Delightful Though Short-Lived

The Carnival weekend is over and Lent has begun, as has the new month. With the 2009 tourist season now only a month away Symi is suddenly galvanized into action and there are more Symiots in the hardware stores than in the cafeneions. Plans are being drawn up and materials ordered. Whether one orders direct from suppliers elsewhere in Greece or through the local businesses on Symi, everything hangs on the ferry schedule and at the moment that is seriously limited, not just because there are fewer boats in the winter anyway but also because windy conditions can disrupt the schedule still further and there is another strong blow forecast for the whole of Greece later this week.
Symi is still far too wet for any serious painting and decorating to take place, but the temperatures have crept up to more tolerable levels, around 20 degrees centigrade at midday, and people are venturing forth without quite so many layers of clothing. It is only those who travel on motorbikes who are still swaddled like the Michelin Man, hats and hoods pulled firmly down around ears and woolly gloves clamped to the handlebars. The rest of us are reviewing those items in our wardrobes that belong to that fleeting phenomenon, the Symiot spring – that brief interval between deepest winter and the first heatwave of summer. Symi has spring twice each year, at the end and the beginning of the rainy season, and it is a delightful though short-lived period where warmth and water combine to provide abundant greenery and the murmured observation, ‘If only it was like this all year round’ can be heard on the streets and in the cafeneions, in the shops and on the bus.
Meanwhile in the Pedi valley the Easter lambs are spending Lent dining on the finest daisies and freshly sprouting herb bushes, in happy ignorance of their destiny. The almond trees have shed their blossom in favour of bright green leaves and small furry nuts. The citrus trees are laden with fat lemons and oranges and the delicate scent of cyclamens perfumes the shady places.

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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