Comfort Food

A large area of low pressure is moving slowing across Greece from Italy and the barometer has been dropping steadily since last night. The first rain is expected to reach the Dodecanese and Symi sometime during Monday night and the long range forecast shows rain in various quantities for the whole of Greece for the rest of the week, along with a significant drop in temperatures . As this will be the first proper rain since early October we can’t really complain. The weather this autumn has been unusually fine and up to now most of us have still been wearing mainly summer weight clothes in the day time. Thank you very much for the hot water bottles I have received from visitors this summer – I think we are probably about to put them to use this week!

Down in Yialos the Symiots are making preparations for the forthcoming stormy weather.(See webcams on Most of the fishing boats are now on winter lines, much further away from the quay and with extra anchors and warps in place so that they can cope with any amount of surge without harm. Several of the water taxis have already been lifted out of the water for the winter. Although Symi is sheltered from the worst of the Aegean winter gales by the protective peninsulars of neighbouring Asia Minor, when storms do hit us they can be quite vicious and destructive, as regular visitors to this page over the years will be aware.

With so many of the businesses in Yialos now closed until the beginning of the tourist season in the spring, the main life on the island tends to be focused up in Chorio where the majority of the Symiots live. The supermarkets are stocking up with winter staples – sacks of lentils, beans and chickpeas and the pressure cookers in which to prepare them. The smell of bay leaves, cinnamon, celery and chicken broth haunts the lanes of Chorio as dozens of extractor fans broadcast traditional island fare to passersby. Bread, pulses, olives and vegetables from the family plot have been the back-bone of the island’s winter diet since the beginning of time, comfort food indeed.

Speaking of comfort food, the island’s cat population is fluffing out in response to the cooler temperatures and those who live outdoors are growing fine winter coats. This is, of course, helped by regular feeding from Symi Animal Welfare’s winter feeding program and sympathetically inclined Symiots who are also feeding their neighbourhood cats on an informal basis. Faros, another animal welfare organisation on Symi, has organised a vet visit from 28-30 November 2008. This will take place on Mavrovouni and anyone who is on the island at the time and would like to help should look out for the posters which will be appearing around the town shortly.

For more information about how you can help Symi Animal Welfare help the cats of Symi make it through the winter, go to their noticeboard which you will find on the Symi Visitor Forum at

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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