Symi's Little Surprises

A Little Sphinx looks down from the roof of the patisserie in the lane next to our office.

This is a cake shop. The garlic is to keep bad luck away rather than to enhance the baklava!

Dittany, a special herb indigenous to Crete, growing in the window of the Steno Kafeneion, a little ouzerie/bar/cafe that runs between two lanes near our office.

Koulouria, which some people translate as doughnuts but they aren't as they are baked biscuits, much loved to nibble on with coffee or as travelling food for long journeys.  It is traditional to store them on a twiggy branch that looks rather like the spokes of a rigid umbrella. These are in the window of the new organic food shop opposite Taxas supermarket.

A steel-clad shop door in Yialos, held together with many solid rivets.  

A lingering May Day posy on the door of a supermarket warehouse in the back lanes of Yialos.

A recent and varied line up in Yialos.  One of the island's two ATMs is at the Alpha Bank, defined in this photograph by the two masts of the gulet in the foreground. The other ATM is at the National Bank by the bridge at the head of the harbour.

A memorial to local man, Markos Kladakis, commemorating his part in the war against Facism and Nazism. I wonder what he would have to say about the 100 or so Symiots who voted for Golden Dawn in the last election.  "How soon they forget!" is one possibility.
June has come to an end and tomorrow marks the beginning of high season on Symi.  For the next few weeks the island will become busier, the yachts will become bigger and celebrity spotting becomes an important part of people watching in the cafes that line the waterfront in the evenings.

Symi has an overwhelming 'wow' factor, with its pretty pastel houses lining the iconic amphitheatre harbour, but closer inspection reveals all sorts of other delightful details.  Today's photographs share some of these with you.  Take time to look around you when you go for a walk and you won't be disappointed by Symi's little surprises.  I have lived here for 20 years and I still spot new and different things, or the same things in a different light or season.  That is why I have been blogging Symi since March 2001 and still haven't run out of things to share with you.

Have a good week.


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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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