Symi the Cultural Gem

It is a bright sunny day on Symi.  Temperatures are now reaching the low thirties at midday, falling to about 20 degrees at night.  Every afternoon we see the thunder clouds build up over Turkey and lightning flash over distant mountains but there has been no rain on Symi since Easter.  It looks as though the long summer drought has begun.

First of all, before I forget, the herpetologists who visited Symi over Easter have now put up their blogs and field reports.  For anyone who is interested in Symi's fauna, there are some great photographs and a lot of information.  The links are Matt Wilson,  Carl Corbridge and Ilias Strachinis For those of you who are fearful of snakes, apart from the Ottoman Viper all of these snakes are harmless to humans and even the Ottoman Viper would rather slide away than attack.  The intrepid trio had to search long and hard to find these snakes up in the mountains so even if you are a regular visitor to Symi it is unlikely that you will ever see any of them except in these photographs.  If you have any questions I am sure that Matt, Carl and Ilias would love to answer them for you.  

Photographs of the annual VE Day Parade on Symi can be seen on our Out and About page and also on the Symi Dream blog.  It was good to see the banner of the Symi Women's Association flying high.  This worthy association was formed 60 years ago to help the women of Symi cope with the difficulties of life on the island in the years after the Second World War.  As Symi became more prosperous through tourism its role evolved into one of preserving the cultural life and traditions of the island and fostering educational opportunities for the young as well as organising visits by health professionals.  Bravo to Sevasti Nikoli who has been at the helm for the past 30 years, and to all the other Symi ladies who are involved in this organisation and have helped keep Symi the cultural gem that she is.

A handsome resident of Chorio.
The grounds of the as yet unfinished undercover sports facility in Chorio.  In the light of the present economic crisis it is unlikely to be finished any time soon.

As I stopped to photograph the billy goat, a cat came sauntering past.  They looked at each other peaceably and then continued their separate ways.  All over Greece there must be similar blue boards announcing projects that came to an abrupt halt as austerity kicked in. Perhaps one day some magnanimous philanthropist will step in and see this project to its conclusion. 

It is not just houses that are decorated with posies for 1 May.  Spotted in Chorio.

The harbour is slipping into summer mode.  The cafes are open and selling ice creams to the day trippers.  That herb and spice shop next to the gyros bar has been here ever since I can remember, but the building that houses the Dodecanese Co-operative Bank used to be a sunhat shop.  Monique, the owner of the sunhat shop, used to put out card boxes for the cats to snooze in.  When she retired, the cats retired with her and now they all live round in Harani.

This old door in the back lanes of Yialos is a work of art in its own right.
The wrought iron work in the door panels is a trellis of iron roses.

The Merakles taverna is celebrating spring with cheerful petunias.  The white building behind is the new extended premises of Soroco boutique.

Pelargoniums in the Pedi Valley.  

Nasturtiums and Rosemary

Have a good weekend.  I have some Danish friends visiting this weekend who I have not seen for many years so my next blog will be posted on Tuesday.


Anthony –   – (Friday, May 11, 2012)  

Presumably the problem with funding for the sports centre is not any withdrawal of EU funds, but rather a requirement that the Greek government makes a matching(?) contribution - which it can no longer afford to do?

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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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