Old Town Walls and Battlements

The Cottage, one of Symi Visitor Accommodation's popular Chorio rentals, in a sea of daisies.

Athena smiles down from a rooftop in Yialos.  She could tell a few tales.

Symi is in a pink haze of Saharan sand as a dust storm is curling up from Africa, bringing with it the threat of red rain and muddy thunder showers. This is a common phenomenon at this time of the year and invariably coincides with the spring whitewashing. As I have observed before in these pages, there is a very good reason why the traditional colours for Symi houses are shades of ochre, cream and terracotta. The next few days will be very unsettled as this weather system passes over us. With the high pollen count as well as all the fine dust in the air it is advisable for anyone with respiratory problems to stay indoors until we have at least had sufficient rain to clear the air once more.

Poppies, wild mustard and an improvised football pitch in the moat of Rhodes Old Town.

Akandia Harbour, from which the Proteus and various other ferries and freighters depart.

Rhodes Old Town Walls, fringed with poppies. 
That is the Blue Star Ferry from Pireaus just visible over the edge.

There are flowers literally everywhere at the moment. I went to Rhodes on Wednesday as there was that rare thing, a day return trip from Symi on the Proteus car ferry with sufficient time to actually get things done. Rather too much time, as it happens, because the boat was so full it was very late doing the Kastellorizon trip and we did not get back home to Symi until eleven at night. However, while Nicholas was doing the rounds of the agricultural suppliers I went for a walk through Rhodes Old Town. There was a Cypriot cruise ship in so a few tourist shops had opened, selling the remnants of last year’s souvenirs. What was more inspiring, however, was the sight of poppies growing wherever they can find a little earth and some moisture. There were poppies along the tops of the town walls and battlements and poppies in the moat. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be bright red blooms nodding gently in the spring breeze.

The ferry saga continues with the Proteus now doing a few tourist day trips from Rhodes in April and the Symi II still in mothballs in Mandraki. The new schedule means that while there is only one day a week, Friday, when it is possible for the people of Symi to go over to Rhodes with a vehicle, get things done and get back to Symi the same day, there are more frequent opportunities for goods and freight to be sent over unaccompanied. Who knows what May will bring but at least we have a reasonable schedule to get through April for the Easter visitors.

Have a good weekend.



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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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