Very Greek

It is a cloudy day and we woke up to growling thunder and distant lightning. So far the showers have skirted Symi and are hanging about over the Turkish coast. At the moment it looks as though Symi will be set fair for the Greek Easter long weekend. The bells have been tolling intermittently since last night as the solemn order of service for Big Week has commenced. Many of the island women wear black for the week before Easter, even if they are not widows, and this is a period of great solemnity. It is also a period of great activity as there is so much to be done in preparation for the Easter Sunday feast while at the same time attending all the appropriate church services. Many of the Symiot men are busy with the slaughtering of the hundreds of lambs and kids that make up the mainstay of the feast and the sound of bleating as sheep are transported by the truckload, combined with the tolling of the bells, is very much a soundtrack for the island at this time of the year. On a more cheerful note, the Easter chocolate has finally arrived and chocolate praline eggs, big chocolate eggs wrapped in foil printed with all the popular Greek football clubs and chocolate hens decorated with sugar flowers are all available at the supermarkets in Chorio. For those wishing to make a statement, chocolate Father Christmases are also for sale at selected outlets in Chorio. Not a Hot Cross Bun to be seen but there are plenty of traditional Greek Easter cookies to be found in the bakeries. The lanes of Chorio are wonderfully fragrant with mastic, vanilla and aniseed.

Down in the harbour preparations for the first tourists continue. Pickup trucks laden with tottering piles of cafĂ© chairs and pot plants trundle round the harbour and the dress code at Pachos is definitely paint-spattered work clothes. It will be several weeks yet before the water taxis, beach tavernas and excursion boats come into operation as these don’t start until May but the harbour cafes and tavernas are opening up for Easter trade.

Today’s photographs were taken while waiting for the Symi II to come in on Saturday afternoon and show octopi hanging out to dry in a safe outside Mr Tasty’s taverna. A very Greek usage of a road sign.

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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