Sizzling on Symi

This might not look like a comfortable nest by northern European standards but she chose it herself and is sitting on a clutch of eggs in the shade of a holly oak.  We put her food and water nearby for her and are awaiting developments with interest.

Early risers can enjoy the ephemeral flowers of the indigenous caper bushes.

It is now several months since we had significant rainfall on Symi and with temperatures 40 degrees and above the trees and shrubs are shedding their leaves with alacrity.  We don't have a proper autumn here because by the time it does start to cool off and the days shorten, most of the deciduous plants and trees are already bald.  

A lone red balloon bobbing on the stones near the junction at the top of the Kali Strata.  I wonder what stories it has to tell.

In these temperatures no one has much inclination to cook indoors and heat up the house.  These small, basic but efficient BBQs are commonplace outside front doors, used to quickly grill a couple of fish or a handful of pork souvlaki. They are also good for grilling aubergines and peppers for dips.

When I went to the bank at 11 a.m. there was hardly anyone about and the horse was taking a rest under the tamarind tree.  Visitors staying on the island are all on the beach or somewhere shady by this time of the day and the day excursion boats hadn't come in yet from Rhodes.

By the time I emerged, the Symi excursion boat had docked over by the bus stop and tour parties were already making their way around the harbour. The tour guides carry parasols so that they are easy to spot in the throng.

Not so long ago there used to be an EU flag in the middle, flanked by two Greek ones, but times have changed.

The noddy train, heading round the harbour on the 40 minute round trip to Nimborio.
It is another scorching hot day on Symi. The bank, being one of the coolest places in the harbour, was busy this morning - mostly with locals intent more upon enjoying a gossip in the cool than high finance.  Business owners are all busy paying taxes and social security payments for their staff, transactions that were delayed because of the extended bank holiday and are now due.

It is much quieter than usual for July as very few Greeks are able to take holidays this summer due to the banking restrictions.  It doesn't matter how rich you are, in a cash based economy if you are restricted to withdrawals of 60 euros per account per day you can't withdraw enough money to cover holiday accommodation, ferry fares, meals and all the other things that a family needs on holiday.

Although the official Symi Festival has not happened for some years due to the economic crisis, a sort of alternative festival has sprung up, started by a committee of various enthusiastic locals plus the usual Sunday night film club in Chorio. Watch out for posters advertising various events around Symi including concerts, recitals, film  shows and art exhibitions during your stay.  Most events are free.

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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