Symi Colours

The crew of the floating barge having breakfast before they start their day's labours, building the new commercial jetty by the fuel station.  Merkouris from the fuel station has made sure that the pigeons get their breakfast too.

Brightly coloured houses in Yialos and lots and lots of Greek flags for the Ochi Day parade.

More colourful flags, this time at Dino the chandler, below our office, Symi Visitor Accommodation. Dino is the man to go to for fishing tackle, nautical bits, hoes, rakes, wellington boots, traditional brass door knockers, fencing wire, colourful anodised aluminium retsina carafes, umbrellas...That is the remnants of our dead air conditioning unit on the balcony on the right.  

A colourful cafe in Yialos.

A pensive cat.

It is time to start planting lettuces, brassicas, broad beans, onions and the like.

The cheerful geraniums of spring have been replaced by the glowing hues of chrysanthemums and a reminder to get our bulbs planted now that there has been enough rain to work the ground.

Antoniades is the main hardware store in Yialos. Don't be fooled by the small shop - they have warehouses and storerooms tucked away in all corners of Yialos, including some big sheds behind Iapetos Village where they store timber and bathroom fittings.
Wednesday's wet weather has cleared away to sparkling sunshine and a brisk northerly breeze.  Summer's dust has washed away, leaving everything clean and fresh.  The vibe on the island is changing as we head into the winter season.  It is only a week until the Panormitis Festival so there is an increase in traffic across to the monastery and more Greek visitors are arriving every day for this annual event.  At the same time most of the tourist shops have now packed away their wares for another year and the businesses that are still open are the ones that are essential to the everyday functioning of the island - the butchers, the bakers, the hardware stores, the chandlers, the chemists and so on. The harbour becomes very much quieter outside the tourist season because the greater portion of the island's permanent population is actually resident up in Chorio.

The latest weather front seems to be passing to the south of us this time so the long range forecast is sunshine, with midday temperatures around 20 degrees, dropping to around 16 degrees at night.  There may, however, be some quite strong winds in the course of next week.

The Film Club screening at Mandeio this Sunday is The Shipping News. Everyone is welcome. The screening starts at 7.30 p.m. as it is now dark so early.

Have a good weekend.



The Sun is Out

Autumn light and cloud shadows.

Pediment details on the Kali Strata.

On the Kali Strata there are many mansions, some restored, some ruined, some decaying with quiet neglect, waiting for absent or impecunious owners to one day find the money to restore them to their former glory.

The bell tower of St John's church at the back of Yialos.  

There's a cat posing among the pot plants near St John's courtyard in Yialos.  Can you see him?

An inscrutable cat pretending to be invisible.

Drying out wet deck cushions on the Poseidon on the right. The water taxi service is now finished for the year.

The bunting is up for tomorrow's Ochi Day Parade.  Tomorrow is a major public holiday in Greece so banks and government offices and many businesses will be closed. There's a lone late season megayacht on the quay but otherwise very little activity.
After a very wet weekend the sun is out and the harbour is ringing with the sound of excited children, practising for the Ochi Day Parade tomorrow.  As the wind is coming down from the north it is now quite chilly in the shade.  Temperatures will be around 20 degrees at midday this week although the nights will remain fairly mild with not much difference between day and night time temperatures.  More thundershowers and storms are forecast for later in the week and early next week.  At the moment there are no seriously strong winds forecast but the weather is so changeable at the moment there are no guarantees.

As the tourist season draws to a close many of the locals are busy with preparations for the Panormitis Festival at the other end of the island.  This takes place over the 7th and 8th of November and pilgrims come from all over Greece to stay at the monastery.  It is a very Greek event and is an opportunity to celebrate in a way that is totally divorced from mainstream tourism.  A bit of a travelling fair sets up around the monastery with hawkers setting up stalls to sell socks, oranges, Chinese power tools and freshly fried doughnuts plus anything else that can be loaded onto a pickup truck or sold from a market stall.  The ferry timetable is now available for the Panormitis festival period if you are going to be here at that time.

Have a good week.



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.

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