in a long time.

A few hours later these appeared - hence the increase in the number of bikes parked on the pavement on our side of the road. We observe this little ritual every year as the municipality tries to implement parking restrictions. As we don't actually have traffic wardens it is something of a futile gesture. Last year the chap had barely finished when someone parked a truck on top of them.  I wonder how long they will survive this year...
Today is the first day of Big Week, the run up to Greek Easter, a week of solemn fasting, family get togethers and the beginning of the tourist season.  As Greek Easter is so late this year and the 1 May holiday coincides with Easter Sunday, both Monday and Tuesday next week are bank holidays in Greece. This means that the banks and many other offices will be closed from Friday 28 April, reopening on Wednesday 4 May. The schools are closed for 2 weeks, the weather is fine and sunny and there is a definite holiday buzz in the air.

More places are opening up every day.  Hatzipetros supermarket opposite Symi Flower and the Cultural Centre in Yialos has reopened in its beautiful newly renovated premises, complete with polished stone floors and gleaming new fridges and fittings.  The staff were busy, unpacking boxes when I went past this morning.  Most shops on Symi are small family businesses, not part of big chains, so each shop is unique and the staff are usually family members, making for a friendly shopping experience, all part of the reason why so many people come back to Symi for their holidays year after year.

If  you are on Symi over the next couple of weeks, don't miss the Soy Cuba exhibition at the Symi Cultural Centre from 25 April until 9 May.

As part of the exhibition there is also a free film show, Chico and Rita, on at the same venue tomorrow evening, 26 April.

Have a good week.



April Postcards from Symi

Yes, that is the Poseidon back in the water for the season. The cheerful red hull is a local fishing boat.

Yialos on a calm Wednesday morning - that is the Milos area of Chorio along the crest of the hill, so named for the row of windmills, now ruined, that you can see against the skyline.

Looking across to the Kastro and Lemonitissa church from Yialos. The tug boat is here to help with moving around the floating cranes and the barge for the commercial jetty project over at the fuel station.

This colour scheme is actually very traditional here. It is called 'loulaki', which is lilac but not quite.  The Symiots used to mix azure pigment with asvesti (lime wash) to paint their houses patriotic blue in defiance of the Ottoman Turks and on old ruins one often sees fragments of this shade beneath the layers of ochre from the Italian occupation, a colour scheme exemplified on the other half of this building. On Symi even the colours tell stories!

The Nireus hotel is unfurling for the summer.  They already have some of their tables and chair set out on the small jetty in the background.  The weather continues sunny and mild with no red rain to disrupt the preparations for the season - or for Greek Easter which happens next week.

The green barge is part of the fleet involved in the harbour widening project for the new commercial jetty over by the fuel station.  That zigzag path going up the hillside leads to the Panormition, the local high school, and to the Hotel Fiona which is the building with the powder blue pediments at the top. The folds of green slopes behind are the far side of the Pedi valley and there is the whole sprawling settlement of Chorio between the Hotel Fiona and those hills.


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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