Postcards from Symi in June

The Salamis Filoxenia from Cyprus spent the morning in Yialos on Tuesday, bringing many visitors to the island, particularly pilgrims coming to visit Symi's famous monasteries at Panormitis and Roukonioutis.

The motor yachts are getting bigger - this one has a jacuzzi on the foredeck.

The same yacht, pulling out of Yialos an hour or so later.

Yachts and water taxis setting off with the Panagia Skiadeni ferry in the background. 

A Greek flag flying off a hilltop in Yialos.  

Shady benches beside the town square in Yialos.

One of the two access routes to the Kali Strata when approaching from the bottom.  

Symi is very steep and very few houses in the harbour area have vehicle access.  Most can only be reached through a network of steep steps with short narrow lanes running along the fronts of the houses.  As the houses were built without any mechanical assistance and all materials had to be transported by donkey - a situation that has changed very little which is why restoration is so expensive - the houses tend to be quite small and every inch of vertical space is used.  Sleeping lofts (moussandras) and wooden mezzanines make best use of space and the interiors are in many ways reminiscent of boats, with ladder staircases to save space.  You won't find lots of bedrooms in the old neo-classical town houses and the islanders are accustomed to living without much personal space.

Looking down the Kali Strata steps from the top, outside the Olive Tree cafe and Giorgio's taverna in Chorio.  That is a mule train lower down on the steps, taking building materials down to a house that is being restored and that does not have vehicle access.  Chorio is not quite as steep as Yialos so steps are shallower and there are more flat bits in between.

It was very windy yesterday and the anchorage in Pedi was quite full.  Large yachts and gulets often anchor there during the day, waiting for the ferries and excursion boats to depart from Yialos before going round to find a berth for the night.

johnoe54  – (Friday, June 26, 2015)  

Many thanks for these interesting insights into Symi life. Lovely photos.

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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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