Kalo Pasca! Happy Easter!

Forget chocolate eggs. Greek children receive beautifully decorated candles for the Easter processions.
The olive trees are now in full bloom and humming with bees.

The iconic oak at Lieni, bursting with spring finery.  Large trees are very rare in this climate and it can take centuries for an oak such as this one to achieve this size.

All locked up on the Kali Strata. This neglected mansion was once an hotel.  I was fortunate to see inside it about 20 years ago when Swedish/German artist, Wolfgang Rehbach, rented it one summer.  The walls are painted with wonderful frescoes of Arcadian landscapes.  I wonder what they look like now, after another 20 years of neglect and roof leaks.

Cute cats hanging out above Chrysalis, one of Symi's many interesting boutiques.  This one is not open yet as there aren't enough people around but it will be in a few weeks.

The butcher at the bottom of the Kali Strata has gone for a striking facelift this year.  

This ornate mansion on the Kali Strata has one of the most interesting facades, with faces, fluted drapes, niches and other details.  I wonder what the merchant who built it had in those niches.  Statuettes?  Plants?

The Blue Star, several hours late.  The big boats can run very late during holiday periods such as this one as there is a huge amount of internal tourism in Greece and it is much cheaper to take the ferry when visiting family in the islands. There is also the added advantage of being able to take the car, heaped with hard to get goodies for the holidays.
Today is Good Friday, a most solemn day on the Greek religious calendar, with many people in church this morning and most businesses closed. There is a taboo on manual work on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, so carpenters and other artisans must down their tools.  There were some roof-rattling explosions during the services last night and a lot more bangs this morning.  Tonight there will be the solemn procession of the Epitaph from each of the parish churches. This is quite a dramatic sight as the biers are decorated with flowers, everyone carries candles or sparklers and the priests often toss fire crackers to keep evil spirits at bay.  On Easter Saturday there will be further church services, the most important which is the vigil tomorrow night, culminating in the arrival of the Holy Fire and the celebration of the Resurrection at midnight.  As the various parishes compete with each other to see who can make the most noise, it is advisable to open windows to avoid broken panes!

We had some rain showers in the early hours of this morning and more rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  The weather should clear for Sunday, in time for all the spit roasts and garden parties, not to mention the burning of the effigy of Judas in the harbour on Sunday afternoon.  Our office will be closed for Easter Monday so my next blog will be on Tuesday.

All of us at Symi Visitor Accommodation and the Sunflower Laundry wish you a very happy and blessed Easter.



Holy Week

Free grazing in the Pedi Valley.

Profiti Ilias monastery, framed by pink bindweed. According to local tradition, this was originally the site of a temple to Apollo. All that remains of that is a portion of very ancient stone wall below the monastery.

A tide of nasturtiums.

Calm but overcast.  

Everyone has to have their steps whitewashed by Easter weekend.

Ruins, run down houses and the immaculately restored are all neighbours on Symi.

Looking across the harbour and Harani from the corner of the Kali Strata.

Yachts are starting to arriving, mainly flotilla yachts heading to their summer berths but also a few live aboard cruisers.

Monday morning rush hour on the Kali Strata.  The man on the right is holding a 'pooper scooper' as the trains are not allowed to foul the pavements and have to clean up after themselves.

It is Holy Week or Big Week, the most solemn week in the religious calendar.  Everyone is busy juggling church attendance, preparations for the season and preparations specific to Easter.  The tavernas traditionally switch to a fasting menu at this time of the year, offering various seafood dishes as well as pulse dishes such as Fakes (lentils) and Revithia (chickpeas).  Even the gyros bars switch over to taramasalata and fasting food.  The butchers have cleared the decks and are taking orders for lamb and goat for the traditional Easter feast on Sunday.

The weather remains overcast with a small possibility of showers. Temperatures are around 22 degrees centigrade and it is fairly chilly in the evening as little sun is penetrating the cloud cover. 

The island is filling up steadily with Greeks returning to their families for the holidays, foreign property owners arriving to open up their houses and celebrate Easter here and some tourists including an Australian painting group that comes every year. 

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

Copyright (c) 2001-2014 Adriana Shum.

All Rights Reserved.

Keep in Touch with Symi

Symi Accommodation Accommodation for the discerning traveller to Symi Island Greece.

Back to TOP