Holed Up at the Hermes Hotel

Socrates Street, the main shopping street in Rhodes Old Town, firmly closed for the winter.

The Palace of the Grand Masters, as seen from the windmill mole.
I was not expecting to be writing my first Symi blog of 2013 from room 208 of the Hermes Hotel in Rhodes but a blanket shipping ban in Greek waters due to a Force 9 gale forecast has kept even the normally reliable Dodecanese Seaways ‘Pride’ tied up in Kolona.  At this stage it is unclear whether it will be able to run tomorrow as the storm has not actually hit yet but it is definitely windier now than it was a few hours ago and the clouds are rallying.  There are quite a few of us stuck here and there is an air of camaraderie in the foyer of the hotel.  Whenever the door opens everyone looks up from their laptops, tablets and Kindles to ask, ‘any news’ and the nervously chain-smoking are rapidly lowering air quality in smokers’ corner which is why I am writing this in my room and will only venture down into the fug when it is time to post it!

So, for want of anything better to do in my marooned state and Rhodes town being very very quiet on a Sunday in the winter, I went for a walk with my camera.

Even in high summer very few shops and businesses are open on a Sunday in Rhodes Town as it is not a designated tourist area.  There are, however, people around – families coming back from church, couples promenading and children playing in the playground in Mandraki.  A couple of the traditional kafeneions in Mandraki are open to serve the needs of elderly men playing backgammon.  The younger crowd are behind plastic drop cloths in the more fashionable cafes higher up in the town, drinking cappuccino and gossiping.  With no cruise ships in the harbour Rhodes Old Town is also shuttered.  An indicator of the low level of crime and vandalism in Greece is the existence of a 24 hour coin operated internet café with vending machines and several purpose-designed computers, protected solely by CCTV cameras.  Cat colonies were out, investigating patches of sunshine with a view to a snooze and I saw a distant horse, grazing in the moat.


The Dodecanese Pride, generally referred to as the 'Spanos' after the owner of the shipping company.

The ornately carved door of what is probably the oldest kafeneion in Rhodes.
Count the Cats...

Symi Gate in the walls of Rhodes Old Town

The Street of the Knights

The View from the Balcony of Room 208 at the Hermes
Have a good week.  Weather, strikes and ferry schedules permitting, my next blog post should come to you from the Symi Visitor Accommodation office on Symi.


Jan –   – (Monday, February 04, 2013)  

Welcome back and hope you get back to Symi soon. Your loyal readers have missed your blog - well, this one has.


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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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