A Rare Spring Day

A calm but deserted Panormitis, the major monastery on the southern end of Symi.
That is a bit of the island of Nissyros visible on the horizon.

The windmill guarding the entrance to Panormitis Bay.
When I first came to Symi in 1993 I spent 3 months living on my boat, tied up to the rocks at the base of that windmill.  At that time the road across the island was a dirt track and the only telephone for people staying in Panormitis was a wind up switch board manned by a monk in a little office under the stairs.

A hillside of windswept conifers and aromatic sage bushes on the slopes above Panormitis,
on the way to the Sesklia Channel.
 It is Greek Independence Day and also the Feast of the Annunciation so a double holiday in Greece and Cyprus.  As it always falls during Greek Lent it is an excuse for a good party and a break in the Lenten fare so the butcher shops were packing out pork chops and chunks of stewing beef this morning for those who are breaking the fast.  It is a bad time to be a butcher in Greece as aside from it being Lent which is followed fairly seriously here anyway, very few people can afford butcher's meat these days.

It is also yet another day of gale force winds and shipping bans. The parade later this morning will be a wind-swept affair indeed and small children participating will be hard-pressed to stay on their feet, particularly those holding flags and banners.  Yesterday, on the other hand, was one of those perfect spring days that we used to have with some degree of frequency and reliability in March on Symi but which have proved to be very scarce this year.  The rest of the week will continue fairly unsettled with thunder showers and windy conditions forecast for the next few days.  Temperatures are expected to rise slightly into the low-mid twenties next week but the likelihood of stormy weather in the Mediterranean is likely to continue for a few weeks yet as North Africa continues to warm up and Northern Europe remains cold.  It is the clash between the temperatures that creates this succession of weather fronts in the Mediterranean in the spring, with mud rain and sand storms coming from Africa alternating with clear but cool spells coming down from the European landmass.

Have a good week.


A cheerful poppy in my parsley patch.

Wild sage flowering among the rocks.  

On Symi it is not so much a case of considering the lilies of the field as finding them by chance amongst the stones.

Norman Askew  – (Wednesday, March 27, 2013)  

I remember that dirt track to Panormitis very well. I had a very bumpy and dusty ride on a scooter to Megalo Sotiris for the feast day. We met a bulldozer clearing the track for the road building. My white shorts and T-shirt were red when we arrived!

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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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