September Symi Sunshine

The clouds are back!

Clouds over the hilly peninsula that separates Pedi bay and the Pedi valley from Yialos, Symi's main harbour.

Some spectacular thistles in the Pedi Valley - all that is left after the long summer drought.

The cars were dripping dew this morning - a sure sign that the weather is turning and the nights growing cooler.

The last steps of the Kali Strata before one reaches the Syllogos Square in Chorio.  Next year this view will be slightly different as sadly the Symi Dream shop is closing at the end of October, victim to changing times.  Neil and James will, however, remain on the island and will no doubt reinvent themselves in a new venture, as yet to be announced.  For many regular visitors to Symi this marks the end of an era of wine nights on the steps and shopping for books, calendars and unique cards.

It may be September but the megayachts are still in evidence and there is still the possibility of some celebrity spotting!

Few plants can survive the harsh conditions of the Symi summer drought but this Virginia creeper on a house just above the Kali Strata seems to have plans for global domination.  Perhaps it has its roots firmly in the rain water cistern!

Who needs a tumble drier when Symi sunshine is free?

The bright parasols are carried by tour group leaders from Rhodes.   Everyone looks out for the appropriate umbrella for the correct group and language.

Day trippers from Rhodes, listening to a talk about Symi's sponge diving history and wondering who has to carry the shopping up all those steps.

Visitors staying on the island don't need tour guides - they are on the water taxis outside our office, heading for the beaches.

Dino, the chandler opposite the entrance to the Symi Visitor Accommodation office in Yialos, always has a splendid collection of brightly coloured flags.  

A new month has started, as has a new week so the greetings are 'kalo mina!' and 'kalo ebdomada!' The weather remains hot and humid but the breeze is cooler and there was heavy dew last night.  The wet weather that is currently causing problems in Italy and the Adriatic is expected to reach mainland Greece in the next day or so.  We are just seeing random clouds.

Many familiar faces are arriving on the island and popping into our office to say 'hello'.  September has always been a popular month with Symi's regular visitors and this year proves to be no exception.

Have a good week.



Symi at the end of August

Sunrise over Pedi Bay.

Pomegranates ripening in the courtyard of St John's church, Yialos.

Spotted, dining on a fig leaf outside the butcher's shop in Yialos.

A rustic fence in the Pedi Valley.  Why waste money on expensive metal and wire gates when a few pallets can be recycled?

Remnants of fine stonework among the ruins on the Kali Strata.

This is an example of an old building that was plastered to make it look as though it was made of dressed stone blocks.  Now that the plaster is dropping off, the subterfuge is revealed!

Spot the birdie!  

Some impressive hand wrought spikes on a courtyard on the Kali Strata.

While the Kali Strata is easy enough to find from the top, at the bottom its origins are rather inconspicuous.  Look out for the blue paint, the green sign and the carpenter's workshop behind the Bella Napoli pizzeria!

Water taxis, heading for the beaches.  Many of Symi's beaches can only be accessed by water or by negotiating quite hot and tricky footpaths so the water taxis run a shuttle service out of Yialos and Pedi to take people out to the beaches in the morning and bring them back in the afternoon.

A washing line of birthday balloons near the Kampos bus stop and kiosk in Chorio.
August is drawing to a close. The French, Italian and Greek visitors are heading back to work and the British and Scandinavian visitors are starting to arrive on Symi.  The children of Symi will be heading back to school next week for the start of the new academic year.  Some mothers on the island will also be waving their older  teenagers good bye as they head for colleges and universities in other parts of the country and, in one case that we know of, the United Kingdom.  Symi may be a small island with a population of only 2500 people, but parents do their best to give their children the best education possible and as many opportunities that they can.  The current generation of Symiot children are largely polyglot, learning not just English in addition to their native Greek but increasingly Spanish, French, Italian and anything else that is available to increase job opportunities.  The driving ambition that has made generations of Symiots so successful as entrepreneurs in the Diaspora in the past is still very much in evidence today.  We hope that their homeland, Greece, gives them the opportunity to fulfill their promise without having to head off to the far corners of the world.

The weather continues hot and humid although some of us were saying today that it seems to be losing its edge.  With the autumn equinox only a few weeks away it would be nice if we settled into the tolerable thirties after the blistering forties of recent days.

Have a good weekend and we wish our American and Canadian visitors a happy Labour Day long 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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