The Weather is A-Changing

Kokkimides is the second highest peak on Symi after the Vigla and the views from the monastery at the top are spectacular.

Ancient stone walls and a shepherd's cottage, high up in the mountains above Symi.

The churchyard at Kokkimides.  The church is tiny and accessed through the small door to the right of the photograph. It is believed to be over a thousand years old.

A tiny window, thick stone walls and a stone tiled roof.

At some point someone etched these patterns into the threshold.

A modern touch.  The Swiffer duster evidently failed to serve its designated purpose and was repurposed as they say.

The heavy stone walls of Kokkimides have withstood centuries of extreme weather.

Looking down at Panormitis bay and monastery from the motor road above.

A mellow September morning in Yialos.

A sure sign of impending Autumn - the peripatetic carpet salesmen are back!

The weather is a-changing with a brisk cool breeze blowing and the evenings have become a lot cooler. Day time temperatures are still around 30 degrees out of the wind but the change in the winter from warm to cool has brought about a general drop in temperatures.  Suddenly people riding motorbikes are wearing long sleeves again and more of the tourists are wearing trousers and T-shirts rather than skimpy beachwear when they stroll around the harbour.

I have had family visiting and we went for a rare drive up the mountain at sunset this week. When one lives here and is working through the season it is easy to forget that there is an island out there apart from the bits we see every day on the way to and from work.  It was quite fun playing tourists for a change.  One of the places we visited was Kokkimides, one of the oldest and most fortress like monasteries on the island.  The peak of Kokkimides mountain is the second highest on the island after the Vigla and the views are marvelous. The chapel is dedicated to St Michael and is very ancient, with wonderful frescoes including some very lifelike sheep and horses as well as the obligatory scenes from the scriptures.  It is well worth taking the time and trouble to go up there.

Have an enjoyable weekend.



Symi's Style

The Kastro, Symi's Akropolis, as seen from Pedi bay.  Take away the electricity wires and the beach umbrellas and not much has changes in this scene in centuries.  Symi has a pleasing sense of continuity that is lacking in so many other places.

A wider view showing the sprawl of Chorio up the slopes of the Vigla on the left and the road to the harbour, Yialos, on the right.   There are very few houses along the water front in Pedi and much of the land used to be agricultural before the football field, sports field and power station were built.

The road to Panormitis shows clearly in this photograph of Pedi bay.

Looking down Nanou bay from the taverna.  

The fence is to keep the goats out rather than the people in!

Is this my best side?  One of the many small goats hanging about, working the cuteness factor at Nanou.

A Chorio cat hiding in a wall at the bus stop near Kampos supermarket.

Closed up for the season.

Many of the mansions on the Kali Strata and in Yialos have flag poles on their balconies for patriotic purposes.
The noise and bustle of August is over but the island is still humming - mainly with regulars, many of whom have been to Symi for decades.  Everyone has their favourite places, their favourite boats and their favourite watering holes.  Groups of friends get together to celebrate special birthdays and happy anniversaries.  The beaches are busy with people doing nothing much, relaxing in the sunshine.

Symi is a wonderful place for relaxing and doing nothing much in particular.  There is no feeling of obligation to become involved in frenetic water sports or other strenuous activities.  A cheerful taxi ride to a pretty beach or a convivial day out on an excursion boat followed by a pleasant evening in a traditional taverna or one of Symi's excellent bars is more Symi's style.

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

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