Blossom Time on Symi

Look carefully and you will see the bees, busy doing their thing.

Almond trees

The upper reaches of the Pedi valley.  The white patch of trees centre right in this picture are the almond trees in detail at the beginning of this blog.  The other deciduous trees are still leafless.  Look at how luminous the grass is on the terraces - a far cry from the dusty brown of summer.

In the summer this area off the square in Chorio is humming with people.  In the winter only one of the bars is open and everyone is sitting inside, around the heater, drinking strong Greek coffee and discussing the economy, or lack thereof.  The majority of people do not have any regular work in the winter as much of the island's income is dependent on summer tourism.  Unless one is a teacher or working in the bank, post office, town hall or the forces, there is little employment in the winter and by February things are looking quite bleak.  In a few weeks, when the weather improves, it will be time to get started on preparations for the season and the island starts to hum with activity but at the moment there is little to be done.

The sun came out for a while on Saturday and every balcony seemed draped with bedding, out to air in the sunshine.  We don't have central heating in Symi and the houses become very damp in the winter.  People rely on small halogen heaters or, if they can afford it, their air conditioners set on heat - an expensive way of heating drafty high-ceilinged stone houses as the units are mounted high on the walls for maximum cooling efficiency in the summer.  

Even the family bird is out on the line for a spot of sunshine and fresh air.

Not to mention the Chorio cats.

The Kampos supermarket at the main bus stop in Chorio.  Yes, one of those 3 men on the left has a large bundle of hay slung across his back, destined for the family donkey. The stacks of tins outside the supermarket are crates of dog food.  As Symi's crime rate is negligible shop keepers don't really worry too much about packing away all their stock inside, particularly if they live in the flat above the shop.

Windy skies over Pedi on Saturday morning.
It is another stormy February Monday on Symi.  We had some sunshine on Saturday, which is when I grabbed the opportunity to go out and take some photographs of something other than breaking waves in a flooded harbour!  It has been raining steadily all day today and strong winds are expected to move in again tomorrow, with a drop in temperature and, surprise, more rain!

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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