Symi Spring Pastels

Pachos kafeneion near our office is closed for a few days for its annual spring-clean and repaint.  It is quite common here to see business owners doing their own painting and decorating.  

The two boutiques on the other side of us are now open.

You must admit, Symi harbour is exceptionally photogenic.

The herb and spice shop by the bridge has opened for the summer.

The mulberry trees that were planted in the town square a few years ago have suddenly turned into proper trees and should provide good shade.

One of Symi's several sponge shops.  That is the National Bank of Greece next door. They have an ATM just inside the doorway. There is another ATM further down, in the vestibule of the Alpha Bank and then there is a third on the opposite side, next to the pharmacy.

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation balcony today.  

Pretty spring pastels are always in fashion on Symi.

There is an amazing array  of fresh produce available at the moment as there is an overlap between the cool weather vegetables like leeks and cauliflowers, the strictly spring time artichokes and then the first of the summer cucumbers, tomatoes and aubergines. No, the pineapples on the right are not local - they, like the bananas, come from South America.  Greek produces a wide range of fresh produce through the year but tropical fruits are not on the list.

A quiet lane in Yialos.
It is still fairly cool with a light north-westerly breeze and we had several hours of steady drizzle on Saturday night.  Temperatures are forecast to rise steadily through the week, peaking at 26 degrees on Saturday, just in time for the May Day long weekend.  There is no further rain on the horizon and unless we have a shower in May, the summer drought has begun.  Symi has one of the longest dry seasons in Greece and can go without any rain at all from April through to early November.

Work has resumed across the bay, on the new commercial harbour and jetty, and I can hear a steady distant 'tok-tok-tok' as they chip away at the rocky shoreline.  They are still creating a large flat area at the base of the hill and widening the frontage as far as Petalo.  Once this becomes operational there will be far less heavy vehicle traffic through Yialos as the car ferries will dock and unload there instead of at the clock tower.  Symi may also then provide shelter to occasional cruise ships late in the season when strong winds and heavy swells close Rhodes harbour.

Sorry but that's it for poppy pictures for another year!

Have a good week.



Walking Down the Kali Strata

Still hanging on - today's poppy photo from the Pedi valley.

Count the cats.

The sea of yellow corona daisies around the Taxiarchis hotel has gone, replaced by haystacks.

An innovative way of keeping the cats out of the roses.  Water bottles, filled with tap water to weigh them down.  They probably act as a sort of mulch and insulation too.

The Kali Strata, the 19th century staircase connecting Chorio and Yialos, is my usual walk to work.  Many of the mansions lining the route are looking very sad now and quite a few are up for sale.  What was once the most desirable address on Symi is now quite forlorn as few people these days want to climb up and down so many steps on a daily basis.  Many of these houses have fabulous views and traditional interiors just waiting to be loved again.  

Still weeding - he is about half way down now.

This is what awaits our intrepid municipal worker with his weeding tools and black bags.

A levitating cool cat at the bottom of the Kali Strata.

Wood for the baker's oven.  Symi still has several bakeries using traditional wood ovens and each bakery on the island has its own specialities.  The gluten-free diet is never really likely to catch on in Greece - bread, rusks and savoury pies are too much a part of the local culinary tradition.

Even on an overcast day Symi's famous amphitheatre harbour delights the eye.  Yialos is still very quiet though, with few yachts coming through.

No cats fishing here today - the water level is too high.  I spotted this shoal of tiny fish in the shallows this morning, swirling about in the eddies of a wake thrown up by a passing fishing boat.

Overcast and murky, one of the last major weather systems of the spring is passing over Greece at the moment, bringing strong winds, grey skies and rain showers countrywide.  The weather is expected to improve from Monday and from then on the forecast shows days of rising temperatures and lots of sunshine.

April used to be a very popular month for walkers, photographers and families with small children who wanted to enjoy the spring flowers and avoid the heat and high prices of school holiday times.  It is a great shame that in recent years so few people come to stay on Symi in April and May.  It is a glorious time to be here, as you can see from all the spring flower photographs I have put up in recent weeks.  While we might not have the abundance of Crete and Cyprus, Symi's wild flowers are still pretty spectacular.

Shops, cafes and tourist businesses are slowly opening up for the season.  As there are fewer visitors staying on the island in April these days, some places stay closed until late May as it is not worth their while opening up early, but the essentials are certainly available and the island has a more authentic feel.  Part of Symi's attraction is that it is not an out-and-out tourist destination. Real people live here. Thanks to the strict rules on tourist development on the island and the protected architecture, when you visit Symi you really are staying in a genuine Greek island community.  We still have some May availability in some of our houses so if you are looking for a last minute spring break, why not email us on this weekend?

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 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

Copyright (c) 2001-2017 Adriana Shum.

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