The Shadows are Lengthening

Symi continues to sizzle, as chat page devotees have observed, thanks to the real time temperature gauge Allan has cunningly located on the Pachos banner on the forum. The sensors are on the terrace of the main Symi Visitor building, over by the bus stop in Yialos. Click on the thermometer for an up to the minute temperature report.

The days may still be hot but the shadows are lengthening and when I walk to work at half past seven in the morning the sun is only just touching Pedi bay. It is quite dark by 8 p.m and a pocket torch comes in handy when going out in the evening. The school year is beginning although the local children will still find plenty of time to go down to Pedi to swim in the afternoons after their lessons.

The deepening shadows flatter Symi’s amphitheatre harbour, enhancing the elegant symmetry of the neo-classical architecture and lending a gentle luminosity to the palette of traditional ochres and blues with which they are painted. It is easy to forget in the summer scramble for water taxis and sun loungers that Symi’s unique selling point is not her beaches but her perfectly preserved amphitheatre harbour with its rows of beautiful neo-classical houses. First time visitors and day trippers often ask me where to go sight-seeing, disappointed that there aren’t distinct must-see tourist attractions, easily ticked off. I always tell them that the ‘attractions’ are all around them – it is the houses themselves and their arrangement on the hills and cliffs, punctuated by Greek Orthodox churches of every style, that make Symi unique. Halki does not have the elevation. Kastellorizo does not have the scale. It is only in Symi that tiers upon tiers of neo-classical houses rise from the water’s edge to half way up the Vigla, cloaking the slopes in a skilful combination of original nineteenth century stone buildings, sympathetic restorations and new constructions designed to blend in with the old.

The accompanying photograph shows the houses on the hill below the windmills, looking towards the Pedi Valley and the Vigla.

Have a good week.


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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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