Strangers Quickly Become Friends

Despite the inclement weather Symi is becoming steadily busier and a trip on foot round the harbour is a veritable daisy-chain of conversations with returned regulars, foreign property owners who are opening up their houses for the summer and business owners setting up for the season. This is a community where everyone knows everyone else and strangers quickly become friends.

The island’s artisans and craftsmen are in a state of perpetual motion as preparations are now well under way for the 2008 tourist season and the queues in the hardware stores spill out onto the pavement. The ferries disgorge display fridges, lumber, bathroom fittings and new cookers along with the usual truckloads of food and drink. The pithos and potplant man came off the Proteus today, his lorry stacked high with terracotta pots from Crete and a veritable forest of citrus and bay trees. He should do well as many of the cafes along the front have lost their pots to the winter storms.

We have had 40 mm of rain on Symi since Wednesday afternoon and the island’s wild flowers are flourishing. Even the cyclamens which have usually started to fade by now have revived with a fresh flush of delicately scented pale pink blooms. The purple tassel hyacinths are out along the verges and every stone wall and rocky slope is a tapestry of myriad small flowers and ferns. Carpets of creeping clover, vetch and pimpernels are a far cry from the baked hard dustbowl of summer and a feast for the eyes in a landscape where green is a rare visual treat. Fields of wild peas and poppies reach for the sky and paths untrodden quickly turn to jungle.

The rainy weather is expected to continue across Greece until Sunday night and there may be more showery weather again midweek when the clouds currently dripping over southern Italy head our way.

Have a good weekend.


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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

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