November Postcards from Symi

An empty, and somewhat blustery, Pedi Bay.  Look at the new shoots on the tree in the foreground and the lush grass on the terraces to the right.  The recent rain has really got things growing again.

Morning glory in a ruin adjoining Giorgio and Maria's Taverna in Chorio, at the top of the Kali Strata steps.

The herb shop on the Kali Strata in winter mode.

Virginia creeper turning crimson near the Old Markets on the Kali Strata.

The carpenter's cats look happy and well fed.

The bottom of the Kali Strata steps gives little clue to the wide steps and elegant mansions higher up.

The Vapori bar is all packed up for the winter.  Bella Napoli is behind plastic drop cloths so it looks as though pizza will be an option this winter.

An old commercial property in Yialos, rather the worse for wear upstairs but the ground floor houses the local lotto shop.

The Dodecanese Express coming in at this morning.  She will pass through Symi again at about 5 this evening. We won't see her again after that until Saturday as this shipping line only calls in at Symi 3 times a week in the winter, weather permitting.
It is clear and chilly on Symi today - and very quiet if one discounts the sound of the continued building work going on in the premises next door.  Walking down to work this morning I did not see anyone at all until I reached Yialos.  With most businesses closed and many people out of work until the spring, there is not much incentive to venture forth into the cold wind although some may meet for small cups of strong Greek coffee in the cafes later.   Cafes in sunny locations tend to do quite well at this time of the year. The water taxis have gone to their winter berths and there is very little shipping movement of any description in the harbour these days.

The Blue Star Diagoras will not be running this Friday as there is a strike on Thursday so she won't be leaving Piraeus on Thursday afternoon.  This means that there won't be a second shipment of fresh produce to the island later in the week.  Once the early birds have bought Wednesday's tomatoes, that will be that until the following week.  It also means that there won't be any post between this Wednesday and the next as that too is dependent on the Blue Star.  Small islands without airports are very isolated indeed in the winter if anything happens to disrupt the already fragile ferry service.

Have a good week.



Sparkling Sunshine

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office is very different in November.  No tourists in beachwear, just locals in paint-spattered overalls.

The Blue Star Diagoras coming in this morning - about half an hour late but no torrential rain to contend with, unlike this time last week.

Manos' well known seafood taverna, firmly packed up and closed for the winter.  

Even the sponge sellers and the leather shop are all shuttered for the winter.

The building above Pachos, next to the Sunflower laundry and our Symi Visitor Accommodation office is still in the throes of a make-over.  Do you see how the rocky hillside above the town is starting to turn green?

 A Chorio cat, snoozing in a sunny doorway.

This one prefers a little elevation although that contraption does not look very comfortable.

The Agia Marina river has carved out a new bed.   That diagonal across the foreground with the large white rock is the edge of a drop of about 3 metres.  Note the black plastic water pipe dangling across the gully - that was lying on the ground before the flood.

It is a bright clear autumn day on the small island of Symi.  A brisk breeze is blowing from the north, giving us exceptional visibility and the sort of sparkling sunshine we seldom see in the hazy months of summer.  The temperature is about 19 degrees centigrade but if you can find a sunny spot out of the wind it is much warmer than that.  These conditions are expected to prevail for the next few days.

Next Friday's Blue Star ferry has been cancelled due to a general strike on Thursday which is preventing her sailing.  This means that the only car ferry next week is on Wednesday and there won't be any means of getting to Rhodes between Wednesday morning and Saturday evening when Dodecanese Seaways stops off in Symi on the way back from Kos.

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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