Famous for Its Steps

It is a breezy June day on Symi. Despite threatened showers and some ominous looking clouds the week has remained dry, if a little windy. Unsettled weather is forecast for the whole of Greece for the weekend but it should clear and become fair from early next week. Which is just as well because June is a popular month for foreign weddings on Symi and no one travels all this way to get married in the rain. Temperatures are in the mid to high twenties at the moment and we have had some exceptionally high humidity this past week.

Weddings aside, June is also a popular month for Symi’s regular visitors and there are many familiar faces on the island at the moment. The Poseidon is still the only round the island excursion boat operating, going out three to four times per week depending on demand, but the Triton should start once there are more people around. Rhodes must be busy judging by the number of day trippers coming over on the Symi, Symi II, Nikolaos and Tilos Sea Star and the visitors in the harbour at midday represent a wide range of languages and nationalities. Symi is certainly receiving far more Eastern European visitors this year and some of the waterfront shopkeepers are reputed to be working on their Russian sales patter. Unusually there are also a lot of early French and Italian tourists – normally they only come to Symi in July and August.

Today’s photographs show the apricots ripening in my garden and then, for those readers who have never been here, some photographs of my walk to work down the Kali Strata. Symi is famous for its steps and the Kali Strata was the nineteenth century high street connecting the residential area of Chorio with the business district of the harbour, Yialos. Many of the buildings lining the Kali Strata had shops on the ground floor and the owners lived above. Although the majority of the houses have now been restored by private owners the character is very different now from the way it would have been 100 years ago as the old commercial aspect has gone. These days Symiots and visitors alike prefer to do their shopping in the more convenient lanes of Chorio and Yialos rather than carry their purchases up and down 400 or so steps.

Have a good weekend.



Vera Marie Badertscher  – (Saturday, June 05, 2010)  

Hi Adriana: I am so happy to have found your blog through Travel 'n Write. I write about books, movies and travel at A Traveler's Library and am passionate about Greece. I've only been there 6 times--which is Way not enough. One major corner I've not visited is where you live--Rhodes and the smaller islands, so I'll assuage my homesickness by reading your descriptions.

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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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