Welcoming You as Usual

It is hot and humid on Symi today. We started the day with a power cut, one of several as DEH, the Public Power Company, continues with its program of upgrades to the island’s power grid. This has been going on for several days now and will probably continue until the end of the week. Normally this kind of maintenance takes place during the winter but for reasons unknown it has been scheduled for peak tourist season this year. Fortunately so far visitors are being philosophical about it all and we can be glad there such improvements are still taking place. As the work crews come from far afield it may be a year or more before they pass this way again with their lorry-loads of poles, huge drums of cable and strapping young men walking up and down poles in crampons.

One piece of good news is that the truck drivers’ strike seems to be over. Fortunately it did not last long enough to have any impact on Symi – we are so far away from the central part of Greece that when truckers have been on strike in the past it has been weeks before any impact is felt here locally. Our fuel stations are running as normal, there is food in the shops, the beer has not run out and there is absolutely no need to panic. Greece has always been prone to feverish industrial action – regular visitors will remember the endless air traffic controllers strikes and baggage handlers’ strikes in the dying days of Olympic Airways, not to mention the bank strikes when Alpha bought out Ionian and when the National Bank of Greece restructured its pension schemes. Strikes and protest marches have always been the order of the day here – in post-Junta Greece the right to strike is seen as an important part of the country’s political well-being and as much a part of the democratic process as the compulsory voting system. What is different is that now the international media are looking this way, eager to seize upon any item that can be expanded and sensationalized, usually with a view to taking attention away from more real problems at home. Despite what excited reporters might want to convey, Greece is not in a state of anarchic collapse. This summer is different only in that as people have less money to spend and few have the leave to take 3-4 weeks off in the middle of the year, holidays are shorter than they used to be.

Have a good week, and if you have booked to visit Symi this year, the island looks forward to welcoming you as usual.



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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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