Cream, Ochre and Terracotta

The Pitini area of Symi harbour, Yialos, as seen when looking across from the clock tower.

The Dodecanese Seaways catamaran leaving Yialos.  That scar on the far hillside is the only motor road that connects Yialos with Chorio and the rest of the island.  It makes a great sweep of about 3 kilometres because of the steepness of the terrain. The old pedestrian routes via the Kali Strata and the Kataraktis are considerably shorter being more direct.  Very few houses on Symi have vehicle access and most can only be accessed via a network of steps and lanes. 

Looking towards the head of the harbour.  The town square is behind the bridge just discernible on the right.  The cream building right on the water is the customs house.  The Symi Visitor Accommodation office, Sunrise Laundry and various cafes and shops are along the strip to the left.  The water taxis, which are not yet operational, depart from in front of our office, so in effect this is the webcam view in reverse.  The scar near the top of the hill on the left of the photograph roughly marks where the road continues on to the settlement at Xisos and Panormitis monastery.

Looking towards the Kastro (Acropolis) from Lieni and the top of the Pedi Valley.  The buttressed walls are all that remains of the original castle.  There are at least 3 churches with the bounds of the old castle walls and several more in close proximity, all round the hill.

Gyros, the traditional Greek fast food, is still excellent value for money at 2 euros for a portion of meat, salad, tzatziki and chips wrapped in a pita bread.
Butterflies and oregano flowers

The weather continues unsettled with thundershowers forecast and blustery winds.  There is a lot of hazy dust in the air which suggests that any rain forthcoming is likely to be of the dirty Saharan variety, a reminder of why the traditional colours of paintwork around here tend to be cream, ochre and terracotta rather than the more usual white of the Cyclades.

Although the water taxis to the beaches are not running yet the Poseidon is doing some excursions, weather permitting. The rain earlier in the week has given the wild flowers a boost and the insect life is a veritable Pandora's box of winged things, some beautiful and some merely annoying so remember to bring your mosquito repellent with you.  The cloudy, showery conditions are keeping temperatures in the mid twenties but it feels hotter out and about as the humidity is quite high.  It is surprisingly chilly still indoors and on the shady side of the harbour.  It takes a long time for the warmth to penetrate the thick stone walls of Symi's traditional neo-classical architecture.

The traditional feast of Koukoumas will be taking place at Agios Thanasis church in Chorio tomorrow evening - if it is not wet (this celebration has been rained off before so rain in May is not that unusual!).  This is a tradition where the local girls dance and perform a little ceremony which is supposed to help them predict their future bridegrooms. It is worth it for the colourful costumes and dancing although the music, much amplified, can be a little deafening and is audible in large parts of Chorio.

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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